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Deep Time: Finding the Ages of Rocks and Fossils
This lesson will inform students about the high level of confidence we have in the geological ages of an old Earth. At the same time, it should reveal an example of pseudoscience, which should be part of any effort to improve science literacy and critical thinking. Students are taken through a combination of background information and interactive experiences, and checked frequently by questions to confirm understanding. The narrative includes concepts of isotopes, radioactive decay, half-life, mineral formation, age analyses, Fair Test questions, and isochrons. The lesson can be used as a one-day team activity, individually in class, or as a self-teaching homework assignment. It is intended to either stand by itself, or to serve as a useful introduction to the online interactive Virtual Age Dating Tutorial. This lesson would be helpful in Biology, Earth Science, Physical Science, Physics, Chemistry, or Geology classes.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
Subject:
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geologic time
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright 2002 ENSI (Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes). This material may be copied only for noncommercial classroom teaching purposes, and only if this source is clearly cited.
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-004-784
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Change, constancy, and measurement
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Systems, order, and organization
      • A - Science as inquiry:
        • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
        • Understandings about scientific inquiry
      • C - Life science:
        • Biological evolution
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Origin and evolution of the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Nature of scientific knowledge
        • Science as a human endeavor
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes


Author: Larry Flammer
Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes