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Foundations of Science

Brigham Young University - Idaho September 6, 2011


c 2010 by Brigham Young University - Idaho. All rights reserved.

0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 Acknowledgments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . How To Use This Text . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Syllabus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.1 Course Objectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.2 Grading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.3 Attendance and Participation . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.4 Preparing for Class: Pre-class Readings and Quizzes 0.4.5 Learning Groups and Weekly Participation Reports 0.4.6 Homework Assignments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.7 Exams . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.8 Getting the Grade that You Really Want . . . . . . 0.4.9 Other Miscellaneous Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.4.10 Course Schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I-learn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The BYU-Idaho Learning Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The BYU-Idaho Honor Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Images . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . x xi xvii xix xix xx xx xxi xxi xxii xxii xxiii xxiii xxv xxvi xxvii xxix xxxii 1 2 6 8 15 20 27 29 35 43 51 57 59 60 70 76 86

0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8

1 What is Science? 1.1 Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions 1.2 Mormon Scientists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.3 The Characteristics of Science . . . . . . . . 1.4 The Scientic Process . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.5 Climate Change: A Case Study . . . . . . . 2 The 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Universe The Scale of the Universe . . Time and Intuition . . . . . . Early Cosmological Models . The Big Bang Model: Part I The Big Bang Model: Part II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 Atoms 3.1 Where Do Atoms Come From? 3.2 Atomic Models . . . . . . . . . 3.3 Bonding and the Periodic Table 3.4 Radioactivity . . . . . . . . . .

4 Earth 4.1 Uniformitarianism and Relative Dating . . 4.2 Absolute Dating and the Age of the Earth 4.3 Plate Tectonics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4.4 Earth Changes! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

95 . 96 . 101 . 111 . 118

iv 5 Life 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6

CONTENTS 129 130 145 153 160 167 192

Observations of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Origin of Species: Early Ideas . . . . . . . . . Genetics and DNA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Molecular Evolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Human Evolution I: Anatomical Evidence . . Human Evolution II: Anatomy and Genetics .

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A Views on Science and Religion 205 A.1 Reconciling Scientic and Religious Views of Nature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205 A.2 Making Sense of Scientic and Religious Assertions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208 A.3 The BYU Evolution Packet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209 B Study Helps 219 B.1 How to Take Notes Eectively . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 B.2 Good Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 B.3 Concept Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219 C Image Licensing 221 C.1 GNU Free Documentation License 1.3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221 C.2 Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Bibliography Glossary Index 233 240 241

List of Figures
1 2 3 4 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 Implementing the Learning Model . . . . . . . . . BYU-Idaho Learning Model: Student Process . . . Realizing the Mission: Developing Disciple-leaders The Honor Code Map . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Candida Albicans . . . . . An example of a model . . The process of science . . World ecologies . . . . . . Types of learners/scholars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxvii xxviii xxix xxxi 1 16 17 21 24 27 29 32 36 37 38 40 44 46 47 47 49 53 54 55 59 61 65 66 66 67 72 72 73 74 74 75 78 80 81 83

The Hubble Deep Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An artists rendering of the Milky Way galaxy . . . . . . . . . . The U.S.S. Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A wristwatch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A natural clock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The evolution of the universe after the CMB . . . . . . . . . . Massive objects warp space time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time elapsed photo of the stars at night . . . . . . . . . . . . . A representation of the Geocentric model . . . . . . . . . . . . Epicycles as a means of rening the Geocentric model . . . . . Epicycles associated with Mercury . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A depiction of the Heliocentric model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Doppler shifting of light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Redshift in the spectrum from a supercluster of distant galaxies The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) image of A high resolution transmission electron microscopy image of A depiction of an atom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The PP-I cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The triple alpha reaction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The CNO cycle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . s-process nucleosynthesis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A cathode ray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The plum pudding model of the atom . . . . . . . . . . . . The Rutherford gold foil experiment . . . . . . . . . . . . . The planetary model of the atom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Bohr model of the atom. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Electron probability clouds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Newlands octaves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dmitri Mendeleyevs periodic table . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dmitri Mendeleyevs periodic table, with noble gasses . . . The periodic table of the elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . v

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (BAS11) . . . . . . . . . . . . . the cosmic microwave background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

atoms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

vi 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 5.17 5.18 5.19 5.20 5.21 5.22 5.23 5.24 5.25 5.26 Molecular structure of a nucleotide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alpha decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beta minus decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beta plus decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Electron capture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gamma decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Radioactive decay series for 238 U . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amount of parent and daughter nuclei as a function of elapsed half Daughter-to-Parent ratio as a function of elapsed half lives . . . . . Earth, as seen from the Apollo 8 spacecraft . . . . . . . . . . . . . Geologic cross section from Glacier National Park . . . . . . . . . . The geologic time scale, as determined by relative dating . . . . . . Seasonal rings of a tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dendrochronology of overlapping tree rings . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seasonal layers in a glacier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The geologic timescale, with times assigned by radiometric dating . Radiocarbon calibration curve . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Concordia curve for Uranium-Lead dating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Distribution of fossil record across ocean basins . . . . . . . . . . . A simplied representation of the interior of the Earth . . . . . . . Earths major tectonic plates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Illustration of tectonic boundary types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Epicenter locations of world earthquakes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The geo-hour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The early precambrian . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mesozoic life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cyanobacteria, as seen under a microscope . . . . . Paleolithic paintings from the Lascaux caves, France The hierarchy of life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The domains of life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A prokaryotic cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A eukaryotic cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An evolutionary tree of life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . An evolutionary history of modern elephants . . . . Six extinct species of ancestral elephants . . . . . . . Pakicetus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ambulocetus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Remingtonocetus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Protocetus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dorudon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Basilosaurus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The evolution of whale species . . . . . . . . . . . . Vestigial structures in modern whales . . . . . . . . The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo . . . . . . Fossil trilobites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Georges Cuviers sketches of elephant and mammoth The process of natural selection . . . . . . . . . . . . A Punnett square . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The double helix shape of DNA . . . . . . . . . . . . The molecular structure of DNA . . . . . . . . . . . Semi-conservative pattern of DNA replication . . . . DNA-mRNA transcription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . jaws . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . lives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 87 88 89 89 89 91 93 94 95 98 100 103 103 104 106 107 109 113 115 115 116 116 122 123 125 129 130 132 133 133 134 135 137 138 139 139 140 140 141 141 142 144 146 147 148 151 155 156 156 158 161

LIST OF FIGURES 5.27 5.28 5.29 5.30 5.31 5.32 5.33 5.34 5.35 5.36 5.37 5.38 5.39 5.40 5.41 5.42 5.43 5.44 5.45 5.46 5.47 5.48 5.49 5.50 Protein synthesis inside a ribosome . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The universal genetic code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phyletic gradualism v. punctuated equilibrium . . . . . . . . . . . . Knee and pelvis joints in primate species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ape feet compared to human feet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A phylogenetic tree or cladogram . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phylogenetic trees for hominid species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sahelanthropus tchadensis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ardipithecus ramidus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Australopithecus afarensis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homo habilis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reconstructed skull of A. afarensis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homo ergaster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reconstruction of Homo ergaster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homo heidelbergensis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homo sapiens-neanderthal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Comparison of Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens-neanderthal skulls. Whale skeletons . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Homologies in skeletal forelimbs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cervical vertebrae in giraes and humans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Phylogenetic tree of life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The GULO gene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cladogram indicating the timing of the GULO mutation . . . . . . . Fetal development of human and chimp skulls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

vii 162 163 166 170 171 172 174 175 177 179 181 181 183 183 185 187 189 193 197 198 199 200 201 202



List of Tables
1 1.1 2.1 2.2 2.3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 5.10 5.11 5.12 5.13 5.14 5.15 5.16 Generic course schedule . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xxv Attributes of learners/scholars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 30 31 32 62 79 90 90

Powers of ten greater than zero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Powers of ten less than or equal to zero . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Original and scaled dimensions of the U.S.S. Constitution . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elements and atomic numbers . . . . . . . Discovery of the Elements . . . . . . . . . Particles emitted in radioactive decay . . Penetration and RBE of radioactive decay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Major isotopes used in radiometric dating. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104 Factors aecting global climate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Traits shared by all living things . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Characteristics of elephants and related species . . . . . . . . . . . Evolutionary trends in elephant species . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Major anatomical trends in whale evolution . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of the common ancestor of hominids and chimps Anatomical traits of S. tchadensis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of A. ramidus. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of A. afarensis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of H. habilis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of H. ergaster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of H. heidelbergensis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of H. neanderthalensis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Anatomical traits of H. sapiens. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Vestigial structures in humans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Similarity between DNA of humans and other selected species . . . Primate pseudogenes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131 136 137 143 175 176 178 180 182 184 186 188 190 194 196 200





The material found in this text represents a great deal of time and eort from several BYU-Idaho faculty. In particular, we wish to acknowledge the following: John S. Gri th, Biology Evan D. Hansen, Physics Alan R. Holyoak, Biology Kevin Kelley, Physics Brian J. Lemon, Chemistry Christopher M. Lowry, Psychology Daniel K. Moore, Geology Dave Stricklan, Biology




A public that does not understand how science works can, all too easily, fall prey to those ignoramuses...who make fun of what they do not understand, or to the sloganeers who proclaim scientists to be the mercenary warriors of today and the tools of the military. The dierence...between...understanding and not also the dierence between respect and admiration on the one side, and hate and fear on the other. - Isaac Asimov

The Lower Case s Scientist

Having a working knowledge of what science is and how it works will provide great benets to many areas of your life: as a parent, voting citizen, member of a professional community, or member of the church. Thats why every student who comes to BYU-Idaho studies science. The Science Foundations and Issues in Science courses along with courses from the other foundations categories are designed to add strength and depth to your education and to your testimony. Knowledge enhances your development as a disciple of Jesus Christ and simultaneously promotes development of attributes of Christ-like leadership. BYU-Idaho President Kim B. Clark refers to that kind of leadership as lower case l leadership [Clark07]. A lower case l leader is someone who inspires those around them to do what is right whether or not that person is in a formal leadership position. This Science Foundations course is similarly designed to help you move forward in your personal development since it is designed to help you become a lower case s scientist. Being a lower case s scientist does not necessarily mean that you will be a professional scientist, rather it means that you will develop an awareness of and an interest in scientic topics and issues. It also means that you will learn and apply the critical and creative thinking skills used by scientists. A great example of a lower case s scientist is Benjamin Franklin. Benjamin Franklin was one of the most prominent founding fathers of the United States of America. He, like many of you, came from a humble home, but unlike you he had little opportunity for formal education. After only a few years Franklin was forced to leave school and become a printers apprentice3 . Franklin spent his working years as a writer, printer, newspaper publisher, and postmaster. Throughout his life, however, he continued to learn. He learned all he could about everything he could (he is a good example of acting on the instruction given in D&C 88: 78-79). He continued his education primarily by reading, writing and interacting with other informed people. He had a deep interest in science4 , and he developed an uncommon ability to connect with people at every socio-economic level. Franklin retired from his profession at the age of 42 and looked forward to pursuing his scientic interests full-time. Franklin pursued his scientic interests full-time for only a few years, and his scientic work covered an impressive range of disciplines. Some of his accomplishments include the invention of the Franklin stove, bifocal glasses, improved methods of fertilization for agriculture, a description of the association between lightning and electricity, development of the lightning rod, an improved design for street lamps, a chart of the Gulf Stream, the development of the rst battery and more3 . His work on electricity and lightning rods made its way to England and France, and made him perhaps the best known living scientist of his day4 . By the way, Franklin also established the rst lending library in America, the rst police force and the rst re department in Philadelphia, and he founded the University of Pennsylvania5 . After only a few years of full-time scientic work Franklin set science aside in order to accept appointments as a public servant. He served as a statesman to England and France, a member of the Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, and was a prominent voice for the freedom and unication of the American colonies. Still, with all that going on Franklin maintained contacts with scientic colleagues and carried out scientic experiments. One author stated that Franklin never gave up being a scientist; what he did abandon was the career of a full-time scientist...and was a subject to which he always gladly turned in every odd day or hour of leisure, even in the midst of exacting duties and heavy responsibilities of his public career4 . Do you need to develop the prominence of someone like Benjamin Franklin to become a small s scientist? Of course not, but we hope you will develop some of the attributes of Benjamin Franklin: become a life-long learner with a continuous thread of interest in science.



Truth is Learned Through Religion and Science

We are condent that each of you has had spiritual experiences in which you learned pure truth by personal revelation. Those experiences may have occurred while you were praying, studying the scriptures, having a serious discussion, or some at other time while you were pondering a particular question, topic, or problem. And, in the middle of one of those acts you had an a-ha or other strong impression moment in which you received a strong spiritual conrmation pertaining to the topic or question at hand or by which you gained understanding. Some of the truths you received by revelation may have included things like a conrmation of the divinity and reality of our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ, the reality and signicance of the atonement of Jesus Christ, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith, Jr., is a prophet, that your parents and family love you, etc. Those are the kinds of things that often form the core of our personal testimonies. They are eternal truths that are obtained only by revelation, and upon which we should build our testimonies. Always hold fast to those truths (2 Timothy 3:14). You may also have gained instruction, spiritual conrmation or illumination regarding a secular challenge or question. An experience like that was shared by Elder Russell M. Nelson, a heart surgeon by profession, regarding a particularly challenging operation that had never before been attempted. This experience was related in the 173rd annual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in April 2003 [Nelson03]. Elder Nelsons experience demonstrates that we can receive revelation and inspiration to learn truths about secular things. It should be emphasized that only someone who was prepared to understand the message sent to Elder Nelson could be edied by that message. That means that the knowledge needed to solve the previously insurmountable problem was provided by revelation, Elder Nelsons professional training and experience made it possible for him to recognize the value and truth of that inspiration. Like Elder Nelson, we too must obtain all the knowledge and experience we can so that when we need and receive revelation we will be able to understand it and use it to bless the lives of others. In other words, it is important to realize there is an enormous amount of truth and knowledge that we must obtain that we cannot count on receiving by personal revelation. That fact is underscored by Elder Marion G. Romney who stated, I believe in study. I believe that men learn much through study. As a matter of fact, it has been my observation that they learn little concerning things as they are, as they were, or as they are to come without study. I also believe, however, and know, that learning by study is greatly accelerated by faith [Romney68]. Elder Rex E. Lee likewise taught that, No matter how righteous you are, no matter how carefully you cultivate the companionship of the Holy Ghost, there are vast amounts of knowledge which you need to acquire and which you are not going to receive through revelation [Lee82]. Does that mean that our spiritual and secular learning are separate and distinct when it comes to revelation and inspiration? No! Elder Henry B. Eyring taught, [Our] faith will largely determine whether we learn here by study and also by faith. As we do, we will attain academic excellence. We will not attain academic excellence without that faith of yours as students and those that follow to learn by study and by faith[Eyring01]. In other words, we can maximize our learning and understanding as we combine study and faith. Since the majority of you already have a signicant store of spiritual experiences there is little need to comment further on that aspect of obtaining truth. There is, however, a need to consider what we should learn, and then explore how we know what we know through scientic investigation. In the Doctrine and Covenants we are given instruction regarding what we should learn: 78. Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand; 79. Of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad; the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms80. That ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you. - Doctrine and Covenants 88:78-80



When you look at the list of topics in the verses above we are directed to learn about, well, just about everything there is. That is one of the great strengths of the gospel, and of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It is a religion that encourages the people to learn all they can. That includes things we learn via science. Does that mean that we will learn everything and understand how everything ts together while we are in this life? Of course not, no one can know everything during the brief time we have here, but we should still do our best to learn all we can while we are here. Because our knowledge and learning is imperfect there will be topics that may appear to contain truth, but which we cannot reconcile with other truths that we have. In that case we urge patience. Do not toss the baby out with the bath when a perceived conict appears. Keep the faith, hold to the eternal truths you have acquired, and know that someday we will know how everything works and how everything ts together into one complete understanding of truth. We know that will happen because we are taught that all things will be revealed when the Savior returns: 32. Yea, verily I say unto you, in that day when the Lord shall come, he shall reveal all things33. Things which have passed, and hidden things which no man knew, things of the earth, by which it was made, and the purpose and the end thereof34. Things most precious, things that are above, and things that are beneath, things that are in the earth, and upon the earth, and in heaven. - Doctrine and Covenants 101:32-34 And, like Elder Nelsons experience, we will be prepared to receive and understand this information after we have done our best to learn all we can.

Conicts Between Science and Religion

As you begin your experience in FDSCI 101 you may wonder how science and religion mesh with each other. Can they? Should they? Will they? As you ponder these questions you need to remind yourself that you are on a quest to nd and embrace truth as part of your experience in this life. Elder Richard G. Scott taught that two ways we can nd truth are the scientic method and inspiration [Scott07]. Of course the methods used to nd truth via these two methods dier, but truths obtained by both methods increase our understanding of the universe and our place in it. There are, alas, some people in the world who assert that science and religion are antagonists. People of this opinion believe that someone can be a person of science or a person of faith, but not both. They promote the ideas that a person of science has no need for religion, or that a person of religion faces great personal risk of losing their faith by considering the things discovered by science. Rest assured that this line of reasoning represents a false dichotomy, and you do not have to choose between science and religion. You can, in fact, enjoy the luxury of obtaining truths obtained by inspiration and by scientic investigation, and that by doing so your testimony can be strengthened. One of the preeminent scientists of the mid-20th century, the rocket scientist Werner von Braun, provides an interesting perspective on the topic of science and faith: Science and faith are the two dominant forces in this century. We must try to understand their nature if we are to comprehend some of the most serious problems of the era in which we live. The mainspring of science is curiosity. Since time immemorial, there have always been men and women who desire to know what was under the rock, beyond the hills, across the oceans. This restless breed now wants to know what makes an atom work, through what process life reproduces itself, or what is on the far side of the moon. But, also, there would not be a single great accomplishment in the history of mankind without faith. Any man who strives to accomplish something needs a degree of faith in himself. And whenever he takes on a challenge that requires more moral strength than he can muster with his own limited mental and spiritual resources, he needs faith in God.


LIST OF TABLES One of the most crucial issues of our time lies in the fact that modern science, along with miracle drugs and communications satellites, has also produced nuclear bombs. It cannot be denied that science has failed to provide a practical answer on how to cope with them. As a result, science and scientists have often been blamed for the desperate dilemma in which man nds himself today. Science, by itself, has no moral dimension. The drug which cures when taken in small doses may kill when taken in excess. The nuclear energies that produce cheap electrical power when harnessed in a nuclear reactor may kill when abruptly released in a bomb. Thus, it does not make sense to ask a scientist whether his poison or his nuclear energy is good or bad for mankind. And, so, the realization that science is unable to control the possible abuse of the forces it has made available, has led hundreds of millions in the world to a new interest in religion. This religious revival shows that there is a widespread realization that in the nuclear age man has a desperate need for stronger ethical control of the immeasurable physical forces he has unleashed. But many people nd the churches, those old ramparts of faith, badly battered by the onslaught of three hundred years of scientic skepticism. This has led many to believe that science and religion are not compatible, that knowing and believing cannot live side by side. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Science and religion are not antagonists. On the contrary, they are sisters. While science tries to learn more about the creation, religion tries to better understand the Creator. While, through science man tries to harness the forces of nature around him, through religion he tries to harness the forces of nature within him. Science may not have a moral dimension. But I am certain that science, in its search for new insights into the nature of the creation, has produced new ethical values of its own. Most certainly science has fostered veracity and humility. Again, it is a mark of all true science that its ndings are valid and objective for all times and all peoples; that these ndings demand unconditional acceptance and that once proved correct, they are universally embraced. If a man has ever come close to nding an answer to Pontius Pilates question, What is truth?, science has shown the way. Personally, I believe in the ultimate victory of truth. I am condent that to the extent that we shall learn more about nature, we shall not only arrive at universally accepted scientic ndings, but also at a set of universally accepted rules and standards of human behavior. The materialists of the nineteenth century and their Marxist heirs of the twentieth, tried to tell us that, as science gives us more knowledge about creation, we could live without faith in a Creator. Yet, so far, with every new answer, we have discovered new questions. The better we understand the intricacies of the atomic structure, the nature of life, or the master plan for the galaxies, the more reason we have found to marvel at the wonder of Gods creation. But our need for God is not based on awe alone. Man needs faith just as he needs food, water, or air. With all the science in the world, we need faith in God, whenever faith in ourselves has reached its limit. [Braun65] (Italics included in the original text)

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints you should seek after knowledge of all things (D&C 88: 78-79). You can therefore be condent that seeking for truth obtained by inspiration and truth discovered by science is desirable. The prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. taught that all truth is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that you are free to embrace all truth without limitation. The following quotations are taken from chapter 22 of [Teachings07]. A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge. The gospel of Jesus Christ embraces all truth; the faithful accept the truths God has revealed and put aside false traditions. Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft.... ...Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth.... The rst and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without



being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same. In January 1843, Joseph Smith had a conversation with some people who were not members of the Church: I stated that the most prominent dierence in sentiment between the Latter-day Saints and sectarians was, that the latter were all circumscribed by some peculiar creed, which deprived its members the privilege of believing anything not contained therein, whereas the Latter-day Saints...are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time. I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the dierent denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes [limits], and say, Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further [Job 38:11]; which I cannot subscribe to. I say to all those who are disposed to set up stakes for the Almighty, You will come short of the glory of God. To become a joint heir of the heirship of the Son, one must put away all his false traditions. The great thing for us to know is to comprehend what God did institute before the foundation of the world. Who knows it? It is the constitutional disposition of mankind to set up stakes and set bounds to the works and ways of the Almighty.... That which hath been hid from before the foundation of the world is revealed to babes and sucklings in the last days [see D&C 128:18]. When men open their lips against [the truth] they do not injure me, but injure themselves.... When things that are of the greatest importance are passed over by weak-minded men without even a thought, I want to see truth in all its bearings and hug it to my bosom. I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief. When God oers a blessing or knowledge to a man, and he refuses to receive it, he will be damned. The Israelites prayed that God would speak to Moses and not to them; in consequence of which he cursed them with a carnal law. I have always had the satisfaction of seeing the truth triumph over error, and darkness give way before light. Gaining knowledge of eternal truths is essential to obtaining salvation. Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness. Woe unto you priests and divines who preach that knowledge is not necessary unto life and salvation. Take away Apostles, etc., take away knowledge, and you will nd yourselves worthy of the damnation of hell. Knowledge is revelation. Hear, all ye brethren, this grand key: knowledge is the power of God unto salvation. Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.... In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because He has greater knowledge; and hence He knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power over all. As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved, and while our hearts are lled with evil, and we are studying evil, there is no room in our hearts for good, or studying good. Is not God good? Then you be good; if He is faithful, then you be faithful. Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and seek for every good thing [see 2 Peter 1:5]... ...A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God. Joseph Smith taught the following in April 1843, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19: Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. Joseph Smith taught the following in May 1843, later recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 131:6: It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. We obtain knowledge of eternal truths through diligent study and prayer. George A. Smith, while serving in the First Presidency, reported: Joseph Smith taught that every man and woman should seek the Lord for wisdom, that they might get knowledge from Him who is the fountain of knowledge; and the promises of the gospel, as revealed, were such as to authorize us to believe, that by taking this course we should gain the object of our pursuit.



The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote the following to a man who had recently joined the Church: You remember the testimony which I bore in the name of the Lord Jesus, concerning the great work which He has brought forth in the last days. You know my manner of communication, how that in weakness and simplicity, I declared to you what the Lord had brought forth by the ministering of His holy angels to me for this generation. I pray that the Lord may enable you to treasure these things in your mind, for I know that His Spirit will bear testimony to all who seek diligently after knowledge from Him. We gain knowledge of eternal truths a little at a time; we can learn all things as fast as we are able to bear them. It is not wisdom that we should have all knowledge at once presented before us; but that we should have a little at a time; then we can comprehend it. When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel - you must begin with the rst, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.

Words in Season from the First Presidency

In summary, Joseph Smith taught that you should seek after and accept all truth. Even so, there have been times in Church history when there was much discussion and even heated debate about the Churchs position on science. After repeated queries on this topic were sent to the First Presidency, the First Presidency released the following statement that claries the Churchs position with respect to questions raised by science: Diversity of opinion does not necessitate intolerance of spirit, nor should it embitter or set rational beings against each other. The Christ taught kindness, patience, and charity. Our religion is not hostile to real science. That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy; but vain philosophy, human theory and mere speculations of men, we do not accept nor do we adopt anything contrary to divine revelation or to good common sense. But everything that tends to right conduct, that harmonizes with sound morality and increases faith in Deity, nds favor with us no matter where it may be found. [Words10] This statement from the First Presidency (which represents the o cial position of the Church on this matter) indicates that the Church is not hostile to real science and that which is demonstrated, we accept with joy. At the same time they stated that you are not obligated to accept vain philosophy, human theory, and mere speculations of men, that is, ideas that in our modern scientic terminology represent untested or unfounded hypotheses. So as you embark on your study of some of the truths discovered by science you should be condent that the things we discuss in FDSCI 101 represent scientic discoveries that fall into the category of things that are demonstrated, and are things that we should accept with joy. This is true, since one of the goals of this course is to give you opportunities to complement your current level of spiritual knowledge and understanding with an increased level of understanding of scientic truths. This process of learning and increased understanding of truth can strengthen your testimony, and allows the shackles of superstition and unfounded tradition to fall away, opening up a more complete understanding in your heart and in your mind. As you exercise faith as you study and learn, be assured that we will avoid areas of speculation and will focus in discoveries and interpretations that are well founded and clearly demonstrated, and that we will avoid delving into areas of unfounded scientic and spiritual speculation. You should also keep in mind that our scientic understanding of all things is unavoidably incomplete, though ongoing advances in scientic discovery constantly improve and deepen our understanding of the nature of the physical universe. As for the areas in which our understanding is still limited, well, Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, and is a sentiment of faith that we should all adhere to. He said: All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.




How To Use This Text

Overview and Review Questions

At the beginning of each section you will nd a tan box labeled OVERVIEW. Here you will nd a brief summary of the section, a list of objectives, and any new vocabulary found therein. The list of learning objectives tells you what, ultimately, you are responsible for - the ideas or concepts that will be assessed in the exams. As you read the section and complete the assignments, you will want to refer back to these objectives. Ask yourself: am I ready to be tested on these ideas? An example of such an overview follows:

Overview boxes

Summary: This section provides a road map for how you should use this text. It discusses the overview and assignment boxes, the helps and hints found in the margins, and recurring themes found throughout the text. Learning Outcomes: Understand what is expected of you as you use this text to prepare for each class period. Identify the various types of helps given in the margins. Value these resources as study aids. Vocabulary: Overview box Review questions Margin denitions Margin hints Cautions Recurring themes

At the end of each section you will nd a list of review questions for which you should write answers before attending your weekly learning group meeting. These questions are intended to help you reect on what you have read and what we have discussed in class. It is highly recommended that you answer these questions immediately after completing the reading assignment, and then review and revise after the class meeting. The review questions are found in green boxes, as follows:

Review questions

1. What is the signicance of the blue, tan, and green shaded boxes found in each section of this text? 2. Where can you look to nd succinct denitions for new terms encountered in the text? 3. What is the purpose of the caution statements that appear from time to time in the margins? 4. What are you expected to do before coming to each class period? 5. How can you use the information in this section to help you understand the material? For traditional, face-to-face classes, you will be assigned to read one section of this text and complete the assigned activities before each class period. For online courses, block courses, or courses taught only once each week, you will be assigned two sections of the text.



Helps and Hints

One thing that can make learning science di cult is the large number of terms used to relate ideas and concepts. The scientic language consists of words that have very specic meanings, which in turn are based on common experiences or other words similarly dened. While knowing the denitions of these terms does not constitute true understanding, it is nearly impossible to acquire understanding without rst knowing what the words refer to. For this purpose, important terms that are presented in the reading are accompanied by denitions in the margin, written in blue text. The hope is that by placing the terms in the margins, even when explanations may still appear in the body of the text, you will be able to quickly locate the denition of words that are unfamiliar to you. Additional notes are given in the margins which highlight important ideas presented in the text. These notes are written in a magenta font, such as the one seen here. For various reasons, there are some misconceptions about scientic ideas (or sometimes science itself) that seem to be common among most people. When such misconceptions arise in these readings, you will nd a caution statement in the margin, as you see here. A common human response when we encounter an idea that does not agree with our own understanding is to simply discount the idea, without so much as considering that it might be our own understanding that is awed. We sincerely hope that as you study science this semester you will keep an open mind, and when you nd that one of these caution statements applies to your current mode of thinking, that you will take a critical look at the reasons why you are having trouble accepting new ideas.

Denitions: Important terms are dened in the margin as well as in the text.

Important ideas highlighted

Caution statements such as this alert the reader to common misconceptions or other conceptual di culties.





For your convenience, a generic copy of the course syllabus is included here. Your instructor may provide you with a more detailed syllabus or additional information as they deem t.


Course Objectives

This course is an introduction to the nature, practice, power, and limitations of science, as well as relationships between science and religion, and science and society. These topics are explored through the study of selected episodes of scientic discovery that demonstrate methodical and creative aspects of scientic inquiry, and the self-correcting nature of science. The main goal of this course is to provide you with a set of experiences that will enable you to think and act intelligently on science-related issues and concerns you will face during your life. It should also prepare you for the Issues in Science Foundations courses and other science courses you will take. The specic objectives for this course are as follows: 1. Understand that there are two paths that lead to truth, revelation and scientic inquiry, and appreciate that both paths can and should t comfortably into a gospel-centered life. 2. Understand the nature, practice, power, and limitations of science, including the following principles: (a) That science can only address questions of an objective and empirical nature. (b) That there is a dierence between scientic observations and scientic interpretations. (c) That scientic interpretations are provisional and mutable rather than nal and unalterable. (d) That scientic investigation involves a deliberate strategy of forming and testing hypotheses to rene the theories and models we use to understand the world around us. 3. Have a basic introduction to these fundamental ideas of modern science: the big bang, atomic theory, deep time, plate tectonics, and evolution. 4. Appreciate the role that science plays in your life, and develop an ongoing interest in science. 5. Introduce and apply the principles of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. In order to fulll these objectives, it is expected that you will do the following: Fully invest yourself in this class. Complete the assigned reading and any other preparation prior to coming to class each day. Actively participate in your learning group. Actively participate in classroom activities. In total, you should be prepared to spend about four hours in preparation and work outside of the classroom each week.





Your grade in this course will be based on attendance and participation, class preparation, quizzes, homework assignments, group meetings, and exams. Your instructor will provide you with information as to the weighting of various grading items and the assignment of nal grades. Extra credit opportunities may be made available at the discretion of your instructor, provided that the opportunity is extended equally to the entire class and at a reasonable time, and that extra credit opportunities do not exceed a total of 2% of your nal grade. Inevitably at the end of each semester a few students will be very close to earning a higher grade. For example, a student might have a total of 898 points in the class, needing only two additional points to change their B+ grade into an A-. In such situations students will almost always ask to have their grades rounded up or to be provided with some sort of additional activity to boost their grade. Such a request is completely unprofessional and unethical. It indicates that the student believes that they are entitled to some kind of accommodation that is not being oered to the rest of the class. That kind of post-course grade improvement request, either via additional extra credit or simply expecting a professor to change a grade, is a worrisome evidence of academic entitlement, which is essentially a desire to receive the grade that the student wants, rather than the grade that the student earned. Accommodations will always be made in the event of errors in data entry or grade calculations. Personal extenuating circumstances, such as prolonged illnesses or family emergencies, are generally covered by University policies and do not require other accommodations. Our hope for every student at BYU-Idaho is that they will work their hardest, do their very best, and then feel a sense of satisfaction at having known that they did their very best. Then, having done their very best they should realize that the grade assigned is an indication of how that particular students performance in required activities stacked up against the set standards of grading in the class in question, realizing that grades are based on performance, not on personal desires for a particular grade.


Attendance and Participation

An i>Clicker is required for this course.

You are expected to arrive on time to each class period, remain in the classroom until class is dismissed, and to be actively engaged throughout each class meeting. When every student in the class commits themselves to these behaviors, it fosters a classroom environment that facilitates deeper learning. It provides opportunities for students and faculty to teach and to learn from each other. In this class attendance and participation are tracked with i>Clickers. These wonderful devices help make class more interactive, help us perform real-time assessment, and collect class opinions. The best part is, your responses are only known by you and your instructor (and in some cases only by you). You will each need to purchase an i>Clicker before the second day of class, and will be expected to bring it (in working condition) to each class meeting. In order to receive your participation points for a given class meeting you must respond to at least 50% of the i>Clicker questions. Naturally, there may be a day or two that you are unable to attend class. Illnesses, family emergencies, and the like are a part of life. The dropped scores, as indicated in the grading schedule, should cover any such excused absences. You may also show up to class one day only to discover that the batteries in your i>Clicker are no longer functional. The dropped scores should also cover these situations. If you arrive late to class or leave early, your instructor may dock some or all of your attendance points for the day.



Please note that the instructor reserves the right to fail any student who habitually does not come to class, regardless of any other points earned in the course. In other words, if you get perfect scores on all of the quizzes and exams and meet regularly with your group, but you only attend half of the class meetings, you can expect to receive a failing grade.


Preparing for Class: Pre-class Readings and Quizzes

Preparing for class is a critical part of your FDSCI 101 experience. It is one of the fundamental ways in which you apply the BYU-Idaho learning model. Without pre-class preparation, we would not get through very much material (after all, we only have 24 one-hour class meetings). Furthermore, we would have to resort to the traditional lecture style of instruction, and sitting and listening to lectures is not an e cient way to learn. On the other hand, when students come to class prepared, we can spend our time together clarifying difcult concepts, discussing the ideas together, and engaging in other interactive activities. Most importantly, preparing for class involves action on your part, and action authorizes the Holy Ghost to teach. This brings up the question: How does one prepare for class? To begin with, there will be a reading assignment for each class period, which may include additional activities that you should complete. These readings are provided in this text. To ensure that your preparation is su cient, there will be a quiz on each reading assignment, which must be taken before the beginning of the associated class period. These quizzes will be on I-learn. They are open book and open note, but you should complete them on your own (in other words, it is not appropriate to have another person help you with the quiz). You can take each quiz up to three times, which basically allows you an initial take (which should indicate what you still need to learn from the reading), a second take, and the possibility of a dropped Internet connection. The quizzes will close approximately 10 minutes before class begins. Under no circumstances will any student be allowed a late take on a reading quiz. As with your class participation, the lowest four quiz grades will be dropped. This should accommodate any legitimate di culties you encounter during the semester. At the end of each reading assignment, you will nd a series of review questions. You should write out answers to each of these review questions on a personal blog on I-learn. As to how these review questions are graded, see the next section.


Learning Groups and Weekly Participation Reports

An important part of the BYU-Idaho learning model involves students actively teaching and serving each other. Meeting regularly with a study group to review material and work on assignments together can be a powerful tool when it comes to improving your understanding of di cult concepts and opening your mind to other points of view. Early in the semester you will be assigned to a learning group. Your group will need to decide on a regular time and place to meet each week. To each of these meetings you will bring your written answers to the review questions (you can either print a hard copy or bring your laptop), which you will discuss with the members of your group. You may also be given other assignments or activities to complete during these group meetings. At the end of each week you will report, via a quiz on I-learn, your level of preparation for and participation in these group meetings. This report, which must be completed no later than midnight on Saturday, consists of ve



questions (the possible responses are yes or no), which may be similar to the following: 1. Did you complete all of the assigned reading this week? 2. Did you write out answers to all of the review questions associated with the reading assignments? 3. Did you attend your group meeting? 4. Did you complete the reection activity on the I-learn blog? 5. Did you actively participate in your group meeting? All ve questions are equally weighted. Notice that failure to attend any group meetings results in the loss of 150 points, or roughly one and a half letter grades. The two lowest reports are dropped, so if you are sick and cannot attend two of your group meetings, your grade should not be adversely aected. Late reports are not accepted under any circumstances. It is important to remember that the law of the harvest applies to your learning: He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6). If you only put a 50% eort into your work, you should only expect to understand about 50% of the material.


Homework Assignments

In addition to your weekly class preparation and group meetings, there will be twelve homework projects assigned during the course, one every week. These assignments will be completed as part of your learning group meeting. You must complete the assignment individually before arriving at your group meeting, then during the meeting you will discuss the assignment, make corrections as necessary, and then hand in one copy per group. These assignments will be graded. Should the responsible party in your group forget to bring the assignment to class, that individual will lose half of the points for that assignment (the rest of the group will not be held accountable).



Four regular exams will be administered in the testing center. These exams will consist of 25 multiple choice questions and will be worth 75 points. With the exception of the rst exam, ve of the questions on each of these exams will be comprehensive. The nal exam, also administered in the testing center, will consist of 50 multiple choice questions, of which roughly half will be comprehensive. The nal exam is worth 150 points. The exams will be open for one day only. Exceptions must be approved on a case-by-case basis, and are subject to the following policies: In no case will you be allowed to take an exam early. This includes the nal exam. Exams missed because of illness, injury, hospitalization, or University academic excused absences may be taken up to two weeks late without penalties or fees. You will need to provide some sort of documentation. Exams missed because of personal choice issues, including travel conicts or negligence If arrangements are made before the exam, the test may be taken up to one week late and is subject to a 15% penalty and a $3 late take fee (paid to the testing center).



If you simply forget to take an exam, or you did not make arrangements before the exam, you will forfeit all points for that exam. Exams missed because of funerals, weddings, and the like may be taken up to one week late, with penalties and/or late charges at the discretion of the instructor. All late takes have to be arranged with the instructor. It is your responsibility to make these arrangements!


Getting the Grade that You Really Want

In the nal analysis, your grade will reect three things: the amount of eort you put into your work, how much you achieve, and how much knowledge you retain. Removing any of these three items will earn you a lower grade than you would like. For example, you should not expect to receive an A in the class if you work hard and achieve knowledge but fail to retain that knowledge (and subsequently perform poorly on the nal exam). This brings up the question, What do I need to do to get an A in this class? While there are many factors involved, thus making it di cult to lay out a specic list of things you should do, there are some common characteristics possessed by outstanding students (A students) and average students (C students). The A Student: Attends class every day, and is actively (not supercially) involved in every class and group activity. They come to class prepared, they oer insights and ask questions in class, and they complete all their assignments on time. Their assignments reect independent eort, as opposed to relying on others. They demonstrate curiosity and a willingness to go beyond the requirements of the class. They have determination and self-discipline, and they are committed to their school work. Because of their work ethic and attitudes, they consistently do well on exams. The C Student: Misses class a little more than they should, and when they are in class they generally participate only in a supercial manner. They may have all of their assignments in on time, and mostly correct, but they rely a little too much on their peers to show them how to work the problems, or they put the bare minimum of eort into their work. Their attitude is essentially one of just getting through the class, and they show little to no interest in learning anything that is not explicitly covered in the course material. Their eorts are often half-hearted and/or ine cient. Their exam grades are average and/or inconsistent. They have some concept of what is going on, but have not mastered the material. These are, of course, general characteristics observed in students, and do not guarantee a particular grade.


Other Miscellaneous Policies

Dress and Grooming All aspects of the BYU-Idaho Honor Code will be observed throughout every part of your experience in this class. This includes compliance with the University dress and grooming standards, which are designed to help us develop and maintain an environment where the Holy Ghost can enlighten all aspects of our learning and teaching and where each class member will do nothing that detracts from that goal. Please note that if a student is habitually or agrantly in noncompliance with the dress or grooming codes, or the honor code, that matter will be brought to their attention. If that notication is not enough to help student bring him/herself into compliance, that students name will be forwarded to the Honor Code O ce for formal action.

xxiv Academic Integrity


You should make every eort to ensure that assignments, projects, exams, and other classwork submitted on your behalf are an accurate representation of your eort, work, and understanding. Anything less than this is a deception, and qualies as academic dishonesty. Classic examples of academic dishonesty include cheating on exams, having someone else do your work for you, and plagiarism. Other more subtle examples could include reporting that you have completed a reading assignment when you only skimmed through it, doing somewhat less than your fair share of a group project, or devising clever ways to boost your grade through loopholes. Academic dishonesty is not tolerated in this class, and may result in receiving no credit for a particular assignment, referral to the Honor Code O ce, or dismissal from the class with a failing grade. Sexual Harassment Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sex discrimination against any participant in an educational program or activity that receives federal funds, including federal loans or grants. Title IX also covers studentto-student sexual harassment. If you encounter unlawful sexual harassment or gender-based discrimination, please contact the Human Resources O ce (4961130). Students with Disabilities Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that reasonably accommodates qualied persons with disabilities. If you have any disability that may impair your ability to complete this course successfully, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities O ce (496-1158). Services are coordinated with the student and instructor by this o ce. Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualied, documented disabilities. If you need assistance or if you feel you have been unlawfully discriminated against on the basis of disability, you may seek resolution through established grievance policy and procedures through the Human Resources O ce (496-1130). Electronic Devices The BYU-Idaho Learning Model envisions students who have come to class prepared to share ideas, rather than merely receive them. Learning occurs through discussion in which each student listens carefully to the comments of others and seeks the opportunity to add, as inspired, to what is being said. Participating in such a discussion requires careful attention - as though one were with a friend, one-on-one. It is to promote such a learning environment that the University requires, as general policy, that electronic devices be turned o during class time. These devices include cell phones, handheld devices, personal media players, and so forth. The use of laptops will be left to the discretion of your instructor. If laptop use is allowed, please make sure that you use your laptop appropriately. Instructors may, for the sake of achieving special learning objectives or to meet individual student needs, authorize the use of specic electronic devices in their classrooms. However, it is recommended that the use of laptops for note taking not be allowed except for occasional lectures. In the Learning Model environment, thinking about what is being said in the classroom and seeking the opportunity to add a comment is more important than transcribing the discussion. Impressions that come in class can be noted by hand. When class is



over, students will nd that their handwritten notes, along with ideas brought to remembrance by the Spirit, will allow them to write detailed reections. Those reections will be richer because of the students active participation in the class discussion. (See Amendments and Corrections The instructor reserves the right to correct and/or amend this syllabus at his or her discretion. Such amendments will be communicated to students by way of email, I-learn, in class, or any combination of the above.


Course Schedule

Changes to this schedule (Table 1) will be announced in class and via campus email. Reading assignments refer to sections in the text. Any additional class meetings will be used as catch-up or review sessions. Your instructor can provide you with additional details, including dates for the various class meetings. Class Period 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Topic Introduction, Learning Model, I-learn Unit I: What is Science? Truth: the Foundation of Correct Decisions Mormon scientists The characteristics of science The scientic process Case studies: How science aects society Unit II: The Universe The scale of the Universe Time and intuition Early cosmological models The big bang model, part I The big bang model, part II Unit III: Atoms Where do atoms come from? Atomic models Bonding and the periodic table Radioactivity Unit IV: Earth Relative dating Absolute dating Plate Tectonics Earth changes Unit V: Life Observations of life Origin of the species: early models Genetics and DNA Molecular genetics Human evolution I Human evolution II Table 1: Generic course schedule. Section (none) 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6





Online resources play a big role in this course. The textbook and lecture slides are made available online. Reading quizzes are taken online. Weekly reports are submitted online. You can check your grades online. I-learn is the resource provided by the University that makes all of this possible. It is accessed by pointing your browser to To log into I-learn, you will need to use the same credentials (username and password) that you use to access other university resources, such as Once you have logged in, you will see a list of your classes. When you click on the appropriate link, you will access the I-learn site for this class. On the rst day of class your instructor will show you how to navigate the class I-learn site.




The BYU-Idaho Learning Model

It is our intent that the FDSCI 101 course be aligned with the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. The Learning Model is based on ve fundamental principles. These principles are as follows: Teachers and learners at BYU-Idaho: 1. Exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as a principle of action and power; 2. Understand that true teaching is done by and with the Holy Ghost; 3. Lay hold upon the word of God as found in the holy scriptures and in the words of the prophets in all disciplines; 4. Act for themselves and accept responsibility for learning and teaching; 5. Love, serve, and teach one another. The implementation of the learning model has, in turn, been broken into ve steps. The rst two (specifying outcomes and designing course architecture) are the responsibility of the faculty. The latter three are of more interest to students. These three steps are: Principles of BYU-Idaho Learning Model

Figure 1: Implementing the Learning Model Lets elaborate on these three steps, as they apply to you as a student. First of all, you should prepare for each class period. There are several aspects of preparation involved. You should prepare spiritually. This includes living in a manner whereby the Holy Ghost can teach you. It means developing attitudes, characteristics, and habits that are conducive to the Spirit, and abandoning those that are distracting to it. You also need to prepare academically, which means you read, study, complete assignments, and so forth. In summary, you are doing all that you can to prepare to learn. Second, we all have a responsibility to teach one another. This involves listening carefully and responding in the classroom. It involves forming and actively participating in study groups. It requires a safe classroom environment where all ideas, opinions, and questions are shown respect. Thirdly, the end of a class period should not mark the end of the learning process. You should ponder on your classroom experience, keep a record of what you are learning, and in all ways prepare yourself to demonstrate your knowledge. The responsibilities of students with respect to the learning model are summarized in the following gure:

Implementing the Learning Model



Figure 2: Student responsibilities in the BYU-Idaho Learning Model. Students should consistently prepare before class, actively teach each other in class, and then spend time pondering the material after class is over.




