ANTA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Earth Science, Robert Hooke, Simple Living

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Published on 29 Sep 2011
School
UTSC
Department
Anthropology
Course
ANTA01H3
ANTA01 – Chapter 2 Key Concepts
Historical Perspectives – believe bible was accurate history until the 17th century
attempts to determine the age of the world
- some used the bible and determined it was less than 6000 years old
Archbishop James Usser – determined the age of the earth by using the bible
- believed the world was created in the year 4004 B.C – and believed it was the 23rd day of Oct.
- figured by some math calculations and historical analysis
philosophers emerged, calling themselves natural scientists – trying to figure out the world by using nature
- the thinkers were all religious and known as God-fearing folks – didn't question the bible, tried to figure
out the world through observing their external world
Uniformitarianism – Geology
started to realize through nature, there was physical changes in the earth – science of geology
- viewed the earth's appearance as a result of a series of natural catastrophes
- bible: Noah's flood was viewed as a catastrophe and a very powerful one too
believed that floods, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions were global and as a result created the diverse
layers of work and physical changes to the world
catastrophists – an adherent of the idea that the world changed over time by a series of catastrophic events
geology started to become an empirical science - trying to explain the condition of the earth
- realized that changes to earth were slow-acting, steady processes of change but, not catastrophes
Reverend Thomas Burnett – believed the age of the earht could be determined by reference to the ordinary,
slow acting, non-catastrophic natural processes of erosion by ice, wind and water
- concluded the world was very young
-argued if it was old than erosions would have taken away the tallest mountains
( he was wrong about the earth being young, but correct about the natural phenomena , didn't realize the
mountain building was still taking place)
Robert Hooke – looked at fossils ( past believed: fossils were tricks of nature) – said the earth was young
- interpreted them as remains of animals and plants that not longer existed
- concluding that organisms became extinct because the earth was always changing
- said could be catastrophes and also everyday events in nature like erosions (long-term occurances)
* he was correct, the geological and biological records are the results of slow, long-term phenomena and
catastrophic events (ex. Extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago due to an asteroid- changed the
earth's climate) – in the past believed catastrophic events had a divine origin and creation feature
by the late 18th century, started to question the historical accuracy of the Genesis
- a scholar named Georges Buffon wrote a book called A Natural History
articulated the perspective of uniformitarianism: concept that biological and geological process that
affected the earth in the past still operate today
he tried to explain the appearance of the earth to determine the earth's age
- concluded that changes in the earth took place as result of natural processes
- later tried to incorporate the genesis – concluded the earth was ancient and was divided into 6 epochs
* the 6 epochs were 1000 years in length and reflected the six days of creation in the bible
James Hutton – The Theory of the Earth
- advanced the notion that by studying natural, slow-working, repetitive processes, which is uniform, like
natural processes like erosion + weathering – could explain the earth's geology and geography
- key element: time – believe God created earth as a self-regulating system – believed the earth was at least
hundreds and thousands of years old
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Document Summary

Historical perspectives believe bible was accurate history until the 17th century attempts to determine the age of the world. Some used the bible and determined it was less than 6000 years old. Archbishop james usser determined the age of the earth by using the bible. Believed the world was created in the year 4004 b. c and believed it was the 23rd day of oct. Figured by some math calculations and historical analysis philosophers emerged, calling themselves natural scientists trying to figure out the world by using nature. The thinkers were all religious and known as god-fearing folks didn"t question the bible, tried to figure out the world through observing their external world. Uniformitarianism geology started to realize through nature, there was physical changes in the earth science of geology. Viewed the earth"s appearance as a result of a series of natural catastrophes. Realized that changes to earth were slow-acting, steady processes of change but, not catastrophes.

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