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RE: Eons of time (please check the values)



> From: owner-dinosaur@usc.edu [mailto:owner-dinosaur@usc.edu]On Behalf Of Dino 
> Guy Ralph
> Sent: Monday, February 14, 2005 12:00 AM
>
> I think it's a great idea to come up with some way of explaining eons of
> time, but with Crichton's method we're merely replacing one set of
> unfathomably large numbers with another set of mind boggling numbers.
>
I think anyone who teaches intro paleo or geol courses picks up a few useful 
examples of these.  Here are a few:

* When in doubt, the old fashioned timeline method. In some classes I students 
use 5 m long strips of paper, and plot certain
occurrences on different time scales (from 1mm = 1 Myr to 1 mm = 1 year).

* Length of the arm from shoulder to tip = age of the Earth. So 
Shoulder-to-elbow is the Hadean and Archean; the Forearm and Palm is
the Proterozoic; and the length of the middle finger is the Phanerozoic. At 
this scale a single pass of a nail file would eliminate
the Quaternary.

* I have a PowerPoint presentation called the Phanerozoic Hour, scaled so 1 
minute = 10 Myr.

And so forth...

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
        Mailing Address:
                Building 237, Room 1117
                College Park, MD  20742

http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796