The BYU-Idaho Honor Code

Brigham Young University-Idaho is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its mission is to: 1. Build testimonies of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and encourage living its principles. 2. Provide a quality education for students of diverse interests and abilities. 3. Prepare students for lifelong learning, for employment, and for their roles as citizens and parents. 4. Maintain a wholesome academic, cultural, social, and spiritual environment. Two of the primary outcomes of this mission is to help students become disciple of Jesus Christ and rene their discipleship, and also to help them become leaders. Figure 3 illustrates how these outcomes are related to student honor. BYU-Idaho mission statement

Figure 3: Realizing the Mission: Developing Disciple-leaders. The major objectives of the University are facilitated by the Spirit of Ricks, which in turn relies on student honor. As you can see, student honor is at the very center. From student honor comes the Spirit of Ricks, which in turn facilitates inspired teaching and learning, disciple preparation, and leadership development. Given the importance



Student honor: following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ.

of student honor in this process, understanding the denition of student honor is of utmost importance. Student Honor is following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ - learning to think, to feel, and to act more as He does. Living a life of honor: Begins as we learn and live the baseline standards of the Honor Code, understand their purposes, and are true to the promises we have made. Continues as we heed promptings of the Spirit to raise our personal bar of righteousness and foster a spirit of integrity, sacrice, consecration, love, service, and willing obedience as students and throughout our lives. Prepares our hearts for devoted discipleship in the family, church, work, and community. The baseline standards of the Honor Code, mentioned above, are as follows: We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men.... If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things. - Thirteenth Article of Faith Be honest Live a chaste and virtuous life Obey the law and all campus policies

Statement on student honor

Honor Code standards

Use clean language Respect others Abstain from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, tea, coee, and substance abuse Participate regularly in church services Observe dress and grooming standards Encourage others in their commitment to comply with the Honor Code Details on the various aspects of the Honor Code are available on the BYUIdaho website ( You should familiarize yourself with the letter of the Honor Code. However, living a life of honor goes far beyond living these baseline standards. There is a particular spirit engendered within the honor code, and we should strive to follow that spirit in all situations. President Kim B. Clark has spoken of the interplay between the letter and spirit of the Honor Code, and summarized it graphically, as presented in Figure 4 [Clark06]. We want to be in compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the Honor Code, for that is where true disciple preparation takes place. If one complies with the letter of the Honor Code but not the spirit of it, then one is acting in a hypocritical manner. Someone who desires to follow the spirit of the code but is not in compliance with the letter of it, then they are in a state of ignorance. Neither of the latter two places are good to be in. Lastly, one who does not comply with the spirit or the letter of the Honor Code is in a state of rebellion. President Clark suggested that those who are in this state should go somewhere else and make room for other students. During your time here at BYU-Idaho, we hope that you will come to appreciate the Honor Code and adopt its precepts throughout your stay at this campus, and in your life afterwards.



Figure 4: The Honor Code map. There are four quadrants one can be in, depending on their level of adherance to the spirit and the letter of the honor code. All persons at BYU-Idaho should strive to fall in the quadrant of discipleship.



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Chapter 1

What is Science?

Figure 1.1: Candida Albicans, a fungus found in the human body, is usually harmless. However, in certain abnormal conditions the fungus can rapidly multiply, resulting in a mucosal or skin infection called Candidiasis. Understanding how this microorganism and others function is one example of how science has had a positive impact on the lives of most people. (Image courtesy of U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) In this chapter, we will explore the fundamental characteristics and processes that form the foundation of scientic investigation. We will begin by addressing the question of how science interacts with religion, including perspectives from well known LDS scientists. Following will be discussions about what constitutes a scientic question (whats in, whats out), the dierences between observations and interpretations, and the power and limitations of science. We will identify a pattern that is used in scientic discovery. Last of all, we will consider some specic examples of ways in which science can aect the lives of individuals and society as a whole.



Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions


Summary: There are two ways to discover truth. One way is through revelation. The other is through science. The truth that we discover guides us as we make decisions - some of which are critical to developing our character. Learning Objectives: Dene truth (D&C 93). Identify the two paths to truth. Identify two limitations of the scientic method. Identify two essential ingredients for revelation. Identify the pattern associated with revealed truth (need, preparation, seeking). Explain the role of secular preparation and revelation in the context of Elder Nelsons experience. The following message was delivered by Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles during the Sunday afternoon session of the 177th semiannual general conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [Scott07] Elder Richard G. Scott (1928 - ): Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Prior to his call as a general authority of the Church, Elder Scott worked as a nuclear engineer. (image courtesy Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true? Increasingly more people are nding that making wise decisions is becoming more and more difcult because of the ultra-interconnected world in which we live. Constantly forced into our consciousness is an incessant barrage of counsel, advice, and promotions. It is done by a bewildering array of media, Internet, and other means. On a given subject we can receive multiple strongly delivered, carefully crafted messages with solutions. But often two of the solutions can be diametrically opposed. No wonder some are confused and are not sure how to make the right decisions. To further complicate matters, others try to persuade us that our decisions must be socially acceptable and politically correct. Some pondering of that approach will reveal how wrong it is. Since social and political structures dier widely over the world and can dramatically change with time, the folly of using that method to make choices is apparent. There are two ways to nd truth - both useful, provided we follow the laws upon which they are predicated. The rst is the scientic method. It can require analysis of data to conrm a theory or, alternatively, establish a valid principle through experimentation. The scientic method is a valuable way of seeking truth. However, it has two limitations. First, we never can be sure we have identied absolute truth, though we often draw nearer and nearer to it. Second, sometimes, no matter how earnestly we apply the method, we can get the wrong answer. The best way of nding truth is simply to go to the origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration.1 For success, two ingredients are essential: rst, unwavering faith in the source of all truth; second, a willingness to keep Gods commandments to keep open spiritual communication with Him. Elder Robert D. Hales has just spoken to us about that personal revelation and how to obtain it.

Two ways to nd truth Limitations of science

Essential ingredients for inspiration


Scientic Approach2 What have we learned from the scientic approach to discovering truth? An example will illustrate. Try as I might, I am not able, even in the smallest degree, to comprehend the extent, depth, and stunning grandeur of what our holy Heavenly Father, Elohim, has permitted to be revealed by the scientic method. If we were capable of moving outward into space, we would rst see our earth as did the astronauts. Farther out, we would have a grandstand view of the sun and its orbiting planets. They would appear as a small circle of objects within an enormous panorama of glittering stars. Were we to continue the outward journey, we would have a celestial view of our Milky Way spiral, with over 100 billion stars rotating in a circular path, their orbits controlled by gravity around a concentrated central region. Beyond that, we could look toward a group of galaxies called the Virgo Cluster, which some feel includes our Milky Way, estimated to be about 50 million light years away. Beyond that, wed encounter galaxies 10 billion light years away that the Hubble telescope has photographed. The dizzying enormity of that distance is suggested by noting that light travels 700 million miles an hour. Even from this extraordinary perspective there would not be the slightest evidence of approaching any limit to God the Fathers creations. As awe inspiring as this incredible view of the heavens would present, there is another consideration equally capable of conrming the unfathomable capacities of our Father in Heaven. Were we to move in the opposite direction to explore the structure of matter, we could get a close-up view of a double helix molecule of DNA. That is the extraordinary, self-duplicating molecular structure that controls the makeup of our physical body. Further exploration would bring us to the level of an atom, composed of the protons, neutrons, and electrons weve heard about. Were we to penetrate further into the mysteries of the most fundamental makeup of creation, we would come to the limit of our current understanding. In the last 70 years much has been learned about the structure of matter. A Standard Model of Fundamental Particles and Interactions has been developed. It is based on experimentation that has established the existence of fundamental particles designated as quarks and others called leptons. This model explains the patterns of nuclear binding and decay of matter, but it does not yet provide a successful explanation for the forces of gravity. Also, some feel that even more powerful tools than those used to acquire our current understanding of matter might reveal additional fundamental particles. So there are yet more of Father in Heavens creations to be understood by the scientic method. We can see the scientic method has brought about an extraordinary expansion of our understanding as the Lord has inspired gifted men who may not understand who created these things nor for what purpose. Many of these may not even recognize such inspiration or give credit to God for the origin of their contributions. I was comforted recently as President Henry B. Eyring shared an experience that his gifted father had in a meeting with other outstanding scientists. He asked them if their research indicated the existence of a superior organizing intelligence. They all conrmed their conviction that such an intelligence exists. Limited as it is, our understanding of our Fathers creations indicates that it is mostly vacant space. Even those things we consider as solid, rm, tangible, when viewed at enormous magnication in the heavens or in minute matter, are mostly vacant space that God, our Father, perfectly controls and uses for His exalted purposes. Revealed Truth Approach

Examples of truths learned by science


Examples of truths learned by revelation

What have we learned about truth through revelation? Centuries ago, God the Father permitted some of His prophets to view His vast creations perfectly, through the eye of the Holy Spirit. He also explained why He had created them: For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.3 Enoch was one of those prophets. He observed the God of heaven weep as He saw how the power and inuence of Satan had turned many on earth to evil. Enoch declared: How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity? And were it possible that man could number the ... millions of earths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy creations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet ... thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever; ... And naught but peace, justice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep? The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, ... and ... gave I unto man his agency; And unto thy brethren have I ... given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without aection, and they hate their own blood.4 Well did God the Father say unto Moses: Worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten. ... ... There are many worlds ... , and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.5 A knowledge of truth is of little value unless we apply it in making correct decisions. Consider for a moment a man, heavily overweight, approaching a bakery display. In his mind are these thoughts: The doctor told you not to eat any more of that. Its not good for you. It just gives you momentary gratication of appetite. Youll feel uncomfortable the rest of the day after it. Youve decided not to have any more. But then he hears himself say, Ill have two of those almond twists and a couple of those chocolate doughnuts. One more time wont hurt. Ill do it just once more, and this will be the last time. Faith and Character The process of identifying truth sometimes necessitates enormous eort coupled with profound faith in our Father and His gloried Son. God intended that it be so to forge your character. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to respond obediently to the direction of the Spirit as you make vital decisions. Righteous character is what you are becoming. It is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished. It allows you to be trusted. Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength. It enables you in times of trial and testing to make di cult, extremely important decisions correctly even when they seem overpowering. I testify that neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience. Understand and apply this vital principle to your life: Your exercise of faith builds character. Fortied character expands your capacity to exercise greater faith. Thus, your condence in making correct decisions is enhanced. And the strengthening cycle continues. The more your character is fortied, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith for yet stronger character. Our Father and His Son


With the enormity of what we can in just the smallest way begin to understand and certainly in no way fully comprehend, how grateful we must be that this God of unfathomable capacities is our Father. He is a loving, understanding, compassionate, patient Father. He created us as His children. He treats us as a beloved son or daughter. He makes us feel loved, appreciated, valuable, and dear to Him. He has given us His plan of mercy6 and equipped us, when we are obedient, to make correct decisions. He has provided through His holy Son a means for us to live, to grow, to develop, and to place ourselves squarely on the path to be eternally under His guidance and inuence. I love our Father in Heaven beyond my capacity to express. In all humility, I solemnly bear witness that this creative Master of unparalleled capacities is our compassionate, holy Father. His Beloved Son laid His life down in absolute obedience to His Father to break the bonds of death and to become our Master, our Redeemer, our Savior. While I do not fully comprehend all Their capacities, I understand something of Their power to express intensely Their love. Humbly I bear solemn witness that They live and love us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. Notes 1. See Jacob 4:8. 2. For further information see McGraw-Hill Concise Encyclopedia of Physics (2005); Philip Morrison and others, Powers of Ten (1982);; and 3. Moses 1:39. 4. Moses 7:29-33. 5. Moses 1:33, 35. 6. See Alma 42:31.

Tests For Truth

Here are a few simple questions that you can ask to help evaluate whether or not a particular idea is true: Theology: Does the idea represent an o cial doctrine? O cial doctrines are those that are Found in the standard works of the Church, Sustained by the Church in general conference, or Taught by the First Presidency as a presidency Science: While scientic ideas can never be proven absolutely correct, the following guidelines can help evaluate scientic claims: Can we be 95% condent or better that they are correct?

1. What is the principal argument of Elder Scotts talk? 2. What points does Elder Scott emphasize when speaking about science? 3. What points does Elder Scott emphasize when speaking about revelation? 4. What is the appropriate way to use these methods for nding truth? 5. What is the connection between faith and character?

Has it been through the peer review process? Has it been scrutinized and accepted by the scientic community?

Additional Resources
Nelson, Russell M. 2003. Sweet Power of Prayer. 173rd annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Ensign, May 2003, 7.



Mormon Scientists

Summary: This reading provides links to several online resources that give biographical sketches of well known LDS scientists, many of whom served as general authorities. Learning Objectives: Recognize that a person can be a member of the church in good standing and be a good scientist at the same time. Recognize that revealed truth and scientic truth can exist in harmony. Identify some areas where there appears to be tension between science and religion, and explain why those tensions exist. Identify the source of all scientic truth. Identify the o cial position of the Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints relative to scientic knowledge and theories. Henry B. Eyring (1901 1981 ): (image courtesy Elder Scott, whom we heard from in the previous section, is not the only well known member of the LDS faith with a professional background in the sciences. In this section you will read about others. Follow the links below to read the biographical sketches of the individuals below. You should also read at least one of the other documents listed. As you read the additional document, please focus on the ideas that are most relevant to this class. Please note that many of the online sources referenced below are not o cial church websites, and therefore are not authorized to present the o cial position of the LDS church.

Henry B. Eyring
Henry B. Eyring was a world renowned chemist who developed the Absolute Rate Theory, which applied the principles of quantum mechanics to molecular interactions. He served on the Deseret Sunday School General Board between 1946 and 1971, and was often called upon by the brethren as an uno cial spokesman and advisor on science-related issues. (Biographical sketch: More details on Henry Eyrings service in the church can be found in the second chapter of Mormon Scientist [Eyring07], provided online at

Elder Joseph F. Merrill (1869 - 1952 ): (image courtesy

Elder Joseph F. Merrill

Elder Joseph F. Merrill served as an Apostle from 1931 to 1952. He received a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1899. (Biographical sketch: Characteristic Doctrines of Mormonism (Conference address April 1837):


Elder James E. Talmage

Elder James E. Talmage served as an Apostle from 1911 to 1933. He received a Ph.D. in 1896 from Illinois Wesleyan University after studying chemistry and geology. He authored the books Articles of Faith and Jesus the Christ. (Biographical sketch: Science in the Associations (Address to the YMMIA Conference June 1888):

Elder John A. Widtsoe

Elder John A. Widtsoe served as an Apostle from 1921 to 1952. His formal studies were in chemistry (particularly in biochemistry) and in 1899 he received a Ph.D. from the University of Goettingen, Germany. His book Dry Farming, A System of Agriculture for Countries Under Low Rainfall stands as one of the denitive works on dry farming. (Biographical sketch: Knowledge Must Be Quickened and Made Alive (Conference address April 1838): Elder James E. Talmage (1862 - 1933 ): (image courtesy

1. Are science and religion ever at odds with each other? Explain. 2. Regardless of how you answered the previous question, what can be done to reconcile the dierences (or apparent dierences) between science and religion? 3. What did you learn from reading about the lives of Henry Eyring, Elder Merrill, Elder Talmage, and Elder Widtsoe? 4. What did you learn from the other document that you read? Elder John A. Widtsoe (1872 - 1952 ): (image courtesy



The Characteristics of Science


Summary: Science can only address questions that are objective and empirical in nature. Answering these questions relies on an experimental process that is centered around a two hypothesis method. The hypotheses generated and the results of experimentation are then subjected to a rigorous critical review process to ensure that the methods are sound. Critical review helps to ensure that science is self correcting. Finally, scientic ideas can be formulated as laws, theories, or models, and these ideas are ranked by relative strength. Learning Outcomes: Identify whether a particular question can be addressed by the scientic method, and if not, explain why. For a given questions, identify an appropriate research hypothesis and an appropriate null hypothesis. Distinguish between scientic hypotheses, theories, models, and laws. Identify whether a particular piece of evidence is empirical. Distinguish between accuracy and precision. Identify the criteria that must be satised before accepting or rejecting a null hypothesis. Vocabulary: Empirical evidence Objective Accuracy Precision Reproducibility Critical review Law Theory Model

Anecdotal evidence Subjective


Research (or alternative) hypothesis Null hypothesis

Goals of Science

In this section we will consider some of the goals of science and explore the nature of scientic thinking. Providing a list of the goals of science is a daunting and somewhat dangerous exercise since there are so many opinions on the topic. One goal of science is to discover and describe the laws of nature. The more such laws we can identify, the better we will be able to understand how things work. Another goal of science is to dispel incorrect or incomplete explanations of how things work. Results of scientic work can also be used to improve technology. Improved technologies can then further the advance of science. Finally, science strives to provide the knowledge we need to address the problems we face. Additionally, we might want to consider the nature of scientic thinking and how that contrasts with non-scientic thinking. You have probably at some point in your education been introduced to some aspects of scientic thinking in terms of the scientic method. It is valuable for us at this point to compare


common-sense thinking with the scientic method of problem solving that we will refer to as science-sense thinking. Common sense is, as Lewis Wolpert states, a complicated thing [Wolpert92]. Navigating this life and this world via common sense requires a great deal of practice and eort. First of all its usually easier to identify someone who lacks common sense than someone who has it. These individuals dont seem to be able to do the right thing at the right time. Being able to choose what to do amidst the constant bombardment of challenges, choices, and decisions is tough. Individuals who display a highly developed degree of common sense have accumulated an immense store of experiences that they can pull on at moments notice. They use that store of observations and experiences to develop and apply specic and sometimes unique responses to the wide range of moment to moment situations they face. In other words, common-sense thinking involves using a massive store of data to develop a massive number of potential responses or answers to answer a massive number of challenges or questions. Science-sense, on the other hand, has an entirely dierent purpose. Science sense, like common sense, involves the collection of huge numbers of observations that are in turn used to develop answers to a huge variety of phenomena. Unlike common sense, which requires that a dierent response be used for each specic challenge, science sense attempts to group challenges or problems into identiable classes of problems. Then, once related sets of problems have been identied, someone with science-sense uses their vast catalog of experiences to develop only a few or perhaps one answer that addresses or explains as many questions as possible. Thus the goal and practice of science-sense thinking is alien to the way most people approach problem solving. Since the underlying goal of science is to develop science-sense explanations for things it is often di cult for non-scientists to grasp what scientists report to other science-sense thinkers. The philosophy and language of science also often alienates the nonscientist, and one of the purposes of this course is to provide you with enough of an understanding of what science is and how it works that you will not be completely frustrated when you are faced with scientic issues or explanations. You can then be empowered rather than confounded by science, how it works, and what it teaches us about our world. It seems like almost every time you watch the news, listen to the radio, or read the newspaper, someone is talking about a science-based issue, a new scientic discovery, or a new interpretation of an old one. Why do we as a global community pay so much attention to discoveries and interpretations made by the scientic community? Well, the short answer to that question is that the scientic approach to discovering new information is an extremely powerful approach to thinking and working. Let us, then, investigate the characteristics and processes that make science such a valuable tool for learning about the universe we live in.

Whats In and Whats Out

A person could describe science as a way of answering questions. However, there are some questions that the scientic method cannot be properly used to address. So as a starting point, we need to determine what types of questions science can answer. As a general rule, science can only address questions which are objective and empirical. Objective questions are questions that relate to the actual state of a thing, and not an individuals personal opinions or feelings. When a question is objective, every correct answer to the question will be the same. For example, a good objective question would be how tall is the Empire State building? There are many ways that a person could go about determining the height of this structure, and if the measurements are performed properly, each method will give the same answer (at least to within an appropriate degree of

Objective: based on a measurable property and not a question of personal opinions or feelings.

10 Subjective: subject to an individuals personal opinions, feelings, or tastes; the opposite of objective. Empirical: based on measurement, as opposed to personal recollection


uncertainty). On the other hand, the question Is the Empire State building pretty? is a subjective question, meaning that the answer depends on the individuals personal preferences. Additionally, scientic questions must be empirical , meaning that the answers to those questions must be based on measurements. For example, the question How big is the Earth? can be answered by making appropriate measurements and calculations. On the other hand, the question Does God exist? does not qualify as an empirical question, because the supreme being is not revealed (or perhaps chooses to not be revealed) by measurement. Along those same lines, the feelings and impressions a person receives from the ministration of the Holy Ghost, though they are real, do not qualify as empirical evidence. Why? The reasons include: they cannot be quantied (i.e. you cannot put a number on it), they may not be the same for all observers (i.e. they are not objective), they are not reportable in an empirical way, they cannot be demonstrated to another individual, and they are not collected by use of the ve senses (see 1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

The Two Hypothesis Method

Hypothesis: a reasoned possible explanation for an observation or set of observations. Scientists begin their process of discovery by observing interesting features of nature and then asking a question, stating a problem, or oering explanations for observations and cause and eect relationships. They then develop a hypothesis , or a possible explanation for the problem, question, or observation. It is important to note that a hypothesis is a reasoned and educated attempt at explaining - not a mere whimsical guess. Next they make additional detailed observations or run experiments that yield data. They then analyze those data and use that analysis to help them make a decision about whether to accept or reject their hypothesis. It sounds simple enough, but theres a bit more to the scientic decision making process than that. Good science typically requires that two hypotheses be stated for each issue under investigation. Those hypotheses are called the null hypothesis (H0 ) and the research hypothesis (HA , which is also known as the alternative hypothesis in statistics). The research hypothesis, which outside of the scientic community is commonly referred to as the hypothesis, represents the researchers best explanation for an observation in nature, a cause and eect relationship, or answer to the scientic question that is being investigated before any experiments are run. The null hypothesis is the prediction that states that the explanation, cause and eect, or answer to the question is something other than HA - the null hypothesis covers all other possible explanations. You may also note that the research and null hypotheses are mutually exclusive, meaning that if one is correct the other must be incorrect. Heres an example: there are many individuals who believe that a mercurycontaining preservative found in some vaccines causes autism. Its a very important public health issue and something we must be informed about. In the context of this issue, one possible research hypothesis would be, Mercurycontaining vaccines cause autism. The null hypothesis would be, Autism is caused by something else. Another way of expressing the two hypotheses would be, Whats the likelihood that autism is caused by mercury-containing vaccines? Is it the vaccine or something else? Note that the two hypothesis are mutually exclusive, meaning that only one of them can be correct. About now you may be thinking, Why use two hypotheses? The risk is this: believe it or not, scientists are human. There is a natural tendency for anyone to want their explanation to be correct. The risk of a single-hypothesis method is that researchers will be tempted to view their data in ways that put their own hypothesis in the best light, whether it is actually correct or not. Under the two-hypothesis method researchers make observations or carry out experiments, collect data, analyze data, and make a decision to accept

Research or Alternative Hypothesis: a researchers best explanation for an observation. Null Hypothesis: A hypothesis that states that the explanation for the observation is something other than the research hypothesis.

Two hypothesis method helps eliminate bias



or reject the null hypothesis. That is the important part: under the twohypothesis method a scientist must always decide whether to reject or accept the null hypothesis! The signicance is that scientists conduct carefully crafted experiments in order to narrow down or weed out various explanations. Its a process of eliminating possibilities. How condent must a researcher be before the null hypothesis is rejected? Thats a di cult question to answer, but you can be sure that a good scientist will always tell you their level of condence in the answer. A minimum threshold for condence is usually 95% , but it may be signicantly higher. Before you get too comfortable with that statement, however, I hope that at least some of you are wondering about the other 5%. What does it represent? If a scientist is at least 95% condent in stating a scientic conclusion, it means that we are willing to accept up to a 5% chance of being wrong in our decision-making process. Thats what Elder Scott referred to when he stated, The scientic method is a valuable way of seeking truth. However, it has two limitations. First, we never can be sure we have identied absolute truth, though we often draw nearer and nearer to it. Second, sometimes, no matter how earnestly we apply the method, we can get the wrong answer [Scott07]. Elder Scott is correct that we can never be absolutely condent that we have identied truth via science because there is always a possibility that we may make a mistake in our decision about whether to accept or reject a hypothesis for a particular question. He is also correct in saying that we can draw closer to the truth through scientic research. That happens as we critically evaluate one anothers results and conclusions, do additional research, and review and revise our conclusions based on additional work. In other words science is a self-correcting discipline. When a researcher decides, based upon his or her experimentation, to reject the null hypothesis when it is actually correct, we refer to this as a type I error. These errors are also referred to as -errors (alpha errors) or false positives. The other error that can be made consists of accepting the null hypothesis when it is in fact incorrect. Such errors are called type II errors. Such errors are also referred to as -errors (beta errors) or false negatives. The scientic community ruthlessly casts aside explanations found to be faulty or incomplete whenever more complete or better-supported explanations are described. This attribute makes science dierent than virtually every other discipline. The self-correcting nature of science and the dierence between science and other elds, such as the humanities, is summed up nicely by John A. Moore who stated, Great art is eternal; great science tends to be replaced by greater science [Moore93].

95% condence usually required before accepting or rejecting a hypothesis

Type I Error: When the null hypothesis is rejected, even though it is actually correct. Type II Error: when the null hypothesis is accepted, even though it is actually incorrect.

Theories, Laws, and Models

A scientic hypothesis generally falls into one of two categories. The rst category involves the formulation of a general principle that describes what will happen in a given situation. After hypotheses of this type are validated by experimentation, they are referred to as scientic laws. A simple example of a scientic law would be the principle commonly known as the law of gravity, which states that an object that is dropped near the surface of the Earth will fall. This is a general principle that describes a large set of observations. Note that the scientic law only says what will happen. It does not attempt to explain the fundamental processes that cause the particular thing to happen. A scientic theory, on the other hand is a concept or idea that attempts to explain how. An example would be Albert Einsteins general theory of relativity, which explains the gravitational pull of the Earth in the context of the bending and warping of spacetime by massive objects. Laws generalize what is, and theories attempt to explain those generalizations.

Law: a generalized description of observations.

Theory: an attempt to explain, at a more fundamental level, how or why a particular phenomenon happens.



In science, the terms theory and hypothesis are not interchangeable

Theories never become laws. Model: a visualization or analogue that helps a scientist understand a particular system.

Among the general public, the terms hypothesis and theory are often used interchangeably. This is not appropriate in the sciences, as a hypothesis refers to a preliminary explanation based on prior knowledge and observation, but a theory is an idea that is supported by a wealth of empirical evidence. Theories vary in the degree of support they have, and a newly formed theory with relatively little supporting data will receive less general support from the scientic community than a theory that is supported by extensive amounts of data. Another common misconception is that, with an appropriate amount of data, a theory will eventually become a law. Because theories and laws deal with completely dierent types of ideas (explaining how something happens and explaining simply what will happen, respectively) it becomes apparent that theories and laws are two completely dierent entities. It is often useful to create some sort of representation of reality in order to understand a particular set of observations. These representations, or models provide us with visualizations or analogues to help us understand and describe the way in which nature works. A model airplane is a good example. The model is not an actual airplane, but can be used to understand many of the basic features of an airplane, including how it can y.

Empirical Evidence: evidence consisting of measurements and observations using the senses or instruments that extend the senses. We are now to the point where we need to discuss the process by which a hypothesis is validated. As suggested earlier, it is important to note that all scientic conclusions must be based on empirical evidence . Empirical evidence consists of measurements and observations using the senses or instruments that extend the senses. If we cannot collect empirical evidence on a particular phenomenon then that phenomenon falls outside of the range of scientic investigation. Observing, by denition, refers to viewing or otherwise noting some fact about the way things are. Observations, in other words, are facts. When I crack open a rock and see a fossil, that fossil is indisputably there. No other observer can deny its existence. Based on the observations we can make inferences (e.g. these are the fossilized remains of a horse), and those inferences may or may not be correct. But the observation itself represents an absolute truth, and any satisfactory explanation relative to the existence of that truth must account for the observation. When we measure something, we are quantifying some aspect, such as its size, shape, volume, mass, etc... relative to some standard. Like observations, measurements also represent how a certain thing is, and thus contains elements of absolute truth (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:24). Science also relies on accuracy and precision. An experiment exhibits accuracy when it yields a similar set of data each time it is run, no matter how many times it is run. When standard (or accepted) data or results are known, accurate experiments will agree with those standard values. On the other hand, precision is demonstrated when an observation falls within a narrow range of values. Heres an example of precision and accuracy. If we run an experiment where we shoot arrows at a target, the level of precision would be associated with the grouping of the arrows. The tighter the groups, the higher the precision. Accuracy, on the other hand, is demonstrated when those groups center around the bulls-eye. Note that it is possible for an experiment to yield results that are accurate but not precise (wide grouping centered around the bulls-eye). It is also possible for an experiment to yield precise results which are not accurate (tight groups centered at the edge of the target, for example). Of course, the overall goal for the scientist, just as with the competitive archer, is to maximize precision and accuracy. The ideal result for the arrow-shooting experiment

Accuracy: when a measurement yields a similar result every time it is taken. Precision: when repeated measurements fall within a narrow range of values. Accuracy and precision are not the same thing!



would be to produce data sets where the arrows that are tightly grouped and where that grouping is centered consistently in the middle of the bulls-eye. Maximizing precision and accuracy increases the level of condence we have in our results. Another important aspect of empirical data is that it is reproducible or in other words, dierent people can make the same measurement using the same method and get the same result. This consistency is crucial when one considers the process of critical review. At this point you may be wondering if there is such a thing as non-empirical evidence. There is. We refer to it as anecdotal evidence . Anecdotal evidence consists of inferences based on the chronological relationship between events or personal rsthand or spiritual experiences which have not been or cannot be tested empirically. For example, consider the following scenario, relating back to the autism and vaccine debate mentioned earlier. A parent (or several parents) may note that their children begin exhibiting symptoms of autism shortly after receiving vaccinations. They then associate the vaccination with the symptoms, and infer that the vaccinations cause autism. To be fair, the chronological connection is consistent with that assertion. However, the association of autism with vaccinations does not pass the test for empirical evidence, because careful measurements (which in this case would consist of controlled studies) have not been made. (In fact, such studies have been conducted and have revealed no causal eect [Taylor99].) This is not to say that anecdotal evidence is worthless. Indeed, anecdotal evidence can lead us to ask important questions. Whether or not vaccines can cause autism is an important thing to know! However, when making important decisions, a wise person will consider whether the evidence supporting a particular option is strictly anecdotal, or whether it has been tested empirically.

Reproducibility: other researchers can perform the same experiment and get the same result Anecdotal Evidence: Evidence consisting of inferences based on the chronological relationship of events or personal rsthand or spiritual experiences which have not been or cannot be tested empirically.

The Critical Review Process

Another attribute of science is a healthy dose of skepticism. When someone presents results of their scientic work, their conclusion is not immediately accepted. The scientic community always subjects a conclusion to critical review before it is even tentatively accepted. That level of skepticism is vital to maintaining the high standard of excellence that scientists expect from one another. Skepticism also helps oset researcher bias. Critical review happens when someone presents their work at a scientic conference, when a paper is submitted for publication, and even after that paper appears in a professional journal. Please be aware that this does not mean that all scientists are unfriendly cynics; it means that scientists are critical thinkers who bring dierent perspectives to the review of new ideas being presented to the scientic community. That is a very healthy thing for the entire discipline, as well as for you and me. Given the importance of the critical review process, lets explore in a little more depth how it works. What happens once a scientist reaches a conclusion which is based on rather extensive investigation and experimentation? The scientist shares their conclusion with other scientists. The means of sharing this information might initially be giving a talk at scientic meetings, but it almost always involves submitting a manuscript of their work to a professional journal for publication. What happens to that manuscript? The editor of the journal reviews the paper to see if it matches the mission and standards of the journal in terms of the area of research and overall manuscript formatting. If the manuscript appears to meet both of those criteria then the editor sends the manuscript out for external review, which is a process where the editor invites scientists who are experts in the eld the manuscript addresses to review the manuscript. Those reviewers (usually three or four of them) examine the manuscript to see if the

Critical Review: The process whereby a researchers work is scrutinized by the scientic community.

Critical review process



work done meets the high standards of rigor expected for scientic investigation by checking to see if the work is presented in such a way that the background of the problem, the methods used to carry out the project, the results that were collected, and the conclusions are clearly and succinctly stated. Each external reviewer then makes a recommendation to the journal editor about the manuscript, such as: 1) unacceptable and manuscript should be rejected; 2) acceptable after major revision of the manuscript; 3) acceptable after minor revision of the manuscript; or 4) acceptable without revision. The journal editor collects comments and recommendations from the external reviewers and makes a nal decision regarding the fate of the manuscript. Lets assume that the editor decides that the manuscript should be published. Then what? When the manuscript is published the scientists work is exposed to the critical scrutiny of the entire scientic community. In most cases other scientists working on the same or similar problems take the most time and eort to ponder and respond to the conclusions in the manuscript. The data are reviewed, the methods of data analysis critiqued, and each scientist comes up with her or his own evaluation of the manuscript. If they nd a weakness or a hole in the research someone will almost always carry out a similar research project that will allow them to compare their own result with those from the manuscript (which is why it is important for the empirical evidence supporting the conclusion to be reproducible). If the follow-up research supports the original manuscripts assertions, then the manuscripts conclusions are strengthened; if not then the conclusions are weakened or rejected. This process continues for an indeterminate length of time. Once the dust settles, then the scientic community comes to an informal consensus regarding the original conclusions they will be accepted or rejected. As a consequence of this rigorous process of preliminary and extensive review the scientic community reaches a general consensus on the topic at hand. What this all means is that the signicance and relevance of the conclusions presented in a research manuscript are subjected to a veritable onslaught of critical review, not all of it friendly, which serves to rene the conclusions in such a way that the validity of the conclusions are nally considered to be valid and acceptable, or invalid and rejected. And that means that each piece of information and each conclusion is evaluated and reevaluated so that false claims, errors and mistakes are frequently identied and eliminated. As a consequence, facts, trends, patterns, explanations, and conclusions developed via scientic investigation move closer and closer to the truth as time goes on, and they therefore deserve our attention and consideration.

1. Make a list of ve questions that can be appropriately addressed by scientic inquiry. Also compose a list of ve questions that cannot be properly addressed by science. 2. Why does science utilize the two hypothesis method? Think of several examples of possible research hypotheses, and identify an appropriate null hypothesis. 3. Explain the dierences between scientic hypotheses, theories, models, and laws. Which of these correspond with scientic observations? Which correspond with interpretations? 4. Write down three examples each of empirical and anecdotal evidence. 5. In what ways does the critical review process ensure that science is self correcting?




The Scientic Process


Summary: Science is not a set of random ideas and discoveries, but there is a consistent underlying process that involves observation, model building, testing, and renement. Learning Outcomes: Arrange in proper sequential order the activities in a scientic investigation. Explain what a model is and why it must be predictive. Explain how the critical review process works. Vocabulary: System Predictions

Every scientic eort studies some portion of the real universe in which we exist. Scientists refer to this portion of the real world as a system . In the natural course of their investigations, scientists come up with ideas, concepts, and descriptions which represent that system being studied. In their infancy, these ideas, concepts, and descriptions are referred to as hypotheses. In order to help them understand the system, scientists develop models (discussed below). These models help the scientists visualize the workings of the system, and allow them to make predictions about as-yet unobserved phenomena related to the system. Upon validation by experiment, the hypotheses may be formulated into theories (if they attempt to explain how the system works), or laws (if they are generalized statements about how the system will behave). It is important to recognize that scientic ideas are invented by acts of human imagination and intelligence and are therefore mutable and provisional rather than nal and unalterable [Arons97]. Furthermore, the ideas we concoct to help us understand a particular physical system are not the system itself. To help illustrate this point, consider the following example of a model. When most people hear the word model, they may think of something like a model airplane or model ship. Those objects are representations of the real thing. A model airplane (see Figure 1.2) may have the same general shape and proportions. It may even have propellers that spin or landing gear that moves up and down. In many respects, the model is very much like a real airplane and shares many characteristics. It can be useful in describing or studying a real airplane - investigating how the shape aects air resistance, for example. On the other hand, the model also lacks many of the characteristics of a real airplane. The model is not made of the same material. It does not have a gas engine. It does not have an electrical system. So while the model shares many of the same characteristics, it is also missing a few things. You can certainly rene your model airplane to make it more like the real thing. You can scale it up to real size. You can put in a gas engine. You can put in the electrical system. You can make it out of the same materials. You might even be able to use your model airplane to transport people and goods from place to place. At this point, isnt your model the same as the actual system? No! It is still a separate entity from the system itself! (Think about it this way: the actual system, the original airplane, could have an engine malfunction. Your model, the new airplane, does not automatically have the same malfunction.) Scientic models work in the same way. We try to represent the system of interest as best as we can. As we nd discrepancies between our models and the

System: The portion of the universe of interest in a scientic investigation.

Example of how scientic ideas (models) are not the actual system they describe



Figure 1.2: An example of a model. This airplane was designed to look and function much like a real airplane. It shares many features in common with the real thing. However, no matter how complex the model becomes, it will never be the actual airplane that it is meant to represent. real thing, we rene our models accordingly. But no matter how complete our models may become, they are still a separate entity from the actual system. In this respect, no model is ever truly complete, and, as we have already discussed, science cannot discern whether a particular model is absolutely correct. However, as our models are continually tested and rened they contain more and more of the characteristics of the actual system, and in that respect approach closer and closer to absolute truth.

The Process of Science

It is now time to discuss the process whereby scientic ideas are developed and rened. This process is diagrammed in Figure 1.3. The process starts with a question, usually evoked by an observation of some natural phenomenon. The scientist who makes the observation (or poses the question) attempts to understand it in the context of things that they already know. They come up with an educated description or explanation - a research hypothesis, and in conjunction formulate a null hypothesis. An important aspect of any scientic hypothesis is that it is predictive, meaning that the hypothesis will suggest there are additional phenomenon that could be observed. The testing of hypotheses depends on this predictive nature. If there were no predictions, there would be nothing to test! The scientist crafts experiments or plans observations to look for these additional observable phenomena. Based on the analysis of the results of these tests (the additional measurements, observations, and data), the scientist must then make a decision whether to accept or reject the null hypothesis. If the analysis indicates greater than a 5% probability that the research hypothesis is incorrect, the researcher is forced to accept the null hypothesis and the develop a new research hypothesis. If the probability that the research hypothesis is incorrect is less than 5%, the null hypothesis is rejected and the research hypothesis is given provisional consideration as a plausible explanation or general description of the phenomenon. In other words, with experimental backing it may now be considered a theory or law (depending on whether it deals with explaining how the phenomenon occurs or whether it attempts to generalize what happens within the system). Usually at this point (if it has not happened already), the investigation will be subjected to the peer review process discussed in the previous section. Whether the null hypothesis was accepted or rejected, at some point additional predictions will be made - whether in the context of the new research hypothesis or within the context of the provisional theory/law. This dumps the process right back into the cycle. The prediction leads to additional experimentation. As more and more evidence supports a particular explanation, the

Predictive: suggesting that there are additional phenomena which could be observed.



Figure 1.3: The process of science begins with an initial question or observation, which leads the researcher to develop a predictive hypothesis. At this point, the process falls into cycle of prediction, experiment or observation, analysis, and renement. scientic community will yield greater condence to the idea. This process continues indenitely. Scientic ideas are continuously tested and rened, so that our picture of how the universe works becomes progressively more accurate and more complete. With each iteration, a wider range of phenomena is included in the scope of the model (and theory or law), and the condence in a particular idea increases.

An Example in Science
As an example of how this process works in science, consider the laws of motion. One of the earliest theories came from Aristotle, who postulated (circa 364 B.C) that there were two types of motion: natural motion, which was the result of an object seeking its natural state; and violent motion or motion imposed on an object by some outside inuence. For example, the natural state of a rock was supposedly to remain at rest, and the natural motion of the rock was to fall to where it could be at rest (on the ground). When a person lifted a rock o the ground, they were imposing a violent motion on the rock. Based on these premises, Aristotle developed a quantitative description of motion: objects will fall at a constant speed, and that speed will be proportional to their weight. The reasoning behind this theory is that heavier objects have a stronger a nity towards their natural state. Aristotles theory makes some clear predictions. If I were to drop two rocks, one twice as heavy as the other, the lighter rock should take twice as long to hit the ground. Unfortunately, experimentation was not high on the priority list of the thinkers of the day, and it took nearly two thousand years before Aristotles method was properly tested. In the late 1500s Galileo Galilei performed a series of experiments that involved dropping objects of dierent weights (legend has it that these experi-

Aristotle (384 - 322 B.C.): Greek philosopher who formulated one of the rst theories about motion.



ments were performed at the famous leaning tower of Pisa). Unless one object was particularly light (a feather, for example), both objects would reach the ground at the same time. This result is clearly (i.e. with a condence level easily better than 95%) contrary to Aristotles theory. Galileo made a signicant revision. He proposed that objects fall at a constantly increasing rate, so that the speed of the falling object after two seconds is twice as large as the speed of the falling object after one second. Furthermore, the speed at which objects fall should be independent of their weight. Galileo conducted experiments to check his hypothesis, and all of the data he collected supported his idea. Galileo also noted that an object in horizontal motion would tend to maintain a constant speed. This description of horizontal motion constituted a separate law. Galileo Galilei (1564 1642 ): Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher. About one century later, Isaac Newton extended Galileos ideas and developed a unied description of motion in the context of three ideas which are now known as Newtons Laws. For centuries, every observable motion t perfectly with the laws Newton developed. No deviations were seen until the 20th century. In the year 1905, Albert Einstein published his special theory of relativity. One of the predicted consequences of special relativity is that at speeds near the speed of light motion should deviate from what Newtons laws would predict. Experimental evidence collected afterward supported Einsteins ideas. The historical development of the laws of motion demonstrate the scientic process. An idea is developed and tested. When the experiments yield results not in agreement with the idea, the idea is rened to take into account the new data, and the theory or model is updated or improved. We will see many additional examples of how this process has been used in the sciences during the remainder of this course.

An Example from Everyday Life

Isaac Newton (1643 1727 ): Generalized all known observations of motion into three laws. We use the scientic process frequently in our lives, though we may not necessarily recognize it for what it is. We develop (but generally do not formalize) all sorts of theories, laws, and models to address questions such as What is the best way to make cookies? What is the fastest way to get to school? What is the best time to go to bed/wake up? Often times these ideas are initially developed with little or no data. I might assume, for example, that driving to school will be faster than walking. This theory may be reasonable in terms of my previous experience. But then I start to gather additional data. As I drive to my rst day of school, I encounter a tra c backup at a few intersections. When I get to campus, I discover that the parking lot closest to my class is full. After driving around for an additional ten minutes looking for a place to park (when I could have easily walked to my rst class from my apartment in 15 minutes), I revise my ideas. The point is that the scientic method is not really anything new or foreign to you, its really just a systematic description of a process that you already intuitively use!

Albert Einstein (1879 1955 ): Formulated the theory of relativity, shown here in his o cial 1921 Nobel prize photo.



1. Explain how and why scientic ideas are mutable and provisional. 2. Explain why a scientic model or theory is never exactly the same as the system it describes. 3. What would happen if any of the steps of the scientic process were removed? 4. How does the story about Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein illustrate the process of science? 5. Write down at least three examples of times in your life when you have used the scientic process. What was your model? Did you have to revise it based on additional observations?




