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Evolution

2011

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Full-Text Articles in Life Sciences

Using Google Earth To Teach The Magnitude Of Deep Time, Joel D. Parker Jan 2011

Using Google Earth To Teach The Magnitude Of Deep Time, Joel D. Parker

Joel D Parker

Most timeline analogies of geologic and evolutionary time are fundamentally flawed. They trade off the problem of grasping very long times for the problem of grasping very short distances. The result is an understanding of relative time with little comprehension of absolute time. Earlier work has shown that the distances most easily understood by teachers and students are those most people can experience directly. Thus most timeline analogies are flawed by either overcompressing an experienceable time or relying on an unexperienceable distance. Under the constraint of experienceability, the best timeline to distance scale must be at least 75 miles and ...