Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Modern-Day Advantages with Technology
Jerry Coyne describes the importance of the studies conducted by John Wells of Cornell University though pages 24-25. His "ingenious study" of fossil corals increased the popularity of radiometric dating, which involves the idea that "the length of a day increases by about two seconds every 100,000 years." Knowing that they existed during the Devonian Period, about 380 million years ago, he claimed each year during the period would be about 31 days longer than a modern year (396 days). This also meant that each day was shorter by two hours. By comparing the "tidal" age against the "radiometric" age, he was able to determine there must have been around 400 days per year, which meant everyday was around 21.9 hours. In the time Darwin was studying the idea of evolution, no such methods and technology existed, so formulating promising ideas was very tedious and difficult. Today scientists have many more opportunities and accumulated knowledge and are able to make more advancements in this "theory."
Discuss the importance of technology to scientists and how it will affect their findings of the future. What are other methods have helped scientists so far? In fifty years, will everyone believe the idea of evolution...? Use evidence from the text to relate the conception of microevolution and present-day adaptations to a world dominated by humans and how these interactions will help support the theme of evolution in times to come.