Climate Change: A Case Study


Summary: The results of scientic investigation can have a large impact on individuals and society. In this section we present the topic of climate change as an example. The ramications of global warming - both environmental and economic could be immense, and as such has become an important discussion in public policy. Understanding the scientic aspects of this topic can aid society in making proper decisions. Learning Outcomes: Identify reliable sources of scientic information. Explain why peer review is important when it comes to establishing scientic truth. Identify reasons why people who are not scientists should still make an eort to understand important scientic issues. Identify the general arguments made on both sides of the climate change issue. Vocabulary: Climate change Climate change: A change in the average temperature, humidity, weather, etc... of a region. Greenhouse eect Carbon emissions Cap and trade

It is important to clarify a few points before we consider the topic of climate change. One of the rst things we need to understand is the relationship between weather and climate. Weather is a description of short-term atmospheric conditions and events occurring at a particular location at a particular time: conditions that are subject to change hour-by-hour and day-by-day. For example, when you check the weather you may learn that its 64 F, the wind is blowing at 5 mph, and it is partly cloudy with a 20% chance of rain. A few hours later the temperature may have dropped to 58 F, cloud cover has increased, and its raining. Climate, on the other hand, is a description of the long-term averages of weather-related factors such as temperature, humidity, and precipitation. Depending on the question a climatologist is asking, the long-term averages they consider may include annual averages, decade-long averages, century-long averages, and even longer time frames. This means that when we walk outside on a spring morning and nd snow and colder than average temperatures that is a weather event, which by itself does not indicate a change in local or global climate. The climate of a region determines what kind of plant and animal communities exist there, e.g., desert, forest, grassland. This is the case because the ecology of any region is sensitive to climate change. For example, an increase in water temperature puts stress on aquatic communities. Changes in air temperature and precipitation aect the length of growing season and the amount of water available in the ground, and consequently the ability of plants to carry out photosynthesis. Living things in turn aect the composition of the atmosphere, resulting in a feedback loop that can change local ecosystem structure. Earth is no stranger to climate change, including local and global climate change, as we will see in chapter four. Generally, mass extinctions of life on earth are associated with major changes in Earths biosphere and are often induced by climate change. For this reason, among others, many people are



concerned with data that show an increase in the average global temperature.

Figure 1.4: World ecologies, which are sensitive to changes in climate. (Image courtesy of Duy Duc (used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)

The Greenhouse Eect

One of the primary factors aecting global climate is the greenhouse eect. Most of us are familiar with this eect. One example of a greenhouse eect occurs when you leave your car outside for a few hours on a sunny day with all of the windows rolled up. The result is that the inside of your car gets quite warm. This happens because light from the sun easily passes through the windows of your car and then strikes the upholstery and other surfaces inside the car where light energy is transformed into heat (infrared rays). This heat does not pass back through the windows of your car as easily as other forms of light, so heat builds up inside the car faster than it can be released. This is, of course, also how greenhouses work, thus the name - greenhouse eect. A similar eect happens in our atmosphere, and indeed has happened since the Earth was formed. Our atmosphere is much like the windows of your car. Light can pass readily through the atmosphere, and it then strikes the surface of the Earth where it is transformed into heat. This heat is trapped and held temporarily by water, earth, and gases in the atmosphere. All solar energy that strikes the Earth eventually radiates back into space. When heat from solar energy radiates back into space more slowly than new solar energy enters the atmosphere the earth warms up. When heat radiates back into space faster than solar energy enters the system the Earth cools. And, when the amount of energy entering and leaving the Earth is the same global temperature does not change. This natural process of our planets atmospheric greenhouse eect turns out to be a very good thing. Space is really quite cold, and the Sun is far away. Were it not for the greenhouse eect, the Earth would be a much colder place than it is today. How much colder? According to some estimates the average temperature of the earth would be about 30 C colder than it is today. FYI - The average temperature on Earth today is about 57 F (14 C). So without the greenhouse eect the average temperature on earth would be about 3 F (-16 C).

Greenhouse eect: When light energy is easily transmitted into an object, but heat energy is retained.



Just how fast heat can escape back into space depends on the composition of the atmosphere. There are many kinds of gasses in the atmosphere that can trap and hold heat. Some gases trap heat more eectively than others. Gasses that are particularly eective at trapping heat are called greenhouse gasses. Some of the more common greenhouse gasses are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and halocarbons (e.g., CFCs). If the concentrations of these gasses in the atmosphere are altered, then the ability of the atmosphere to trap and hold heat changes as well, and this can cause global climate change.

Climate Forcings
There are many factors that drive shifts in global climate. These factors are referred to as climate forcings. Some forcing factors include things like the intensity of solar radiation, the shape of the orbit of the Earth and the tilt of the Earths axis, both of which vary predictably over long periods of time, and other eects such as the amount of cloud cover, volcanic activity, the prevalence of forest res, the surface of the Earth covered by snow and ice, etc. These types of forcings are referred to as natural forcings, because they occur whether humans are present or not. Anthropogenic forcings, however, are factors that are caused by humans that can have an eect on the planet and cause climate changes. Historically, natural forcings have dwarfed anthropogenic forcings, but the development of modern technology has reached the point where evidence suggests that anthropogenic forcings have become signicant and are having an eect on global climate. The most notable anthropogenic forcing is the mining, drilling, and then burning of fossil fuels. Humans use fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, and natural gas) for heat and light, and we have done so for thousands of years. At the time of the industrial revolution, mankind began to rapidly develop fossil fuel resources and the technologies needed to acquire them as quickly as possible in order to satisfy the demands for electricity, transportation, and industry. Our dependence on fossil fuels has grown immensely in the intervening years. All fossil fuels are made of hydrocarbons, which are molecules containing primarily carbon and hydrogen. When a fossil fuel is burned, molecules combine with oxygen to form water and carbon dioxide (CO2), releasing a great deal of energy in the process. Thus burning fossil fuels unavoidably releases CO2 (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere, and this release is what we refer to as carbon emissions. So what? you may ask. Doesnt the same thing happen when we burn wood? Yes, and no. It is true that when both fossil fuels and wood are burned CO2 is produced and released, but there is a signicant dierence between burning wood and fossil fuels. Wood is made of carbon-bearing compounds, and when it is burned CO2 is released into the air, but the CO2 used to make that wood was captured from the atmosphere by the plant that made the wood in the rst place. So when that wood is burned there is no net change to the total amount of carbon in the biosphere, and there is no net increase in CO2 concentration in the global carbon cycle. Essentially the CO2 is being released into the atmosphere and taken up by plants in equilibrium. Fossil fuels are dierent. Fossil fuels are made of plants and animals that lived long ago, and their bodies (including the carbon that was in them) was covered by sediments after they died. This carbon was eectively removed from the global carbon cycle, and eventually transformed into fossil fuel. This means that when a fossil fuel is mined or pumped out of the ground and then burned the CO2 that is released increases the total amount of CO2 in the global carbon cycle, including increases in the atmospheric concentration of this gas. The consensus of the vast number of climate scientists is that the measurable increase in CO2 emissions due to anthropogenic activities (burning fossils fuels, among other things) is responsible for recent increases in the average global tem-

Natural forcings: Climate forcings (factors that inuence climate) that occur independent of human activity. Anthropogenic forcings: Climate forcings that occur as a result of human activity.

Carbon emissions: Carbon dioxide gas released into the atmosphere.



perature. In order to avoid potential changes to Earths ecology stemming from higher average global temperatures, climate scientists concluded that mankind should reduce its carbon emissions. Many people do not seem willing to accept these conclusions and make changes on their own that would result in voluntary reductions in fossil fuel use that would produce lower anthropogenic carbon emissions. After all, energy is still quite inexpensive and supports our high quality of living. It has therefore been suggested that governments should take action on this issue to mandate reductions in carbon emissions in an eort to minimize global climate change eects resulting from anthropogenic forcings. One way to do this is through a process called cap and trade where a limit or cap is placed on the total amount of CO2 that a nation is allowed to emit in a given year, based on population size. The allowed emissions are then distributed to energy producers and industrial entities in the form of carbon credits. An entity that exceeds its emission cap would be required to pay signicant nes. Entities that release lower amounts of CO2 than their allocated limit could sell there excess emission credits on the market to others needing additional emissions capacity. Those who purchase carbon credits would then legally be able to emit more CO2, but at an added nancial cost. The cap and trade approach to the managing of carbon emission credits increases the cost of energy production and large scale manufacturing to reect the actual and ecological costs of continuing to emit CO2 from fossil fuel use. These costs would almost certainly be passed down to consumers, and this added cost will help to increase personal awareness and motivate innovation and development of alternative strategies to meeting our energy needs without continuing to emit greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

Cap and trade: a system where total carbon dioxide emissions are limited, and entities are allowed carbon emissions through their purchase of carbon credits.

Are Humans Really At Fault?

A minority of climate scientist assert that the current observed rises in global temperature are not due to human activities, and that these global temperature increases can be accounted for strictly by natural forcings. The question of whether or not humans are changing Earths climate is an important one. A change in climate could have signicant impacts on such things as sea level rise and its eect on coastal areas and populations (presently 40% of the global population lives within 60 miles of the coast), and the ability to continue to grow crops in currently productive regions. People tend to disagree on the severity of these eects. Reducing anthropogenic carbon emissions in order to slow global warming will mitigate some problems, but doing so will almost certainly have a signicant impact on national and global economies, and on our individual standards of living. The magnitude and importance of the question of global climate change has caused this problem to become a big political issue. As with all political issues, we nd numerous voices in government and media attempting to persuade us to believe one way or another on this topic. It is important to note, however, that the scientic question of global climate change is an objective one. Either people are driving climate change or they are not. It is also an empirical question in that we can collect objective and reproducible data that allow this question to be addressed by scientic methods. Because the question of global climate change is an objective one, the answers do not depend on what an individual person may believe, or wants others to believe. There is an overwhelming mass of observations that have been collected objectively and empirically that we must take into account if we are truly on a quest to obtain an understanding of the truth related to this question. Since this is the case, each of us need to take a serious look at what we think and why, and then consider whether we are on a quest for truth, or a quest to support our opinion on this topic regardless of what evidence has been discovered. The importance of the climate change question



Questions like ones related to global climate change are helpful in giving us an opportunity to assess the kind of learners we are. As we discussed earlier this semester, we should be on a quest for truth and understanding, and complete understanding is possible only in light of truth. With that thought in mind ponder on where you stand in terms of your pattern and process of learning by considering Figure 1.5 and Table 1.1 below.

Figure 1.5: Types of learners/scholars in relation to their degree of discipleship and scholarship. (Image courtesy of Dr. Dan Moore, BYU-Idaho, Dept of Geology) The information in Table 1 provides additional information that is helpful in dening attributes of people who fall into each quadrant in Figure 1.5. You are encouraged to take a sincere, personal look at yourself to determine which of the four quadrants you best t into at present. This is a di cult personal assessment, but it is one worth pondering. Now that you have considered your personal placement on the chart shown in Figure 1.5 by using the information provided in Table 1.1 (a di cult thing to do objectively, by the way), you are ready to complete this reading assignment. The last thing to do to complete this reading assignment is to do some research about the question of whether humans are having an eect on global climate. You should spend a minimum of 30 minutes searching for information on the topic of anthropogenic climate change. You should search for information on both sides of this issue and make sure that you record the sites where you found your information. As you do this on-line research you should look carefully for indications that the information you are accessing has a solid scientic basis or if it is little more than personal opinion on this topic. Some questions you can ask to help you make this distinction include the following: Is the scientic method being used? Are steps taken by the author to reduce or eliminate bias? Are condence levels reported, and if so, are the reported condence levels su cient to accept or reject a given hypothesis? Is the critical review process active and working properly? Is the information from a credible source (publication in a scientic journal, reliable web-site, etc.)? Remember to maintain a healthy dose of skepticism as you review these materials. In your search for truth you should realize the importance of the

The Disciple Scholar Spiritually strong, but intellectually ignorant Treats interesting truth and knowledge as salvationally essential truth Pits revealed truth against discovered truth Represents interpretation and/or opinion as doctrine Does not distinguish between opinion, observation, and interpretation Doesnt care about truth Not interested in nding truth Does not understand truth Spiritually weak and intellectually ignorant Spiritually weak, but intellectually knowledgeable Does not recognize that salvationally essential truth exists

The Unknowing Disciple

The Worldly Know-Nothing

The Worldly Scholar

Spiritually strong and intellectually knowledgeable

Understands the relative importance of salvationally essential truth and interesting truth and knowledge

Seeks to harmonize all truth (discovered and revealed)

Pits discovered truth against revealed truth Represents interpretation as observation


Distinguishes between unchanging observation and doctrine, and changing interpretation and opinion Deeply mistrusts or rejects discovered truth, and tries to use only revealed truth to answer all questions Dogmatic Fundamentalist

Understands and admits the limits of revealed and discovered truth

Deeply mistrusts or rejects revealed truth, and tries to use only discovered truth to answer all questions Proud and sophisticated Sees all truth as relative 25

Meek and strong

Proud and ignorant Closed- and empty-minded


Table 1.1: Attributes of the four types of learner/scholars shown in Figure 1.5. (Courtesy Dr. Dan Moore, BYU-Idaho, Dept. of Geology.)



ongoing self-correcting nature of science. Ask questions, seek for meaningful observations and data, carefully consider well-supported conclusions, reject unsupported ideas, and accept the best-supported and demonstrated ideas even when those ideas may not t comfortably with your preexisting opinion or position on a particular topic.

1. Summarize how the greenhouse eect works in causing climate change. 2. What is the role of carbon dioxide? Where does it come from? What policies have been proposed with respect to it? 3. In what ways has scientic investigation been used with respect to the issue of climate change? 4. Is the critical review process functioning properly? 5. Why might it be important for the general public to understand the answers to these questions?

Chapter 2

The Universe

Figure 2.1: A portion of the composite Hubble deep eld image. Between December 18 and December 28, 1995, the Hubble telescope peered at a dark section of sky near the constellation Ursa Major - a section comprising 2.5 arcminutes across. (This is roughly equivalent to the size of a tennis ball located 100 meters away, or a small square half the width of a dime on each side, held at arms length - about 0.00002% of the entire sky). Incredibly, of the 3,000 objects found in the image (of which this is only a portion), almost all are distant galaxies, each of which contains tens to hundreds of billions of stars. The Hubble deep eld image illustrates the vast enormity of our Universe and the innumerable quantity of stars, and potentially solar systems, found therein. More importantly, since it takes a very long time for light to traverse these large distances, it gives us a glimpse of how the universe looked billions of years ago. (Image courtesy of NASA) In this chapter, we will see how the scientic process has been used to nd out and learn truths about our universe. Our foray into this subject, as with the other case studies in the chapters that follow, will be historical. First, however, we will think critically about human intuition, and see why it fails to give us understanding in realms that are outside our personal experience. At that point we will consider some simple observations any person can make relative to the motion of stars and planets, and work our way through the succession of cosmological 27



models that follow. It is important to note that in this chapter (and those that follow), you may come across some scientic ideas that seem to be at odds with your religious views. This apparent conict drives some students away from science. Others may nd themselves drawn away from religion. Neither of these two outcomes is by any means desirable. Remember that our objective for this course is for you to understand, appreciate, and value the role that the scientic process has in your life. If you nd yourself struggling with the question of whether you should accept the scientic or religious explanation of any aspect of the world we live in, I would suggest that you take a few minutes to ponder again the message of Elder Scott in section 1.1, as well as the material in appendix A at the back of this book.




The Scale of the Universe


Summary: The universe is a really big place, and the numbers used to describe are often beyond our comprehension. Scientists use two tools to help them grasp just what these numbers mean. These tools are embodied in scientic notation and a process called scaling. Learning Outcomes: Convert numbers from standard to scientic notation and vice versa. Be able to identify the sizes of the Earth, Sun, and other celestial objects on a few dierent scales. Perform scaling exercises. Explain what lookback time is, and the eect that it has on our cosmological observations. Vocabulary: Scientic notation Base Power Exponent Mantissa Scaling

The universe is a really big place. For example, our Milky Way galaxy, which is hardly even a speck in the vast cosmos, is a whopping six hundred thousand trillion miles across. While many of us have a good feel for what one thousand is, we may not have much intuition when it comes to numbers like one trillion. Why is this? Because we rarely deal with numbers of this size in our everyday life, and when we do, it is usually in the form of some type of sound bite (think national debt) as opposed to anything that we immediately connect with our personal existence. In order to really appreciate what such numbers mean, one needs to devise a means whereby they understand them in terms of things they are already familiar with.

Figure 2.2: An artists rendering of the Milky Way galaxy. (Image courtesy of NASA) Mathematics and science have devised two tools for doing just this. The rst tool is scientic notation, which helps us express such large numbers in a somewhat more compact form. The second tool is called scaling, which helps us to put relative sizes or distances in perspective.



Scientic Notation and Powers of Ten

Going back to the size of the milky way galaxy (six hundred thousand trillion miles), how does one go about writing such a number without using words? In standard format, it looks like this: 600,000,000,000,000,000 miles Scientic notation: a compact way of writing numbers that are not easy to express in standard format. It is terribly inconvenient to have to write numbers in this format, not to mention ink consuming. A more compact notation, called scientic notation, would express this number as 6.0 1017 miles The primary benet of this notation is immediately obvious! Lets explain how it works. First of all, consider the second portion: the 1017 . What exactly does this represent? It basically says you take seventeen 10s and multiply them together. The number 10 is called the base , and the number seventeen is called the power or exponent. This representation works for other powers of ten as well, as shown in Table 2.1. The zeroth power is a special case. Any base raised to the zeroth power is dened as one (i.e. 100 = 1). Power of Ten 101 102 103 104 105 106 Multiplied Out 10 1010 101010 10101010 1010101010 101010101010 Standard Notation 10 100 1,000 10,000 100,000 1,000,000

Base: The integer that serves as the basis for a number system. Power or exponent: A number representing how many times the base should be multiplied by itself.

Table 2.1: Powers of ten greater than zero. The rst column gives the so-called power of ten in scientic notation. The second column demonstrates how you would multiply the base the appropriate number of times. The third column writes the result using standard notation. As you read through Table 2.1, you may have noticed a trend: when you raise ten to some power, the resulting number is a 1 followed by a number of zeroes equal to the power. For example, 105 is a 1 followed by ve zeroes. Equivalently, if you are starting with a 1, the power of ten tells you how many times you need to move the decimal place to the right. This trend holds true for all powers of ten greater than or equal to zero. We can also dene powers of ten for smaller numbers. In such cases, the power or exponent is negative. For some examples, see Table 2.2. Notice that the same rules apply as before: the exponent tells us how many times we need to move the decimal place to the right. However, since the exponent is negative, we are actually moving the decimal place to the left. Now lets go back to the size of the Milky Way galaxy: 6.0 1017 miles. We now understand what the second part of this number means (a 1 followed by seventeen zeroes). What about the rst half, which is called the mantissa ? As the notation suggests, we simply multiply the power of ten by the mantissa. Lets run through a few quick examples of how one goes about converting numbers in standard notation to scientic notation and vice versa. First, consider two cases where we want to convert scientic notation to standard notation. Lets start by converting 2.763 107 to standard notation. First, we need to evaluate the exponent. 107 is a 1 followed by seven zeroes, or 10,000,000. When we multiply this exponent by the mantissa (2.763), we get 27,630,000.

Mantissa: The portion of a number expressed in scientic notation that tells you information beyond the appropriate power of ten. Converting standard format to scientic notation

2.1. THE SCALE OF THE UNIVERSE Power of Ten 100 10 1 10 2 10 3 10 4 10 5 Standard Notation 1 0.1 0.01 0.001 0.0001 0.00001


Table 2.2: Powers of ten less than or equal to zero. The rst column gives the so-called power of ten in scientic notation. The second column writes the result using standard notation. What about when the exponent is negative? Consider the number 5.342 10 4 . Just as in the previous example, we start by evaluating the exponent. I start with a 1, and then move the decimal place to the left four times, which gives me 0.0001. Now when I multiply this exponent by the mantissa (5.432), I get 0.0005432. Now lets go the other way: converting standard notation to scientic notation. Suppose I wanted to express the number 345,210 in scientic notation. The rst thing I need to do is choose an appropriate mantissa. I will select 3.4521, since 345,210 is equal to 3.4521 times 100,000. Having selected the appropriate mantissa, I only need to express the number 100,000 as a power of ten. Since the decimal place is ve spaces to the right of the 1, the appropriate power is ve. Thus, I get 3.4521 105 . Note that in some instances it is appropriate to truncate the mantissa to fewer digits. For example, had I been given the number 345,211.2342, unless there was some particular need to keep ten decimal places of precision, I might just write this number as 3.45 105 . Now for one nal example. Consider the number 0.0834. The process I go through to convert this number into scientic notation is similar to that of the previous example. I rst must choose an appropriate mantissa - like 8.34. This particular mantissa is chosen because I can write the number 0.0834 as 8.340.01. All I need to do now is express the 0.01 as a power of ten. Since the decimal place is two spots to the left of the 1, I know that the appropriate power is -2. Therefore, I write this number as 8.34 10 2 .

Converting standard format to scientic notation

If you have ever read a map before, you are familiar with what scaling is all about. The map is simply a scaled down representation of the lay of the land, where, for example, one inch on the map may represent one mile on the Earths surface. The process of scaling is all about guring out how to represent the sizes of various objects in such a scenario. The process of scaling involves choosing an appropriate size for representing whatever it is you wish to represent. If I wanted to represent the entire state of Idaho on a standard piece of paper, I might want to choose a scale where one inch represented 50 miles. On the other hand, if I was attempting to represent just the BYU-Idaho campus, I might choose a scale where one inch represented 1,000 feet. To demonstrate the process of scaling in more detail, consider the following: Suppose I was building a scale model of the U.S.S. Constitution (see Figure 2.3). The actual dimensions of the ship are shown in Table 2.3. Furthermore, suppose that my model needed to be of a scale where the mainmast should be 23 cm high. How large should the other dimensions of the ship be? The rst thing I need to do is calculate a scaling factor. This is done by dividing my desired mainmast height (23 cm) by the actual mainmast height Scaling: Representing a system at a size other than its actual size.

32 (220 feet). My scaling factor is therefore S=


23 cm = 0.10455 cm/ft 220 ft

Now all that I need to do to scale down the other dimensions is to multiply them by this scaling factor. For example, the length at the keel should be (150 feet) (0.10455 cm/ft) = 15.682 cm I repeat this process for all of the other lengths, and obtain the following for the scaled-down dimensions of the U.S.S. Constitution the results in Table 2.3

Figure 2.3: The U.S.S. Constitution. (Image courtesy of U.S. Navy) Dimension Billet head to tarail At waterline At keel Beam (width): Draft: Forward Aft Mast heights: Foremast Mainmast Mizzenmast Length: Original 204 feet 175 feet 150 feet 43 feet, 6 inches 19 feet, 2 inches 22 feet, 9 inches 198 feet 220 feet 172 feet, 6 inches Scaled 21.327 cm 18.295 cm 15.682 cm 4.5477 cm 2.0038 cm 2.3784 cm 20.700 cm 23.000 cm 18.034 cm

Table 2.3: Original and scaled dimensions of the U.S.S. Constitution. Actual dimensions obtained from In the review questions at the end of this section you will be given the opportunity to practice this process of scaling, in addition to the conversion of standard format numbers to scientic notation. It is recommended that you try to complete these exercises on your own, and then review them during your group meeting. You will also be given an additional opportunity to practice on one of your homework assignments. Understanding how to do these things is important if one is to understand the relative sizes and distances encountered in astronomy.

Time as a Measurement of Distance

In astronomy and cosmology - the two elds of science most interested in the Universe as a whole - we deal with incredibly large distances. Scientists have developed an interesting way to describe these distances, and it is based on how long it takes light to travel those distances.



Light travels through empty space at an amazingly fast speed (300,000,000 meters each second, or 671,000,000 mph)! Whats equally astounding is that light always travels at this same measured speed through empty space, no matter who measures it or when. The constancy of the speed of light allows us to equate time with distance: I know that in each second the light will travel 300,000,000 meters through empty space! Consider how long it takes light to traverse everyday distance. If you switch on a light bulb that is ten feet from your eye it takes 0.0000000102 seconds (or better yet, 1.02 10 8 seconds) to get to you. Thats just over ten billionths of a second. What about the time lag for light travel over a longer distance? Lets say that you are 20 miles west of Rexburg, looking back toward town, and the lights of the Rexburg Temple are turned on. How long will it take for that light to reach you? If you do the math you will discover that it takes light 0.000107 seconds to cover 20 miles. Concluding that light travels from point A to point B instantaneously makes sense in the scale of the every day, because the scale of the every day is made up of relatively short distances (inches, feet, miles, centimeters, meters, kilometers). However, at the scale of the solar systems, galaxies, and the universe, the distances are much, much larger, and consequently it takes much longer for light to traverse those distances. Even at tiny astronomical distances like the Earth-Sun distance (a mere 93 million miles) the travel time for light is signicant (8.3 minutes). As a result, there is no way to know what is happening on the Sun at a given moment, because what we see was happening on the sun 8.3 minutes ago. In 1977 NASA launched Voyager 1, a spacecraft that is traveling away from the Earth at a speed of about 50,000 mph. Now, over 30 years later, Voyager 1 is just over nine billion miles from us. Imagine that you are sitting at Voyager 1 mission control and you have to change its course, i.e., drive it. You have data showing that if you do not change the course of Voyager 1 that it will collide with something in around 20 hours. What will happen if you use your intuition based on the scale of the everyday that light travels more or less instantaneously to its destination, and you send the radio signal (which travels at the speed of light) for the course correction about one hour before the collision is predicted to occur? If you do the math you will nd that when you divide 9 billion miles by the speed of light that it actually takes over 13.4 hours for the signal to reach a point 9 billion miles away. Imagine driving a vehicle that only allows you to see what was in front of you 13.4 hours ago, and only responds 13.4 hours after you tell it to do something. Thats a 27 hour lag time between observation and reaction. If you or I tried to drive a vehicle like that to the grocery store, wed be paying much more for our insurance! Fortunately, space is essentially empty so there are exceptionally few obstacles to avoid. You can now see how problems are generated by assuming that we interact with light on the scale of the very large like we do in our day-to-day lives. Even so, the distances weve considered so far are relatively minuscule in the cosmological scale. Imagine the nature of a conversation between someone on Earth and someone on a planet orbiting another star. It would take several years for messages to be transmitted between us and a planet orbiting the nearest stars, and much longer for anything else. A light year is dened as the distance that light will travel through empty space over the course of one year. Considering how fast light travels (671,000,000 mph) this is quite a large distance (5.88 trillion, or 5.88 1012 , miles). Using this standard of measurement, we would say that the distance between the Earth and our nearest neighboring star, Alpha Centauri (25.7 trillion miles), is around 4.4 light years.

Light year: The distance that light will travel through empty space over the course of one year.



1. Why do scientists use scientic notation? 2. Why do scientists use scaling? 3. Convert the following numbers into standard notation: (a) 4.34103 , (b) 7.22 10 1 , (c) 1.45 100 , (d) 8.99 1015 , (e) 2.25 10 9 . 4. Convert these numbers into scientic notation: 548,900,000 (c) 0.002964 (d) 3.24 (e) 0.000000993 (a) 18,900 (b)

5. In the following you are given several actual lengths of objects you might encounter in a typical U.S. city. Suppose you wished to scale all of these lengths down so that the car is 2.000 cm long. Determine the scaled down lengths of the other given sizes. The objects and their sizes are: (a) a shoe which is 0.280 meters long, (b) a person who is 1.676 meters tall, (c) a car that is 5.126 meters long, 1.892 meters wide, and 1.562 meters high, (d) a building that is 25.40 meters tall, and (e) a sidewalk that is 250.0 meters long. 6. Polaris, the North Star, is approximately 2.5 quadrillion miles (2.5 1015 miles) from the Earth. How long ago did the light we will observe from the North Star tonight actually leave Polaris?




Time and Intuition


Summary: Time is a word we use frequently. It seems sometimes that our life is governed by the passage of time. Yet all of our experience with time is on the human scale - most of us have only directly observed things that are roughly our size and have temporal durations ranging from seconds to centuries. As you move into other scales of nature, our intuitive understanding of time is no longer valid. To accurately measure time, you must have two things: a rate-constant process and some way of knowing when that process began. Learning Outcomes: Explain where our intuition comes from. Identify the two characteristics that must be possessed by any object or process that is to be used as a clock. Dene the following terms: sequence, duration, rate. Identify the characteristics of time in everyday life, the scale of the universe, at very high speeds, and on the scale of atoms and molecules. Vocabulary: Sequence Duration Rate Cyclicity Rate-constant process Deep time Spacetime

You learned about time early in your life. When you were an infant you innately knew when it was time to eat, sleep, etc., and you have spent your life surrounded by time-keeping devices that help you mark the passing of time. Over the years you also gained insights into how the passage of time aects your life and things around you. These kinds of experiences give you an intuitive understanding of what the passing of times means. Since you have so much experience with time-keeping devices and the passage of time, wouldnt you think that youd have a sound understanding of what time is? Well, chances are that you dont. Few people do. Surprised? OK, dont get defensive; its just that most people havent seriously considered the nature of time itself. Time is an extremely rich subject; so rich that science has yet to develop a denition that correctly and completely explains all of the observable characteristics of time. The goal of science is to explain how the natural world works. As such, scientic explanations help you to understand things that you cannot understand by personal intuition alone. Time is a scientic topic where personal intuition alone does not help you understand what time is and how it works at all of the dierent scales of the physical world. The purpose of this particular reading is to help you increase your understanding and expand your intuition with respect to a fundamental aspect of the physical world - TIME. Before getting into specics there are some time-related terms that you need to be acquainted with: sequence, duration, rate, and cyclicity. Sequence relates to the ordering of events, and duration describes the length of an event or the interval between events. Sequential time allows us to describe causeand-eect relationships and to describe the direction in which time passes. The

Sequence: the ordering of events in time. Duration: the length of an event or time interval between events. Rate: How quickly a process proceeds. Cyclicity: the characteristic and frequency of repetition in a process.



rate of a process describes how quickly something changes through time, and cyclicity refers to the characteristic of repetition or periodicity of a process or how frequently a process happens.

Measuring Time
Rate constant process: a process that proceeds always at the same rate (or a predictable rate) and with regular cyclicity. Examples of rate constant processes used as the basis for clocks There are many devices that can measure the passage of time, or, perhaps, your passage through time. Any measurable, calibrated process that occurs at a constant rate or at a rate that is predictable can do this. We will use the term rate constant process to refer to such processes1 . The apparent motion of the sun across the sky exhibits this characteristic. The sun travels across the sky at a constant, predictable and measurable rate. Lastly, the sun follows this path daily (cyclicity). Because the movement of the sun has these characteristics, we can use a sundial as a timekeeping device. Some other things that have been used to track time include hourglasses, candles or sticks of incense that burn at a constant rate, and, of course, clocks and watches. Mechanical clocks keep time as a spring drives a mechanism of wheels that move clock hands at a constant rate. Even better watches and clocks keep time based on the accurate and consistent vibrations of quartz crystals (32,000 times/second) or cesium atoms (9 billion times/second). The best mechanical clocks (spring-driven) are accurate to within 2-3 seconds per day, quartz watches (like the ones most of you use) are accurate to within 0.5 seconds per day, and a cesium clock (atomic clock) is accurate to within one second per millions of years!

Figure 2.4: A wristwatch is a typical time measuring device. (Image is in the public domain.) It should be fairly obvious that none of the above mentioned devices could function as a clock unless it somehow recorded the number of ticks that had passed. Imagine a device based on the oscillation of strontium atoms that accurately and precisely caused an LED bulb to ash once every second. Unless I carefully watched and recorded the number of ashes myself (which I really do not want to do), this device could not be used to keep time. Indeed, a rate constant process is useful only for keeping time inasmuch as the number of cycles that have passed are recorded. The time-keeping methods mentioned above are helpful in monitoring the short-term passage of time, but a dierent class of clocks is needed to measure the passage of extremely long periods of time - periods of time where humans were not present to record the occurrence of events. These events include things like the formation of the earth, the ages and durations of ice ages, etc. Clocks that can measure these kinds of events are sometimes called geologic clocks because they keep track of time and events that occurred before human-recorded
1 For the next few chapters, it will be su cient to just think of a rate constant process as any process that occurs at a constant rate. However, keep the more general denition - any process with a predictable rate - in the back of your mind. It will be important when we discuss radiometric dating in chapter 4.

Clocks must record the number of ticks that have passed

Geologic clocks



history. Even so, geologic clocks must also be rate constant and record the number of ticks that have passed. Fortunately, geologic clocks with these characteristics exist. Examples of geologic clocks include annual tree rings, the accumulation of annual ice layers in glaciers, and the predictable decay of radioactive atoms trapped in dierent kinds of materials. These geologic clocks allow you to glimpse what happened hundreds, thousands, millions, and even billions of years ago. The topic of geologic time will be addressed in greater detail later in the course.

Figure 2.5: Seasonal growth rings in trees constitute a natural clock. They are based on a rate-constant process (regular change in the seasons), and the rings constitute a record of the number of ticks. (Image is in the public domain.)

Strange Time: When Intuition Fails

There are three main levels or scales of nature, and science has discovered that time acts dierently at each of these scales. This is why individuals will often come to the conclusion that time is strange. The three levels of nature are the scale of the very small (e.g., the scale of subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules - where things happen much faster than you would expect), the scale of the every day (e.g., individual organisms, populations, and societies - where you are familiar with the behavior of time), and the scale of the very large (e.g., planets, galaxies, and the universe - where expanses of time are astoundingly large). Time also varies according to speed - a strange and fascinating truth uncovered early in the 20th century. Your intuition is unavoidably based on your personal experiences in the scale of the every day. It is therefore not unusual for you to assume that things at the scales of the very large and very small happen more or less the same way that they do at the scale of the every day. This is, alas, a false assumption, and when you start to learn about how things happen at these other scales you may be confused, at least at rst. Fortunately one of the powerful aspects of science is its ability to help you develop and extend your intuition of how the physical world works at all scales of nature. At the end of section 2.1, we saw an example of how intuition can fail on scales outside of our own experience. How many movies have you seen where a spaceship communicates instantaneously with planets that are many light years away? The rest of this reading is devoted to giving you some insights into how time works at dierent scales, and also how attempting to use our intuition of time at these scales can lead us to some faulty conclusions. In particular, we will investigate deep time (extremely long time intervals); relativistic time (the role of time in the large-scale organization of the universe); and atomic time (how time acts at the scale of the very small).

Intuition is based on dayto-day experience, and thus fails in realms outside our experience.

38 Deep Time


Deep Time is a term used to describe ages of very old things and enormous expanses of time that extent as far back as the origin of the universe. Questions about origins are an integral part of being human. There is something inside of us that makes us wonder and want to know about when, where, and how things came into being: the universe, the earth, and ourselves. Scientic investigation into the age of the universe, galaxies, atoms, and the Earth, indicate that these things are all extremely old. The astronomer Edwin Hubble observed that all galaxies are moving away from each other. Based on this observation and the physics of Albert Einstein, Georges Lema tre hypothesized that the universe began long ago as a singularity (an innitely dense point containing all energy and matter) that began to inate and cool, and this ongoing ination produced the universe we observe today. (This model of the universe is commonly referred to as The Big Bang and will be explored in more depth at the end of this chapter.) The presence of cosmic microwave radiation (left over heat from the big bang) led to the conclusion that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old. This age of the universe is also supported by other lines of evidence including the proportion of types of atoms in the universe, the ages of stars and galaxies, and the decay rates of radioactive atoms.

Figure 2.6: A depiction of the evolution of the universe after it became transparent to light. This rst light is the cosmic microwave background (CMB) that we observe today. (Image courtesy of NASA) Radiometric dating of meteorites, the moon, and rocks on Earth indicate that our solar system, including Earth, is about 4.5 billion years old. Big numbers like those needed to describe the age of the universe or the age of the Earth go beyond our personal experience and intuition. This is what makes them di cult to comprehend! Relativistic Time (and Space) As a schoolboy, young Einstein showed ability in mathematics and physics, but he loathed the rote learning used in school at the time. As a result he did not earn good grades, and one teacher even told him that he would never amount to anything. Yet, Einstein was a deep thinker. During his teenage years he came upon a question that occupied his thoughts throughout much of his life.

The life of Albert Einstein



This question was, What you would observe if you could run alongside a beam of light? Anyway, he attempted to skip secondary school and go directly to college. He scored very well in mathematics and physics, but failed the other portions of the college entrance exams, so he was forced to return to secondary school. He nished secondary school and then went to college, graduating with a degree as a high school math and science teacher. Jobs were hard to come by, and Einstein moved from one menial job to another. He eventually secured a position as a patent clerk in Bern, Switzerland. During all of this time he had virtually no contact with the scientic community, yet he continued to ponder the questions of the universe. In 1905, at the age of 26, Einstein published four papers. 1905 has since been referred to as the miracle year, because his four papers changed the course of modern physics. These papers addressed the photoelectric eect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of matter and energy (E = mc2 ). The quality and scope of his work was so important that the University of Zurich awarded him a PhD that same year. In 1916 his theory of general relativity was published, and several years later empirical evidence supporting his conclusions were discovered. A few years later he received the Nobel Prize, and from his unremarkable academic beginnings Einstein became one of the most notable scientists of all time. Einsteins theories of relativity describe the nature of time and space in two situations: at very high relative speeds, and in the vicinity of massive objects. These theories also suggest that time and space are part of a four-dimensional entity called spacetime which makes up the fabric of the universe. Both of the situations Einstein described are outside of your day-to-day experiences, so your intuition will not serve you well as you try to understand relativity and spacetime. The essential conclusion about Einsteins theories of relativity is that spacetime is plastic, i.e., an inch or a second in one situation is not the same as an inch or a second in another situation. For example, the special theory of relativity states that at speeds approaching the speed of light, both space and time contract; in other words, moving clocks tick more slowly than stationary clocks, and moving rulers are physically shorter than stationary rulers. This is true of any objects moving relative to each other at any speed, though at small speeds, like those in the scale of the everyday, the dierences are extremely small. The general theory of relativity states that massive objects curve or warp spacetime. This is true for masses of any size, though the eects of an object on spacetime are signicant only for extremely massive objects. An adage attributed to John Wheeler summarizes this relationship succinctly: Space tells matter how to move; matter tells space how to curve. While this may sound bizarre at rst, it can be imagined in this way. Any object, such as an asteroid, can move through spacetime only in a straight line. When an asteroid moves toward a massive object it encounters the curved space produced by that massive object, the asteroid appears to change course. Why? The asteroid actually continues to move in a straight line, but now it is moving in a straight line through curved spacetime. Similarly, the Earth moves in a straight line through spacetime that is curved by the sun. The curvature of spacetime is what Newton called gravity. According to Einstein there is no such thing as gravity, there is only the presence or absence of curved spacetime. Where there is no curvature of spacetime there are no measurable gravitational forces! Since this is the case, what would happen to the path of the Earth through spacetime if the sun were to spontaneously disappear? Einsteins theories of relativity and what they tell us about spacetime are not just hypotheses. They have been and are being tested, and have been conrmed by empirical observations. One set of observations was made using two identical atomic clocks and one supersonic aircraft. The clocks were synchronized and one stayed on the ground while the other clock went on an airplane ride. Afterward

Spacetime: The four dimensional fabric of our universe in which time and space are intrinsically linked together.

Special relativity

General relativity

Empirical evidence supporting the theory of relativity



Figure 2.7: According to general relativity, massive objects, such as the Earth, warp space time in their near vicinity, and the gravitational interactions with other nearby objects can be understood in terms of the object traveling in straight lines through curved spacetime. (Image courtesy of NASA) the two clocks were compared to each other, and the clock that stayed on the ground ticked more times than the clock that traveled at supersonic speeds - and the dierence between the clocks was consistent with what you would predict in the context of special relativity. There is also a conceptually simple, but technologically complex experiment designed to collect data that will either support or reject Einsteins conclusions about the eects of massive objects on spacetime. This is called the Gravity-Probe B (GB-P) project being conducted by Stanford University and NASA. Watch the following videos to learn more about the GP-B experiment: 1. A simple experiment (1 min 8 seconds) Expt Anima-Flash.html 2. Gravity in Newtons Universe (1 min 32 seconds) Universe Anima-Flash.html 3. Gravity in Einsteins Universe (1 min 32 seconds) Universe Anima-Flash.html 4. Measuring Spacetime Curvature with Orbiting Gyroscopes (3 mins) gyro expt-anima-ash.html 5. Testing Einsteins Universe (26 mins - but worth it!) Einsteins Universe-Flash.html To wrap up this section on relativity and spacetime, consider this. If you built a spaceship and you got in and ew away at speeds approaching the speed of light, and you then turned around and ew back to Earth at near the speed of light, time would have passed much slower for you than it did for everyone on Earth. According to Einsteins theories, it would be entirely possible for you to travel at an extremely fast speed for a long time, and because of the rate at which you pass through spacetime you would age more slowly than everyone at home on Earth. So your family and friends would age at the regular rate and would be very old or perhaps even dead by the time you got home, even though it didnt feel to you like much time had passed at all. Seems strange!? Thats relativity! And the reason it seems strange is because our personal experiences do not include the realms of existence where the eects of relativity become obvious. Atomic Time There is one last scale to consider in terms of time: the scale of the very small. While the world of the very small is a miniature world, it is not just



a miniaturized world of the scale of the every day. Again, be sure that you do not rely too heavily on the intuition you have gained from your day-to-day experiences as you try to make sense of the scale of subatomic particles, atoms, and molecules. Einstein spent the majority of his life working on questions related to relativity, but one of the papers from the miracle year provided the physics needed to conrm the existence of atoms. Other researchers, such as Max Planck and Neils Bohr, pushed this work further. Of course atoms are very small, but your intuition alone cannot help you comprehend just how small they are. Even so, heres an example: the width of a strand of hair (about 70 m) is about 700,000 atoms wide. So, if the period at the end of this sentence were the size of an atom, then a strand of hair would be several hundred yards wide! Many of you may think about subatomic particles such as electrons as being little spheres that hurtle through space, collide with each other, and sometimes stick together. While this model is helpful in some ways, it is quite inaccurate. Scientists have discovered that electrons and other particles sometimes act like these particles, but other times they act like waves. The only way to truly understand them is to account for both their particle-like and wave-like properties! Because of this odd nature, referred to as wave-particle duality, electrons and other subatomic particles simply do not behave like the things we are used to interacting with. The scientist Max Born stated, At every instant a grain of sand has a denite position and velocity. This is not the case with an electron. We can determine the location of an electron or its rate of movement, but we cannot identify its location and rate of motion simultaneously. And its not just because they are moving too fast or are too small. There is something intrinsic to their wavelike behavior that makes it impossible to pin down both an electrons position and speed at the same time.This is one of the basic conclusions of the uncertainty principle. If this doesnt make sense, well, the only way we can measure the location of something is to expose atoms to light or other forms of energy and use the eects of the interaction between light or energy and atoms to determine their locations. But, because atoms are small, using light or energy to determine their location and rate of movement would be kind of like trying to determine the location of a desk by bouncing cannon balls o of it. The eects of the cannon balls make it impossible to determine the actual position and direction of motion of your neighbor. So the best we can do in this case is to develop a series of probabilities that explain where an atom is and what it is doing at a given time. Frankly, the world of the very small, a world that is currently best described by quantum theory, is much, much richer than the overly simple explanation provided here. What we do know is that atoms are real, and the electronic world in which we live is founded on atoms and what they do.

End Note
The topic of time is an interesting and sometimes confusing one. Confusion usually occurs when we try to use intuition that is meaningful only in the scale of the every day to understand what is going on in the scales of the very large and the very small. While you may suer some initial confusion as you do your best to tackle the topic of time at these other scales, it is our hope that you will pose questions, seek to nd answers to them, and do your best to come to an understanding of what science tells you about time. As you do so your increased exposure to discoveries and ideas about time may yield unexpected understanding, or at least ideas, when you read and ponder scriptures that refer to time, e.g., D&C 88:110, Alma 40:8. While we oer no explanations of what these scriptures mean, you may have ideas stemming from todays topic that are well worth consideration.



Last of all, we want to emphasize that although some of the ideas presented in this reading seem fairly wild and crazy, they are ideas that can and have been tested scientically!

1. What is meant by rate constant process? 2. Why is it necessary for any clock to record the number of ticks that have passed? 3. Make a list of three naturally occurring processes that could be used as clocks. 4. As you read about some of the more extreme examples of time (deep time, relativistic time, atomic time) some things may have seemed counter intuitive? Why do you think that is?




Early Cosmological Models


Summary: Early models of the universe were formulated from the (relatively primitive) data that could be collected at the time. The Geocentric model of the universe proposed by Claudius Ptolemy could explain many celestial observations, including the retrograde motion of the planets. Later observations, especially the phases of the planet Venus, indicated that the Sun did not orbit around the Earth. Over time the scientic community came to accept the Heliocentric, or Sun-centered, model of Nicolaus Copernicus. As additional observations were made, this model also needed renement. Learning Outcomes: Identify the important characteristics and aspects of the geocentric (with and without epicycles) and heliocentric models. Identify which pieces of data support or conict with various early cosmological models. Discern between observations and interpretations in the context of these models. Explain what retrograde motion and phases are, and how they can be explained in the context of these early models (including all of the appropriate key terms). Vocabulary: Geocentric model Crystal spheres Retrograde motion Epicycles Phases Heliocentric model

Hundreds of years ago, if not thousands of years ago, man looked into the heavens and observed the motion of celestial objects. His natural curiosity led him to question the mechanisms by which these motions took place. The product of these investigations was a model which described where the various celestial objects were and how they moved with respect to each other. As new data has been acquired over the years, that model has been rened. Even so, pretty much everything we know about the Solar System and the Universe must be gleaned from Earth or near-Earth based observations! For this class period, we are going to consider the data that was available to those early astronomers and see why they arrived at their models. Throughout this process, it will be helpful if you can consider the observations from the perspective of a person living hundreds of years ago - a person who had never seen pictures of the solar system, galaxies, and the like.

Installing Astronomy Software

We do not have hours and days to spend collecting data (and it really takes that long to collect astronomical data). Instead, we will use computer software to simulate the motion of celestial objects in the sky. The software we will use is called Stellarium, and can be downloaded for free at The instructions that follow assume that you are using Stellarium version 0.10. At the top of the above mentioned web page, on the right side, you will see links for downloading the program for Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Click



Figure 2.8: A time-elapsed photo of the stars at night (Image courtesy of Steve Ryan (licensed under CC SA-BY)) on the link appropriate for your operating system, and follow the instructions for installing the software. Some students have experienced crashes while attempting to install or use this software. If this happens to you, you can either borrow someone elses computer, or try installing an older version of the software.

A Quick Tutorial on Using Stellarium

When Stellarium starts up, you should see a view of the sky from Paris, France. The program can be controlled via the menus on the left and bottom edges of the screen, or by keyboard commands. For the purposes of this activity, you will need to use the following keyboard shortcuts. (Note: because Mac computers have assigned other behaviors to the function keys, Mac users may nd that some of these shortcuts do not work. All functions can still be performed by locating the appropriate item in the menus, or you can check the software documentation.) F6: Brings up the location dialog box. In this menu, you can select your location from a list (Rexburg is on that list, incidentally), simply click on the world map, or specify a latitude and longitude. For portions of this activity, it is desirable to set our location at the North Pole. This reduces the amount of transient motion due to the Earths rotation. The easiest way to do this is to enter N 90 0000.00 for the latitude and E 00 0000.00 for the longitude. You should probably set the altitude to 2 meters. F3: Brings up a dialog box that allows you to search for an object in the sky. Simply enter the name of the object and push the Enter key. Space: Centers the view on the selected object. Arrow keys: change the direction in which you are looking. A: Toggles the atmosphere on and o. For our purposes, you should toggle it o. F: Toggles the fog on the horizon on and o. Again, it is better for us if this is turned o. G: Toggles the ground on and o. Depending on what object it is you are trying to observe, you may need to turn the ground o. L: Increase the rate at which time passes. This allows us to collect months worth of observations in just a few minutes.

Keyboard shortcuts for Stellarium

2.3. EARLY COSMOLOGICAL MODELS J: Decrease the rate at which time passes. K: Set the time rate to its actual value.


Observation 1: The Motion of the Stars and Planets

Using Stellarium, make the following observations and answer the questions that follow (each numbered item below has one question that needs to be answered). You should complete this exercise before coming to class! 1. Set your location to Rexburg and turn o the atmosphere and fog (see instructions above). Increase the time rate by pressing L several times. Watch the stars. What can you say about their motion? 2. Based on this motion, how would you say the stars are moving relative to the Earth? 3. Do the stars appear to move separately or together? 4. Based on the motion of the Sun, how would you say it is moving relative to the Earth? (You may need to use the arrow keys to get the Sun into your eld of vision.) 5. Based on the motion of Venus, how would you say it is moving relative to the Earth? 6. Based on the motion of Mars, how would you say it is moving relative to the Earth? 7. Taking in account all of these motions together, develop a model that explains why the various celestial objects appear to move in the way that they do. 8. The previous observations formed the basis for the earliest cosmological model. As technology improved, astronomers were able to observe the motion of celestial objects relative to each other. In Stellarium, press the F6 key and set your location to the North Pole, as explained in the instructions in the previous subsection. Turn the ground o by pressing G. Press the F3 key and select the planet Jupiter by typing Jupiter into the search eld. When you press Enter, Jupiter should be at the center of your screen. Press the space key once to keep your eld of vision centered on Jupiter. Now, speed the time up by pressing L several times (enough that Jupiter appears to move quickly relative to the stars). What can you say about Jupiters motion relative to the stars? 9. Is this new data consistent with the model you developed? Explain.

Geocentrism and its Demise

As you just observed, all celestial objects that are observable with the naked eye appear to move in circles around the Earth. This set of observations led Claudius Ptolemy (c.85 - 165 A.D.) to develop a model of the universe where the Earth was at the center, with all of the other celestial objects in orbit around the Earth, as in Figure 2.9. This type of model is called a Geocentric model, or Earth-centered model. A major test of the Geocentric model came with the observation of retrograde motion of the planets. You observed this motion in item 8 above. The planets, for the most part, move uniformly relative to the background of stars, except occasionally they reverse direction for a short period of time. This motion cannot be explained in the context of a simple Geocentric model. In order to account for this motion, Ptolemy suggested the following: the motion of the

Geocentric Model: A cosmological model where the Earth is at the center of the Universe. Retrograde motion: The apparent periodic backward motion of the planets relative to the stars.



Figure 2.9: A representation of a Geocentric model based on that of Claudius Ptolemy. This particular model was included in Peter Apians Cosmographia (Antwerp, 1539). (Image is in the public domain.) Epicycle: An additional orbital path of planets in geocentric models used to explain retrograde motion. planets was due primarily to the rotation of a sphere (called the deferent) as in a simple Geocentric model,but embedded in this sphere was another smaller sphere, called an epicycle (see Figure 2.10). The planet itself was xed to the epicycle, and when both the deferent and the epicycle rotate it will appear to an Earth bound observer that the planet travels backward for a space of time. Additionally, the deferent needed to rotate around a point somewhat distant from the center of the Earth to better account for planetary motion. For help in visualizing this process, refer to the animation found at As astronomical measurements improved, it was discovered that one epicycle for each planet was not su cient to fully describe the motion of celestial bodies. Further renements were made as epicycles were built on top of epicycles. The overall eect was to clutter the model. Each deferent and epicycle had to be described by a distance (radius) and a rotational speed. As more and more epicycles were introduced, more and more parameters were included in the model. Figure 2.11, which represents a model for the motion of the planet Mercury, gives a avor for just how complex things became. With the introduction of the telescope by Galileo, further observations were made that could not be explained by the Geocentric model. In particular, Galileo was able to observe the phases of Venus. You are probably familiar with phases in terms of the phases of the Moon. The appearance of the Moon changes from day to day with respect to how much of its surface we can see with the unaided eye. The reason for the dierent phases is associated with the relative positions of the Moon and the Sun. The Moon does not emit light of its own. The light we see from the Moon is in fact sunlight reecting from its surface. Similarly, the planet Venus does not emit light. The light we see from Venus is reected sunlight, and therefore Venus should exhibit phases as well. In the context of a Geocentric model, Venus should only exhibit a partial set of phases ranging from a half-Venus where we see half of the planets surface,

Phases: Refers to the amount of a celestial bodys surface illuminated by the Sun and visible to an Earth-based observer. Phases of the Moon Phases of Venus



Figure 2.10: Epicycles were introduced as a means of rening the Geocentric model to account for retrograde motion. The motion of the planet was governed by two spheres. The outer sphere (deferent) maintained a constant rotation about a central point located next to the Earth (the ), and the smaller sphere (epicycle), to which the planet was xed, rotated about the deferent. (Image is in the public domain.)

Figure 2.11: A model for the appearances of Mercury, attributed to Ibn alShatir (14th century), which demonstrates the complexity of multiple epicycles. (Image is in the public domain.)



to a new Venus where we see none of the surface at all. To see how this works in the the geocentric model, you may wish to visit the animation found at Now, lets make the actual observation.

Observation 2: The Phases of Venus

Start the Stellarium program, and set your location to wherever you wish. Turn o the atmosphere, fog, and ground by pressing the A, F, and G keys. Press F3 to search for the planet Venus. The eld of view should center on the planet. You may also want to speed up time by pressing the L key. Prior to the invention of the telescope, this is how Venus appeared to astronomers. Can you say anything conclusive about its phases? The Stellarium program has the ability to zoom in and out. This is accomplished by pressing the Page Up and Page Down keys. This ability to zoom in on a particular place in the sky is akin to improving your telescope. Zoom in on the planet Venus until you are able to observe its phases, then answer the questions below: 1. Does your observation of the phases of Venus agree with the predictions of the geocentric model? Explain. 2. If the observations agree with the geocentric model, make a suggestion as to how we could further test the model. If the observations do not agree with the model, can you think of a minor renement to the model that would explain the new observations?

Renement: The Heliocentric Model

Heliocentric model: A cosmological model where the Sun is at the center of the Universe. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) suggested that it was not the Earth that occupied the space at the center of the universe, but the Sun. All other celestial bodies maintained circular orbits around the Sun. This idea, referred to as a Heliocentric model was not exactly met with open arms. For one thing, the Geocentric model was very much aligned with the popular theology of the day. The Heliocentric model, represented in Figure 2.12 was able to account for the retrograde motion of the planets without introducing additional parameters, as needed to be done in the Geocentric model. As long as the orbital period of the planets dier, each planet will periodically appear to move backward relative to the background of distant stars. To help visualize this process, see the animation found at In this sense, the Heliocentric model was an improvement - it could explain all of the old observations and the new measurements, including the phases of Venus. To see how this model explains the phases of Venus, see the animation found at Several centuries have passed since the acceptance of the Heliocentric model, and the technology we can use to view the cosmos has grown leaps and bounds. Are the additional observations we have made consistent with such a model?



Figure 2.12: A depiction of the Heliocentric model, from Nicolaus Copernicus. (Image is in the public domain.)

Observation 3: Beyond our Solar System

It is now time for you to make a few more virtual observations, using the Stellarium software, and answer this question for yourself. Start the Stellarium program, and set your location to wherever you wish. Turn o the atmosphere, fog, and ground by pressing the A, F, and G keys. Recall that you can look in dierent directions by using the arrow keys. Notice the positions of the stars. Are there some places in the sky where you see more stars than others? Press F3 and search for the object M31. Your eld of view will center on what seems to be an empty piece of sky. Now start zooming in. You might also search for the objects M10, M22, and M110. Based on your observations, answer the following questions before coming to class: 3. Based on your observations in Stellarium, would you say that the stars are uniformly distributed throughout the sky? 4. What conclusions can you draw based on these observations? Do you need to rene the Heliocentric model? If so, how? 5. What do the objects M31, M10, M22, and M110 appear to be? 6. Are these objects consistent with the Heliocentric model? If not, how could you rene the model?



1. What observations served as the basis for early cosmological models? 2. Why did early observers end up with a wrong model? Was it a case of basing a conclusions on wrong assumptions? A case of insu cient data? 3. How is retrograde motion accounted for in the Geocentric and Heliocentric models? (Note: it is not su cient to just know the terminology. Could you explain this to, say, a child in the fourth grade?) 4. What observation or observations led science to reject the Geocentric and Heliocentric models of the universe? 5. In what ways does the development of cosmological models provide an example of the scientic process? 6. People clung tenaciously to the Geocentric model because it was aligned with the popular theology of the day. Do we see similar things happening today? If and when they do happen, what is the appropriate course of action?




The Big Bang Model: Part I


Summary: Improved technology, coupled with an improved understanding of physics on the atomic and subatomic scales, has led to signicant changes in our cosmological models. All the relevant science has culminated in the so-called big bang model of the universe. Learning Outcomes: Identify the lines of evidence used as a basis for the theory of an expanding universe. Identify other observations that can be explained by the big bang model, but could not be explained (or were in conict with) previous models. Discern between observations and interpretations in the context of the big bang model. Vocabulary: Quantum mechanics Special relativity General relativity Doppler shift Emission spectrum Redshift Big bang theory Cosmic ground microwave back-

Big bang nucleosynthesis Galactic evolution

In this section we will present the scientic model that represents our current evidence-based understanding of our universe. As you read through this material, think about other ways that the observations could be interpreted. Ask yourself how a person might empirically distinguish between these other hypotheses and the big bang theory.

A New Theoretical Framework for Gravitation

The early 20th century saw two major innovations in our understanding of the physical world. First, there was the discovery that things we rst thought of as particles, or tiny indivisible objects, sometimes behaved like waves, and that things we originally thought of as waves (like light) would sometimes behave as though they were particles. These observations led to the development of quantum mechanics , which describes all atomic and subatomic entities as though they were some sort of localized wave. Experiments to date support this description, including all of its strange implications (which we will not go into - although one should remember that the reason quantum mechanics seems strange to most people is because of a lack of intuition, which in turn is driven by a lack of experience at the subatomic scale). This improvement in our understanding made possible many new technologies which you may take for granted. These include uorescent lighting, light sensors, and silicon-based microchips among others. The second revolution in our understanding came with Albert Einsteins theory of special relativity. Prior to Einstein, our understanding of motion, forces, and gravity was based on laws formalized by Isaac Newton. In this reading we want to specically focus on Newtons universal law of gravitation,

Quantum mechanics: A theory which describes subatomic particles as localized waves.



which up until the 20th century described all of the gravitational interactions ever observed. Newtons universal law of gravitation states that the attractive gravitational force between any two objects is directly proportional to the mass of each object and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Mathematically, this is written as F =G m1 m2 r2

Special relativity: A theory based on two premises: that the laws of physics are the same for all observers, and that light traveling through vacuum has the same measured speed for all observers - regardless of their motion relative to the source. General relativity: An extension of special relativity that includes gravitational interactions.

where m1 and m2 are the masses of the two objects and r is the distance between them. The proportionality constant G has a value of 6.67 10 11 Nm2 /kg2 . (Note: the equation is given here for reference only - you will not be expected to use it in this course.) This law was able to explain why an apple will fall toward the Earth, why the Moon orbits the Earth, and why each of the planets maintains a stable elliptical orbit around the Sun. In 1905 Albert Einstein published his theory of special relativity , which consists of two axioms. First, the laws of physics are the same for all observers (the relativity principle). Second, light traveling through vacuum has the same measured speed for all observers, regardless of their motion relative to the source (constancy of the speed of light). This theory (which, incidentally, has withstood a century of rigorous experimental tests) describes how space and time change when objects travel at speeds approaching the speed of light. After publishing this theory, Einstein recognized that the theory could be generalized to describe a wider range of phenomenon. This expansion of the theory, called general relativity , described gravitational interactions in terms of the curvature of space-time. Like quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity makes some predictions that, to us, seem somewhat counter intuitive. Yet experiment after experiment indicates that relativity is a valid description of the way nature works. Furthermore, we have made observations that are easily explained in the context of general relativity that simply cannot be explained using Newtonian gravitation!

The Observable Universe is Red

Doppler shift: The shifting of frequencies of sound when the source of the sound is moving relative to an observer. Quantum mechanics and relativity, in conjunction with each other, have led us to some fascinating interpretations of our modern observations about the universe. First of all, there is the phenomenon known as redshift. At some point in your life you have observed the Doppler shift. When a train blares its whistle while passing by, you hear a distinct change in the tone of the whistle. It is higher pitched as the engine approaches you, and lower pitched when it has passed. The reason for this apparent shift in frequency is that the sound waves emitted by the whistle get bunched up in front of the train and stretched out behind. The distance between the waves, called the wavelength, is what determines the frequency of the sound. A similar thing happens with light, and it is described by the theory of special relativity. When something is moving toward you, the light waves it emits in the forward direction get bunched up, and accordingly the frequency of that light increases. Higher frequency visible light is blue, and thus we say that the light in front of the object is blue shifted. Correspondingly, the light waves emitted in the backward direction get somewhat spread apart. The frequency is lowered, so that the light is more red than it would be were the source object stationary. In our everyday experience we do not easily observe these shifts in color. The reason for this is that the eects of special relativity only become apparent at speeds close to the speed of light - 300,000,000 meters every second. The speeds of objects in our everyday world do not even come remotely close to the speed of light, and hence the color shifts are so small as to be practically unobservable! However, the eect has been veried in carefully controlled experiments.

Doppler eect for light: objects moving toward you are blue-shifted, objects moving away from you are redshifted.



Figure 2.13: Doppler shifting of light. When an object is moving toward you, the light that it emits is more blue than it would be if the object were stationary. If the object is moving away from you, the light is more red. The eect is greatly exaggerated in this image. (Image courtesy of Ales Tosovsky, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.) One of the reasons this eect is so di cult to observe is that light is emitted from or reected o of most objects in many dierent colors. For example, consider the reection of white light. All of the colors are present in white light, so if the light were to be shifted just a little to the blue, we would still see practically all of the same colors, and would be unable to distinguish any sort of shift. But what if the light emitted by the object were just a single color? It turns out that there is a convenient way this can happen. If you take a rareed (meaning not very dense) gas of a single element and get it really hot, it will emit only a few specic wavelengths of light. This set of wavelengths, called the emission spectrum of the gas, is like a ngerprint for the gas each type of gas has a dierent spectrum. It is for this reason that we can observe the light from the Sun and deduce what the Sun is made of. When you have light of a single frequency, it is not very di cult to measure its wavelength. A simple prism or diraction grating, which spreads white light out into its constituent colors, is su cient. The moral of this story is that if a hot, rareed gas is moving towards us or away from us, even if its speed is somewhat slow relative to that of light, we can observe the shift in the wavelength of the light it emits and therefore deduce whether it is moving towards us (in which case the light will shift to the small wavelength or blue end of the spectrum) or away from us (the light shifts to the long wavelength or red end of the spectrum), and how fast it is going. Galaxies are made primarily of hot rareed gases, which are found in stars. Because most stars are made primarily of hydrogen (and even if they are made of other things, there is always hot hydrogen on the outside), we can look for the hydrogen spectrum lines in distant galaxies, observe the shift, and determine their speed and direction of motion relative to us. The curious thing is that when we make these observations, only a few of the closest galaxies (those in our own local cluster) show a shift to the blue. The vast majority of the galaxies we observe have a spectrum that is shifted to the red (for example, see gure 2.14). Furthermore, the more distant the galaxy is, the more redshifted its spectrum. This fact was discovered in 1929 by Edwin Hubble, for whom the Hubble telescope is named. The distance to galaxies can be inferred from the relative brightness of Type I supernovae, which because they always happen the same way always have the same luminosity. The speed of the galaxies can be reconstructed from the measured redshift of the galaxy. In comparing this type of data for a large number of galaxies, Hubble found that they were related linearly. In particular, v = Hd

Emission spectrum: The unique set of specic wavelengths emitted by a hot rareed gas.

Redshift and blueshift can be used to measure motion and speed

Distance, speed, and redshift of galaxies are all related



Figure 2.14: Redshift in the spectrum from a supercluster of distant galaxies (BAS11). For reference, the solar spectrum is provided on the left. The same series of absorption lines are present in both spectra, as would be expected since starts have similar compositions. The spectrum from the galaxy cluster is very clearly shifted to the red, indicating that the cluster is moving away from us. (Image courtesy of Georg Wiora, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) where v represents the speed of the galaxy relative to Earth (in km/sec), d is the distance between the galaxy and the Earth (in megaparsec, where one megaparsec is 1.91735281 1019 miles), and H is a constant known as the Hubble constant, which has a value somewhere between 45-90 km/s/Mpc. This relationship is known as Hubbles law. So, the moral of the story is that, within the context of relativity (which we have very good reason to believe is correct), every galaxy outside of our local cluster is moving away from us, and the further away a galaxy is, the faster it is moving. How are we to interpret this data? The current theory that explains these observations is the big bang theory, which suggests that some 13.7 billion years ago the universe was very small, hot, and energetic, and that it has been expanding and cooling ever since then. While redshift is an important piece of evidence supporting this idea, the big bang theory can also account for several other observations that either conicted with or were beyond the scope of previous cosmological models. Some of these other observations are listed below.

Big bang theory: A theory which says that the universe started very small and very dense, and has been expanding for the last several billion years.

Cosmic Microwave Background

In 1963 Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were working on a microwave communications system when they noticed a persistent background signal, no matter how their receiver was oriented. Background signals are not uncommon in science. But since we want to get the best possible data, we try diligently to reduce the background. Penzias and Wilson did the same (there are even stories about them scrubbing bird droppings o the antenna), but no matter what they tried, they could not get rid of that persistent fuzzy signal. Eventually, it was determined that the signal was real, and the microwaves they were observing came from space. This microwave signal is what we call the cosmic microwave background, or CMB (see gure 2.15). The CMB is surprisingly uniform, with a wavelength that corresponds to a temperature of 2.7250 K. The deviations from this wavelength are no larger than about 0.0005 K, or one part in 5000. What is the source of this mysterious cosmic signal? Well, in the context of the big bang model, we would expect to see a signal from the early days when the universe was very hot. As the space between the Earth and that hot dense past has expanded, the radiation has

Cosmic microwave background: A persistent signal of microwaves coming at us from all directions in space.

2.4. THE BIG BANG MODEL: PART I also been stretched, eectively reducing its frequency.


Figure 2.15: The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) image of the cosmic microwave background. The dierent colors represent small variations (anisotropies) in the microwave signal. (Image is in the public domain.)

The Composition of the Universe

As explained earlier, based on the spectrum of light emitted from stars and distant galaxies we can deduce their composition. Our measurements indicate that the visible universe is roughly 74.5% hydrogen and 24% helium. All other elements account for only about 1.5% of the matter visible to us. Hydrogen is, of course, the lightest element. Helium is the second lightest. Is there some reason why the universe is composed almost exclusively of these light elements? Is there any type of signicance to the ratio of helium to hydrogen? In the context of the big bang theory, the answer is yes. Very early in its history, the universe was so hot that matter could simply not stay together. We are talking about conditions far more extreme than those required to break the bonds between atoms, or even to strip electrons o of atoms. The universe was so hot that the nuclei of atoms could not form! The matter history of the universe, again in the context of the big bang theory, is as follows. In the rst few moments of the big bang, matter was only found in the form of quarks and leptons. These are all fundamental subatomic particles. As the universe cooled, eventually the quarks were able to coalesce into heavier particles, including protons and neutrons (the other socalled baryons are unstable, and would have rapidly decayed). As the universe cooled even further, some of the protons and neutrons were able to bind together as well. However, nuclear fusion (the binding together of neutrons, protons, and/or clumps of neutrons and protons) requires relatively high temperatures, and it did not take long before the universe cooled to where fusion could no longer happen. The majority of the protons remained unbound, and the clumps that did form were fairly small (such as two protons with one or two neutrons). Finally, as the temperature dropped even further the protons and other atomic nuclei (we call the clumps of protons and neutrons nuclei) could begin to capture the stable leptons (which we know as electrons). Of necessity most of the details have been omitted in this discussion, but su ce it to say that the big bang theory predicts that the universe should be predominantly composed of the smallest atoms: about 75% being hydrogen and the majority of whats left helium.

Big bang nucleosynthesis



Galactic Evolution
Another interesting observation is that when we look at distant galaxies, which you will recall from our class discussion last week is equivalent to looking back in time, we note that they are not as well developed as our own Milky Way galaxy. The more distant the galaxy, the less developed. Taking into account the amount of time it would take the light from the distant galaxy to reach us, it appears that pretty much all galaxies were formed at the same time and are developing at the same rate. How can we explain this observation? Going back to the paradigm of the big bang, as the universe continued to cool it was left with a lot of hydrogen and helium gas. In accordance with gravitational theories, those gas atoms, even though they are very light, exerted gravitational forces on each other and began to coalesce. As the gasses fell inward, the temperatures increased - creating once again the necessary conditions for atomic nuclei to fuse. Thus, we have the formation of the rst stars. Stars in turn are massive objects and exert gravitational forces on each other. So, as the stars were forming, they in turn were pulled into large groups of stars, which we call galaxies. As the stars continued to rotate in these early galaxies, the galaxies themselves began to take on the characteristic shapes and order that we see in the Milky Way and its nearest neighbors.

Galactic evolution

Is the Big Bang the Final Word?

In short, probably not. The big bang theory is the best model that we have come up with to explain the empirical observations we have made with respect to the universe. It may be in the future that we make additional observations that conict with the big bang theory. When such observations are made (remember, in order to count in the realm of science these must be empirical observations) and veried then the model will be revised.

1. Explain what redshift is. 2. What evidences suggest to us that the universe is expanding? 3. What other possible explanations are there for the observations listed in this section? 4. Do these other explanations fall within the scope of scientic inquiry? If so, how could you distinguish between these other ideas and the big bang theory? If not, explain why. 5. Does the big bang theory prove, as some have suggested, that God does not exist and that life has no purpose? On the other hand, does the revealed word of God exclude the big bang theory as a process whereby the universe may have come into existence?




The Big Bang Model: Part II


Summary: Recent research involving the connections between particle physics and cosmology have given us new insights into the nature of our universe. Learning Outcomes: Identify the limitations of the Big Bang model. Identify how much of our universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy. Identify several questions that remain unanswered in the context of the big bang model. Vocabulary: Quark soup Ination Antimatter Multiverse

For todays reading, we would like to direct your attention to an article entitled The Origin of the Universe, published in the journal Scientic American in 2009. BYU-Idaho has an online subscription for this journal, and if you are on the campus network you should be able to access the article at v301/n3/full/scienticamerican0909-36.html or, if you are using the electronic version of this text, you can access it by clicking here. On the right side of the screen, you should see a link to a PDF copy of the article, which may be easier to read. If you encounter any di culties accessing this article, please notify your instructor.

1. (From last class periods discussion) What are the evidences that led cosmologists to propose the existance of dark matter and dark energy? 2. Who is the author of this article? Is he a credible source of information? 3. Explain the signicance and connection between Hubbles law and the big bang theory. In your explanation, address the signicance of the italicized words. 4. Identify the questions cosmologists are trying to answer today. 5. How complete is our understanding of the universe?



Chapter 3


Figure 3.1: High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) image of a gallium arsenide crystal lattice. The distance between each white dot is the inter-atomic distance. The blur on the left is amorphous GaAs, and the region on the right was recrystallized by in-situ annealing. This image essentially provides us a picture of the atoms in the crystal lattice. Amazingly enough, scientists knew quite a bit about atoms long before such images were possible. (Image courtesy of Steve Jurvetson, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license) Atoms, as most people are aware, are the building blocks of all matter. But atoms are so incredibly tiny, that they are undetectable by the best optical microscopes in the world, let alone the unaided human eye. Nevertheless, we were aware of the existence of atoms before electron microscopes (which can discern individual atoms) were developed. In this chapter, we will address the question How do we know there are atoms? We will chart the history of observations and ideas that has led us to our current understanding of what atoms are and how they work. This discussion will include the topics of radioactivity, the periodic table, and bonding.





Where Do Atoms Come From?


Summary: All of the matter you see around you is made of atoms. These atoms were synthesized during the big bang and in stars. Learning Outcomes: Identify which particles are present in atoms, and where they are located. Explain what isotopes are. Recognize and use the correct notation for describing the composition of atoms. Identify the missing component of an incomplete equation for a nuclear reaction. Identify where, how, and when the various elements were formed. Distinguish between s-process and r-process nuclear reactions. Vocabulary: Elements Nucleus Electron Proton Neutron Atomic number Mass number Isotopes Nuclear reactions Transmutation Big bang nucleosynthesis Stellar nucleosynthesis

Atoms, Element, Isotopes

In this reading you will learn the basics of atomic structure and then about where atoms come from. All matter is made of atoms, which are the smallest pieces of a particular element, that have all of the characteristics of that particular element. There are two major parts of an atom: the nucleus and the electrons (Figure 3.2). The nucleus, is a small region that resides at the center of the atom and contains the vast majority of the atoms mass. The electrons are found in a region called the electron cloud that surrounds the nucleus. The size of the electron cloud denes the size of an atom. The diameter of the electron cloud is about 100,000 times bigger than the diameter of the atoms nucleus. The nucleus of an atom is made of subatomic particles called nucleons. There are two kinds of nucleons: protons and neutrons. Protons and neutrons have equal masses, but a proton carries a positive charge while a neutron does not have an electric charge. For most atoms the number of electrons is the same as the number of protons. Since electrons and protons have equal but opposite electric charges, this means that most atoms have a net electric charge of zero. Atoms that are not electrically neutral, i.e., they have a net positive or negative charge, are called ions. Atoms are characterized by the number of protons and neutrons found in their nuclei. The number of protons in the nucleus is referred to as the atomic

Element: A fundamental type of matter. Nucleus: The small region at the center of an atom which contains most of the atoms mass. Electron: A fundamental subatomic particle with negative charge and very little mass. Proton: A positively charged subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom. Neutron: An electrically neutral subatomic particle found in the nucleus of atoms.



Figure 3.2: A depiction of an atom. The protons and neutrons (red and gray) are bound together in the nucleus at the center, and the electrons (blue) are found in a region called the electron cloud. Image is not drawn to scale. (Image courtesy of Brigham Young University - Idaho) number. Since most atoms are electrically neutral, the atomic number also tells you how many electrons the atom will have, and thus determines the chemical properties of the atom. All of the atoms of a particular element have the same chemical behavior, and thus all have the same atomic number: all atoms with an atomic number of one are hydrogen, all atoms with an atomic number of two are helium, and so on. All of the known elements and their atomic numbers are shown in Table 3.1 (the atomic numbers of the elements in this table are indicated by the letter Z). The number of neutrons in the nucleus determines whether or not the nucleus is stable. The total number of protons and neutrons (nucleons) in an atom is the mass number of that atom. Atoms with the same number of protons (atomic number), but diering numbers of neutrons (mass number) are called isotopes. We specify a particular isotope by referring to the atomic number (or element) and mass number. For example, isotopes of the element carbon include carbon-12 that has six protons and six neutrons, carbon-13 that has six protons and seven neutrons, and carbon-14 that has six protons and eight neutrons. A useful notation for an isotope consists of the chemical symbol for the particular element, preceded by a superscripted number indicating the mass number. For example, the isotope 14 C refers to an atom of carbon 6 that has six protons (like all carbon atoms) and eight neutrons, making its mass number 14. Specifying the element name automatically tells how many protons an atom has, so including the atomic number is somewhat redundant. For this reason isotopes are often written with only the mass number, such as 14 C. To get an idea of how many isotopes have been discovered or produced in a laboratory, see Atomic number: The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom.

Mass number: The total number of nucleons in the nucleus of an atom. Isotopes: Atoms with the same number of protons but dierent numbers of neutrons.

Nuclear Reactions and Conservation Laws

When the nucleus collides with some other projectile, e.g., a neutron, proton, another nucleus, etc., many things can happen. The projectile can be simply absorbed by the nucleus, or perhaps it will knock out additional nucleons. The probability of each result occurring can be determined through quantum

Z 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 Element Hydrogen Helium Lithium Beryllium Boron Carbon Nitrogen Oxygen Fluorine Neon Sodium Magnesium Aluminum Silicon Phosphorus Sulfur Chlorine Argon Potassium Calcium Scandium Titanium Vanadium Chromium Manganese Iron Cobalt Nickel Copper Zinc Gallium Germanium Arsenic Selenium Bromine Krypton Rubidium Strontium Yttrium Zirconium Niobium Molybdenum Technetium Ruthenium Rhodium Palladium Silver Cadmium Indium Tin Antimony Tellurium Iodine Xenon Caesium Barium Lanthanum Cerium Praseodymium Neodymium Symbol H He Li Be B C N O F Ne Na Mg Al Si P S Cl Ar K Ca Sc Ti V Cr Mn Fe Co Ni Cu Zn Ga Ge As Se Br Kr Rb Sr Y Zr Nb Mo Tc Ru Rh Pd Ag Cd In Sn Sb Te I Xe Cs Ba La Ce Pr Nd Z 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118

Element Promethium Samarium Europium Gadolinium Terbium Dysprosium Holmium Erbium Thulium Ytterbium Lutetium Hafnium Tantalum Tungsten Rhenium Osmium Iridium Platinum Gold Mercury Thallium Lead Bismuth Polonium Astatine Radon Francium Radium Actinium Thorium Protactinium Uranium Neptunium Plutonium Americium Curium Berkelium Californium Einsteinium Fermium Mendelevium Nobelium Lawrencium Rutherfordium Dubnium Seaborgium Bohrium Hassium Meitnerium Darmstadtium Roentgenium Ununbium Ununtrium Ununquadium Ununpentium Ununhexium Ununseptium Ununoctium Symbol Pm Sm Eu Gd Tb Dy Ho Er Tm Yb Lu Hf Ta W Re Os Ir Pt Au Hg Tl Pb Bi Po At Rn Fr Ra Ac Th Pa U Np Pu Am Cm Bk Cf Es Fm Md No Lr Rf Db Sg Bh Hs Mt Ds Rg Uub Uut Uuq Uup Uuh Uus Uuo

Table 3.1: Elements and their corresponding atomic numbers.


63 Nuclear reaction: Any type of interaction involving the nucleus of an atom.

mechanics, though the details are beyond the scope of this class. In any of these events, which we refer to as nuclear reactions, there are several quantities that remain constant, i.e., quantities which are conserved. In particular, the total atomic number (or equivalently the total electric charge) of the reactants will always equal the total atomic number (charge) of the products. Second, the total mass number of the reactants will always equal the total mass number of the products. For an example of how these conservation laws apply to a nuclear reaction, consider what happens when a neutron (1 n) 0 collides with an iron nucleus (56 Fe) and gets absorbed, but in the process knocks 26 out a proton. You can represent this reaction as follows:
56 26 Fe

What should replace the question mark in the equation? Remember that the sum of the mass numbers and the sum of the atomic numbers on the left side of the arrow must always equal the sum of the mass numbers and the sum of atomic numbers on the right side of the arrow, because they are both conserved. Since this is the case, the nucleus that belongs where the question mark is must have 56 for its mass number and 25 for its atomic number. If you look at Table 3.1 for the element that has an atomic number of 25 you will nd that element 25 is manganese, so the complete equation is:
56 26 Fe

+ 1n ! 1p + ? 0 1

Another example could involve an atom of carbon (12 C) colliding with an alpha 6 particle (4 , or simply ), which, by the way, is the same as the nucleus of a 2 helium atom). This reaction would proceed as:
12 6 C

+ 1n ! 1p + 0 1

56 25 Mn

Did you notice what happened in both of these examples? You started with the nucleus from one kind of element as a reactant and ended up with the nucleus of a dierent kind of element as the product! This changing of the nucleus of one kind of element into the nucleus of another kind of element through nuclear reactions is called transmutation. We will now consider how transmutation happened on a large scale among the atoms of stars, galaxies, and the universe to produce nuclei of all of the elements. As nuclear reactions take place, the makeup of nuclei that are involved change. We refer to this type of large-scale transmutation as chemical evolution. . Chemical evolution took place during the earliest stages of the formation of the universe and continues today in the cores of stars.

+ 4 ! 2

16 8 O

Transmutation: Changing one type of element into another through nuclear reactions. Chemical evolution: Transmutation on a large scale over a long period of time. Nucleosynthesis: The synthesis of atoms (i.e. nuclei) through nuclear reactions.

Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

The term nucleosynthesis refers to the synthesis of atomic nuclei. Once nuclei are formed they can become complete atoms with a nucleus and an electron cloud. Every atom in every bit of matter in the universe had to be synthesized (made or assembled) at some point, and it all started during early stages of the big bang. In the rst 10 12 seconds after the beginning of the big bang the universe was extremely hot (more than 1015 degrees). Under these conditions any particles in existence could not stay bound together. By 10 7 seconds into the life of the universe the temperature cooled to about 1014 degrees, and the synthesis of protons and neutrons from quarks that were already in existence was in full swing, but it was still too hot for protons and neutrons to coalesce to form deuterium nuclei (one proton and one neutron stuck together), or any other nucleus made up of more than one nucleon. In order for protons and neutrons to fuse into nuclei, they have to be moving quickly when they collide with each other; otherwise the repulsive electrostatic forces between positively charged protons keep them from getting close enough



to bond. In practical terms, this means that the temperature needs to be high enough to cause the very rapid movement of protons and neutrons, yet cool enough to allow any nuclei that form to remain bound. Larger nuclei typically require higher temperatures to form. After about 100 seconds after the birth of the universe the temperature cooled to between 109 and 107 degrees - cool enough for protons and neutrons to form deuterium nuclei (one proton and one neutron) and helium nuclei (two protons and two neutrons), as well as trace amounts of nuclei of other light elements like lithium. Once the temperature cooled to around 107 degrees, the universe was too cold for nucleons and nuclei to fuse together. Even so, it took about another 300,000 years for the universe to cool su ciently to allow the nuclei formed during big bang nucleosynthesis to capture and retain electrons and thus become complete atoms. By the way, electrons were readily available since they were formed within the rst 0.0001 seconds of the big bang. Atoms then began to clump together under the inuence of gravity. As clouds of mainly hydrogen and helium atoms collapsed in on each other, the temperature within these gas clouds increased. Eventually the core of these gas clouds became places where it was dense and hot enough for nucleosynthesis to begin again, and the now dense and spherical clouds of hydrogen and helium began to shine as stars.

Stellar Nucleosynthesis
Nuclear fusion that takes place in the core of stars is called stellar nucleosynthesis. Practically all of the atoms of hydrogen in the universe today were formed during big bang nucleosynthesis. The vast majority of heavier atoms, however, were made in the cores of stars. These heavier atoms include the carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, and other atoms that make up your body. Stars synthesize heavier elements out of hydrogen and helium. There are two ways in which this happens: the stellar fuel cycle, and neutron capture processes. Stellar Fuel Cycles The PP-I cycle The rst stage of the stellar fuel cycle involves the fusion of hydrogen nuclei to form helium nuclei. Conditions in the core of stars are such that nuclei cannot retain their electrons; all stellar nuclear reactions therefore involve only nuclei and not electrons. Although most of a stars volume consists of hydrogen, stellar nucleosynthesis reactions occur only in the relatively small cores of stars where temperatures and pressures are high enough to drive those reactions. The synthesis of helium nuclei from hydrogen can occur in multiple ways, but the most common pattern, the PP-I cycle, is shown in Figure 3.3. During this process two hydrogen nuclei (i.e., two protons) fuse together, though in the process one of those protons becomes a neutron. This deuterium atom then fuses with another proton to form a 3 He nucleus. Two 3 He nuclei then fuse 2 2 together, resulting in two free protons and a complete 4 He (helium) nucleus. 2 During these reactions positrons (0 e, positively charged electrons), gamma rays 1 ( -rays, high energy light), and neutrinos (, extremely light neutral particles) are released. The nuclear reaction equations for these processes are as follows:
1 1 2 0 1 H +1 H !1 H +1 e + 2 1 3 1 H +1 H !2 He + 3 3 4 1 2 He +2 He !2 He + 21 H

Note that for each reaction, the total atomic number and total mass number are conserved.



Figure 3.3: The PP-I cycle, wherein four protons are fused together to form a helium-4 nucleus. (Image courtesy of Borb, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) There are two other stellar nucleosynthesis processes (PP-II and PP-III cycles) whereby protons can be synthesized into helium nuclei. While these reactions dier in some respects when compared to the PP-I cycle, they all start with protons and eventually produce helium nuclei. The PP-I cycle is by far the most dominant of the three processes, and so we will forgo any additional discussion of the other two. The Triple Alpha Reaction As the hydrogen fuel is used up, the star begins to collapse under the inuence of gravity. If the star is massive enough this collapse causes the temperature and pressure in the stars core to rise to the point where helium nuclei (also called alpha particles or particles) can fuse together. When two alpha particles fuse they make beryllium (8 Be), which is an unstable isotope that spontaneously decays back into two alpha particles in an extremely short amount of time. However, if there are enough alpha particles around it is possible for a third alpha particle to be absorbed by 8 Be before it can decay. When this happens the nucleus of a carbon atom (12 C) is synthesized. This stable isotope of carbon comprises the majority of carbon atoms found in your body. The stellar nucleosynthesis reaction that produces 12 C is shown in Figure 3.4. Note that gamma rays are emitted during this reaction. The CNO cycle When carbon is present in the core of a star, whether that carbon was made during helium fusion or more likely was simply there already when the star was formed (i.e., from an old star that has since passed away), and additional fuel



Figure 3.4: The triple alpha reaction. (Image courtesy of Borb, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License)

cycle called the CNO cycle (carbon-nitrogen-oxygen), will continually process hydrogen into helium nuclei using carbon as a catalyst. This series of reactions is illustrated in Figure 3.5. If you look carefully you should see that four protons are used during the reaction to produce one helium nucleus. Nuclear reactions cause two protons to be changed into neutrons during this process.

Figure 3.5: The CNO cycle, where a carbon nucleus is used as a catalyst to synthesize helium from hydrogen. (Image courtesy of Borb, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License)

As helium nuclei (alpha particles) are used up the stars core begins to collapse and heat up once again. Depending on how massive the star is, other stellar nucleosynthesis reactions take place as carbon nuclei capture alpha particles, as shown below:



12 4 6 C +2 He 16 4 8 O +2 He 20 4 10 Ne +2 He

!16 O + 8

!20 Ne + 10

!24 Mg + 12

Each successive alpha capture reaction requires higher and higher temperatures that can be achieved only in stars that are increasingly massive, and the mass of a star is determined by the amount of mass that was in them when they were formed. In smaller stars stellar nucleosynthesis may stop with the production of carbon. If, however, it is hot enough and the pressure in a stars core is great enough carbon nuclei can begin to fuse, and at even higher temperatures oxygen may fuse. In very large stars temperatures and pressures can be great enough to allow fusion reactions to continue and produce elements up to iron. For elements heavier than iron more energy is required to get the nuclei to fuse than is released by the reaction, which essentially marks the end of the life of the star. Capture Processes The cores of stars are loaded with extra neutrons and protons. It is possible for these neutrons and protons (as well as alpha particles) to be captured by other larger nuclei, which also causes transmutation. For our purposes we will focus on neutron capture processes. If the number of neutrons available is relatively small, a stable nucleus can capture a neutron (increasing its mass number by one) and then become an unstable isotope. That unstable nucleus decays by a process called beta emission, which we will cover in more detail in a later section. For now, you only need to know that this process converts one neutron into a proton, thus increasing the atomic number of the atom. This newly formed isotope can then capture another neutron, and so on. This slow neutron capture process, also known as the s-process, can go on for some time producing successively larger nuclei. For example, if you start with a nucleus of silver (109 Ag) you can synthesize isotopes of cadmium, indium, tin, and antimony, as shown in Figure 3.6. The s-process can produce nuclei up through lead (though it usually only gets up to about tin), but it cannot produce the largest naturally occurring nuclei, such as Uranium.

s-process: Nucleosynthesis due to the capture of neutrons (when there arent many neutrons around).

Figure 3.6: s-process nucleosynthesis, starting from silver and ending up at the element antimony. (Image courtesy of Rursus, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License)



When Stars Die

Eventually a star will use up all of its nuclear fuel and fusion reactions stop. When this happens the star dies. There are basically two things that can happen when stars die, and the fate of a star depends on its mass. For low mass stars like our sun, as the hydrogen fuel is used up the star will begin to collapse under the inuence of gravity. This causes the temperature of the core to increase. The outer layers of the star swell and cool during this process. Eventually helium fusion begins, and the star is called a red giant. Once the helium fuel is used up gravity increases the pressure further in the core, but the core conditions are not su ciently hot to initiate carbon fusion. At this point the outer gas layers of the star evaporate away, leaving a core of solid carbon about the same size as Earth. The core is still quite hot and glows with a white light. We call this leftover core a white dwarf. Over time the core cools, its luminosity decreases and it fades slowly from view. (This cool, dark chunk of carbon that is left over should not be confused with black holes!) Things are far more exciting in high mass stars. The processes of fusion reactions and alpha particle captures continue until iron (Fe) nuclei are synthesized, and an iron core is produced. As stated above, iron fusion no longer releases energy, so as the high mass star makes iron its nuclear fuel runs out for good. The iron core of the star then collapses from about the size of the Earth to about the size of a large city, all in just a fraction of a second. When this happens the weak force (a force we will not discuss in this class) starts turning all of the free protons in the iron core into neutrons. A ood of neutrinos is released, and the neutrons in the core then begin to snap into a crystalline structure. When this happens a massive shock wave is sent rippling through the rest of the star, blowing it apart in a massive explosion called a supernova, or more specically a type II supernova. Supernovae release an incredible amount of energy, and can often be as bright as an entire galaxy of stars! Interesting things happen in supernovae with respect to stellar nucleosynthesis. The outer layers of neutrons are carried through the outer layers of the star due to the shock wave, resulting in huge numbers of neutrons available to be captured by larger nuclei at a rapid rate. This rapid capture of neutrons is called the r-process. Because the rate of neutron capture is so rapid, the resulting unstable isotopes do not have time to decay before they capture more neutrons. As a result increasingly large nuclei are formed, and it is by this process that the largest nuclei (up to uranium the largest naturally occurring element) are synthesized. Once the outer gas layers of the former star have dispersed what is left behind is that core of crystallized neutrons, which we call a neutron star. Neutron stars are incredibly dense; a teaspoonful would weigh as much as the entire Earth, and would have extraordinarily large magnetic elds. Charged particles get caught in these magnetic elds and emit X-rays, which we can see using special telescopes. The more massive the parent star is, the more massive the neutron star it will produce. The larger the neutron star is, the greater the pull of gravity at its surface. If the pull of gravity is large enough not even light can escape, and we call this leftover product a black hole. In summary, practically all of the elements heavier than helium are synthesized in stars, whether during the regular fusion cycle, or by capture processes. This includes every atom of those heavier elements that you nd in the world around you - including the carbon and oxygen in your own body!

r-process: Nucleosynthesis involving the rapid capture of many neutrons.



1. What is meant by the terms element and isotope? 2. What do the mass number and atomic number of an atom tell you? 3. Which elements were synthesized during the big bang, and why did the process stop? 4. Which elements are synthesized in the fusion cycles of stars? 5. Which elements are synthesized during supernovae?




Atomic Models

Summary: The development of atomic models is an interesting case study in the process of science. The simple model that originated with the Greeks was revised as new data was obtained, ultimately leading to our present day quantum mechanical model. Learning Outcomes: Describe the experimental observations that gave information about the properties of the electron. Explain how the observations from Ernest Rutherfords gold foil experiment diered from what the atomic model at the time predicted, and how those observations could be explained. Describe the size of the nucleus relative to the size of the atom. Compare and contrast the features of the following atomic models: the hard sphere model, the plum pudding model, the planetary model, the Bohr model, and the quantum mechanical model. Identify the observations that led to the revision of each of these models. Vocabulary: Hard sphere model Planetary model Bohr model Quantum mechanical model

Plum pudding model

Our present understanding the atom - what all normal everyday matter is made of - is one of the greatest advances science has made over the last century. As we have learned more about what matter is made of, we have been able to harness that knowledge to improve the quality of human life. The story of how mankind has learned about matter provides a fascinating insight into how science works.

Earliest Models
Empedocles (c. 491-430 B.C.): Greek philosopher who proposed matter was made of four elements. Early man was able to distinguish between dierent types of materials. He recognized that stone was hard and good for making tools. He understood that wood was useful for various things, including fuel for re. He recognized that other materials were good for eating. But did early man ever stop to reect on what those things were really made of? The Greek Philosopher Empedocles (492-432 B.C.) suggested that all matter was ultimately composed of four things: air, earth, re, and water. The properties of specic objects depended on how much of these four elements were present in the object. For example, a material containing a large amount of water would be wet. A material that composed primarily of re and earth should be hard and dry. This model of matter is the rst that we have record of, and represents a huge leap in mankinds understanding of the world around him - the idea that all materials are made up a few simple constituent parts.



The Hard Sphere Model

There was a glaring problem with Empedocles model: it suggested that if you break something down far enough, you should eventually see pieces that resemble the four basic elements. There was not, however, any observation to support this expectation. Empedocles was not the only Greek philosopher to ponder the nature of matter. Democritus (460-370 B.C.) reasoned that if you take a piece of ordinary matter, say a stone, you can divide that stone over and over again, and each time you will end up with pieces that have the same properties as the original stone. If you continue to divide each piece, he reasoned, you will eventually end up with a piece of stone that can no longer be divided. Democritus called these fundamental pieces atomos, which in Greek means indivisible. This would mean that there were many more than four basic elements, for stone would eventually break down into indivisible pieces of stone, hair would break down into indivisible pieces of hair, and meat would break down into indivisible pieces of meat. This model is sometimes referred to as the hard sphere model, since the (assumed spherical) particles were indivisible. With our hindsight, we can see that Democritus model was closer to the truth than that of Empedocles. However, some of the more inuential Greek philosophers, namely Plato and Aristotle, accepted the ideas of Empedocles. Due to their great inuence, Democritus model was shelved for nearly 2,000 years. It was not until the 17th century, when Evangelista Torricelli (who, incidentally, was a student of Galileo) observed that air had weight, that the indivisible particle model was brought back into the scientic arena. Daniel Bernoulli was able to explain the weight of air by hypothesizing that air is composed of tiny hard spheres that are very loosely packed. These particles would have to be in constant motion - speeding around in all directions and bouncing o of hard surfaces and each other - in order to not settle to the ground like dust. Additional experiments showed that substances could combine together to form new substances with new properties, and that those combinations always occurred in denite proportions. These experiments suggested again that matter is ultimately made of small indivisible pieces - as Democritus model suggested. Further experiments allowed scientists to begin to measure the masses of various atoms relative to each other, and they were able to determine that hydrogen was the least massive of all the elements.

Democritus (c. 460-370 B.C.): Greek philosopher who proposed that matter was made of atoms (painting by Antoine Coypel). Hard sphere model: An early atomic model that suggested all matter was made of indivisible pieces called atomos.

Electrons and the Plum Pudding Model

A key idea of the hard sphere model was that the spheres, which we now begin referring to as atoms, were indivisible. They were not made of other things. They simply existed. In 1897, J.J. Thomson was conducting experiments with cathode rays. By this time, the laws which govern electric and magnetic phenomena were very well understood. One of the things scientists knew at this point in time was that it was possible to create an electrical discharge through a chamber containing small amounts of gas in what otherwise would be a vacuum. One simply had to put an electrode at either end of the chamber and apply a very large voltage. It was apparent from the discharge that something was traveling from the negatively charged electrode (the cathode) toward the positively charged electrode (the anode). These mysterious beams were called cathode rays (see Figure 3.7). Thomson subjected cathode rays to magnetic elds, and discovered that the magnetic elds would deect the cathode rays. This indicated that cathode rays must be electrically charged, and in particular must carry a negative charge. Thomson concluded that cathode rays really consist of negatively charged particles. By measuring the deection of the cathode rays, he was able to determine

J.J. Thomson 1940 ): Discoverer electron, for which awarded the Nobel physics in 1906.

(1856of the he was prize in



Figure 3.7: A cathode ray being deected by a magnetic eld. By measuring the radius of the circular path and knowing the speed of the particles in the cathode ray, one can determine the charge-to-mass ratio of the particles, which turn out to be electrons (Image courtesy of Marcin Bialek, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) the charge-to-mass ratio of these particles. He believed that these particles were not atoms, but rather parts of an atom. He called the particles electrons. Thomsons beliefs were quickly conrmed by additional experiments that indirectly measured the charge of electrons. Between knowing the charge and the charge-to-mass ratio, one can easily determine the mass of the electron. The startling result was that, indeed, the mass of the electron is about 2,000 times smaller than the mass of the lightest known atoms! From these experiments, Thomson and his contemporaries devised a new model for the atom. Knowing that atoms were electrically neutral, they proposed that the atom consisted of relatively soft positively charged mass throughout which the electrons were embedded. A representation of this model (Figure 3.8 would closely resemble a bowl of pudding with plums scattered throughout, and so became known as the plum pudding model.

Plum pudding model: An atomic model wherein the electrons are embedded in a soft positively charged mass, much like plums or raisins in a pudding.

Figure 3.8: The plum pudding model of the atom. (Image is in the public domain.)

The Rutherford Experiment and the Planetary Model

Consider, in the context of the plum pudding model, what would happen to a thin sheet of heavy atoms, such as gold, when such a beam of alpha particles collided with it (alpha particles are a type of radiation which are positively charged). Since the atoms are electrically neutral, they should exert no electrostatic force on the incoming alpha particles. Therefore, the alpha particles should easily rip right through the malleable positively charged substance within



the atom. In 1911 Ernest Rutherford performed an experiment where a beam of alpha particles was directed onto a gold foil. The results of the experiment conicted with the plum pudding model: while many of the alpha particles zipped through his gold foil with little or no deection, every so often an alpha particle would bounce back from the gold foil. Rutherford remarked that it was [as] if you red a 15-inch [artillery] shell at a piece of tissue paper and it came back and hit you. This stark conict between what was predicted by the plum pudding model and what was actually observed caused a crisis in our understanding of atoms - a clear indication that the atomic model needed to be revised!

Rutherford gold foil experiment

Figure 3.9: The Rutherford gold foil experiment. The image to the left shows the general layout of the experiment, where a radioactive source emitting alpha particles is placed in a container. The alpha particles stream out of the opening, creating a beam of alpha particles. The gold foil in turn is surrounded by a phosphorescent screen or photographic plates. The alpha particles, represented by the red beam, sometimes backscatter from the gold foil. The gure to the right shows how alpha particles would be expected to interact in the plum pudding model (top) and the planetary model (bottom). (Image is in the public domain.) Rutherford hypothesized that a massive positive charge must exist within each atom (see Figure 3.9). By analyzing the scattering pattern of the alpha particles, Rutherford was able to determine that these positive charges must contain 99.9% of the mass of the atom, and be about 100,000 times smaller than the atom itself! Certainly, this observation conicted with the plum pudding model, which suggested the positively charged substance should be uniformly distributed throughout the atom. To revise the model, Rutherford hypothesized that all of the positive charge is localized in a very tiny region at the center of the atom, which he called the nucleus, and that the electrons were orbiting around on the outside. Because of the similarities between this model and the solar system, it became known as the planetary model (Figure 3.10).

Emission Spectra and the Bohr Model

In the last chapter, we described the phenomena of discrete emission spectra: low density gasses can only emit or absorb light with certain particular wavelengths, and the set of wavelengths that a given element can emit constitutes an atomic ngerprint for that element. A great limitation of the planetary model was that, within the context of the model, an electron could orbit the nucleus with any arbitrary speed - it would just have to move closer to or further away from the nucleus. If this were indeed the case, an electron could absorb or emit any arbitrary amount of

Planetary model: An atomic model where the electrons orbit around a positively charged nucleus, much like planets orbiting a star.



Figure 3.10: The planetary model of the atom. (Image courtesy of Colin M.L. Burnett, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) Planetary model conicts with the observed emission spectra. energy, and therefore could emit light at any arbitrary frequency. This would predict that atoms emit the entire visible spectrum of light (all of the colors from red to blue), which is clearly not the case - indicating that we had once again arrived at a crisis in our understanding of atoms. Furthermore, it was well known that when charged particles accelerate (change speed or direction), they emit electromagnetic radiation and lose energy. An electron in a circular orbit would therefore continuously lose energy and quickly fall into the nucleus, destroying the atom! Only a short time after the development of the planetary model, Niels Bohr suggested that the electrons could only have certain particular energies, and therefore would only be able to absorb and emit certain wavelengths of light. He started with an ad hoc hypothesis that the angular momentum of a given electron (a quantity related to how fast the electron is orbiting and at what distance from the nucleus) must be some whole number multiple of a constant called (h-bar), a number which had been used to explain other quantum h mechanical phenomena which are beyond the scope of our present discussion. In other words, Bohr assumed that the angular momentum was quantized. From this model, which today we call the Bohr model, was able to calculate what the allowed electron energies would be for hydrogen. Knowing these energies, he was in turn able to calculate which wavelengths of light hydrogen should be able to emit. The startling result: Bohrs calculation agreed with the observed hydrogen emission spectrum!

Niels Bohr (1885-1962 ): Assumed that electrons could only occupy quantized angular momentum states, leading to the rst semi-quantum model of the atom. Bohr model: An atomic model where the electrons are only allowed to have discrete set amounts of angular momentum or energy.

Figure 3.11: The Bohr model of the atom. (Image courtesy of Brighterorange, licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License) Despite its success with the hydrogen atom, Bohrs model failed miserably in predicting the emission spectrum for heavier elements. Furthermore, it did not address the issue of the electron losing energy in a circular orbit.



The Quantum Mechanical Atom

During the 1920s the theory of quantum mechanics was formalized. In short, this theory described electrons not as small indivisible particles, but rather as localized waves. This description came about when several phenomena were observed that suggested electrons and other small particles have wave-like properties. To apply this theory of quantum mechanics to atoms, one no longer thinks of the electron as occupying a particular point in space at a given time, but instead envisions clouds of probability where the electron wavefunction has the largest amplitude and which tell you where you are most likely to nd the electron. In other words, it envisions a particular volume of space where the electron is most likely to be found (see Figure 3.12). The shape of this probability cloud depends on the so-called quantum state of the electron. A few probability clouds for hydrogen are shown in Figure 3.12.

Figure 3.12: Select electron probability clouds for various electrons. (Image is in the public domain.) This new quantum mechanical picture of the atom replicated the successes of the Bohr model (i.e. it explained the hydrogen emission spectrum). In addition, the emission spectra of the other elements could be predicted, and the wave-like nature of the electron eliminates the conundrum of the electron losing energy. This model can also explain why atoms bond together in the way that they do. The quantum mechanical model serves as the basis of our current understanding of atoms. A few minor revisions have been made (which are beyond the scope of our present discussion), and this model has been successful in explaining the atomic observations we have made to date.

1. What was the basic premise of the Greek hard sphere model? 2. What experiments demonstrated the existence of electrons and atomic nuclei? 3. Explain why the plum pudding model was inconsistent with the results of the Rutherford gold foil experiment. 4. What observations were inconsistent with the atomic model known as the planetary model? 5. How is the scientic process evident in the development of our current atomic model?




Bonding and the Periodic Table


Summary: Experimental evidence demonstrates that elements combine to form compounds in specic discrete ratios, and that in regular chemical reactions the total mass does not change. These observations can be explained by the existence of atoms. Once scientists began to isolate the dierent elements, they noticed similarities in the way some elements reacted. Several models were developed that attempted to organize and classify the elements. These models were upgraded and rened as additional discoveries were made, culminating in our modern periodic table. Learning Outcomes: Describe the observations from the experiments conducted by Priestly, Lavoisier, and Proust, and explain how those observations contributed to Daltons atomic theory. List the four parts of Daltons atomic theory. Identify the unique features of the periodic table formulated by Dmitri Mendeleyev compared to earlier attempts at organizing the elements. Explain the challenge that the discovery of the noble gasses presented to Mendeleyevs periodic table, and how those challenges were surmounted. Identify the dierence between an ionic, covalent, and hydrogen bond. Understand how bonding patterns can inuence the physical and chemical properties of a molecule. Vocabulary: Compound Law of denite proportions Periodic table Noble gasses

Formalization of the Atomic Theory

In previous readings we learned what atoms are and about the observations demonstrating their existence and properties. However, most of the substances we nd around us are not composed of just one kind of atom, as Democritus proposed. Rather, they are specic combinations of dierent types of atoms, and it is to this combining process that we now turn our attention. Starting in the late 18th century, experiments performed by Joseph Priestley, Antione Lavoisier, and Joseph Proust demonstrated that fundamental substances, what we would today call elements, always combine in certain dened small number ratios (such as one to two, or two to three) and that there is no change in total mass when they combine1 . In particular, they made the following discoveries: 1. Joseph Priestleys experiments involved the heating of a mineral known
you would like to see some of the details of their experiments, you might consider working through the tutorial found at playhouse/ad loader.html. Your instructor may use this tutorial as a homework assignment.
1 If

Foundational experiments in chemistry



as mercury calx. When heated, the calx would produce a gas which Priestley called dephlogisticated air - what we now call oxygen. The mass and volume of the gas produced was proportional to the amount of mercury calx that was heated. These experiments demonstrated that some substances, such as the calx, are actually combinations of other elements. 2. In Antoine Lavoisiers experiments, the a gas called phlogiston (hydrogen) was combined with oxygen via combustion. Lavoisier found that the phlogiston was consumed more quickly than the oxygen, at a two-to-one ratio. Also, the mass of the product of combustion (which turned out to be water) was the same as the amount of mass lost by the phlogiston and oxygen combined. In other words, mass is conserved in chemical reactions. 3. In further experiments, Lavoisier burned diamond and charcoal by means of a lens collecting sunlight. In these experiments, the amount of oxygen consumed was proportional to the amount of substance burned. The amount of gas formed in the burning process was the same for equal masses of diamond and charcoal. Last of all, once again the mass of the gas formed was equal to the mass of the reactants that were consumed. 4. Joseph Proust made a signicant contribution to the development of atomic theory with a series of experiments he conducted with the compound copper carbonate, CuCO3. In these experiments, he compared the composition of naturally occurring copper carbonate with a sample of synthetic copper carbonate he formulated in his laboratory. Proust was able to show that each compound had the same proportion of copper, carbon, and oxygen, regardless of how the compound was made. The principle was independently veried from analyses of dierent metal oxides and is now described as the Law of Denite Proportions, which states that a chemical compound always has the same proportion of elements by mass. 5. In a series of experiments closely related to those carried out by Proust, John Dalton experimented with the proportions in which gaseous elements like nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen react with each other or with other elements like carbon. He found that the elements combine in ways that can be described by small, whole number ratios. This principle was summarized in the Law of Multiple Proportions. In 1808 John Dalton formalized the results of all these experiments in his atomic theory, which consisted of four parts: 1. All matter is composed of indivisible particles called atoms. 2. All atoms of a given element are identical, and atoms of dierent elements have dierent properties. 3. Chemical reactions involve the combination of atoms. When one atom chemically combines with a dierent atom, they form a compound. 4. When elements react to form compounds, they react in dened whole number ratios. Despite its shortcomings (we know now that atoms are not indivisible, and that atoms of the same element may have a dierent number of neutrons), Daltons atomic theory formed the foundation for modern chemistry. Compound: A chemical combination of atoms of two or more elements.

Law of multiple proportions: When elements react to form compounds, they react in dened whole number ratios.



Organizing the Elements - The Periodic Table

Following the articulation of atomic theory by Dalton, there was a remarkable age of discovery where many of the elements of nature were isolated and characterized. (See Table 3.2, which organizes the elements chronologically according to their year of discovery.) With the discovery of these elements, some scientists began to recognize interesting patterns in the weights assigned dierent atoms. One pattern was described in 1829 by Johann Dobereiner, who saw that there were groups of three elements that behaved similarly under certain reaction conditions and shared a numerical relationship among their atomic weights. One group of elements that exhibits the pattern described by Dobereiner is calcium, strontium, and barium. In addition to having very similar properties, the atomic weight of strontium is halfway between the atomic weights of calcium and barium. Two other groups also follow the same pattern: chlorine, bromine, iodine, and sulfur, selenium, tellurium. While the pattern is interesting, it could not account for all fty-ve elements known to exist at the time. The next signicant advancement didnt come until 1864 when John Newlands recognized that when placed in order of increasing atomic weight, properties and patterns of chemical reactivity repeated among the elements. Newlands organized the elements into a table with eight columns and seven rows. It is signicant to note that the triads of elements rst recognized by Dobereiner could be found in the rows of Newlands table. While the rows and columns listed elements with similar properties, there were still additional mist elements that did not share similar properties with other elements in the rows and columns.

John Dalton (1766-1844 ): Formalized an atomic theory which explained how elements form compounds.

Figure 3.13: John Newlands octaves (Image is in the public domain.) In 1869 Dmitri Medeleyev published a new periodic table. Mendeleyev had been hard at work for many months on developing a table of elements to include in the publication of a two-volume textbook on chemistry he began writing in 1868. He was convinced (as were many other scientists) that there existed a systematic pattern for both the weight of the dierent elements and how they react with other elements. Mendeleyev stated the principle in these words: The elements, arranged according to the magnitudes of their atomic weights, exhibit a clear periodicity in their properties. Mendeleyev enjoyed playing the card game solitaire, in which cards are turned over in sets of three and organized according to suit (hearts, diamonds, clubs, spades) and rank (2, 3, 4, ..., J, Q, K, A). Mendeleyev had made his own special deck of cards with the symbol of each chemical element and a list of its fundamental properties analogous to the suit and rank of playing cards. He then set about playing his own game of chemical solitaire in which he made arrangements of the elements based upon their atomic weights and chemical properties. The extensive eort Mendeleyev put into the development of a systematic table of the elements is evident in the many drafts and notes he accumulated through this process. One early draft of his table of elements shows the elements organized into columns in order of decreasing atomic weight; in this table the element listed just below the element at the top of the column has a smaller atomic weight and the next element down the column has an atomic weight that



Element Z Year Ancient History Copper 29 9000BC Lead 82 7000BC Gold 79 6000BC Silver 47 5000BC Iron 26 5000BC Carbon 6 3750BC Tin 50 3500BC Sulfur 16 2000BC Mercury 80 2000BC Zinc 30 1000BC Medieval Age Arsenic 33 800 Antimony 51 800 Bismuth 83 800 Age of Englightenment Phosphorus 15 1669 Cobalt 27 1732 Platinum 78 1735 Nickel 28 1751 Magnesium 12 1755 Hydrogen 1 1766 Manganese 25 1770 Oxygen 8 1771 Nitrogen 7 1772 Barium 56 1772 Chlorine 17 1774 Molybdenum 42 1778 Tungsten 74 1781 Tellurium 52 1782 Strontium 38 1787 Zirconium 40 1789 Uranium 92 1789 Titanium 22 1791 Yttrium 39 1794 Chromium 24 1797 Beryllium 4 1798 1800s Vanadium 23 1801 Niobium 41 1801 Tantalum 73 1802

Element Palladium Cerium Osmium Iridium Rhodium Potassium Sodium Ruthenium Calcium Boron Iodine Lithium Cadmium Selenium Silicon Aluminium Bromine Thorium Lanthanum Erbium Terbium Caesium Rubidium Thallium Indium Helium Gallium Ytterbium Holmium Thulium Scandium Samarium Gadolinium Praseodymium Neodymium Dysprosium Germanium Fluorine Argon Europium Krypton

Z 46 58 76 77 45 19 11 44 20 5 53 3 48 34 14 13 35 90 57 68 65 55 37 81 49 2 31 70 67 69 21 62 64 59 60 66 32 9 18 63 36

Year 1803 1803 1803 1803 1804 1807 1807 1807 1808 1808 1811 1817 1817 1817 1824 1825 1825 1829 1838 1842 1842 1860 1861 1861 1863 1868 1875 1878 1878 1879 1879 1879 1880 1885 1885 1886 1886 1886 1894 1896 1898

Element Neon Xenon Polonium Radium Radon Actinium

Z 10 54 84 88 86 89

Year 1898 1898 1898 1898 1898 1899 1906 1908 1911 1913 1937 1939 1940 1940 1942 1944 1944 1949 1950 1952 1952 1955 1958 1961 1968 1970 1974 1981 1982 1984 1994 1994 1996 1999 2000 2002 2003 2003 2010

1900s Lutetium 71 Rhenium 75 Hafnium 72 Protactinium 91 Technetium 43 Francium 87 Astatine 85 Neptunium 93 Promethium 61 Americium 95 Curium 96 Berkelium 97 Californium 98 Einsteinium 99 Fermium 100 Mendelevium 101 Nobelium 102 Lawrencium 103 Rutherfordium 104 Dubnium 105 Seaborgium 106 Bohrium 107 Meitnerium 109 Hassium 108 Darmstadtium 110 Roentgenium 111 Copernicium 112 Ununquadium 114 After 2000 Ununhexium 116 Ununoctium 118 Ununtrium 113 Ununpentium 115 Ununseptium 117

Table 3.2: The known chemical elements, listed by year of discovery.



Mendeleyevs dream

Dmitri Mendeleyev (1834-1907 ): Developed the rst version of the periodic table of the elements.

is less than the element above it and so on. With this arrangement however, the repeating pattern of chemical properties was not readily apparent by looking at the table. One account of Mendeleyevs work relates that during one episode of working on nding a suitable arrangement for the elements in his table, he rested at his desk, fell asleep, and had a dream. Mendeleyevs own words recall, I saw in a dream a table where all the elements fell into place as required. Awakening, I immediately wrote it down on a piece of paper. Only in one place did a correction later seem necessary. Many authors of scientic history have presented this account as though it were a miraculous manifestation in which the periodic table was given as a near-perfect vision. It is unfortunate that these descriptions do not accurately portray the signicant amount of time and eort that had been poured into the development of the periodic table. Careful study of the entire story surrounding the development of the periodic table suggests that the last bit of inspiration Mendeleyev needed was to invert the order of the elements in the columns so the atomic weights were arranged in order of increasing atomic weight. In this new arrangement, the periodic trend became more readily apparent. In addition to changing the order of elements based on atomic weight, Mendeleyev recognized the almost certain possibility that there were still undiscovered elements that would eventually have their proper place in his table. This insight caused Mendeleyev to leave gaps (represented as question marks in Figure 3.14) in his initial formulation of the table, but he didnt leave the problem there: he went so far as to predict the chemical and physical properties of several undiscovered elements! It took nearly fteen years before Mendeleyev would be vindicated in his astounding predictions by the discoveries of gallium (1875), scandium (1879), and germanium (1886), thus adding signicant credibility to his periodic table.

Figure 3.14: Dmitri Mendeleyevs periodic table. Note the gaps left for undiscovered elements (represented with question marks). (Image is in the public domain.) The most signicant challenge to Mendeleyevs work came with the discovery



of a group of gases that was completely unknown when the periodic table was rst published in 1869. If the arrangement proposed by Mendeleyev did reect a true pattern in the properties of the elements, then it would have to make room for these new elements. In the late 1890s, William Ramsay repeated a series of experiments originally carried out by Henry Cavendish nearly one hundred years earlier that involved the reaction of the nitrogen present in air with oxygen. Rather than analyzing the products of the reaction as Cavendish did, Ramsay turned his attention to the small bubble of gas left after all the nitrogen had reacted. This gas proved to be completely inert: it did not react with anything. Ramsay called the gas argon. Recall that Mendeleyev had constructed his periodic table based on patters of reactivity observed when dierent elements reacted with hydrogen or oxygen. An element that reacted with one equivalent amount of hydrogen was described as having a valence of one, if the element combined with two equivalent amounts of hydrogen, it was assigned a valence of two, etc. Mendeleyev had given valence greater signicance than atomic weight in the formulation of his table. Because of its inability to react with anything, the new gas discovered by Ramsay must be assigned a valence of zero and with an atomic weight between chlorine and calcium, would have to be placed somewhere near those elements. Looking at Mendeleyevs table, this could be accomplished by inserting this new gas between chlorine and calcium, but doing so would create a new row of undiscovered elements! (See Figure 3.15.) Ramsay persisted in his eorts to discover the missing group of elements with characteristics similar to argon and found that the inert gas isolated from the atmosphere was actually a mixture of the inert gases helium, neon, argon, krypton, and xenon - what we call the noble gasses.

Noble gasses: A group of elemental gasses that are chemically inert.

Figure 3.15: Dmitri Mendeleyevs periodic table, including a new row to accomodate the noble gasses. (Image is in the public domain.) After Ramsays experiments, there were many discoveries made with regard to the structure and composition of individual atoms. Many of these



experiments were carried out on hydrogen and helium and it was discovered that atoms are made of tiny, negatively charged particles called electrons, more massive positively charged particles called protons, and equally massive but neutrally charged particles called neutrons, with the latter two particles located in a small dense nucleus at the center of the atom. Electrons are found in clouds that surround the nucleus of the atom. The next most signicant advancement in the development of the periodic table came in 1914 when Henry Moseley conducted a series of experiments in which a sample of each known element was exposed to X-rays. Moseley noticed that the sample of the element gave o X-rays, but the X-rays given o were lower in energy than the original X-rays. Interestingly, there were regular dierences in the energies of the X-rays given o by the dierent elements. Moseley proposed that the lower energy X-rays produced from the elements was the result of the interaction between the X-rays and the positively charged nucleus, and that the regular changes in the X-rays given o by dierent elements was due to regular changes in the charge in the nucleus. Based on these experiments, Moseley introduced the idea of atomic number, a number that indicates the amount of positive charge, or number of protons, in the nucleus. Moseleys experiments provided an experimental method for organizing elements in the periodic table. The modern periodic table (Figure 3.16) ranks elements based on the number of protons in the nucleus and organizes the elements based on the occupancy of electrons in specic clouds surrounding the nucleus. The rows are called periods and the columns are called groups or families. The groups or families contain elements that share similar chemical properties.

Molecular Bonding
With the understanding we gain from the periodic table, coupled with additional information gathered from atomic and molecular research, we now have a more complete picture of how bonding between atoms occurs. Suppose you have two atoms and are able to slowly bring the two atoms closer together. What part of the atoms will contact rst? What type of interaction will this cause? As you can imagine, the negative charge of the electrons from both atoms causes them to push against each other; however, if the two atoms are able to continue past the point of initial repulsion, then the electrons from one atom will encounter the positive charge centered in the nucleus of the other atom. What type of interaction will that cause? As you may have guessed, the electrons from one atom are attracted to the positivelycharged nucleus of the other atom. The degree of attraction felt by the electrons of one atom to the nucleus of another atom depends upon the identity of the two atoms in contact. In some cases, there is only a modest attraction that is just strong enough to hold the atoms together (nonpolar covalent bond). In other cases, the attraction is strong enough that the electrons from one atom spend more time surrounding the nucleus of the other atom, which creates an unequal distribution of charge between the two atoms (polar covalent bond). Its also possible for there to be a very strong attraction between the electrons of one atom and the nucleus of the other atom; in fact, sometimes one or more electrons completely abandon their original atom and leave to take up residence in the electron cloud of the other atom (ionic bond). This transfer of electrons creates ions with either a positive charge (the atom that lost electrons) or a negative charge (the atom that gained the electrons). These three scenarios describe the basic principles of chemical bonding. You may be familiar with the phrase covalent bonding is the sharing of electrons. This scenario is described in the rst and second examples, but as you can see, not all covalent bonds are equivalent. The third scenario describes ionic bonding. So how can we determine how atoms of dierent elements will bond

Types of chemical bonds



Figure 3.16: The periodic table of the elements. The elements are ordered by atomic number. Elements in a column (called a group or family) have similar chemical characteristics. (Image is in the public domain.)



Carbohydrates: Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen which have a distinct rigid ring-like structure. Lipids: Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen with a characteristic rod-like structure. Amino acids: Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen which serve as the basic building blocks for life. Proteins: Long, folded chains of amino acids. Nucleotides: Molecules consisting of a carbohydrate (sugar), a group of phosphates, and a nitrogenous base which serve as the building blocks for DNA.

with each other? The relative position of the elements in the periodic table can give us good clues. For elements from groups close together in the periodic table, the more likely it is that they will simply share electrons, but for elements from groups far apart in the periodic table, its more likely that electrons will transfer from one atom of an element to the atom of the other element. The attraction an atom has for the electrons it donates to a bond is called electronegativity. An electronegativity value is assigned to each element and by calculating the dierence in electronegativity between two elements, we can get a good idea of the nature of the interaction that exists between those elements. Its important to recognize that the dierent types of interactions between individual atoms have a signicant impact on the larger molecules formed from those atoms. Since weve dealt with the kind of interaction or bond that can form between atoms of dierent elements, we must also consider how many bonds a given atom can accommodate. Again, the periodic table can give us clues about how atoms of dierent elements will interact with each other. Essentially, the position on the periodic table, particularly the column the element resides in, tells us how many bonds a particular atom can form. A set of atoms that has bonded together is called a molecule. The properties of a molecule depend largely on what types of atoms it is made out of and the types of bonds between those atoms. Polar covalent bonds can result in situations where electric charge (either positive or negative) tends to group up at certain places on the molecule. These partial charges can result in electrostatic forces between polar molecules, or may aect the shape of the molecule itself. A comprehensive discussion about the types of molecules found in nature and their various properties would require volumes of written text. To help you understand and appreciate how molecular bonding relates to other areas of interest, we would like to focus on several classes of biologically important molecules2 . The rst class of biologically important molecules are carbohydrates, which are composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. Carbohydrate molecules in general have a ring formed of carbon atoms. This ring provides rigidity to the molecule. The second class of biologically important molecules are lipids. Lipids are also composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen, but the structure of a lipid is very dierent from that of carbohydrates. In particular, the ring of carbon atoms is gone. Lipid molecules look like a straight (or sometimes bent) rod. Because of their structure, they cannot provide the rigidity of carbohydrates. Furthermore, where carbohydrates typically have good bonding sites at each corner of the carbon ring, lipids tend to only form bonds at one end. The third class of biologically important molecules are the amino acids. They are composed of the same three elements as the previous classes, but also incorporate nitrogen. Amino acids are known as the basic building blocks of life. Most of the structures in your body are built from amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Individual amino acids react with each other to form long chains called polypeptides. The long polypeptide chains fold to form proteins. Folding gives the protein a distinct shape. The fourth class of biologically important molecules that we will discuss are nucleotides. Nucleotides are molecules that serve as the building blocks for RNA and DNA. They consist of a carbohydrate (sugar), a group of phosphates (structures which include phosphorus atoms), and a third structure called a nitrogenous base (see Figure 3.17). There are four nitrogenous bases which are incorporated into nucleotides: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and
2 For a better picture (literally) of these molecules, we direct your attention to the following website: The Instructions link at the bottom in the pane on the right of the browser window performs the obvious function. In this applet, the colors of the atoms represent their atomic number (or equivalently tell you what element they are).


85 DNA: (Deoxyribonucleic acid) a molecule made of nucleotides which carries the genetic code.

guanine (G). Nucleotides are often identied by these four letters. Nucleotides combine together to form molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). We will return to the discussion of these molecules in chapter 5.

Figure 3.17: The molecular structure of a nucleotide. Note that there are three basic parts: a phosphate group (highlighted in orange), a sugar (deoxyribose, highlighted in green), and a nitrogenous base (highlighted in pink). (Image is in the public domain.)

1. What lessons were learned from the experiments conducted by Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier, and Joseph Proust? 2. Summarize the main points of John Daltons atomic theory. 3. What does the development of the periodic table teach us about scientic models? 4. In what way was Dmitri Mendeleyevs period table unique when compared to earlier attempts at organizing the elements? 5. Why was William Ramsays discovery a challenge to Mendeleyevs periodic table? How was the model revised? 6. Describe the following types of bonds: nonpolar covalent, polar covalent, ionic. 7. Describe the following classes of biologically important molecules: carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids.





Summary: Radiation was discovered late in the 19th century. There are ve primary types of radioactive decay. Radioactivity diminishes with time in a very specic way, and we can use radioactive decay as a type of clock. Learning Outcomes: Identify the observations that led to the discovery of radiation. List the properties of alpha, beta, and gamma radiation. Wilhelm Rentgen (1845o 1923 ): Discovered X-rays (1895). Identify the type of radiation and/or daughter nucleus produced in an incomplete equation for nuclear decay. Predict whether an isotope is most likely to undergo alpha decay, beta plus decay, or beta minus decay. Understand the random nature and condition-independent properties of radioactive half life. Perform mathematical calculations relating to the half-life of a radioactive isotope. Vocabulary: Ionizing radiation Parent Henri Becquerel (18521908 ): Discovered natural radioactivity (1896). Daughter Alpha decay Beta decay Gamma decay Decay series Half life

Ionizing radiation: Radiation which carries sufcient energy to knock electrons from atoms.

Marie Curie (1867-1934 ): Discovered the radioactive elements Polonium and Radium (1898) and developed techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes (1902)

While working with cathode ray equipment in 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen noticed that the equipment was emitting some type of ray that was able to penetrate materials opaque to light, subsequently detected by uorescence 3 . Roentgen dubbed these mysterious rays X-rays, and their discovery marked the beginning of our understanding of ionizing radiation, or radiation which carries su cient energy to knock electrons from atoms. One year later Henri Becquerel was working with uranium salts in his laboratory when he accidentally discovered natural radioactivity. A sample of the salts had been placed near or on a wrapped photographic plate, and the presence of the sample caused the plates to darken, even though the covering was impenetrable by light. Unlike the production of X-rays, the emission of ... well, whatever it was ... from the uranium salts happened spontaneously. Further investigations revealed that these mysterious rays were not aected by chemical changes, temperature, or pressure. Just a few years later in 1898, a Polish scientist named Marie Curie coined the term radioactivity. Additionally, she and her husband Pierre discovered two radioactive elements - polonium and radium. She also rened the techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes from larger samples. Also in 1898, Ernest Rutherford and others began investigating the properties of this natural radiation. By the year 1903 Rutherford was able to demonstrate that the source of this radiation was the spontaneous disintegration of
3 Fluorescence is a phenomena that occurs when an electron in an excited state in an atom decays by emitting visible light. For those who want the gory details, Roentgens experiments utilized a barium platinocyanide surface as a uorescing material.



atomic nuclei. His investigations revealed that radioactivity decreased in a regular way over time, leading to the concept of radioactive half life. Rutherford recognized that there were two distinct types of radiation. Shortly thereafter Paul Villiard discovered a third type. These three classications were referred to using the rst three letters of the Greek alphabet: (alpha), (beta), and (gamma). Each type of radiation was found to have a distinct electric charge. These three types of radiation are discussed below. Type I: Alpha decay In a spontaneous decay process, the original radioactive nucleus is referred to as the parent nucleus. The nucleus that remains after the decay is called the daughter nucleus. The rst type of decay we will discuss is alpha (or ) decay. Alpha decay occurs when a heavy nucleus spontaneously emits a 4 He nucleus (two protons 2 and two neutrons strongly bound together). In light of the conservation laws discussed in the previous section, the resulting daughter nucleus must have a mass number that is four units lower than the parent and an atomic number that is two units lower. (Note: this means that when an atom undergoes alpha decay, it turns into a dierent element.) For example, consider the decay of 228 90 Th:
228 90 Th

224 88 Ra

+ 4 He 2

Notice that on both sides of the arrow in the equation above the total mass number is 228 and the total charge number (atomic number or proton number) is 90. Radioactive decay follows the same conservation laws as other nuclear reactions! Alpha radiation is the least penetrating of the three major classications. A sheet of paper, a piece of cloth, or even your skin is enough to stop an alpha particle. However, because alpha particles are relatively large and energetic, they are able to do more damage to biological tissue than other types of radiation. This capacity to damage tissue is quantied by a number called the relative biological eectiveness or RBE4 (see Table 3.4). Alpha particles typically have an RBE up to about 20.

Ernest Rutherford (18711937 ): Demonstrated that radioactivity is the spontaneous disintegration of atoms, discovered the exponential nature of radioactive decay (half-life), and recognized there were three distinct types of natural radioactivity. Parent: The original radioactive nucleus in a spontaneous decay process. Daughter: The nucleus that remains after a spontaneous decay process. Alpha decay: Spontaneous decay by the emission of a 4 He nucleus, or 2 alpha particle.

Figure 3.18: Alpha decay (Image is in the public domain.)

Type II: Beta decay The class of radioactive processes called beta decay actually consists of three distinct types of decay. Each of these decays is caused by a fundamental force called the weak force which we will explore in a little more depth later in this reading.
4 By denition, the RBE is dened as the amount of absorbed X- or gamma-ray energy required to inict the same damage as one unit of absorbed energy from the specic source. Thus, by denition, gamma- and X-rays have an RBE of 1.

88 Beta minus ( ) decay


The rst subclass of beta decay, called beta minus decay, involves a neutron spontaneously turning into a proton and electron, with the electron subsequently being ejected from the nucleus. At its most basic level, this process is represented by
1 0n

Beta minus decay: Spontaneous decay where a neutron is transformed into a proton and electron, and the electron is subsequently ejected from the nucleus.

! 1p + 1


Notice again that the total mass number and charge number is unchanged by this process. Incidentally, the decay also results in the emission of a neutrino, which is a very small particle that rarely interacts with normal matter. An example of beta minus decay occurs in the decay of 60 Fe:
60 26 Fe

60 27 Co


As with alpha decay, the daughter nucleus is of a dierent element than the parent.

Figure 3.19: Beta minus decay (Image is in the public domain.) Beta plus decay Protons can also spontaneously turn into neutrons and positrons, with the positron being ejected from the nucleus. Positrons are subatomic particles that are in every way identical to electrons, except they are positively charged. This process is called beta plus decay, and is represented by
1 1p

Beta plus decay: Spontaneous decay where a proton is transformed into a neutron and positron, and the positron is subsequently ejected from the nucleus.

! 1 n + 0 e+ + 0 1

This decay process is illustrated in Figure 3.20. An example is the spontaneous decay of 22 Na: 11
22 11 Na

!22 Ne +0 e+ + 10 1

Electron capture: The spontaneous decay process wherein an atomic electron and proton combine to form a neutron.

Beta particles (whether electrons or positrons) can generally be stopped by a metal foil, a few millimeters of plastic, or a few millimeters of skin or other soft tissue. Because of their small mass (and smaller charge, when compared to the alpha particle), they generally do less damage when they are absorbed. In fact, their RBE is typically around one. Neutrinos, on the other hand, can easily penetrate through several kilometers of lead. Not to worry, though, because the neutrinos rarely interact with anything, so they dont do any damage as they pass through you. Electron capture Electron capture is essentially the reverse process of beta minus decay. In the quantum mechanical model of the atom (discussed previously in this chapter), an electron has a probability of being inside the nucleus. When this happens, it can combine with a proton to form a neutron:
1 1p


! 1n + 0



Figure 3.20: Beta plus decay (Image is in the public domain.) As with all previously discussed radioactive decay processes, the daughter nucleus is a dierent element than the parent (one less proton). An example of this process is the electron capture decay of 58 Cu: 29
58 29 Cu

+0 1 e !58 Ni + 28

Electron capture is illustrated in Figure 3.21

Figure 3.21: Electron capture (Image is in the public domain.)

Type III: Gamma decay When a nucleus has any excess amount of energy (which typically happens after any other radioactive decay process), it will give o that extra energy in the form of a gamma ray. Gamma rays are exactly like light rays, except that they have a much, much shorter wavelength and carry a lot more energy. This process is called Gamma decay. Primarily because they carry no electric charge, gamma rays can penetrate several feet into concrete, several inches into lead, or completely through a human body.

Gamma decay: The spontaneous emission of a gamma ray by an excited nucleus.

Figure 3.22: Gamma decay (Image is in the public domain.) Tables 3.3 and 3.4 summarize these three types of radioactive decay. Other processes There are other decay processes involving the spontaneous emission of magnesium, carbon, or neon nuclei from heavy parents. There are processes that

Decay type Alpha Beta Beta minus Beta plus Electron capture Gamma Particles emitted (4 He nucleus) 2


electron ( ) and neutrino positron ( + ) and neutrino neutrino gamma ray ( )

Table 3.3: Particles emitted in radioactive decay

Decay type Alpha Beta Beta minus Beta plus Neutrino Gamma Stopped by sheet of paper, clothing, skin metal foil, millimeter of plastic metal foil, millimeter of plastic miles of lead few inches of lead, few feet of concrete RBE up to 20 1 1 N/A exactly 1

Table 3.4: Penetration and relative biological eectiveness (RBE) of the types of radioactive decay. involve the emission of neutrons, either independently or in conjunction with a beta particle. Some nuclei may decay by emitting multiple beta particles. Some nuclei decay by spontaneously splitting into two smaller nuclei. These additional decay processes are extremely rare - rare enough to not be discovered until well after the other decay types were classied. Decay series Decay series: A sequence of radioactive decays that ensues when the daughter nucleus of a decay process is itself radioactive. Frequently, the daughter of a given radioactive decay process is itself radioactive. The daughter will subsequently decay, and the daughter of that process may also be radioactive. The process continues until a stable isotope is produced. This sequence of radioactive decays is called a decay series. For example, see Figure 3.23 which illustrates the decay series of 238 U. Several dierent isotopes are produced in the decay process, but eventually the entire sample ends up as 206 Pb.

What Makes Atoms Radioactive?

So why are some isotopes stable while most are radioactive? The stability of an atom is primarily decided by the interaction of three dierent forces: the Coulomb (electrostatic) force, the nuclear strong force, and the nuclear weak force. Most people know what happens when you bring two positively charged objects together. Thats right, they repel! That repulsive force is called the Coulomb force (or electrostatic force). Now think about what you have in the nucleus of an atom. Theres the neutrons, which dont have an electric charge, and the positively charged protons. If it were not for the other forces in the nucleus, which we will talk about shortly, the Coulomb force would push all of the protons as far away as possible, eectively ripping the nucleus apart! So what holds it all together? Its the strong nuclear force. This force is very dierent from the forces you have experienced rst hand. In fact, you have only experienced gravity and electromagnetic forces. You already know that gravity can act at a distance (i.e. you do not have to be in contact with the Earth in order to experience its gravity), and you may also know that electromagnetic forces can act at long ranges. In an atom, it is only the neutrons and protons that can experience the strong force. In order for this to happen they must be really close together.



Figure 3.23: Radioactive decay series for 238 U. Ultimately, all of the 238 U becomes 206 Pb. (Image courtesy of Tosaka, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution)



How close? The characteristic distance is 10 15 meters. The nucleus of an atom is about this size, so the protons and neutrons can stick together via the strong force. In a stable atom, the strong force beats out the Coulomb force, and the atom stays together. As you pack more and more nucleons into an atom, the nucleus gets larger and larger. If it gets too large, the strong force starts to weaken, and Coulomb repulsion causes a positively charged chunk of the nucleus (an alpha particle) to be ejected. This is why the heavy isotopes tend to decay by alpha particle emission. Free neutrons, or neutrons that are not found in an atom, are unstable. Left to themselves they will undergo beta minus decay, usually within about half an hour. The presence of protons in the nucleus, however, stabilizes the neutrons. But if too many neutrons are present, that stabilizing eect weakens, and a neutron will decay. Thus, its the isotopes with a greater number of neutrons that undergo beta minus decay. If the nucleus has considerably more protons than neutrons, the Coulomb force begins to get the upper hand. In order to settle the score and stabilize the nucleus, one of the protons will spontaneously decay into a neutron (i.e. beta plus decay). More often, however, the proton rich isotopes will decay by electron capture. The laws of quantum mechanics tell us there is a small probability that an electron can be found inside the nucleus of an atom. When its there, it can combine with a proton to form a neutron. The more protons there are, the more likely this is to happen. Atoms will undergo gamma decay when there is excess energy stored in the nucleus. This extra energy can show up as a result of a previous decay or a nuclear reaction. The nucleus would like to have as little energy as possible, so it gets rid of it by sending out a gamma ray.

Decay Rates and Half Lives

Half life: The amount of time it takes for half of a sample of radioactive material to decay. For each of the isotopes found in gure 3.23, you will nd a time near the bottom of the octagon. This time has a special signicance, and is called the half life - it is essentially the amount of time it will take half of a sample of that isotope to decay. You will notice that the half lives for dierent isotopes can be widely dierent: 238 U has a half life of 4.5 billion years, while lowly 214 Po has a half life of only 164.3 microseconds (0.0001643 seconds). There are thee important things you need to know about radioactive half lives: 1. Radioactive decay is a completely random process, and the half life applies only to a large sample where you can statistically say something meaningful. You cannot predict when a single atom will decay. You can only say, on average, how long it takes atoms of that isotope to decay. Typically a sample will consist of somewhere on the order of 1020 -1026 atoms, so the statistical description is pretty good. 2. Statistically speaking, only half of any given sample will decay in a half life. So if I were to start out with 1,000 atoms of a radioactive isotope, after one half life I would have 500 of the original atoms remaining and 500 daughter atoms. If I wait another half life, I will be left with 250 radioactive atoms and 750 daughter atoms, and so forth. 3. Physical conditions or chemical process that happen on Earth do not aect radioactive half lives. Bonding a radioactive atom to another atom chemically does not aect the half life either. In fact, the only place where radioactive half lives do change is in the stars, and then only because it is so hot that the individual nucleons can be kicked to higher energy levels, and those higher energy levels have a tendency to decay at dierent rates.



In any Earth conditions, including those found in the mantle and core, the rates at which radioactive isotopes decay are constant. This last important idea establishes radioactive decay as a rate constant process. Additionally, whenever a radioactive atom decays, it leaves behind (at least somewhere down the line, if we are thinking decay series) a stable daughter, so the number of ticks is also being recorded. Radioactive decay thus has the necessary qualities to act as a clock. To see how such a radioactive clock works, consider the graph shown in Figure 3.24. The horizontal axis represents time (measured in half lives) and the vertical axis represents the amount of a particular isotope, expressed as a percentage of an original quantity. The red thick curve represents how much of the original radioactive material remains, and the blue thin curve represents how much of the daughter nuclei have accumulated.

Radioactive decay as a clock

Figure 3.24: Amount of parent and daughter nuclei as a function of elapsed half lives. (Image is in the public domain.) Now consider the following: suppose we knew that only 20% of the original sample remained (the way we would gure this out is by looking at the ratio of the number of daughter nuclei to the number of parent nuclei). We locate the 20% line on the vertical axis and follow it to the red curve. Once it intersects the red curve, we trace down to the horizontal axis and determine that approximately 2.3 half lives have elapsed. If the half life of the parent isotope was 100,000 years, then we could say that 230,000 years had elapsed. A moment ago we talked about daughter-to-parent ratios. Considering the decay series shown in Figure 3.23, what we would actually measure is the ratio of 206 Pb to 238 U. Then, assuming that there was no lead present when the 82 92 Uranium sample was rst formed (the details of this so-called initial daughter problem will be covered in the next chapter), we simply consider what happens to this ratio over time, as shown in Figure 3.25. If the ratio comes in at, say 0.5, we see that about 0.4 half lives have passed. For 238 U, which has a half life of 4.5 billion years, this would correspond to an elapsed time of approximately 1.8 billion years. The precision to which we can infer time from radioactive decay depends on the precision of the measured half life and isotope ratios. Techniques have been developed to measure these quantities to well within one tenth of a percent of uncertainty.



Figure 3.25: Daughter-to-Parent ratio as a function of elapsed half lives. (Image is in the public domain.)

1. Imagine that you had three radioactive sources, one that emitted alpha particles, one that emitted beta particles, and one that emitted gamma rays. Which sample would you prefer to carry in your pocket, provided you had to carry one of them? Which would you prefer to swallow, if required? 2. Why do we nd naturally occurring 238 U, but not any naturally 92 occurring 239 Pu, even though both are made in supernovae? (Hint: 94 look up the half lives for these two isotopes on the Internet. Try 3. Explain what is meant by a decay series. 4. The isotope 137 Cs (cesium 137) has a half life of 30 years. Suppose you were to produce a sample of pure 137 Cs, which you then locked away in a storage vault. How much of the 137 Cs will still be around after 30 years? 60 years? 120 years? 300 years? 5. Explain why and how radioactive decay can be used as a clock.

Chapter 4


Figure 4.1: The rst image taken by humans of the whole Earth. Photographed by the crew of Apollo 8 (probably by Bill Anders) the photo shows the Earth at a distance of about 30,000 km. South is at the top, with South America visible at the covering the top half center, with Africa entering into shadow. North America is in the bottom right. (Image courtesy of NASA.) Earth: it is the only planet that man has ever (or probably will ever) step foot on. We depend on the Earth to provide all of the materials we need to survive. And yet, it was not until the 18th century that mankind began to show any interest in the planet aside from its utilitarian value. In this chapter we will explore how we know what we know about the Earth, in the process answering the question Why do we believe that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old? We will discuss how rocks form, ways to discern the order in which rock units formed (relative dating), their ages (absolute dating), and how the Earth is continually changing.





Uniformitarianism and Relative Dating


Summary: As a physical science, geology had a bit of a rocky start (pun intended). Traditional and dogmatic notions dominated the public and scientic understanding of Earths history. With time, however, scientic principles based on indisputable observations prevailed. Some of these principles allow us to determine when various geologic formations were made relative to each other and provide a relative timeline for the Earth. Learning Outcomes: Explain what relative dating is and how it is useful in our understanding of the age of our earth. Explain the relationships of each of the relative dating techniques, including how and when each one can be used. Dene uniformitarianism and catastrophism, and identify the dierences between these two ideas. Use relative dating techniques to determine the sequence in which geologic features were formed. Vocabulary: Catastrophism Principle of lateral continuity Cross-cutting relationships Inclusions Fossil succession

Uniformitarianism Relative dating Original horizontality

Principle of superposition

Man has not always viewed the Earth as we do today. To the modern mind, many ideas about the Earth that seem like no-brainers took considerable time, eort, courage, and genius to discover. Because so much is understood today we tend to look back on earlier times and wonder how they believed what they did. How, for example, could they have believed that the Earth was the center of the universe? Why didnt they understand things correctly? Were they stupid? No, their lack of understanding was not the result of diminished intellectual capacity; rather, it was created by lack of opportunity for innovation, false traditions, and insu cient information. This chapter explores the development of mankinds ideas about the Earth, helps you further develop your understanding of science, and introduces you to the fundamental ideas of geology. Our modern conception of the Earth rests solidly on a foundation composed of four ideas: relative dating, uniformitarianism, radiometric dating, and plate tectonics. We will discuss the rst two ideas in this section. The other two ideas are in the sections that follow. The development of these ideas tells the story of how our modern view of the Earth came to be.

The Birth of Geology

Geology is the scientic study of the Earth. Its development occurred in several distinct stages: the pre-scientic period, the early scientic period, the age of instrumentation, and most recently the modern era. During the period of pre-scientic development mans primary interest in

Pre-scientic geology



the Earth was to nd useful materials - like rocks that produce a sharp edge when broken or minerals that produce metals when melted. Greece was the rst western culture to think deeply about the Earth, and the most inuential Greek philosopher to study nature was Aristotle. He was the rst prominent gure to adopt a scientic approach to the study of nature. Some of his ideas were precociously correct. Others were not. During the Middle Ages Aristotles explanations and opinions were dogmatized because at this time the western world determined the truth of a matter by reference to authority (an approach called scholasticism) and Aristotle was considered the authority on nature. Also dogmatized at this time were interpretations of biblical teachings. These dogmatized traditions were a great impediment to the development of true ideas about the Earth as well as other things (and are still obstacles for many individuals). The early scientic stage of geology began in the late eighteenth century with the concept of uniformitarianism and ended in the decades surrounding 1900 when the use of scientic instrumentation became widespread. During this period geologists developed a basic understanding of the history and surface processes of the planet. During the subsequent age of instrumentation knowledge about Earth was increased through measurements of the Earths properties, including its age, structure, and composition. Geology became fully modern with the development of Plate Tectonic Theory in the 1960s.

Early scientic geology

Relative Dating and Uniformitarianism

During the Middle Ages, study of the Earth was limited in the west because people believed that nature was base and dark. Think, for example, about how nature is portrayed in stories like Hansel & Gretel or Little Red Riding Hood. This philosophy is also apparent in the dogmatization associated with the geocentric model in chapter two - the Earth, being base and corrupt, was placed at the center of the universe (with hell in turn being found at the center of the Earth). It was not until the Romantic movement of the 1800s that the western world began to think of nature as ennobling and worthy and not until the 1970s that western civilization began to be concerned about protecting the environment. During the Renaissance, Earth began to be studied by wealthy individuals interested in natural philosophy and by those involved in mining and canal building operations. These early naturalists sought to understand the origin and functioning of the natural world. Unfortunately, the scholastic dogmatism of the Middle Ages did not yield easily to the observations and discoveries they made. Slowly, the light of rational inquiry began to disprove the false dogmatic notions that had solidied during the Middle Ages. During this period, the principles of relative dating and uniformitarianism were developed. Relative dating is a set of simple but powerful principles used to determine the sequence of events in Earths history. The basic principles of relative dating were developed by Nicholas Steno, a Danish naturalist who became interested in understanding layered rocks after dissecting a shark head in 1666 and wondering about the relationship between shark teeth and similar fossils found in rocks. At this time the word fossil did not mean what it does today: it was used to refer to any curiosity found in a rock, what we would call today minerals, fossils, veins, etc. Steno developed the principle of original horizontality, which states that the sediments that make sedimentary rocks are originally deposited in horizontal layers; the principle of superposition, which states that older sedimentary rock units in an undisturbed sequence are found below younger units; and the principle of lateral continuity, which states that sedimentary rock layers that have been separated by erosion were once continuous. During the next century additional principles were discovered: the principle of cross-cutting relationships, which states that a rock unit that is broken

Nicholas Steno (16381686 ): Proposed many of the basic principles of relative dating. Relative dating: Determining the sequence of events in Earths history without knowing actual ages. Original horizontality Superposition Lateral continuity Cross-cutting relationships

98 Inclusions


formed before the break in it did; and the principle of inclusions, which states that material wholly included inside a rock existed before the rock that surrounds it did. Combining all of these principles allows a person to determine the relative ages of adjacent rock units, such as those shown in Figure 4.2

Figure 4.2: A geologic cross section from Glacier National Park. The relative ages of the rock units and other features in this diagram can be determined using the principles discussed in this section. (Image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service) Fossil succession The last principle of relative dating, the principle of fossil succession, was discovered in the late 1700s by William Smith who, through most of his life, was employed as a surveyor. While working at a coal mine in southeastern England Smith observed that the rock layers in the mine were always found in the same relative sequence and that each of the layers could be identied by a unique suite of fossils. He hypothesized that the fossils found in Earths vertical sequence of sedimentary rocks change throughout that sequence in a unique, reliable order that can be correlated over broad geographical distances. Later, he tested this hypothesis while surveying canals and traveling across England. Smith used this principle to identify and correlate rock units throughout England and to create a geologic map of England - the rst modern geologic map, which he published in 1815. Because he was not an aristocrat Smith struggled to nd the acceptance his work deserved. Not long after publication the map was plagiarized and Smith was undersold. Financially ruined, Smith was incarcerated in debtors prison. Upon his release, he spent years as a homeless, itinerant surveyor. Later, due to the eorts of a noble employer he nally received the recognition he was due - sixteen years after the publication of the map that changed the world. Smiths principle of fossil succession was independently developed in France by Georges Cuvier - a prominent naturalist of the era and the leading proponent of the then-accepted explanation of Earths past, catastrophism: a hypothesis that essentially said Earths geologic record could be accounted for by a series of brief, large-scale catastrophic events. Observations of the Earth that had accumulated over centuries indicated that its history was complex and vast. Unfortunately, the false traditions of the Middle Ages allowed only for belief in a very young Earth. During the 17th century Archbishop James Ussher, using the Bible, his knowledge of history, and numerous assumptions determined that Earth had been created at nightfall the evening before Sunday October 23, 4004 BC. Usshers chronology became widely accepted and appeared in the margins of some editions of the King James Bible. Catastrophism was an attempt to reconcile Earths extensive and complex history with a young Earth by proposing that Earths immense changes occurred in a few enormous catastrophes via no-longer-active processes that accomplished tremendous amounts of change in very short periods of time. Though catastrophism appealed to the young-Earth dogmatists of the Middle Ages, it could not explain the geologic record. Eventually, it crumbled under the weight of observation.

William Smith (17691839 ): Proposed the principle of fossil succession. Catastrophism: A hypothesis stating that Earths geological history could be accounted for by a series of catastrophic events.


99 Uniformitarianism: A hypothesis stating that Earths geological history can be explained by the same processes occurring today.

In the late 1700s, James Hutton, a wealthy Scottish physician who became interested in nature, developed the principle of uniformitarianism. Huttons observations of the rock record and of Earths surface processes led him to question catastrophist assumptions regarding the need to accomplish Earths historical changes in such a brief period of time. Instead, he hypothesized that Earths rocks are a record of natural processes, like those we see working today, operating over vast periods of time. Uniformitarianism states that the products (rocks) of past events and processes are best interpreted by matching them with the products of active processes. This idea is sometimes expressed by the phrase the present is the key to the past.

For example, uniformitarianism suggests that a rock unit with characteristics identical to those found in modern beach deposits formed in a beach. Uniformitarianism assumes that the laws governing nature have remained uniform through time. It opens the window to deep time and the vast history of our planet. Shortly after its development the word geology entered the modern lexicon and geology as a distinct scientic discipline was born. The intellectual battle between uniformitarianism and catastrophism, which raged for several decades, produced a reaction against catastrophism so strong that for more than a century explanations of natural phenomenon by catastrophic processes - even natural ones - was frowned upon. Hard-line interpretations of uniformitarianism softened in the later part of the 20th century when conclusive evidence for natural catastrophic processes such as asteroid impacts was discovered. Modern uniformitarianism recognizes that rates of processes vary and that natural catastrophes do occur.

James Hutton (17261797 ): Proposed the principle of uniformitarianism.

James Hutton was in his late fties when he rst presented his ideas to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1785. In 1788 he described his uniformitarian view of Earths deep past in these words, we nd no vestige of a beginning, no prospect of an end. Later that year he published a several-hundred page book expounding his ideas and in 1795 he published a two thousand page version. Though Hutton developed uniformitarianism and is considered the father of geology his prose was so di cult to wade through that his ideas did not reach a wide audience until John Playfair summarized them in 1802 in Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. Charles Lyell, a Scottish lawyer-turnedgeologist, was introduced to uniformitarianism through Playfairs summary. Lyell became uniformitarianisms champion and the foremost geologist of his day. Lyell was a lucid, eective writer. In 1830-1833 he published the rst modern geology textbook, Principles of Geology - a three-volume uniformitarian explanation of Earth processes and history. This book, which was in its twelfth edition in 1875 when Lyell died, is likely the most inuential geology textbook ever written.

Once developed, geologists began using the principles of relative dating and uniformitarianism to determine the sequence of events in Earths history. Over the next century this historical sequence was formulated into the Geologic Time Scale. The Geologic Time Scale is divided into units of time: eons, eras, periods, and ner scale divisions (Figure 4.3). Each unit of time in the scale represents a group of rock units characterized by a shared, unique assemblage of fossils. Today, the time scale continues to be rened as new discoveries are made.

Charles Lyell (1797-1875 ): Champion of uniformitarianism; author of one of the most inuential geology texts.



Figure 4.3: The geologic timescale, as determined by relative dating. Notice that relative dating only tells us about the relative order of the various periods, and not when they occurred. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho)

1. What barriers inhibited the development of key ideas in geology? Are any of these barriers present today? 2. Explain the dierence between the two hypotheses of catastrophism and uniformitarianism. 3. Who were the important people in the development of the principles of relative dating and uniformitarianism? 4. What is meant by relative dating? 5. Dene each of the following terms: (a) Original horizontality (b) Principle of superposition (c) Principle of lateral continuity (d) Cross-cutting relationships (e) Inclusions (f) Fossil succession 6. Why are the principles discussed in this section unable to tell us how old the Earth is?




Absolute Dating and the Age of the Earth


Summary: Science has discovered several natural clocks that can be used to determine the actual age of organic and mineral samples. This allows us to associate a range of years with each of the periods found in the geologic time scale. Learning Outcomes: Identify the necessary characteristics of natural clocks, and give several examples. Explain the basics of several methods of absolute dating (including radiometric dating), identifying their underlying assumptions and limitations, and evaluating their reliability. Explain the processes involved in Carbon-14 and Uranium-Lead dating, and identify when these methods can be used. Identify the scientically accepted age of the Earth, and explain how scientists arrived at this number. Vocabulary: Absolute dating Macroscopic dating methods Radiometric dating Initial daughter problem

You may recall from our discussions earlier this semester that any useful clock must have two things: 1) a rate constant process, and 2) a record of how many ticks have passed since the clock started. Several clocks with these characteristics exist in nature. Scientists learned how these clocks function, and that those clocks can be used in absolute dating, which is the process of determining the actual age of a specimen or geologic formation. Before modern methods of absolute dating were developed and rened, however, there were several early, faulty attempts at assigning dates to things, such as the age of the Earth.

Early Attempts at Absolute Dating

One early attempt at determining the absolute age of the Earth was carried out by James Ussher (1581-1656), Archbishop of the Church of Ireland. His chronology of the Earth was a non-scientic estimate based on a literal reading of the Bible. He assumed that the creation of the Earth took place in only six 24-hour days, and that the rest of Earths history could be pieced together by studying genealogies and timelines found in the Bible. Using these assumptions Ussher concluded that the Earth came into existence the evening before October 23, 4004 BC. Usshers estimated age of the Earth gained considerable popularity when it was printed in a number of dierent issues of the King James Version of the Bible. Some people still ascribe to this Young Earth view, even though there is overwhelming scientic evidence supporting the conclusion that the Earth is much older than this. Some of the earliest scientic attempts to determine the age of the Earth rested upon assumptions of how certain natural processes occurred. Lord Kelvin, a scientist famous for his important contributions to our understanding of heat, made one such estimate. Kelvin recognized that the Earth, like any other object warmer than its environment, would radiate heat into space. If

Absolute dating: The process of determining the actual age of a specimen, as opposed to relative ages of several specimens.



the amount of heat radiated into space exceeded the amount of heat absorbed from the Sun, Earths temperature should cool. Using this model and his best estimate of the temperature of a newly formed molten planet the size of Earth, he calculated that Earth must be about 20 million years old. Unfortunately for Kelvin, his model was incomplete. When he did his work, no one knew about one of the most important factors that aect the temperature of the Earth: radiation. Radioactive decay processes in the inner layers of the Earth provide additional heat Kelvin could not have known about, and this led to his erroneous estimate. Another early scientic attempt involved measuring the thickness of sediment layers at the bottom of lakes. The deposits themselves constitute a record of the number of ticks. The rate of deposition of sediments and the thicknesses of these beds do not, however, occur at a constant rate, and therefore cannot serve as an accurate clock. Other scientists tried to make estimates using ocean salinity. This method also suers from the lack of a rate-constant basis, and cannot therefore produce reliable estimates of absolute ages. Scientists fortunately kept working on this problem, and eventually developed reliable methods for determining absolute ages of things.

Macroscopic Historic Dating Methods

Macroscopic dating: Determining the age of things based on visible characteristics or formations. Macroscopic dating methods use visible characteristics or formations to determine the ages of things. For example, when you look at a cut tree stump or a cross-sectional cut through the trunk of a tree you will usually see tree rings (Figure 4.4). Tree rings are produced annually as trees grow. During the summer trees grow faster and produce a lighter colored, less-dense wood than they do in the winter. So when a sample core from a tree is collected it is easy to assign an absolute age to the tree by counting its tree rings. The oldest known individual living tree is a Bristlecone pine named Methuselah that lives in the White Mountains of Nevada. It has 4723 pairs of tree rings (i.e., 4723 years old). There is also evidence of an even older Bristlecone pine that was cut down accidentally in 1964: it was 5000 years old. Some clonal tree stands, trees that reproduce by cloning themselves (usually from the root system), have been determined to be much older. For example, the root system of a Norway spruce in Darlana, Sweden, has been dated by radiometric techniques and genetic comparisons to be over 9550 years old, and some researchers suggest that some groves of Quaking Aspen, also clonal trees, may be more than 80,000 years old. This use of tree rings as a method of absolute dating is called dendrochronology. Dead trees can give us additional information about the ages of things. Certain events, such as res and local climate variations, leave their marks on the growth rings of trees. These marks allow us to correlate the ages of dierent tree specimens, not unlike fossil succession allows us to correlate geological features (see Figure 4.5). This process allows us to determine the ages of forests, not just ages of individual trees. Using this approach, European pine and oaks have been dated back to about 11,000 years ago. Volcanic activity can also provide additional information. At Specimen Ridge in Yellowstone National Park there are several separate layers of forests buried in volcanic ash. By counting the number of rings in those now fossilized trees within each layer, and adding the ages of all the layers together, scientists calculated that the trees in the bottom layer lived at least 27,500 years ago. There are other natural systems that are also highly reliable natural clocks. Glacial lake sediments, called varves, contain an extremely accurate record of the ages of lakes by the number of sediment layers in them. During the winter, glacial lakes freeze over, limiting the amount of dust and other sediment that can accumulate on the bottom, and eliminating the churning eect of the wind on the surface. Sediments in the water settle during the winter and form a



Figure 4.4: Seasonal rings of a tree. One pair of light and dark rings is produced each year by the seasonally varying growth rate of the tree. By counting the number of rings, you can determine the age of the tree. (Image is in the public domain.)

Figure 4.5: Dendrochronology of overlapping tree rings from wood obtained from dierent trees can produce a chronology that extends further back in time than that obtained from a single specimen. (Image courtesy of

Half-life of Parent (years) 4.5 billion 0.713 billion 49 billion 1.25 billion 5,730

Eective Dating Range of Earth Materials (years) 10 million - 4.55 billion 10 million - 4.55 billion 10 million - 4.55 billion 50,000 - 4.55 billion 100-60,000

Isotopes Parent Daughter Uranium-238 Lead-206 Uranium-235 Lead-207 Rubidium-87 Strontium-87 Potassium-40 Argon-40 Carbon-14 Nitrogen-14

Table 4.1: Major isotopes used in radiometric dating. distinct layer over the previous years sediment layer. Counting these seasonal sediment layers has revealed that some glacial lakes have been around for a very long time: Lake Van in Turkey for approximately 14,570 years, and Lake Suigetsu in Japan for 29,100 years, to cite two examples. The glaciers also produce seasonal layers. During the winter, new snow is deposited on the surface of a glacier, and during the summer dust is deposited. As seasonal layer upon seasonal layer is buried, the snow compresses and forms ice. These seasonal layers are plainly obvious in some glaciers (see Figure 4.6). Layers in the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica are hundreds of thousands of years old. The EPICA Dome C glacier in Antarctica has been sampled down to a depth of 3,240 meters, and includes approximately 800,000 seasonal layers.

Figure 4.6: Seasonal layers in the Covell Glacier (Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada). (Image courtesy of Wing-Chi Poon, licensed under the Creative Commons SA-BY license.)

Radiometric Dating
Radiometric dating: Using radioactive isotopes to determine the age of a sample. The discovery of radioactivity led to the development of one of the most powerful methods of absolute dating: radiometric dating. The assignment of ages to specimens by radiometric dating is based on the observation that radioactive isotopes decay to stable isotopes at a constant rate. The accuracy and reliability of radiometric age dates rests on the constancy of decay rates, precision and accuracy of instrument measurements, and closed-system behavior of the sample. There are dozens of useful radiometric systems (see Table 4.1). A systems decay rate is described by its half-life. Half-lives of systems vary from very short (much less than a second) to very long (billions of years). The constancy of half-lives has been veried experimentally: decay rates are not al-



tered by any physical or chemical conditions found on this Earth1 . Radiometric age dates require scientists to measure the half-life of the radiometric system, the proportion of parent to daughter atoms, and the amount of daughter atoms that existed when the radiometric clock started ticking. Accurate half-lives were measured decades ago, and accurate parent-daughter atom ratio measurements are made routinely in labs around the world. But how do we measure the amount of daughter atoms that were there when the clock started ticking? There are three solutions to this question, also known as initial daughter problem. For systems with a short half-life, the problem is circumvented by directly measuring the activity of the sample, i.e., the number of decay events in a period of time. For systems in which the parent and daughter atoms have vastly dierent chemical behavior, the problem is avoided by dating only minerals that do not allow any daughter atoms into their crystal structure when the mineral forms. The third solution, the isochron method, is equally eective, but requires more space to explain than is available in this essay. Useful radiometric dates require that the specimen being dated has not lost or gained parent or daughter atoms since it formed, i.e., it has remained closed. For this reason, minerals that crystallize from magma are the most uncomplicated to date, because determining whether or not the crystals have remained closed is straightforward. Where needed, several radiometric systems are used simultaneously to demonstrate the validity of a date, and some systems have internal checks for closed system behavior. Radiometric dating is a robust method for determining the age of events in Earths past, as well as the age of the Earth itself. Radiometric dating allowed scientists to add specic dates to the Geologic Time Scale (Figure 4.7). Radiometric dating indicates that the earliest time period - the Hadean era began somewhere around 4.6 billion years ago and is based on the UraniumLead methodology shown, along with a few other specic methods, below.

Initial daughter problem: The quandary in radiometric dating associated with not always knowing whether and how much of a daughter isotope was in existence when a material formed.

Radiocarbon (Carbon-14) Dating

Carbon is an essential component of biologically important molecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Living things therefore constantly take in, use, and release huge numbers of carbon atoms. Carbon exists in three naturally occurring isotopes: 12 C, 13 C, and 14 C. 12 C and 13 C are both stable and are much more abundant than the radioactive isotope 14 C. However, because living things contain vast numbers of carbon atoms the existence of even trace amounts of 14 C in the environment and in tissues of living things make it possible for us to use radiocarbon dating to measure absolute ages of specimens that were once alive. The half-life of 14 C is 5,730 years. This relatively short half-life means that signicant amounts of 14 C are found only in the atmosphere, in living things, and in things that died less than about 60,000 years ago. A specimen older than this has been around so long that most of the 14 C in it has decayed and the few remaining 14 C atoms are not su cient to provide reliable age determinations. So, if 14 C undergoes such rapid decay, where does 14 C come from? Radiocarbon (another name for 14 C) is made when cosmic radiation and solar wind bombard Earths atmosphere. These particles are shot into space at such high velocities that electrons associated with them are stripped away and the remaining subatomic particles strike our atmosphere. Some of these particles are single neutrons. Nearly 80% of our atmosphere is made of Nitrogen-14 (14 N), so it is not surprising that just about every neutron that strikes our atmosphere
1 It is known that decay rates and half lives change at su ciently high temperatures, such as those found in the cores of stars. However, these changes can be completely understood, and therefore predicted, in the context of nuclear structure. Thus, the decay rates can still be used as the basis for a clock, even in the extreme conditions found in the stellar interior.



Figure 4.7: The geologic timescale, with times assigned by radiometric dating. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho) eventually collides with the nucleus of an atom of 14 N. The high-impact collision between one of these neutrons and the nucleus of a 14 N results in a proton being knocked out of the nucleus in following reaction:
1 0n

+14 N !14 C +1 p 7 6 1

About 10,000 trillion (1019 ) atoms of 14 C are formed in the atmosphere every second. These newly formed 14 C atoms can react with oxygen in the atmosphere to form 14 CO2 . 14 CO2 is used along with non-radioactive CO2 by plants during photosynthesis to make sugars. Then when animals ingest plant materials made from these sugars, 14 C enters their bodies and is assimilated into their tissues. All living things therefore contain enormous numbers of 14 C atoms. How many? Well, there is one atom of 14 C for about every one trillion atoms of non-radioactive carbon in the environment. This same ratio of non-radioactive carbon to 14 C is found in the tissues of living things. By carrying out a series of calculations we nd that there is an average of 9 billion atoms of 14 C in every gram of tissue in our bodies. So, there is plenty of 14 C per gram of living tissue to do radiometric dating. The intensity of cosmic radiation and solar wind is not constant, and the amount of 14 C that is formed in the atmosphere varies accordingly. Fortunately, scientists have worked out a way to calibrate the varying amounts of 14 C in the environment: by comparing 14 C dates from radiometric analysis with a standardized curve of 14 C formation obtained from samples of known ages. One way to produce a standardized curve is through dendrochronology. The ages of tree samples can be determined by counting the rings, and then the same samples are radiocarbon dated. When the two sets of data are graphed against each other, it looks like Figure 4.8. Scientists also developed a carbon history by examining the remains of leaves, twigs, and insect remains trapped in annual sediment layers (called varves) of glacial lakes. As mentioned earlier in this reading, sediments in glacial lakes are deposited only in the summer when glaciers partially melt. Varve-based timelines extend back nearly 50,000 years.



Whenever a scientist does 14 C dating of a specimen of unknown age they use the calibration curve to check and, if needed, adjust the calculated ages of their specimen. In this way scientists compensate for uctuations in 14 C formation associated with variations in the intensities of cosmic radiation and solar wind. When 14 C decays it undergoes beta decay during which a neutron in the nucleus becomes a proton and 14 C decays into stable 14 N.

Figure 4.8: Radiocarbon calibration curve. The straight line represents the inferred age without calibration. BP is an abbreviation for before present, where the present is dened as 1950 AD. Data is taken from [Stuiver98]. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho) As long as an organism is alive the ratio of 14 C atoms to nonradioactive carbon atoms in its tissues remains the same as the ratio of those atoms in the environment. When an organism dies, however, the number of 14 C atoms in its tissues declines due to radioactive decay. The 14 C clock therefore starts ticking as soon as an organism dies, so 14 C dating tells you how long ago your specimen died. Because the decay rate of 14 C is constant we can calculate the age of a specimen by comparing the number of 14 C decay events in a fresh sample to the number of decay events in the sample of interest. When a sample comes in for radiocarbon analysis, it is placed in a machine that counts the number of 14 C decay events. The machine then counts the sample for 24 hours, after which the number of emissions detected by the machine is recorded. That number is then compared to the number of 14 C decay events from a fresh sample and the age of the specimen is calculated2 : t = t1/2 [ln (C/C0 ) / ln(2)] where t is the age of the sample in years (what we want to know), t1/2 is the halflife of the radioisotope (5,730 years), C0 is the number of 14 C decays/day/gram of carbon in a fresh sample, and C is the number of emissions/day/gram from the sample to be dated. Once the methods of radiocarbon dating were worked out people were interested in knowing the ages of a wide variety of objects. One object of considerable popular interest is a religious artifact called the Shroud of Turin. This piece of cloth bears the visible full-length image of a man. Tradition holds that the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped in this cloth when he was placed in the Gar2 A fresh sample undergoes fourteen 14 C decay events every minute for every gram of carbon in the sample, so that sample will produce 20,160 14 C decay events per gram of carbon in 24 hrs.



den Tomb. Until the development of radiocarbon dating, however, there was no way to test the validity of this claim. The Catholic Church approved a research project in which small samples of the shroud would be dated independently by three dierent labs: one in Arizona, one in Switzerland, and one in England. Three other labs were given control samples of cloth that were not from the Shroud of Turin, but none of the six labs knew which had received an actual sample of the shroud and which had received control samples. During 1988 the samples were analyzed, and in 1989 the results were published. Data from all three labs that analyzed Shroud of Turin samples produced similar results: the number of decays/day/gram from the sample (C) was somewhere around 18,500, whereas a fresh sample would produce around 20,160 decays/day/gram. When put into the formula above, these two count rates yield an age of approximately 711 years. If you check the calibration curve (Figure 4.8), you will nd that this age needs no adjustment. The results of radiocarbon dating of samples from the Shroud of Turin show that the cloth was made from materials that died about 711 years (30 years, the standard range of error for this method) before 1988. Therefore, the calibrated calendar date of the samples suggest that the Shroud of Turin sample is from plant material that died between AD 1260 1390, or during medieval times.

Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) Dating

Radiocarbon (14 C) dating is a powerful tool for measuring the age of organic materials younger than about 60,000 years old, but other methods are needed to determine ages of older samples. The Uranium-Lead (U-Pb) method is the most widely used method for determining the age of very old specimens. The fundamental principle behind the U-Pb dating method is the discovery that two naturally occurring forms of Uranium (238 U and 235 U) have dierent half-lives and produce dierent forms of lead as the end products of their decay series. 238 U which makes up 99.28% of all naturally occurring uranium has a half-life of 4.47 billion years and its decay series produces 206 Pb, while 235 U which makes up 0.71% of naturally occurring uranium has a half-life of 704 million years and its decays series produces 207 Pb. Of course humans dont have life spans that are long enough to actually observe the entire radioactive decay of a sample of uranium to lead, but we have observed directly the rate of decay in pure samples uranium. Because we have done this we know the half-lives of both isotopes of uranium, and we can therefore use the ratio of the amount of 238 U to 206 Pb and of 235 U to207 Pb in a sample to determine the absolute age of the sample. This method is most accurate when you can use materials that include uranium and exclude lead when they are formed (i.e. you know exactly how many initial daughters there were). Fortunately the mineral zircon preferentially includes uranium in its crystal matrix, and lead is excluded. So when a zircon crystallizes its radiometric clock is set. This also means that the only source of lead atoms found inside a zircon crystal is the product of uranium decay. Zircon crystals are extremely durable (they are chemically inert and are not subject to physical breakdown) and have an extremely high melting point (900 C). Therefore, even if a rock in which a zircon is embedded goes through partial melting the zircons in the rock maintain their integrity, and their radiometric clocks are not reset. The age of a zircon crystal is determined by isolating it from the rock in which it is embedded and then analyzing its composition using an instrument called a mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer displays the amounts of 206 Pb, 238 U, 207 Pb and 235 U (and all other isotopes) in the zircon crystal. These values are then compared to a standard curve called a concordia that indicates the age of the zircon being dated (see Figure 4.9).



Figure 4.9: Concordia curve of 206 Pb/238 U and 207 Pb/235 U used in UraniumLead dating. The isotope two isotope ratios dene a point on the curve, and the ages of various points (in billions of years or Gy) are given. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho) Because the decay rates of uranium isotopes are so slow, the uranium-lead dating method is most useful for dating specimens that are 10 million years old or older, and the margin of error for this method is usually about 1 million years.

Shortly after radioactivity was discovered, scientists realized that the constant decay rate of radioisotopes, coupled with the fact that each decay left behind a daughter nucleus, could be used to measure when geologic events had occurred. They immediately set about making measurements. As with all new technologies in the early days of the eld of radiometric dating there were some false starts, including errors in data collection associated with crude instrumentation, contaminated specimens, and incomplete calibration curves that yielded inaccurate and imprecise results by todays standards. Further developments and tireless work by the early champion of radiometric dating, Arthur Holmes, nally led to the general acceptance of radiometric dating as a credible method in 1931. By the 1950s radiometric dating was accurate enough to be used reliably. Today, the precision of radiometric age measurements is so high (generally above 99.7%) that accuracy is more signicantly aected by geologic factors than by instrumentation. You should know, however, that there have been and certainly will continue to be skeptics of radiometric dating. Many skeptics insist on referring back to early, tentative eorts of scientists that sometimes produced erroneous conclusions: conclusions that have been corrected during the intervening years. Yet, some skeptics are unwilling to accept the fact that the margins of error associated with radiometric dating have shrunk considerably, mainly because the results of radiometric dating are in contradiction to their preconceived notions, ideas, or opinions about the world and their interpretation of old they believe things should be. We can view science in one of two ways. We can view science as an assault



on beliefs, faith, and our own preconceived notions of the way we think things should be, or we can view science as a useful tool that helps us search for truth and a deeper understanding of the way things in the physical world really are. As we continue to strive to search for truth and understanding about how the physical world works we should also simultaneously strive to be the kinds of people we know we should be.

1. Explain why some of the early methods of absolute dating were inaccurate. 2. Why do we consider radiometric dating to be a highly reliable method of determining the ages of things? 3. Where does 14 C come from, and how does it get into the bodies of all living things? 4. Why is there a need to use calibration curves when doing radiocarbon dating? 5. Which method of radiometric dating is most useful for determining the ages of really old things, i.e., things billions of years old? Why? 6. Explain why macroscopic dating methods, such as tree rings and glacial layers, are not su cient for determining the age of the Earth.




Plate Tectonics

Summary: The Earth is an active planet that is constantly changing. One of the ways Earth changes is through the mechanisms of plate tectonics: the surface of the Earth is composed of relatively low density crust oating on a sea of hot uid rock that is constantly in motion. Learning Outcomes: Describe the characteristics of an active planet and how this relates to the transfer of heat. Identify the general sequence of layers of material found in the Earth. Explain how the density and temperature of Earth materials drive convection. Identify the observations that can be explained with earlier scientic models (continental drift and sea oor spreading) and how these models evolved into the modern theory of plate tectonics. Identify the three basic types of plate boundaries and how their relative motion can explain many of the geographic features and natural events that occur near these regions. Vocabulary: Active planets Tectonics Convection Convergent boundary Divergent boundary Transform boundary

Craters are formed when space debris impacts a planet. The Moon and Mercury remain heavily cratered from bombardment that the planets received early in the evolution of the solar system, and yet there are almost no craters today on Earth. Why is that? Every year billions of tons of sediment are carried into the ocean basins by rivers, glaciers, and wind, and yet the oceans are not full of sediment. How can that be? Each year there are several million earthquakes. What causes them? The answers to these questions rest on the single most important characteristic of our planet: Earths surface is constantly changing. In other words, Earth is an active planet. The energy provided by the Sun causes some activity on planets with atmospheres; however, the eects of solar-induced processes are largely conned to the surface of the planet. The temperature in the core of our planet is estimated to be about 7,000 C (about 12,500 F), or about 25 times hotter than the maximum temperature of your home oven. The temperature of space is about -270 C (about -450 F). Most of the heat in the Earth originates from its initial formation and from the ongiong decay of radioactive atoms in its interior. Earths heat leaves the planet slowly because rocks are good insulators like the blankets you use to slow the release of your body heat while sleeping. Imagine being insulated by hundreds of miles of rock (or blankets) and you start to understand why heat leaves our planet slowly. The heat leaves the surface of the planet by means of radiation: the energy is released into space in the form of infrared light waves. Heat moves from the core to the surface of an active planet through conduction, or heat transfer by physical contact between materials, and convection, which is the slow ow and overturning of a planets mantle as deep hot rock

Earth is dierent from other planets Active planet: A planet whose surface is subject to change due to convective processes beneath the surface.

Earths heat comes from radioactive decay

Convection: Heat transfer that occurs when hot materials rise.

112 Tectonics: The movement of Earths crust on the surface, driven by mantle convection.


rises to the surface, cools, and sinks back toward the planets interior. The eect of this convection on the planetary surface is called tectonics. Many of Earths active processes, like seismic and volcanic activity, are caused by mantle convections that force blocks of rock to slide past each other. Other active processes, such as the water cycle, are caused by the heat absorbed from the Sun. Each of these processes modify the planets surface by replacing or changing previously produced landforms with new surface features. Because the Moon and Mercury are small, they had only enough heat to cause planetary convection early in their histories and have been dead for a very, very long time. Mars is larger and was therefore active longer, but it too has been dead for a long time3 . Earth and its sister planet, Venus, are su ciently large to retain the heat necessary to be an active planet today. Because the Earth is active the craters that formed early in its history (which are visible on the Moon and Mercury) have been removed by tectonic activity, weathering, and erosion. The sediments deposited in the ocean basins are recycled by adding them to continents and by burying them inside Earth. These processes, while operating in the past, were the driving force in producing the oceans and atmospheric conditions we have today - consequently setting up the conditions to which life needed to adapt. Most of the changes on the Earth occur on the scale of deep time. The geologic changes that accumulate during one human lifetime are almost imperceptible. For this reason, the changes are not always obvious.

Plate Tectonics: History

The history of the development of the theory of plate tectonics is a great example of the scientic method at work. The early development of the theory started back in the early 1600s and 1800s. For example, many individuals, including Sir Francis Bacon and Benjamin Franklin, suggested that the coasts of Africa and South America appeared to parallel each other and that they might have been connected. Benjamin Franklin even went so far as to suggest that our planet might be much like a cracked shell which is oating on a dense uid. However, the older scientic methodology and technology was not able to test the ideas of these early scientists. Therefore, these individuals were unable to fully validate their hypotheses. Alfred Wegener (a German Meteorologist) also noticed this parallelism and was intrigued by the idea that these continents may have once been together. However, Wegener additionally realized that if Africa and South America were connected in the past there would be similarities in the rocks of the two continents. Wegener tested this idea and found that the rocks on the corresponding sides of the two continents were almost identical in structure and composition. Wegener also further supported the budding theory by determining that fossils of organisms (plants and animals) that lived on the potentially merged continent could only be found on corresponding sides of the two continents. Additionally, the paleoclimatic evidence within the rocks, such as glacial striations, only made sense if the continents were once together. Wegener continued to make these comparisons with other continents as well. For example, he noticed that the rocks in the Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States are almost identical in topography, structure, and composition to the northern mountains of Ireland and Scandinavia. Based on these observations, Wegener proposed a hypothesis called continental drift. Continental drift suggested that the continents were once all part of a supercontinent that Wegener called Pangaea, and that all of the continents were mobile blocks or plates of less dense crust that were capable of moving thousands of kilometers through the denser oceanic crust.
3 The

Alfred Wegener (18801930 ): Alfred Wegener. This picture was taken while on an expedition in Greenland in 1930. He died soon after this picture was taken as he was traveling back to his base camp.

largest known volcano in the solar system is on Mars.



Figure 4.10: Distribution of fossil record across ocean basins. (Image courtesy of USGS)

Even though the hypothesis had substantial supporting evidence, it did not gain popularity amongst geologists and other scientists. Why not? Well rst of all the hypothesis was a radical new idea that went against the current paradigm of the time (most earth scientists believed that the earths crust did not change). Moreover, Wegener was a meteorologist and most geologists were insulted at the idea that Wegener would be suggesting such outlandish ideas about topics outside of his specialty. However, the biggest problem with Wegeners hypothesis was a lack of any mechanism causing the plates to move. Physicists and other prominent geologist quickly showed that the dense oceanic crust was much too rigid for continents to be shoved through it by any known force. Therefore, without an acceptable mechanism most geologists and other scientists would not support Wegeners hypothesis of continental drift. In the 1960s it became technologically possible to investigate the topography of the ocean oor. During World War II, Harold Hess was a captain of a transport ship that had a new technology: sonar. Hess was also a geologist, and during his trips across the Pacic he would direct their sonar equipment at the ocean oor. After the war Hess continued his investigation of the sea oor and found many interesting topographical features. Some of the most interesting of these features included: very deep oceanic trenches o the coast of many volcanically active regions, large mountain ranges or ridges that were in the centers of the individual basins, and long linear chains of islands and seamounts (underwater mountains). In the Atlantic ocean this mid-oceanic ridge paralleled the same patterns of the edges of continents. A more detailed view of these ridges also showed that a central rift valley existed all along their lengths. During this same timeframe, radiometric dating was becoming a much more precise methodology and other independent researchers were working on determining the age of the ocean oors. These independent researchers determined that the ocean oor had a maximum age of 180 millions years, and that the age of the ocean oor actually increased as you moved away from these mid-oceanic ridges. With these observations regarding the seaoor, Hess proposed a new hypoth-

Harry Hess (1906-1969 ): Harry Hess during Word War II as captain of the transport USS Cape Johnson.



esis which he called sea oor spreading. Hess hypothesized that these central rift valleys were actually tensional features within the earths crust where the sea oor was spreading apart due to convection currents within the subsurface of our planet. He postulated that new oceanic crust was being formed at these central rift valleys as hot material was rising from our earths interior. This new crust would ultimately force the ocean crust apart and ultimately move the crust toward the oceanic trenches where the ocean oor could now sink back into our earths subsurface to be recycled. Therefore, because new sea oor was constantly being created at the ridges and destroyed at the trenches the ocean oor always stayed relatively young. With the discovery of a potential driving mechanism for the movement of Wegeners continents a new scientic model was developed that combined the observational data of Hesss seaoor spreading and Wegeners continental drift to explain the motion of the earths surface. Sadly, Wegener never saw the acceptance of this idea within the scientic community since he froze to death during an arctic expedition in Greenland in 1930. We call this synthesis of data and ideas the theory of plate tectonics4 . This theory describes how the Earths oceanic and continental crust is divided into a number of plates that move due to convectional processes in the mantle and interact with one another at their boundaries. Additional data, such as the distribution of earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain ranges around the world, the patterns of paleomagnetic reversals in the seaoor, the direct observations of plate movement from GPS measurements over time, and the progression of the ages of the seaoor and hot spot tracks (i.e. Hawaii and Yellowstone), have further validated this theory of plate tectonics.

Plate Tectonics: How it Works

Convection drives planetary change. You have experience with convection, though you may not have thought much about it. Convection is what causes a hot air balloon to rise. When you heat soup or oatmeal, if you have been observant, youve noticed convection occurring: hot material rises to the surface, cools as it moves along the surface, and then descends back into the liquid. Convection is based on the principles that materials tend to expand and become less dense as they are heated, and that less dense matter rises as higher density matter sinks. On Earth, rocks near the surface that are exposed to the low temperatures of the atmosphere are cool enough to be brittle. These rocks break when they are stressed. Deeper in the Earth, where temperatures and pressures are larger, rocks are ductile and plastic. These rocks ow when they are stressed. That rocks ow surprises most people. Thinking about ice may help you extend your intuition. If you drop an ice cube on cement it will break, but if you put ice under pressure, like that inside a glacier caused by the weight of overlying ice, it will ow. Under the right conditions all solid materials ow, including Earths deep rocks. The Earth contains three layers of material, each made of a dierent kind of rock: the crust which is made of relatively low density rock, the mantle made of more dense rock, and the dense iron core (Figure 4.11). There are two kinds of crust: oceanic and continental. Oceanic crust is somewhat more dense than continental crust. This is why continents ride higher on the mantle than oceanic crust. The Earths crust is broken into slabs called tectonic plates (Figure 4.12), which are moved on Earths surface by the convective ow of the underlying mantle (Figure 4.11). Tectonic plates move around quite slowly: about as fast as your ngernails grow (up to about 10 cm per year). The
4 Note that we now refer to the idea as a theory rather than a hypothesis, since it has a signicant amount of supporting evidence.

Convergent boundary: A region where two tectonic plates collide. Divergent boundary: A region where two tectonic plates are separating. Transform boundary: A region where two tectonic plates slide past one another.



Figure 4.11: A simplied representation of the interior of the Earth. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho) movement and interactions of these plates and the convective movements of the underlying mantle is called plate tectonics.

Figure 4.12: Earths major tectonic plates. (Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey) Plates interact in one of three ways: 1) they collide at convergent boundaries (i.e. the Himalayas), 2) they move away from each other at divergent boundaries (i.e. Iceland), or 3) they slide past one another at transform boundaries (i.e. the San Andreas fault). These boundaries are illustrated in Figure 4.13. Most of the tectonic change on Earth occurs near plate boundaries, which is why most earthquakes and volcanoes are located within about a hundred kilometers of a plate boundary (see Figure 4.14). Oceanic crust is created at divergent boundaries and is recycled into Earths interior at convergent boundaries. Continental crust is not dense enough to be recycled: once created, it stays on the surface. When two plates collide, a



Figure 4.13: An illustration of the types of tectonic boundaries. (Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey)

Figure 4.14: Epicenter locations of world earthquakes, 1963-1998. Note that most of the earthquakes occur near plate boundaries, as seen in Figure 4.12. (Image courtesy of NASA)



mountain belt can form on the overriding plate as the crust thickens. New continental crust is generated in mountain belts by the welding on of ocean sediments and crust and by the intrusion of low-density magma into the crust. Over time, erosion wears down mountain belts and the crust thins. In the end, at areas like our continents interior remain. Every place on every continent was once part of a mountain belt, but only the most recently formed mountains have not yet been eroded away! When two continents reach each other at a convergent boundary, they become welded together, as is happening in India and Eurasia today. Sometimes a new divergent margin will form inside a continent and split it into several pieces, as is happening in East Africa today. Periodically, continental masses collide and a supercontinent is formed. When a supercontinent breaks up and its constituent continents move away from each other, new ocean basins are created and the formation of the next supercontinent is initiated - for, on Earths sphere, when continents move away from each other, they are also moving towards each other. The process of breaking up and reassembling a supercontinent takes several hundred million years. So why does any of this matter? Is it even important for us to understand these processes if they happen so slowly relative to a human lifetime? It turns out that understanding how the Earth changes does provide benets. Understanding how Earth works enables society to locate and extract the natural resources (e.g., fuel and metals) necessary for the functioning of modern civilization, minimize the negative eects of Earths dynamic processes (e.g., earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) on mankind, minimize mankinds eects on Earth (e.g., pollution), and satisfy mans thirst for knowledge.

Benets of understanding tectonics

1. List three ways in which the Earth has changed over time. 2. Are the processes responsible for these changes still active today? Explain. 3. Explain what convection is and how it works. 4. What are the layers of the Earth, and what are they made of? 5. Explain how the theory of plate tectonics describes many of the observations we make relative to the Earth. 6. Why did it take so long for mankind to discover plate tectonics?




Earth Changes!

Summary: Over its history, the Earth has seen a wide range of changes relative to its geography, climate, sea level, and biodiversity. Learning Outcomes: Understand that our earth is constantly changing, and identify how historical conditions (climatic, geographic, and atmospheric) dier from current conditions. Identify the data and observations used to discern Earth conditions in the past. Explain the dierence between climate and weather and identify how various factors (volcanic activity, atmospheric composition, etc.) can alter climate. Identify the natural processes that can alter global sea level. Explain the trends in the fossil record over geologic time. Identify the basic types of life that lived during the four geologic eras that span our earths existence. Explain what mass extinctions are and how they are related to the periods of the geologic time scale. Vocabulary: Climate Mesozoic era Cenozoic era

Precambrian era Paleozoic era

Earth Change
Climate: The conditions found in a given region, consisting of many factors such as atmospheric composition, temperature, tectonic activity, solar intensity, etc.... It is often di cult to understand how truly active Earth is, because the Earth changes slowly, and changes that accumulate during one human lifetime are usually imperceptible. However, as we view the Earth in Deep Time we can see how the accumulation of small-scale changes can produce large, visible eects, and cause global-level changes in our planets climate, sea level, life, and geology. It surprises most people, for example, to discover that there were long periods in Earths past when environmental conditions were extremely dierent than they are today. During Earths early existence there were no continents or oceans, and there was no free oxygen in the atmosphere. In fact, the early atmosphere was so dierent from the atmosphere of today that from space the planet did not appear blue, and the surface of the planet could not be seen. As for life, bacteria dominated the majority of the history of life on earth, multicellular life appeared about 1.5 billion years ago, and animal life is found in the fossil record starting only 600 million years ago. Global temperatures also changed greatly throughout Earths history, shifting from periods of warm temperatures to ice ages and back again, and sea levels rose and fell as global temperatures swung back and forth. Geologically, there were times when all of the continents were connected to each other in large supercontinents, and other times when individual continents were largely isolated from each other by seas


Factor Solar and magnetic variations Albedo Orbital eccentricity Earths tilt Earths wobble (precession) Water vapor

Explanation of Inuence Variation in Suns heat and shielding of this heat (aects amount of heat Earth receives). Determines the amount of solar heat reected or retained. Variations in the circularity of Earths orbit (aects distance from the Sun). Variations in the magnitude of the tilt (aects the severity of Earths seasons). Variations in the orientation of Earths tilt (aects the severity of Earths seasons). Most abundant greenhouse gas. Aects clouds, albedo (reectivity), precipitation, and vegetation. Captures infrared heat radiated from Earths surface. Captures infrared heat radiated from Earths surface. Transports and distributes heat around the globe. Changes ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. Promotes glaciation and aects atmospheric circulation. Source of carbon dioxide, sulfate particles, and short term ash. Aect volcanism, carbon dioxide, sulfates, mountain building, and continental distribution. Aects carbon dioxide removal. Causes short term ejecta in the atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide Methane Ocean currents Continental distribution Elevation of continents Volcanism Plate tectonics

Chemical weathering Meteor impacts

Table 4.2: Factors aecting global climate.

and oceans. Early in Earths history large and small meteorites travelling faster than the fastest missiles regularly slammed into our planet, producing local and global eects. This list of Earth changes could go on and on, but su ce it say that ours is an ever changing, dynamic planet! All forms of change on Earth are interrelated. For example, the building of a coastal mountain range will cause other eects. The climate becomes wetter upwind of the mountain range and drier downwind, the old shoreline is raised and, therefore, local sea level drops. In addition, formerly interbreeding populations of organisms that cannot traverse mountain ranges become isolated from each other, and these isolated populations which are now subjected to new environmental conditions evolve separately and may give rise to new species.

Climate systems are regulated by a complex set of factors, some of which are listed in Table 4.2. Understanding each of these processes, the magnitude of their eects on climate, their interactions and feedbacks, and the timescales over which they operate is an enormous scientic undertaking. Fortunately, much eort is being invested globally in furthering our understanding of climate systems (e.g., NOAA, EPA, IPCC). To help you develop your intuition about how these processes aect climate, we will briey explore two of these processes: 1) atmospheric composition, and 2) volcanic activity.

120 Atmospheric Composition


Greenhouse eect

The abundance of atmospheric greenhouse gases like water vapor and carbon dioxide determine the rate at which solar energy that is converted to heat radiates back out into space. Greenhouse gases act like the windows in your car: light passes easily through the glass, but once the light is absorbed by surfaces and materials in the car and is then released as heat it cannot pass back through the glass as easily as it entered. As a result the inside of your car heats up. Increasing the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere similarly slows the release of heat back into space, and the average temperature of the Earth increases. That the Earth is warming is now a conrmed scientic fact, but the topic of what we should do about global climate change is the subject of much political debate. We can only hope that governments and individuals will realize that no matter what opinion they may have on this topic, there is an overwhelming body of scientic observations that show that the release of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, is having a signicant eect on global climate as was discussed in reading 1.5. Volcanic Activity Large volcanic eruptions aect climate in two ways. Initially an eruption produces a cooling eect, and then, later, produces a warming eect. Sulfur, volcanic ash, and carbon dioxide are emitted into the upper atmosphere during an eruption and drive these eects. Cooling is caused when solar radiation is reected o of sulfuric acid droplets and volcanic ash in the upper atmosphere and goes directly back into space without being transformed into heat. After several years, natural processes remove the sulfuric acid and ash from the atmosphere and the greenhouse eect of carbon dioxide from the eruption causes warming. Clearly, the larger a volcanic eruption is, the bigger its eect will be on climate. For example, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 had no noticeable eect on the global climate. However, the major eruption of Mt. Tambora (Indonesia) in 1815, the largest volcanic eruption in recorded human history, caused the global climate to cool signicantly due to the reection of the solar heat o of emitted sulfur compounds and ash. Incidentally, the restoration of the gospel and subsequent establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was signicantly aected by the eruption of Tambora. 1815 is referred to as the year without a summer, which caused the crops to fail on Joseph Smith Sr.s rented farm in Vermont. With no hope of nancial recovery, the Smiths were compelled to settle accounts and relocate to Palmyra, New York.

Sea Level and Changing Environments

Oceans currently cover about 70% of the Earths surface, and these oceans have an average depth of 3,700 meters (12,000 ft). Our perception and intuition tells us that the oceans are huge, but when we consider the combined size and volume of the oceans in comparison to the size and volume of the Earth, they are quite small. For example, if the Earth were the size of a basketball it would take only 8.5 mL (milliliters) of water to ll all ocean basins. Thats less than two teaspoons of water (1 tsp = 5 ml)! Imagine how thin that layer of water would be if you spread that small amount of water over 70% of the surface of the basketball! The amount of water on the planet is essentially constant, but, interestingly, sea level is not. Sea level rises or falls when either the size of ocean basins change or the amount of water in those basins changes. The size of Earths ocean basins is determined by activity at divergent boundaries. When seaoor spreading is fast, the average temperature at mid-oceanic ridges is higher than average, and the temperature of the crust increases. Hot rocks are less dense, and therefore



ride higher on the mantle. When this happens mid-oceanic ridges get larger and displace the water above them, causing oceans to ood continents (i.e. sea level rise). Sea levels can also rise or fall in a particular area depending on whether local tectonic events are causing shorelines to be uplifted or lowered. The amount of water in ocean basins is also aected by global temperature. During periods of global cooling ice ages occur, and water is bound up in continental glaciers. When this happens the amount of water in ocean basins decreases and sea levels drop. Changes in sea level, tectonic activity, and global climate cause local environmental changes. Imagine a coastal area with a sandy beach and a swampy area just inland from the coast. When sea levels rise or tectonic activity causes the area to subside, sand and materials from the beach and swamp will be swept inland and remaining beach and swamp materials will be covered by seawater, and will eventually be completely covered by ocean sediments. Volcanic activity in the area could then cause these existing environments to be covered by volcanic materials. When global climate change causes the area to receive less precipitation, the swamp would dry out and become coastal grassland, and the beach dunes become a dune eld. In this way, one environment replaces another. We know this because rock layers record the history of environments that existed in a particular area, and collectively, the history of the Earth. Interestingly, these same rock layers also record the history of life on Earth.

Information about the environment is recorded in rocks

Life has changed markedly over the history of the Earth. The history of life is recorded as the fossil record found in sedimentary rocks. Organisms that are buried before they decay completely can form fossils. Because these organisms are covered and preserved only by sediment, fossils are found only in sedimentary rocks. The oldest sedimentary rocks do not contain fossils. The oldest fossilcontaining rocks bear fossils of single-celled organisms (bacteria). Slightly younger rocks contain fossils of more anatomically complex single-celled organisms (eukaryotes cells with a nucleus), and even younger rocks contain fossils of animals and plants. All fossil series show a consistent pattern of change from fossils in older rock layers that look less like living species to fossils in recent rock layers that look more like living species. Any idea that correctly explains the history of life on Earth must also explain this set of observations. The theory of evolution elegantly explains this and many other observations. Since life change (evolution) is the main topic of the next chapter, it is not discussed in greater detail here.

Geologic History of North America

The history you are about to read is a brief version of the events that formed North America. You need to be aware that this brief history of North America is to the geologic history of the Earth as one raindrop is to the Pacic Ocean. Still, it is worth knowing, because it is a case study that shows how continents are formed and how the Earth works. It will also build your intuition about the changes Earth has experienced. Earths past is recorded in the rocks around and underneath us. For those with a willingness to learn, and eyes to see, rocks tell stories: they record the events and processes that led to their formation. This narrative is organized using the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras of the geologic timescale. To help you better understand the scale of Deep Time, this reading includes an analogy in which the 4.55 billion year old age of the Earth is compared to one hour, also known as a geo-hour (see Figure 4.15). In this geo-hour analogy, one minute equals about 76 million years, and the average life span of a human (76 years) is equivalent to



60 microseconds. For example, the large meteorite impact that contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago (Ma) occurred 59 min and 9 sec into the geo-hour history of Earth, or just 51 geo-hour seconds ago. The history of Earth begins about 4.55 billion years ago (00:00 on our clock), which is by denition the beginning of the Precambrian era. Hereafter, the times given in parentheses will refer to the geo-hour.

Figure 4.15: The geo-hour: 4.55 billion years condensed into one hour. (Image courtesy of BYU-Idaho)

Precambrian Precambrian era: The age of early Earth. Over 87% of our planets history takes place in the Precambrian era. The Precambrian began with the formation of the planet and ended with the appearance of fossils of organisms that produced hard parts, such as shells and exoskeletons. We often refer to the Precambrian as the age of bacteria since bacteria were the only organisms in existence for the majority of this era. The Precambrian is a strange period in Earths history compared to conditions on Earth today. The Earth came into existence when the solar system was formed, and is made of material that was produced during the big bang and during stellar nucleosynthesis of many generations of stars that had gone supernova. When Earth was newly formed it was made of molten rock and did not have continents or oceans. Eventually the lowest density materials rose to the Earths surface, cooled, and formed rocks of the crust. At the same time, rocks of intermediate density formed the mantle, and the densest materials, mainly iron, formed the planetary core. Gases released from molten magma that covered the Earths surface and released by volcanic activity produced the early atmosphere, which was a combination of noxious gases and did not contain any free oxygen. About 4,527 Ma (00:18.2 into our geo-hour) a Mars-sized planet collided with Earth and ejected molten material into space that became our moon. By 3,800 Ma (09:53.4) the Earth cooled su ciently for water to condense and an ancient ocean surrounded small continental masses of crust. There is conclusive evidence showing that some rocks formed on the shores of these early continents were formed by bacteria. The oldest of these fossils are found in rocks 3,800 to 3,500 Ma (09:53.4 to 13:50.8). At least some of these bacteria produced oxygen as a waste product of their biological processes. Oxygen, a highly reactive gas, was poisonous to most of the early organisms that evolved under the conditions of an oxygen-free atmosphere, yet increasing concentrations of oxygen in the early atmosphere eventually played a role in the evolution of organisms that require oxygen to live. Anyway, some of these early continental masses formed the core of the modern North American continent.



Figure 4.16: An artists depiction of the Earths surface during the early precambrian era. (Image courtesy of NASA) North Americas ancient core formed by the collision of several small continental fragments between 2,100 and 1,800 Ma (between 32:18.5 and 36:15.8). By this time oxygen was present in the atmosphere in small quantities. Most of the southern part of North America was added between 1,800 and 1,600 Ma (between 36:15.8 and 38:54.1) as island arcs collided with the North American ancient core. These collisions formed the ancient Yavapai and Mazatzal mountain belts. About this same time the oldest fossils of eukaroytic organisms (organisms made of cells that contain a nucleus) begin to appear in rocks between 1,900 and 1,500 Ma old (between 34:23.7 and 40:54.1). North America became part of Rodinia, the oldest known supercontinent between 1,200 and 1,000 Ma (between 44:10.5 and 46:48.8). The collision of the continents that made up Rodinia created the massive Grenville mountain belt and added material to the continent. Rodinia broke up about 780 Ma (49:42.9). Just before Rodinia broke up Earth entered the rst global ice age for which we have solid evidence. This ice age was Earths largest and longest, and some evidence suggests that the entire planet may have been covered by ice during portions of this ice age: a phenomenon sometimes referred to as Snowball Earth. The rst fossils of complex multi-cellular animals appear in rocks 610 Ma old (51:57.4), which was shortly after the end of this large ice age. Fossils of these early animals are not abundant because they were composed only of soft tissues; however, fossils of other animals that produced hard parts, such as shells and exoskeletons, appear in rocks starting about 542 Ma ago (52:51.2), signaling the end of the Precambrian and the beginning of the Paleozoic era. The Paleozoic Era The Paleozoic, or age of past life, began about 542 Ma and ended 251 Ma (52:51.2 and 56:41.4). The early part of this era is sometimes called the age of invertebrates, and when other kinds of animals appeared the age of invertebrates was replaced by the age of shes, then the age of amphibians, and nally the age of reptiles. The Paleozoic era ended with the largest known mass extinction to occur on Earth. There were four major sea-level cycles during the Paleozoic. During the Paleozoic most of North America was relatively level except for a small higher region that existed in the center of the continent. Due to these level regions, periods of continental ooding caused extensive marine sediments, (i.e. sandstone, shale, and limestone) to be deposited over most of the continent. One Paleozoic era: The age of ancient life



of the causes of these sea-level cycles during the Paleozoic was signicant uctuation in global climate. During this time, the climate shifted from a warm period to an ice age, to another warm period to another ice age, and ended warm. Throughout the Paleozoic, North America laid on its side with its current west coast directed north. During this era, multiple small plates and island arcs were added onto North Americas southern, eastern, and western coasts. Todays Appalachian mountain belt resulted from three separate mountain building events that deformed and added material to the east coast. The rst two sets of ancient mountains, the Taconic and Acadian mountain belts, were built and eroded during the early and middle Paleozoic. The third mountain belt, the ancestral Appalachians, was much taller and wider than the modern Appalachians, extended along North Americas east and south coasts, and resulted from collisions between North America, Europe, Africa, and South America when Pangaea was formed. Erosion and mountain building events occurred along North Americas west coast during the late Paleozoic. These events formed three ancient mountain ranges (Antler, Sonoman, and the Ancestral Rocky Mountains) and basins, which extended to Nevada and Idaho and through Oklahoma. In a geologically short time, fossils of most of the major animal groups appeared and became diversied during the early Paleozoic. This rapid appearance and radiation of animal life is identied as The Cambrian Explosion. The majority of the fossils in the Paleozoic are of marine origin; however, fossils of land plants and animals (amphibians) appeared by the middle Paleozoic, 460 Ma and 380 Ma, respectively (53:56 and 55:22). A distinctive suite of fossils characterizes each of the periods of the Paleozoic era. For example, there was the age of trilobites (the ancestors of todays horseshoe crabs) and the age of sea scorpions (eurypterids). In one of the periods in the Paleozoic, we nd fossils of very large insects (e.g., foot-long cockroaches and dragonies with two-foot wingspans). The rst fossils of reptiles are found 315 Ma, near the end of the Paleozoic (55:42), and the extensive coal deposits of the East were formed about 300 Ma. There were three mass extinctions that took place during the Paleozoic, and the last one, the Permian extinction, was the largest extinction Earth has ever experienced. The fossil record shows that during the Permian extinction 95% of all fossil-forming marine species and 70% of all terrestrial vertebrate species died o. This cataclysmic event closed out the Paleozoic era and ushered in the Mesozoic era. The Mesozoic Era Mesozoic era: The age of middle life. The Mesozoic, or age of middle life, began 251 Ma and ended 65 Ma (56:41.4 and 59:08.6). This era began with the Permian extinction and ended with another extinction event that saw the end of the dinosaurs, except for one small group of specialized dinosaurs: birds5 . Due to the predominance of dinosaurs during the Mesozoic, this era referred to as the age of the dinosaurs. There was one major sea level cycle during the Mesozoic. Sea level reached an all-time high during the middle of this era, creating a shallow sea extending all the way across the middle of North American from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Many of the sedimentary rocks of this period were deposited in tidal ats, river systems, Sahara-like deserts, alluvial fans, coastal swamplands, and inland seas. The western coal and oil elds also formed during this era. The Mesozoic climates were warm, save for a brief period of cooling about halfway through the era, but there were no ice ages. Pangea began to break up at the beginning of the Mesozoic. As this happened North America moved from its former location near the equator to its present position and orientation. Rift basins formed between North America,
5 This

means that we still share the planet with dinosaurs. Cool, huh!?



Europe, and Africa and formation of new oceanic crust pushed these continents apart, forming the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The west coast of North America was also tectonically active during this time. As North America moved west and north it began to override the oceanic crust of the Pacic Ocean basin. The convergent boundary between the Pacic Ocean basin plate and the continental plate of North America created the Sierra Nevada and Idaho batholiths - the igneous rock that contributed to the mountains in these locations. At about this same time micro-continents from the Pacic plate collided with western North America, adding the Cordillerian portion of North America, and completing the formation of the western part of this continent. By the end of the Mesozoic, North America contained essentially all of the material is has today. The fossil record indicates that dinosaurs appeared early in the Mesozoic and became increasingly abundant and diverse throughout this era. The rst fossils of owering plants, mammals, and early, feathered, bird-like dinosaurs are found in the middle of this era, between 220 and 155 Ma (between 57:05.9 and 57:57.4). There were two mass extinctions during the Mesozoic: one near the beginning and one near the end of the era. The end-Mesozoic extinction is famous for the demise of dinosaurs (other than birds)6 . This end-mass extinction was caused at least in part by a collision with Earth of a 10 km diameter asteroid. This asteroids impact site is 200 km in diameter and is located on the Yucatan peninsula, which was at the time covered by a shallow sea. The impact event was so intense that large impact debris landed as far away as Utah and smaller ejecta (i.e. dust) covered the globe! This mass extinction marked the end of the Mesozoic era and the beginning of the Cenozoic era.

Figure 4.17: A depiction of Mesozoic life, specically from the Jurassic period, by Samuel Wendell Williston. (Image is in the public domain.)

The Cenozoic Era The Cenozoic era, or age of recent life, started 65 Ma (59:09). Even though this is the age of recent life, the early Cenozoic world still looked signicantly dierent than the world of today. In fact, you wouldnt start to feel at home until
6 Results of research published in mid-2010 states that birds with modern features didnt evolve from a line of dinosaurs that survived the extinction event at the end of the Mesozoic, as we once thought. Rather, birds with modern anatomies actually co-existed with dinosaurs for the last 5-10 million years of the Mesozoic, and these birds are almost certainly the only dinosaurs that survived to modern times.

Cenozoic era: The age of recent life.



We are presently in an ice age

after the last ice age, about 12,000 to 10,000 years ago (9.5 - 7.9 milliseconds left of the geo-hour)! One signicant ood and retreat cycle of the sea has occurred so far during the Cenozoic. Sedimentary rocks of this era were predominantly deposited in non-marine environments, e.g., in stream, lake, glacial, and alluvial fan systems. In the early and middle Cenozoic, there were large inland lakes in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming. Today, fossil sh, famous the world over for fantastic preservation, are quarried from the rocks produced in these lakes, such as those now found at Fossil Butte National Monument in southwestern Wyoming. The warm climatic conditions that characterized the Mesozoic persisted into the early Cenozoic, but by the middle of the era global temperatures began to cool. This cooling continued and Earth entered an ice age around 2.6 Ma (59:57.9). Continental glaciers advanced and retreated many times during this ice age. Today we live in the most recent interglacial period of that ice age. Present sea level is about 100 meters (about 300 feet) higher than it was during the last glacial period. Even so, todays sea level is low compared to what it was throughout much of Earths history. The landscape that surrounds us today is largely of glacial origin. One such landform that is important to Latter-Day Saints is the Hill Cumorah, a sedimentary hill that was formed by the North American ice sheet during glacial periods of the Cenozoic. During glacial periods, large inland lakes also formed in many localities in the west. One of the largest of these was Lake Bonneville. It covered most of western Utah and extended into eastern Nevada. The ancient shorelines and other landforms associated with lakes can easily be seen as you drive on Interstate highway 15 along the Wasatch Front mountain range in Utah today. The campuses of Utah State University, BYU-Provo, and Weber State University are all built on deltas that were deposited into Lake Bonneville, and are now referred to as benches above the valley oor that was once the bed of this immense lake. Early in the Cenozoic a series of upthrust tectonic events formed the modern Rocky Mountains, and the Teton Range east of Rexburg was produced by one of the most recent of these events. At this time, the Rocky Mountains would have looked much like the central Andes Mountains of today, with jagged peaks and steep rocky faces that have undergone little erosion. Following this mountain building event, extensive volcanic and magma activity occurred from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, to Denver, Colorado. Most of the metallic ore deposits of the west formed as a result of this activity. About this time, the North American plate overran the Pacic plate divergent zone and formed the San Andreas Fault. This fault connects the spreading ridges and subduction zones west of Oregon to those running through the Gulf of California. The interaction between the ridge system and the continent caused a dramatic change: tectonic activity transitioned from compression to extension. This extension caused fault-bounded mountains and their associated valleys to form by accommodating the stretching of western North America. This extensional region is called the Basin & Range province and formed the central valley of California where cities including Sacramento and Bakerseld are now located. In addition, during this time, many western rivers started to cut down to form the Grand Canyon and much of the topography of southern Utah. The magmatic activity that formed the Columbia Plateau, Snake River Plain, and Yellowstone also began at about this same time. During the Cenozoic, the fossil record shows that mammals and birds diversied and became extremely abundant, with mammals lling the majority of large animal niches left empty by the extinction of the dinosaurs. A few of the most famous Cenozoic species are the wooly mammoth, saber tooth cat, giant ground sloth, and Neanderthals. These species all went extinct before our day. One of the latest additions to the fossil record is the modern human, whose fossils appeared between 130,000 and 190,000 years ago (about 100 milliseconds

4.4. EARTH CHANGES! prior to the end of the geo-hour).


To help you envision the magnitude of change that has occurred just about everywhere on Earth, imagine yourself standing outdoors in a place you know well. Look around. Take note of the lay of the land. Now think about the dierent geologic and environmental features that exist on Earth: mountains, plains, shorelines, swamps, lakes, oceans, forests, deserts, glaciers, etc. Now consider this: essentially every kind of geologic feature and environmental condition has existed at least once where you are standing, no matter where you are. How do we know this? The rocks around and beneath you contain a record of those environments, and conrm this conclusion. With that insight in mind, ask yourself this question, What are normal conditions for the Earth? The answer to this question surprises most people. The answer is that there is no normal condition: the Earth is constantly undergoing change, including change in temperature, sea level, biological diversity, environmental conditions, and just about any other way you can imagine. Such is the nature of our dynamic planet. The Earth of today is the recent version of our planet, and is the result of a long and complex past, but a past we have been able to discover through careful investigation and observation.

1. What is climate? What sort of processes can aect climate? 2. What processes can aect sea level? 3. Describe what the Earth and/or North America was like during each of the four eras described in the reading.



Chapter 5


Figure 5.1: A group of unicellular cyanobacteria from a microbial mat in Guerrero Negro, Baja California, Mexico. Bacteria are the most adaptive, prolic, and populous form of life on the Earth. Cyanobacteria, such as these, are thought to be the rst photosynthesizing organisms on the planet. It was not until these bacteria released oxygen into the atmosphere that more complex aerobic organisms, such as ourselves, could develop and survive. (Image courtesy of NASA) In this nal chapter, we will discover what science has taught us about life on our planet. Living things are unique in the universe, in that they have the ability to propagate their kind. They manage to do this through the replication of a genetic blueprint, DNA. During sexual reproduction, the DNA of organism is mixed in a random way with the DNA of another organism from the same species. When you throw mutations into the mix as well, you end up with species changing (at least a little) from generation to generation. Understanding how these changes happen had allowed science to begin addressing several important questions, including Why is life on Earth so diverse, and yet so similar? and How did our species originate?





Observations of Life

Summary: The fossil record indicates that life showed up relatively early in Earths history, and that over the course of billions of years has evolved and adapted to the ever-changing climatic conditions. In this reading we will consider many of the traits shared by all forms of life, and look specically at a few case studies involving specic species. Learning Outcomes: Dene what evolution is and what evolution is not. List and describe several traits shared by all forms of life. Describe at least one set of observations that shows that life has undergone evolutionary change. Explain what biodiversity is. Vocabulary: Biodiversity Evolution

In the late summer of 1940, just a few months after the German army invaded France during WWII, four French teenagers and their dog ventured into cave about 250 miles south of Paris. What they discovered was the astonishing Lascaux cave complex where more than 2000 ancient paintings cover the walls and ceilings (Figure 5.2). These cave paintings include depictions of bison, deer, and a variety of other large animals. After World War II, scientists studied these caves and concluded that the paintings are from the Paleolithic time period, meaning that they are over 17,000 years old. This discovery shows that humans have been keen observers of the diversity of life for a long, long time, and certainly much longer than even these paintings suggest. In case you are curious, you can click on the link below if you want to see a streaming video tour of the Lascaux cave complex which is now closed to the public: 00.xml.

Figure 5.2: An example of the Paleolithic paintings from the Lascaux caves, France. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons.) Our interest in the diversity of life remains with us today, as demonstrated by the success of nature programming on television, the vast number of outdoors magazines, and ongoing eorts of scientists to identify, describe, and protect



the diversity of life. Perhaps our real fascination with the diversity of life rests in a few fundamental questions, such as: What does it mean to be alive? What traits do all living things share? How many kinds of living things are there? And, where did the diversity of life come from? In this chapter we will delve into a few of the things we have learned about these questions, focusing mainly on the last question listed above. What does it mean to be alive? This can be a tricky question, because the only things that scientists can study are evidences of life. Some of the more obvious evidences that you are alive include the observations that you are breathing, your heart is beating, your cells are consuming energy, and that you respond to your environment. The essence of life itself, however, remains elusive to scientic investigation. Lets therefore turn our attention to traits of living things that we can investigate scientically. What traits do all living things share? Some of the most prominent traits shared by all living things are listed in Table 5.1. In summary, all living things are made of the same kinds of organic materials, are composed of cells, and carry out metabolism and the other processes listed. Trait Biological molecules Cells Description All living things are made of proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. Cells are the fundamental anatomical unit of life, and all living things are made of cells. Living things store their genetic information in DNA which they can copy and pass to their ospring. All living things use the exact same system to code for the genetic information in their DNA and to decode that information as they make proteins. All living things take in nutrients and energy from the environment and use biochemical reactions to transform them into energy and materials they can use. All living things grow by increasing in size or by making identical copies of themselves. All living things pass their genetic material to the next generation of life. All living things have an ability to collect information from the environment and respond to those signals. Populations of all living things exhibit genetic change from one generation to the next. Table 5.1: Traits shared by all living things.

Traits of Life

Genetic material

Universal genetic code



Reproduction Interaction with the environment


Number of Species



How many kinds of living things are there? Biologists have been working for centuries to identify and describe as many species as possible. Even though many biologists spend their entire careers doing this, we still do not know for sure how many dierent species there are. So far about two million species have been scientically described and named, but estimates of the total biological diversity on Earth range from about three million to as many as 100 million living species. This range of estimates is extremely wide because we have systematically sampled only small parts of any ecosystem. No one knows, for example, how many kinds of bacteria, microscopic roundworm species, etc., live in places we have not studied intensely, such as soil communities or life at the bottom of the ocean. Regardless of our lack of precision on this question, there are certainly millions of species on the planet. Scientists also work to arrange the known diversity of life into a framework we can use to keep track of it. One early, largely successful eort to organize all living things in a way that reects their degree of relatedness was achieved in the late 1700s by Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist. Linnaeus invented the binomial system of nomenclature to name every kind of living thing. His method of naming things includes giving each kind of organism a genus and a species name. He also assigned living things to families, classes, phyla, and so forth (see Figure 5.3). According to this pattern the scientic name of humans is Homo sapiens. The genus name Homo means human, and the species name sapiens means wise. A scientist named Carl Woese made a more recent contribution to the eort of organizing species in the 1970s.

Figure 5.3: The structure of Linnaeus taxonomic hierarchy. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) Woese assigned all living things to one of three domains of life (Figure 5.4). Two of these domains, the Bacteria and the Archaea, include only organisms that are prokaryotes. Prokaryotes exist as individual cells or as clusters or chains of cells, and each cell lacks a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles (Figure 5.5). Most of the species people are generally familiar with, however, are included in the other domain, the Eukarya. These organisms have eukaryotic cells with DNA housed in a nuclear membrane, and their cells contain membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria, chloroplasts, etc. (Figure 5.6). The domain Eukarya includes all animals, plants, algae, fungi, protozoans, and related groups. All members of these three domains share all of the traits of life listed in Table 5.1. How can this be, and where did the diversity of life come from? The current scientic paradigm of the origin of the diversity of life states that all life on Earth is derived from a common ancestor. Figure 5.7 shows one version of the evolutionary genealogical history of life on earth. The bottom line is that all existing species developed from earlier species by a variety of well-understood processes collectively referred to as evolution. Every population of living things undergoes evolution, and this is evidenced by the fact that every population undergoes small shifts in its genetic makeup from one generation to the next. Mechanisms causing these populationlevel genetic changes include the following: (1) pressures from the environment that favor one genetic option and select against another; (2) random genetic mutations; and (3) even random meetings of gametes (eggs and sperm) that result in greater or lesser than predicted frequencies of certain genes especially

Evolution: The change and development of species over time.



Figure 5.4: The three domains of life as proposed by Woese. Domains Bacteria and Archaea contain only species with prokaryotic cells. Domain Eukarya contains species whose cells have a nucleus, and includes the kinds of organisms people are most familiar with. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Figure 5.5: A prokaryotic cell. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)



Figure 5.6: A eukaryotic cell. Both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells have DNA and ribosomes that they use to make proteins, but only eukaryotic cells contain a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons) in small populations. It is, frankly, perplexing that many people frame their thoughts about evolution in terms of whether they believe or dont believe in evolution. You may as well ask someone if they believe in atoms, if the Earth goes around the Sun, or if the force of gravity is still in eect. That populations evolve is not a matter of opinion: its a matter of observational fact. If you collect the right kinds of data, its obvious that populations evolve. Asking someone if they understand evolution, however, is a completely dierent matter. The goal of this section of the course is to provide you with an introduction to what evolution is, how science came to understand evolution, and to provide you with the opportunity to learn about some specic examples of evolution. In order to complete this reading assignment, study one of the two following case studies: evolution of elephants or of whales. You are, of course, welcome and encouraged to look at both, but you are required to look study one in detail. You should become familiar enough with the case study you chose so that you can help someone else understand that particular episode in evolutionary history.

Evolution case study #1: Elephants

The mass extinction event at the end of the Mesozoic Era about 65 million years ago saw the demise of the dinosaurs, but mammals, birds, and many other animals survived. Mammals, which were mainly small, unspecialized animals throughout most of the age of dinosaurs subsequently specialized and lled the majority of niches formerly populated by dinosaurs. One group of mammals gave rise to modern elephants, the largest living land animals on the planet today. In the summer of 2009 researchers announced the discovery of the fossil remains of a small mammal from about 60 million years ago that has anatomical traits that make it the earliest known member of the evolutionary line that gave rise to modern elephants. This relatively unspecialized, rabbit-sized animal, Eritherium azzouzorum, has teeth that show evidence of the kind of tooth shape found only in elephants and their relations. For this reason Eritherium is currently considered to be a possible ancestral species of elephants (Figure



Figure 5.7: An evolutionary genealogical tree of life showing the three domains of life starting at the left (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukaryotes), and many of the eukaryotic groups as you go the left. Also note that the gure shows major geological events and mass extinctions, and suggests a common ancestral line for all living things. (Image courtesy of Leonard Eisenberg, used by permission.)



5.8). The closest living relatives of elephants are small animals called the rock hyrax, and manatees and dugongs. This has been conrmed by genetic analysis and shared anatomical traits (see Table 5.2). Shared with rock hyrax Incisors are small tusks Molars on the side of the jaw Testes housed inside the abdominal cavity Odd number of toes (3) on hind feet Toenails at Mammary glands near the forelegs Ovaries protected by an extra tissue covering called a vestibule Breathing only via nostrils Kidneys with nephrostomes Shared with manatees and dugongs Incisors are tusks in dugongs, manatees dont have incisors Molars on the side of jaw Testes housed inside the abdominal cavity Odd number of toenails (3) Toenails at Mammary glands near forelimbs Ovaries protected by an extra tissue covering called a vestibule Breathing only via nostrils Kidneys with nephrostomes Nearly hairless bodies Wrinkled skin, in order to minimize dehydration Table 5.2: Anatomical characteristics modern elephants share with the rock hyrax, and manatees and dugongs. The main backbone of the tree that gave rise to modern elephants includes many intermediate forms. Paleontologists continue to debate exactly which species are direct-line ancestors of modern elephants, but some species that are contenders for these positions include Moeritherium, Palaeomastodon, Gomphotherium, Primelephas, and mammoths (see Figure 5.8). As scientists examined the fossil history of the elephant family tree, and elephant evolution, several trends became evident. These are listed in Table 5.3 (evolutionary trends of elephants). Some of these traits are evident, as you look at pictures below of a few of the species in the evolutionary tree of elephants. Be sure to refer to the evolutionary tree of modern elephants to see where these species appear on that tree.



Figure 5.8: An evolutionary history of modern elephants. (Image courtesy of Alan R. Holyoak)

Anatomical Trait Body size Limb length Foot shape Skull/neck length Lower jaw length Nose shape Incisor shape Molar shape

Trend Small (rabbit sized) to large Lengthening of fore and hind limbs Feet become relatively short and broad Skull and neck shorten Lower jaw elongates then shortens again Short nose elongates into a trunk (proboscis) Small, at edges teeth for clipping become elongated into tusks These shift from being relatively small and unspecialized to being large, broad, and specialized for grinding plant material Teeth were originally replaced from below (as in humans) to being replaced from the rear of the jaw, shoving older, worn teeth forward where they are lost as they crack and fall out

Pattern of tooth replacement

Table 5.3: Evolutionary trends in the ancestral line giving rise to modern elephants.



Figure 5.9: Six extinct species of ancestral elephants. Look for these species on the evolutionary tree presented earlier in this case study. Starting from the upper left, the species are: Moeritherium (50-37 Ma), Palaeomastodon (36-25 Ma), Gomphotherium (24-5 Ma), Deinotherium (20-1 Ma), Primelephas (155 Ma), and Steppe Mammoth (4 Ma10,000 yrs ago - the head of an African elephant is included for scale). (Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Evolution case study #2: Whales

The evolutionary history of whales is a fascinating story. For many years no one had any supportable idea about where whales came from. Whales are mammals, and, like all other mammals, whales have hair (at least a little), mammary glands, produce milk, suckle their young, and must breathe air, but unlike most mammals, whales live only in water. Whales have streamlined bodies, ns and ukes instead of legs and a tail, they lack hind limbs, they have a thick layer of blubber for insulation, their nostrils are on the top of the head instead of at the tip of the snout, they lack specialized teeth commonly seen in other mammals, and they even reproduce and give birth in water. No other mammal has those traits or does those things. So, where did whales come from? It wasnt until the last few decades that key fossils were discovered that were needed to solve this evolutionary mystery. Before you read further, watch this ve-minute video about the evolution of whales: 034 05.html As you already know from earlier readings, about 65 million years ago a meteorite impact triggered the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs (except birds) and large marine reptiles such as plesiosaurs and mosasaurs that were the top marine predators at the time. These extinctions opened up ecological space in the worlds oceans for large-bodied predators, but none appeared for some time. About ten million years after the dinosaurs went extinct, in what



is now Pakistan, a group of animals appeared that are the earliest known ancestors of modern whales. This whale ancestor is named Pakicetus (meaning Pakistan whale). Pakicetus, however, didnt look at all like a whale. It was a terrestrial, carnivorous mammal about the size of a modern wolf (see Figure 5.10). The oldest known fossil of this species is from about 56 million years ago. Paleontologists were able to make the connection between Pakicetus and whales via unique bones in the skull that are highlighted in the short video you should have watched (see the link above). The only other animal known to have that unique structure other than Pakicetus were fossil and modern whales. The location and sediments in which Pakicetus were discovered conrm the fact that this animal was not aquatic. It had long legs, small feet, and probably would have been a very weak swimmer. Its fossils, however, have been found only among stream and river sediments where it may have been a predator and scavenger taking advantage of abundant prey that would have been there.

Figure 5.10: Pakicetus (56 Ma). This was a completely terrestrial species. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) The next known species in the evolutionary history of whales appeared in the fossil record about ve million years after Pakicetus, it was called Ambulocetus. This species (whose name means walking whale) lived about 50 million years ago, also in Pakistan and southern India, was about three meters long, and at a glance could have been mistaken for a scale-free crocodile (see Figure 5.11). This was the rst aquatic ancestor of whales. It still had four well-developed legs, and large, sharp teeth, but its limbs were proportionally shorter than its ancestors, its feet were larger, and may have been webbed. Unlike Pakicetus, Ambulocetus lived mainly in near-shore marine environments, possibly including estuaries. The composition of its remains show that it probably also spent at least part of its life in freshwater. These conclusions are supported by the fact that fossils of this species have been found only in near-shore, marine sediments. Most paleontologists conclude that Ambulocetus was amphibious, being able to move well on land and in the water.

Figure 5.11: Ambulocetus (50 Ma). An amphibious freshwater and marine species. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) The next whale ancestor to appear was a contemporary of Ambulocetus, showing up in the fossil record only a few million years later (48 Ma). This new species was Remingtonocetus (meaning Remingtons whale). It had a more elongate body and a longer more slender snout than its ancestors, and probably



swam by undulating its body up and down rather than side-to-side as shes do (remember the otter in the video?). Remingtonocetus still had fully functional hind legs, and, like Ambulocetus, was almost certainly amphibious. Deposits of material in its fossilized teeth show that this species lived only in and along marine habitats. It wasnt long, however, before the next intermediate form, Protocetus, appeared in the fossil record. Evolution was proceeding relatively rapidly.

Figure 5.12: Remingtonocetus (48 Ma). Amphibious, but lived only in shallow marine habitats. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) Protocetus (meaning rst whale) shows up in the fossil record around 47 Ma. It was more streamlined than its ancestors and is an important transitional form showing distinct connections between its terrestrial ancestor via the shape of bones in its ankles, and rm connections to its whale descendants in the form of its inner ear bones. Protocetus still had hind limbs, thought its legs were shorter than those of its ancestors. It is unclear whether these animals could support themselves on land, but in either case this species probably spent the majority of its time in the water, much like modern seals. Protocetus probably moved by a combination of paddling with its large feet and by up and down undulations of its body. Fossils of this species are found only in coastal and lagoon sediments. Protocetus fossils have, however, been found in coastal regions in many dierent locations, suggesting that this was probably the rst widely dispersed whale species, and may have had a global distribution in shallow marine environments.

Figure 5.13: Protocetus (45 Ma). Recent research indicates that Protocetus was streamlined, but did not have tail ukes. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) The next group of whale ancestors appeared about 41 Ma, and is represented by Dorudon (meaning hard tooth). The modern whale body shape begins to take shape in this species (see Table ??). Dorudon was about ve meters long, had a streamlined, elongate body, and showed several adaptations to a completely marine lifestyle. It still had tiny hind limbs, but would not have been able to support itself out of the water. Its skull had an elongated snout, and it no longer had fused vertebrae making up the sacral region of its backbone. This would have provided its backbone with greater exibility and an increased ability to undulate its body. This is a characteristic also found



in modern whales. Dorudon was almost certainly a truly aquatic species. Its nostrils were located farther up on the head than in any earlier species. Current interpretations of the fossil record suggest that descendants of Dorudon gave rise to both the modern baleen and modern toothed whales around 35 Ma. Even so, there was another important group of early whales that helped unravel this story. They are the basilosaurs.

Figure 5.14: Dorudon (41 Ma). The nostrils on the head are higher than on previous species. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) Basilosaurus (king lizard) were whales that appeared about 40 Ma. These were not direct line ancestors of whales, but they played an extremely important role in unraveling the mystery of whale evolution. Basilosaurus fossils were rst discovered in the 1800s, and were erroneously identied as marine reptiles when they were rst described, thus the term lizard appears in the name. Anyway, the thing that makes this group special is that a fossil of this type was discovered, and that fossil was complete enough to show that it had a small but complete pelvis and small but functional hind limbs complete with toes. Prior to this discovery no whale with hind limbs had been discovered, and this gave scientists clues of what to look for in other whale fossils that were discovered later.

Figure 5.15: Basilosaurus (38 Ma). Not a direct line ancestor of modern whales, but this group provided important clues to understanding the evolution of whales. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) The anatomy of modern whales still contains clues of their ancestry. They have, for example, vestigial pelvis and femur bones (Figure 5.17). They also have the same structures in their skulls that scientists rst used to link them to Pakicetus. Trends in the evolution of anatomical characteristics of whales are listed in Table 5.4. In summary, there are still questions to be answered about the evolution of whales, but we now have solid evidence supporting the conclusion that whales evolved from an ancient, terrestrial animal that lived over 55 Ma. It makes you wonder what life will look like if it has another 60 million years to evolve? (Note: Much of the information in this case study was adapted from the following scientic article: Thewissen, J.G.M., and E.M. Williams. 2002. The Early Radiations of Cetacea (Mammalia): Evolutionary Pattern and Develop-



Figure 5.16: The evolutionary tree of whale species. Note that the representative species included above are found in this tree, as are many other fossil whale species. These species are highlighted as representatives of the major ancestral groups of modern whales. The Odontocetes coming out of the purple Dorudontidae box are the modern toothed whales, and the Mysticetes are the modern baleen whales. Notice also that basilosaurs are on an evolutionary side branch. (Image courtesy of Thewissen and Williams, 2002)



Anatomical Trait Rostrum (snout) length Nostril location Eye location Teeth

Trend A short snout elongates into a long one Movement of the nostril from the tip of the snout to the top of the head Movement of the eyes from the top of the head to the sides of the head Shift from having specialized teeth (e.g. incisors, canines, premolars, molars) to having teeth all of the same shape (modern toothed whales) or no teeth (baleen whales) Shift form a short, squat body to an elongated and streamlined body Shift from a long slender leg with a small foot to a short and broad leg with a ipper/n Shift from a long, slender leg, to a smaller non-functional hind leg, nally on to vestigial leg bones or none at all (no external hind limb) Shift from four sacral vertebrae fused together that make up part of the pelvis, to only one sacral vertebra, and none of the formal sacral vertebrae are fused to each other (this allows greater exibility of the backbone for swimming A large pelvis used to support the hind portion of the body on land becomes tiny and vestigial or completely absent A short, whip-like tail becomes long and bearing ukes (tail n)

Overall body shape Forelimb shape Hind limbs

Sacral vertebrae (vertebrae of the pelvic region)

Pelvis size


Table 5.4: Major anatomical trends in whale evolution.



Figure 5.17: The upper drawing is of a modern sperm whale skeleton, and the small structure labeled p indicates its vestigial pelvis and femur bones. The lower drawing is of a modern bowhead whale skeleton, and the structure labeled C indicates its vestigial pelvis and femur bones. The pelvis and femurs in modern whales are non-functional, when present, and do not extend beyond the outer body wall. (Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons) mental Correlations. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 33: 73-90.)

1. List and describe several traits characteristic of all forms of life. 2. Identify a few possible hypotheses to account for the observed diversity of life on Earth. 3. What specic characteristics might you look for in fossils to determine whether the specimen was related to modern day elephants? 4. What kinds of di culties might arise when classifying fossil specimens? 5. How does the fossil record conrm the idea that species can go extinct and evolve? Explain.




Origin of Species: Early Ideas


Summary: A review of early ideas that attempted to explain how life on Earth could be so diverse and yet so similar, culminating with Charles Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection. Learning Outcomes: Give examples of how the accumulation of observations have caused us to develop improved models of the origin of the diversity of life on Earth (and is another good example of the self-correcting nature of science). Explain why special creation and all of its variations (creation science, intelligent design, etc.) are not scientic explanations. List and describe the Cuviers observations that led to the conclusion that species can go extinct. Describe Lamarcks theory of evolution by the inheritance of acquired traits. List and explain Darwins four foundational principles of evolution by natural selection. Explain why an understanding of the mechanisms of inheritance is necessary for any working theory of evolution. Vocabulary: Special creation Neo-Platonism Inheritance of acquired traits Natural selection

There are estimated to be between 5 and 30 million living species on earth [Brooker08]. Where did they all come from, and how did they come to be so well adapted to their environments? How did they come to be so dierent, and yet have so many basic traits in common? This section introduces you to a history of discoveries and ideas that gave rise to our current understanding of evolution - a process that provides some answers to these questions.

Idea #1: Special Creation

One of the earliest explanations for origin and diversity of life is referred to as special creation [Brooker08, Freeman01]. This non-scientic explanation is found in Biblical and other scriptural accounts. Special creation states that God created every kind of living thing as immutable species that were the progenitors of all life on earth. It also states that the diversity of life came into being when God created each kind of living thing, and that each kind of living thing was formed to be perfectly and uniquely suited to its particular environment. The reason this explanation is non-scientic is that it relies on acts of God that cannot be investigated scientically, and for which empirical evidence cannot be collected. In other words, this explanation cannot be falsied. Special creation: A theologically based idea which states God created the various species the way that they are today.



Figure 5.18: The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo. This painting, found on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, depicts the notion of special creation. (Image is in the public domain.)

Idea #2: Inheritance of Acquired Traits and the Concept of Use and Disuse
The ancient Greeks developed the idea that traits acquired during an individuals life can be passed to its ospring; a paradigm that lasted for over 2000 years! The Greeks also accepted the principle of use and disuse. That is, that a characteristic or trait that is used and is benecial is retained by a species, while traits that are not used could gradually disappear from a species. The Greeks also believed that climate and regional dierences could be used to explain differences we see among the races of people [Mayr85]. This idea of use and disuse is how many people today would explain evolution if they were asked, but the concept of use and disuse is not the basis for evolutionary change, even though it was the predominant explanation for over two millennia about how organisms change.

Idea #3: Fossils and the Rebirth of Direct Observation (1400s-1600s)

Educators and scholars practiced a method of learning called scholasticism throughout the Middle Ages and into the early part of the Renaissance period. Scholasticism is based on the premise that a true scholar should study the teachings and philosophies of the ancients, such as Plato and Aristotle, rather than seek out new knowledge. The teachings of the ancients were accepted on the authority of ancient scholars alone, not on independent conrmation of what they taught. Fortunately, this approach to learning changed around 1600. Early renaissance period scientists therefore spent most of their time collecting specimens and pondering them in light of the teachings and conclusions of ancient philosophers instead of working out their own conclusions based on their own observations. This deference to authority caused them to view the world under a philosophy called Neo-Platonism [Rudwick85] (after the Greek philosopher Plato). Neo-Platonism includes a combination of Greek mysticism and Judeo-Christian beliefs. Neo-Platonism states that all living things have an inherent power within them and an a nity between them. It also states that the physical shapes of all things in nature are based on perfect ideas and that those ideas may be expressed anywhere: in the heavens, in water, on the earth, or in the earth. Living organisms and fossil specimens were therefore viewed only as expressions of perfect ideas in stone, and scientists of that time did not recognize fossils as the remains of once-living things. A form of Neo-Platonism continues in some ways today, such as when someone reports that they believe they see an image of an object of worship in a

Neo-Platonism: A philosophy that suggests all things in nature are based on perfect ideas, and thus living organisms and fossils are just natures way of expressing perfection.



Figure 5.19: Fossil trilobites in the Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Neo-Platonists suggested that such fossils were merely stones in which nature was attempting to express perfect forms. (Image is in the public domain.) non-living thing, e.g., a sighting of an image of the Virgin Mary in a dirty hospital window. In the 1600s education moved away from scholasticism and Neo-Platonism. About this time scientists started to base their conclusions on rst-hand observations, or the authority of direct observation. As a result they rejected views of Neo-Platonism, and instead proposed that fossils are the remains of things that were once alive [Rudwick85]. This does not mean that they rejected the theory of special creation, it just meant that they believed that some individual organisms eventually became fossils. The organic origin of fossils was broadly accepted by the late 1600s, but that did not explain the origin of fossils that did not look like any known living thing, or provide a scientic explanation for the diversity of life.

Idea #4: Extinction Theory and Early Rejection of Special Creation as a Scientic Explanation (1796)
In the 1700s scientists proposed that sedimentary rock layers represent dierent periods of history and that fossils in those rock layers represent a history of life on earth, as described in chapter 4 of this text. Nevertheless the origin of unidentiable fossils remained elusive until 1796 when the French scientist Georges Cuvier presented research on the anatomy of living and fossil elephants. Cuvier was a rm supporter of the theory of Catastrophism, but he was not convinced that the idea of the immutability of species, or the notion that Gods perfect creations could neither change nor become extinct, was correct. He investigated this question by comparing the skeletal anatomy of living elephants to the anatomy of fossil elephants. Elephants are excellent subjects for this kind of research because their skeletons are large, and there is no question about whether you are looking at an elephant when you look at these species. Cuvier hypothesized that if signicant anatomical dierences existed between living and fossil elephants that such observations would provide evidence that species of living things could and had changed. Cuvier made careful measurements and observations on living and fossil elephants. His data showed that there are signicant anatomical dierences between living African and Asian elephants. He also discovered that were signicant dierences between living and fossil elephants. Some of these dierences are obvious when you compare the jaw and teeth of a fossil mammoth with the jaw and teeth of an Asian elephant (Figure 5.20). These observations showed



that living and fossil elephants are dierent, suggesting that they had undergone change, and that there are species of elephants (e.g., mammoths) that once lived on the Earth, but which are now extinct. This set of observations eectively refuted the dogma of immutability of species and showed that extinction of entire species had occurred. Both of these discoveries were huge steps forward in our understanding of the history of life on Earth.

Figure 5.20: Georges Cuviers sketches of (top) a mammoth jaw and (bottom) an Asian elephants jaw. The dierences in the two specimens was enough to demonstrate that the mammoth jaw was dierent from that of Asian or African elephants, and therefore belonged to an animal that had gone extinct. (Image is in the public domain.) Cuviers work on elephants and extinction opened the door to further work in this eld. Science currently recognizes about 160 species of elephant-like animals, including four living species (Asian, Borneo Pygmy, African Forest, and African Savannah elephants), and the ongoing discovery of new fossils continues to help clarify the evolutionary history of this interesting and anatomically distinctive group of animals. Though extinction is commonly accepted today, Cuviers demonstration of extinction was a testimony-shaking event for some people of his day. It was a testimony-shaker because people at the time believed that a perfect God could create only perfect things and that those perfect beings were perfectly suited to their environments and would never change or go extinct. Cuviers work did two things. It showed that extinction can occur, and it provided an explanation for the origin of unidentiable fossils: they were members of species that had gone extinct. By the way, modern work on biodiversity shows that there are currently millions of living species and that billions of species have lived on the earth. That means that probably less than 1% of all species that ever existed are now alive [Raupp92]. Cuvier also openly rejected the theory of special creation as a scientic explanation for the diversity of life. He did so because acts of God cannot be studied via scientic methods, are non-falsiable, and they therefore fall outside of the realm of scientic investigation [Rudwick85].



Idea #5: The Theory of Transmutation and the Concept of Deep Geologic Time (1800)
Around the same time as Cuvier, other scientists also concluded that species can change and that the earth is much older than a few thousand years, as previously thought. The concept of transmutation of species (i.e., evolution) was not widely accepted, however, because no one had discovered a method by which species could change.

Idea #6: Evolution by the Inheritance of Acquired Traits (1800)

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a younger contemporary of Cuvier, was the rst scientist to publish a theory that explained how species might change. His theory of inheritance by acquired traits states that traits acquired during an individual life can be inherited by its ospring [Brooker08]. Lamarcks explanation was actually a sort of modernized version of the Greek use and disuse model of change. An example that has been used to explain how Lamarcks theory works is this: imagine an ancestral animal that has a relatively short neck. It nevertheless prefers to eat leaves that grow on trees, so it constantly stretches its neck throughout its life in order to reach those leaves. As a result it ends up with a neck that is proportionally longer than the neck it would have had if it hadnt spent its life stretching. When this animal, now with a slightly longer neck, reproduces, Lamarcks theory states that the animals ospring could inherit the trait of a slightly longer neck, and actually be born with a longer neck. Finally the unusually long necks of giraes were produced by many generations of ancestral animals that continued to stretch and feed. Nearly 60 years passed before further research and Charles Darwins discovery of evolution by natural selection and Mendels discovery of the principles of inheritance (which are discussed in another reading) revealed the errors in Lamarcks theory.

Inheritance by acquired traits: An idea which suggests animal populations evolve when traits acquired during an individual lifetime are passed on to its ospring.

Idea #7: Charles Darwin and Evolution by Natural Selection (1859)

Charles Darwin was born into a well-to-do, upper middle-class family. He showed little aptitude for formal education in his early years, but when he was 16 he was admitted to the University of Edinburgh (Scotland) where he embarked on the study of medicine. The rst operation Charles witnessed horried him. He reportedly bolted from the room and never returned. Darwin then moved on to study theology at Cambridge University, and began to prepare for a career in the clergy. Through all of this, however, Darwin maintained his life-long passion for natural history. Darwin completed his theology degree when he was 22 years old, but his heart was still with natural history. After graduation Darwin had no desire to enter the clergy. Instead he accepted an oer to serve as a naturalist aboard the HMS Beagle, a ship of the Royal Navy that had been ordered to carry out a mapping expedition of South America. The voyage of the Beagle lasted from 1831-1836 and included circumnavigation of the globe. Though Darwin was almost constantly seasick he took every opportunity to observe the biodiversity and geology of places the Beagle went. During the voyage Darwin collected and shipped over 5,500 natural history specimens (e.g., rocks, fossils, animal and plant specimens, etc.) back to England. Darwins collection came to the attention of the English scientic community, and when he returned home he was surprised to nd that he had become something of a scientic celebrity [AE98].

Charles Darwin (18091882 ): Proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection.



Natural selection: This theory states that organisms evolve as ecologically favored genetic variations are passed on to ospring.

Once back in England Darwin worked with a variety of specialists to identify and describe the specimens he collected. As he did so, he made many observations that eventually led to the development of his theory of evolution by natural selection. For example, Darwin compared and marveled at the similarities and dierences between giant fossil ground sloths and their smaller, living relatives, similarities and dierences between geographically isolated populations of living species, such as rheas (large ightless birds) from southern versus central South America, and the similarities and dierences between the unexpected diversity of closely-related species of nches and other bird groups he found in the Galapagos Islands. Darwin hypothesized that all Galapagos nches must be descendants of a small group of South American nches that somehow ended up on the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles east of the South American mainland. He also concluded that all living things must have evolved from preexisting species. At the time, however, Darwin could not explain how, for example, a few South American birds could give rise to the specialized nch species of the Galapagos. Two books had a profound impact on Darwins thinking as he continued to ponder on this problem of the origin of species. The rst book was by the English geologist Charles Lyell [Lyell30]. Lyell wrote that geologic change occurs constantly and gradually through small-scale processes, such as erosion, acting over long periods of time. Lyell also stated that the Earth must be very old to have allowed enough time for those constant, small, and gradual processes to produce the geologic features that we see today. The second book was by the English economist Thomas Robert Malthus [Malthus98]. Malthus wrote that human populations grow and thrive as long as resources exist to support them, but when population size exceeds resource availability then competition, disease and war result, and these factors reduce the population to a supportable size. Darwin applied the ideas of Lyell and Malthus to his own observations. Darwin hypothesized that if small-scale geologic processes acting over long periods of time can produce signicant geologic change, then small changes in heritable traits occurring over many generations could cause major changes in species, including the production of new species. Darwin wondered what force could cause such species to change. Darwin turned to Malthus ideas and concluded that if competition for resources limits the size and health of human populations then non-human populations must also compete when resources are limited. By the end of 1837, Darwin, now 27 years old, combined the ideas of Lyell and Malthus with his own to develop the foundation of his theory of evolution by natural selection [Darwin59]. This theory is based on the following four principles: 1. There is variation in heritable traits in all populations of living things. 2. Some of that variability is passed from generation to generation. 3. Competition exists because more ospring are produced every generation than will survive to adulthood. 4. Surviving to adulthood and reproductive success are not random events. The fourth principle includes the natural selection part of Darwins theory. Nature selects or favors individuals that already have the best set of traits for dealing with local conditions when they are born. Favored individuals (i.e., those with the best t to their environment) are therefore more likely to survive to adulthood, acquire a mate, and produce more ospring than individuals that lack the best set of traits. The elegant part of this explanation is that no matter what local conditions exist, and even if conditions change, selection continues and populations of organisms continually become better adapted to the environment as favored



Figure 5.21: A depiction of how the processes of natural selection lead to the evolution of a species. In this example, dark coloration is ecologically favored, while light coloration is not. (Image courtesy of Laszlo Szalai, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.) individuals survive and reproduce large numbers of ospring, while fewer, lesst individuals survive, and those that do survive tend to produce fewer ospring. Natural selection can thereby cause populations and species to change over time. Darwin referred to this kind of change as descent with modication [Darwin59]. The dierence between Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection and the use and disuse theories of the Greeks and Lamarck is that Darwins theory is based on the set of inherited traits an individual received from their parents, while both the Greeks and Lamarck based their ideas on the idea that traits an individual has can be changed during their lifetimes. Of course, when an egg and sperm fuse to create a new individual, the genetic make-up of that new individual is set and cannot be changed by use or disuse. This is the major aw in Lamarcks theory. At same time, Lamarck had no way of knowing he was in error, because when he developed his theory no one knew how inheritance worked. As Darwin continued to ponder the things he observed, he concluded that the history and diversity of life should be viewed as a tree. He hypothesized that all species evolved from one or a few ancestral forms found at the base of the tree. He stated this conclusion quite elegantly in the last sentence in his book, On the Origin of Species: There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the xed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. [Darwin59] Even though Darwin had developed the core of the theory of evolution by natural selection by 1837, he spent the next 22 years collecting examples that demonstrate his theory. Darwin was nally convinced to publish his theory, and it appeared in his book, On the Origin of Species, in 1859. Within 15 years of its publication Darwins theory gained nearly universal acceptance among the scientic community, thus making Darwins theory evolution by natural selection the scientic new paradigm for explaining the diversity of life. Those who know about Darwins life also know that he broke his ties with formal religion. Some people have tried to blame that apparent loss of faith on his work on evolution. What they probably do not know is that most of his loss of faith was directly related to the death of his oldest daughter. When Darwins



daughter died he could not accept that her death was the act of a caring and loving God, and he never again set foot in a church. But if you re-read the quote above it is obvious that Darwin still had faith, and the publication of his theory was never intended to damage anyones testimony. By 1900, Darwins theory was in big trouble. Darwins theory is based on the mechanism of the inheritance of variable traits, but the scientic community did not yet know how inheritance worked or where new genetic variation comes from. Until these two problems could be answered Darwins theory was in jeopardy. Fortunately someone had already discovered and described the principles of inheritance, but well learn about that in the next reading.

1. Why did people start coming up with these ideas in the rst place, i.e. what were the initial observations that led to these ideas? 2. Why does science not embrace the idea of special creation? 3. Why do you think that the notion of inheritance by acquired traits persisted in scientic thought for such a long time? 4. What did you nd interesting or informative about Charles Darwins life? 5. Explain how the four principles of Darwins theory of natural selection could cause a species to evolve.




Genetics and DNA


Summary: In the last section, we saw that Darwins theory of natural selection was lacking a mechanism for explaining inheritance and the source of new genetic variability. In this section we will address these ideas. The genetic code for all living creatures is found in a molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA. When organisms reproduce, their DNA is passed on to their ospring. Learning Outcomes: List and describe Mendels three laws of inheritance. Illustrate the laws of dominance and segregation by constructing and interpreting a Punnett square. Dene the terms genome, DNA, chromosome, gene, and allele, and use these terms correctly as you describe genetics and inheritance. Identify the structural components of DNA, including molecules and bonds found in DNA. Explain the basic pattern of DNA replication and how it relates to the principle of inheritance. Vocabulary: Inheritance Allele Law of segregation Dominant allele Recessive allele Law of independent assortment Gene Chromosomes Carbohydrates Lipids Amino acids Proteins Nucleotides DNA Replication Inheritance: The mechanism whereby traits are passed from parent to ospring.

You will recall that the last section ended laying out two major di culties with Darwins theory: (1) there was no specic mechanism known whereby traits could be passed from parent to ospring (i.e. the processes by which inheritance worked were unknown), ; and (2) there was no known mechanism to explain how new genetic variations could arise (i.e. the processes whereby mutations occurred were unknown). These questions were ultimately answered as early models of genetics were enhanced by the discovery of chromosomes, genes, and DNA.

Idea #8: Mendels Principles of Inheritance (1866 & 1900)

In 1866 Gregor Mendel published a research paper with an unremarkable title, Experiments on Plant Hybrids [Mendel66], in an obscure German journal. That paper contained the results of a series of experiments which illustrated the following principles: 1. Traits are inherited as discrete heritable units that we now call genes

154 Gene: A discrete unit containing heritable traits; a segment of DNA found on a chromosome. Allele: One of two copies of a particular gene carried by an organism. Law of segregation: A scientic law which states that the alleles passed onto ospring are selected randomly.

CHAPTER 5. LIFE (e.g., in Mendels experiments on peas, one gene determined plant height and another gene determined ower color, etc.).

2. An individual always carries two copies of a gene. Those copies are called alleles. Alleles carried by an individual may be identical to each other or they may be dierent (e.g., a pea plant could have two tall alleles, two dwarf alleles, or one tall and one dwarf allele for the plant height gene). 3. A parent can pass only one of their two alleles for a particular trait to an ospring. The ospring receives one allele for a gene from its mother and one allele for the same gene from its father. The allele that is passed from a parent to an ospring is determined at random. Mendel called this the law of segregation. The workings of this law are apparent in Punnett square diagrams, such as Figure 5.22. A Punnett square is one way to represent how Mendelian inheritance works. In Figure 5.22 the alleles from the male parent (top of diagram) are highlighted in blue, while the alleles from the female parent (left side of diagram) are highlighted in red. The four boxes in the table represent possible allele combinations from the parents, and you will note that each of these combinations, which could be inherited by ospring, include only one allele from each parent. 4. The combination of alleles for a given gene determines which version of the trait an individual will produce. Both alleles of a gene are active and produce whatever they code for, but whenever a dominant allele is present its product masks the expression of the other allele regardless of what the other allele may be. An allele that is expressed only when no dominant allele is present is called a recessive allele. In peas the tall allele is dominant and the dwarf allele is recessive. For example, whenever at least one dominant tall allele is present the plant will be tall, but a plant must have two dwarf alleles to produce a short plant. The mechanism by which this works is depicted in Figure 5.22, where you will see that any ospring inheriting a dominant allele from either parent will possess the dominant trait (purple coloration, in this example). , and is called the law of dominance. 5. Alleles for one trait are passed to an ospring independently of the alleles for all other traits. Mendel called that the law of independent assortment. The signicance of Mendels work was not immediately realized. However, these principles of inheritance now form the foundation of the modern eld of genetics. Mendels work also showed how inheritance works and provided the clarication and support Darwins theory needed, thereby restoring condence in the theory of evolution by natural selection, which remains a cornerstone of biology today. Mendel did not, however, know what genes are, what they are made of, how the genetic code is carried, how it is translated into the traits we see, or where genetic variability comes from.

Dominant allele: An allele whose trait will be expressed regardless of which other allele for the same trait is present. Recessive allele: An allele whose trait is expressed only when a dominant allele is not present. Law of independent assortment: A scientic law which states that alleles for a given trait are passed to ospring independently of alleles for other traits.

Idea #9: Genes and Chromosomes (1900-1950)

Chromosome: A set of genes; strand of DNA. a linear Scientists built on Mendels work on inheritance and discovered that chromosomes are linear strands of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, and that they carry the genetic code. They also discovered that multiple genes are found on each chromosome, and that segregation and independent assortment occur among chromosomes rather than among individual genes [Brooker08]. What those scientists didnt know was how chromosomes make copies of themselves or how the genetic code is carried and read. To understand those things you would have to know the structure of DNA, and by 1950 this was the biggest question in biology.



Figure 5.22: A Punnett square: a representation of Mendelian inheritance, specically highlighting the laws of segregation and dominance. The alleles from the two parent plants (indicated by the B and b boxes at the top and side of the square) can combine in one of four dierent ways. In this case, the B represents a dominant allele resulting in a purple color, and the b represents a recessive allele resulting in a white color. (Image courtesy of Madeline Price Ball, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.)

Idea #10: The Structure of DNA (1953)

In 1951 an ambitious young American PhD, James Watson, arrived in England where he met and formed a friendship with a British graduate student, Francis Crick. They decided to try to discover the structure of DNA by building molecular models. At about the same time Rosalind Franklin, an English x-ray crystallographer, joined the research group of Maurice Wilkins. Franklin and Wilkins did not get along well, but they both used x-ray crystallography to attempt to discover the structure of complex molecules, such as DNA. Using this method they produced and analyzed photographs that showed the scatter patterns of x-rays shot through strands of DNA. The teams of Watson/Crick and Franklin/Wilkins both knew that DNA was made of nucleotides. What they didnt know was how nucleotides t together to form a molecule that could carry the genetic code and make exact copies of itself [Watson68, Maddox02]. By the spring of 1953, and after a number of personally embarrassing attempts at model building, Watson and Crick had built their most recent model of DNA. Its structure was based on a combination of their own intuition, suggestions from colleagues, published research, and the use of Franklins unpublished data (without her knowledge or consent). [Watson68, Maddox02]. After careful review by their colleagues, as well as by Wilkins, Franklin, and others, it became clear that Watson and Cricks model was correct [Watson68, Maddox02, Watson53]. They discovered that the basic shape of a DNA molecule is that of a double helix (Figure 5.23). If you could untwist and atten out the helix it would look much like a ladder (see Figure 5.24). The sides of the ladder are made of alternating sugar and phosphate groups of nucleotides that are bonded to each other. The rungs of the ladder are made of nitrogenous bases of nucleotides that line up with each other on opposite sides of the ladder, and they are also bonded to each other. These bonds, however, are weak hydrogen bonds: bonds that are easily formed, broken, and reformed. Notice that the nitrogenous bases always pair up in a certain way: guanine bonds only with cytosine (G-



C), and adenine bonds only with thymine (A-T). They bond this way because there are always two hydrogen bonds between A and T, and there are always three hydrogen bonds between C and G. Incidentally, the initial evidence that the nitrogenous bases bond this way was discovered by Erwin Charga, whose experiments showed that in all species the number of As in the DNA was equal to the number of Ts, and that the number of Cs was equal to the number of Gs.

Figure 5.23: The double helix shape characteristic of DNA. The solid, ribbonlike lines represent the backbone of the DNA, which consists of the deoxyribose and phosphate group. The nucleic acids occupy the middle part of the molecule. Note that this gure shows only a small segment of the DNA molecule. (Image is in the public domain.)

Figure 5.24: The molecular structure of DNA. When untwisted, the molecule looks much like a ladder. The rungs of the ladder consist of pairs of nitrogenous bases. Note that the base adenine always pairs with thymine, and cytosine always pairs with guanine. The dotted lines represent hydrogen bonds, which are easily broken. (Image courtesy of Madeline Price Ball, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.) Another important thing to know about DNA is of the strength of bonds that hold molecules in DNA together (Figure 5.24). You may want to refer back to the information on molecular bonding back in Section 3.3, where we rst encountered the DNA molecule. The bonds between phosphate groups



and sugars that make up the outer backbones of DNA are a specic kind of covalent bonds, called phosphodiester bonds. Once those bonds are formed they are extremely di cult to break. The bonds between the nitrogenous bases, however, the hydrogen bonds, are relatively weak (indicated by the dotted lines in Figure 5.24). One of the mysteries of inheritance, you will recall, was how the genetic code could make exact copies of itself and then be passed to ospring. Scientists knew that had to happen, but until we knew the structure of DNA there was no way to understand that process. Now that we know the structure of DNA we have been able to discover how DNA makes exact copies of itself - a process which is called replication. The text that follows is an introduction to this process. When a cell is ready to divide it has to make a copy of every chromosome it has. Take another look at Figure 5.24. This gure shows that each nitrogenous base in the middle of a DNA double helix bonds only to a complementary nitrogenous base, as has already been mentioned: remember that A forms hydrogen bonds only with T (A-T) and that G forms hydrogen bonds only with C (G-C). When DNA starts to replicate itself a rather complex series of events involving multiple enzymes becomes activated. We wont get into the details of that here, but su ce it to say that the double helix is put under stress and some of the bonds break. The hydrogen bonds (being the weakest bonds present) break and the two DNA strands that make up the double helix are pulled apart. This is sometimes referred to as unzipping. When the double helix is unzipped enzymes move nucleotides that are oating around into the open space between the DNA strands and form hydrogen bonds with exposed bases on the original strands of the parent double helix. In the meantime enzymes also help the sugars and phosphates of newly attached nucleotides to form phosphodiester bonds with each other. This process continues until each DNA strand of the original double helix has an entirely new set of complementary nucleotides bonded to it. In this way strands of the original or parent double helix act as a template. Complementary bases are bonded to each template strand until every base on both templates has a new complementary base bonded to it. This is called the semi-conservative pattern of DNA replication (Figure 5.25). There are about three billion base pairs in human DNA. That means that every time a human cell prepares to divide, whether it is during growth, the replacement of a worn out or damaged cell, or during production of gametes, three billion bases are added to each set of DNA strand templates. You would think that somewhere in there some mistakes would happen. Well, they do, but there is an entire group of enzymes that do nothing more than move along strands of replicating DNA functioning as spell checkers. Whenever they locate a spelling error they clip out the error and correct it. Even so, errors can and do happen during DNA replication, and that is one source of genetic mutations (discussed later).

Replication: The process by which exact copies of DNA are made.



Figure 5.25: The semi-conservative pattern of DNA replication. The double helix is unzipped, and additional nucleotides are paired up to match the two strands, resulting in two copies of the original strand of DNA. Note that the enzymes facilitating this process are not shown in this diagram for simplicity. (Image courtesy of Madeline Price Ball, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.)



1. Explain how Mendels principles of inheritance work. 2. Why are the laws of segregation and independent assortment important? 3. Explain how alleles, genes, chromosomes, and DNA are related. 4. Describe the three primary parts of a nucleotide. 5. Describe the structure of DNA, or in other words how nucleotides combine to make DNA. 6. Explain how replication works. 7. How would you feel if someone used your unpublished work without your knowledge and/or permission, and subsequently received considerable recognition (i.e. image that you were Rosalind Franklin)? How does this relate to the ethics of science?




Molecular Evolution

Summary: Once the structure and function of DNA was understood, it became apparent that genetic mutations were changes in the genetic code thus completing the molecular evolutionary mechanism, and showing how new genetic variation could come into existence. Additional research has shown that these same mechanisms are in operation constantly in all forms of life, and indeed that every form of life is evolving. Learning Outcomes: Describe what the universal genetic code is and how the discovery of this code provides strong evidence for the theory that all living things share a common ancestry. Explain how transcription and translation work, and identify the polypeptide coded for by a particular segment of DNA. List the dierent kinds of point mutations and chromosomal mutations, discuss their relative severity, and explain why genetic mutations are sources of new genetic variability. List the Hardy-Weinberg criteria, and then explain how the violation of any of those criteria can allow evolution to happen. Discuss the dierences between microevolution and macroevolution. Vocabulary: mRNA Mutation Microevolution Macroevolution Phyletic gradualism Punctuated equilibrium

Transcription Ribosome Codon tRNA


Charles Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection provided a good model for describing how populations of organisms change from generation to generation, and even how new species can arise from preexisting ones, but it did not explain how evolutionarily important traits are passed from one generation to the next or where new genetic variability comes from. The answers to these questions could not be answered until after the structure of DNA was discovered in the mid-1950s. Watson and Cricks model of DNA allowed scientists to understand how DNA copies itself and transfers genetic information from one generation to the next, but science still didnt know how DNA carries the genetic code, how the code is read to produce structures in living things, or how the code can change to produce new genetic variations. These are the topics of this reading.

Idea #11: Chromosomes and The Universal Genetic Code

Within 10 years of the description of the structure of DNA, scientists discovered how DNA carries the genetic code: it is determined by the specic order of nucleotide nitrogenous bases (i.e., the As, Ts, Cs, and Gs). The order of these bases species which allele a gene carries, and consequently which protein a gene



produces. Depending on its shape, a protein can be used to make a physical structure or it can function as an enzyme to help chemical reactions take place in the body. Further research showed that genes are carried on chromosomes. A chromosome is a linear strand of DNA. Linear chromosomes have been found in all living things except bacteria (bacterial DNA is a double helix, but it is arranged in a loop that is attached to the cell membrane, but we wont look at bacterial DNA in more detail than this). Each linear chromosome contains multiple genes. One gene carries the code to make one protein. One complete set of human chromosomes contains about 3 billion pairs of nitrogenous bases (A-T and C-G pairings), and so far about 30,000 genes have been identied, but we do not yet know exactly how many genes there are in the human genome. How exactly does DNA carry the genetic code? As you already know, DNA is made of four kinds of nucleotides, and their bases are A, T, C, and G. Somehow the order of these nitrogenous bases has to carry the code for the specic order of the 20 dierent kinds of amino acids that make proteins. If scientists assigned only one nucleotide to one amino acid, the code could account for only four of the 20 amino acids, and that clearly wont work. If they assigned a combination of two nitrogenous bases to one amino acid, then this model could code for only 16 amino acids. But, when combinations of three nitrogenous bases were used, a maximum of 64 dierent triplet-combinations of nitrogenous bases is possible, and this approach provided more than enough combinations to code for the 20 dierent kinds of amino acids. Further research conrmed that the three-base model was correct. Each three-base triplet is called a codon. How exactly does the order of nitrogenous bases carry the code for a protein, and how is that code read to make a protein? The process used to translate the genetic code carried by a gene into a protein is sometimes referred to as the central dogma of molecular biology. Heres how this process works. First, a cell receives a signal telling it to make a specic protein. When that message enters the cells nucleus, the region of a chromosome carrying the appropriate gene is unzipped and a copy of that gene is made through a process called transcription. During transcription the DNA code of the gene is not copied into a new strand of DNA, it is instead copied into a strand of another kind of nucleic acid called messenger RNA (mRNA). RNA stands for ribonucleic acid. RNA is a single-stranded molecule that is also made of nucleotides, but it uses a nucleotide called Uracil (U) in place of Thymine (T). The process of transcription is depicted in Figure 5.26.

Codon: A group of three nitrogenous bases.

Transcription: The process wherein the nitrogenous bases that code for a particular gene is copied into a strand of mRNA. mRNA: messenger RNA; a single stranded molecule made of nucleotides that carries the genetic message out of the cell nucleus and into the body of the cell.

Figure 5.26: DNA-mRNA Transcription. An enzyme called RNA polymerase unzips the double helix in the region of the target gene, and a mRNA strand is produced. (Image is in the public domain.)

162 Ribosome: The structure within a cell where the genetic code is read and proteins are assembled. Translation: The process in which proteins are formed based on the genetic code carried by mRNA. tRNA: Transfer RNA; a single stranded molecule composed of nucleotides that carries amino acids into the ribosome.


After the code is copied into a mRNA molecule the mRNA carries the code out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm of the cell and to an organelle called a ribosome. The ribosome is able to read the genetic code carried by the mRNA in a process called translation. During translation a ribosome attaches itself to the mRNA and the ribosome then reads the nitrogenous bases one codon at a time. Each codon signals the ribosome to do one of the following things: 1) to start making a protein (the start codon), 2) to add to a certain amino acid to the amino acid chain; or 3) to stop adding amino acids to the amino acid chain (the stop codon) (Figure 5.27). Each codon indicates which amino acid is to be added next to the amino acid chain. Each amino acid is brought into the ribosome by a carrier molecule called transfer RNA (tRNA). There are as many kinds of tRNA molecules as there are codons that code for amino acids, and there is a location on each tRNA molecule that carries a complementary set of nitrogenous bases for each codon on the mRNA. This is how the ribosome ensures that the amino acids are added in the correct order. For example if a codon on the mRNA strand is AGG the complementary set of bases on the tRNA will be UCC. In this way a ribosome produces a string of amino acids, one amino acid at a time. When the ribosome nally encounters the stop codon the ribosome detaches itself from the mRNA, and the amino acid chain, also called a polypeptide, is released. The polypeptide then folds itself up into its specic three-dimensional shape. It is this three-dimensional shape that that determines the proteins function.

Figure 5.27: The process of protein synthesis carried out by the ribosome. The ribosome matches specic transfer (tRNA) molecules to the codons on the mRNA. The amino acids connected to the tRNA molecules are added to the polypeptide chain, which subsequently detaches and folds into a protein. (Image is in the public domain.) While thats interesting, the next discovery was earth shaking! Further research discovered that no matter what the organism you are working with, from a bacterium to a blue whale, the same codon always codes for the same amino acid. This means that all living things use the same universal genetic code [Alberts02]. Figure 5.28 shows this universal code. You probably noticed that there are Us instead of Ts in the table. This is because the table shows mRNA codons instead of DNA codons, and they are shown because mRNA codons are the ones that are read by ribosomes during translation. As was mentioned earlier in the reading, there are a total of 64 dierent codons in the table showing the universal genetic code. Wouldnt only 20 dif-



Figure 5.28: The universal genetic code, showing which amino acids are associated with each codon. Note that the codon AUG indicates the amino acid methionine/start codon. Three of the codons instruct the ribosome to terminate the polypeptide chain, and all other codons code for a particular amino acid, as listed in the table. (Image is in the public domain.) ferent codons be enough to meet the needs of protein synthesis, one codon for each kind of amino acid? What are the extra 44 codons for? If you look at the table you will see that all but two amino acids have more than one codon associated with them, plus there are start and stop codons that are used to signal the ribosome to start or stop reading the code. The extra codons provide a degree of redundancy in the genetic code. This redundancy is extremely important, since scientists also discovered that it is not uncommon for mistakes or changes called mutations to make their way into the genetic code. So, if a mutation is small, perhaps a change of only one nitrogenous base, this redundancy sometimes still allows the same protein to be produced. For example, if you take another look at Table 5.28 you will see that the codons AGA and AGG both code for the amino acid Arginine. So, if a codon started as AGA and mutated to AGG the code would still indicate Arginine, and the resulting protein remains unchanged.

Mutation: A change in the order of nitrogenous bases in a gene.

Idea #12: Molecular Genetics and Variability

A new eld of study called molecular genetics grew out of our improved understanding of how DNA carries the genetic code. Molecular genetics is the study of how even small mutations aect a protein produced by a gene, and consequently how mutations represent evolutionary change. During DNA replication (the process of making new chromosomes of DNA from old ones), transcription, and translation, if everything goes well, there are no mutations of the genetic code. However, if there is a mutation it is possible that the mutated code will produce a protein with a three-dimensional shape dierent than that the one that would have been produced by a non-mutated gene. Luckily, not every mutation results in a defective protein. If, however, the mutation aects the number or order of amino acids enough, then the resulting change in the three-dimensional shape of the resulting protein gives that protein a dierent function. Thus, a change in the shape of a protein can completely change the way the protein behaves. One graphic example of how a mutation produces a signicant change in the



shape of a protein is the genetic disorder cystic brosis. Cystic brosis occurs when a person inherits a recessive allele from both parents. This recessive allele is mutated in that it has lost one codon. The loss of this single codon causes a change in the shape of a protein that prevents the normal movement of sodium and chloride ions across cell membranes. In a person with cystic brosis, this mutated gene results in the concentration of sodium and chloride ions on one side of membranes, which in turn causes mucous secretions to become sticky, and to respiratory problems, among other things. Unfortunately, even though we know the genetic basis of cystic brosis there is not yet a cure for this disease. Mutations result from the gain, loss, or replacement of one or many bases. Single-base changes are called point mutations. Mutations that involve the gain, loss, or order reversal of hundreds of bases or more are called chromosomal mutations. What causes mutations? Mutations can be the result of uncorrected mistakes that happen during DNA replication or transcription, as well as by the eects of toxic substances produced by the body, or the introduction of toxic chemicals into the body, as well as radiation, and other factors [Freeman01]. Do all mutations aect heritable traits? No. There are two types of cells in the body, somatic cells and germ cells. Somatic cells are cells of the body and germ cells are cells that produce gametes. In sexually reproducing species only mutations that occur in germ cells can be passed to ospring, but it is mutations that occur in the germ cells that produce new genetic variability into the population.

Idea #13: The New Synthesis

During the latter part of the 20th century biologists combined our modern understanding of molecular genetics, DNA structure, the central dogma of molecular biology, principles of ecology, and the theory of evolution by natural selection to produce an updated theory of evolution referred to as the New Synthesis [Eldredge85]. The new synthesis combines ecological and environmental pressures and their eects on the genetic code at the molecular level. This combination of factors was then applied to populations, and this synthesis helped explain how genetic modications can change existing species and even produce new species.

Idea #14: Hardy-Weinberg Criteria

Evolution is taking place in a population whenever allele frequencies change from one generation to the next. This conclusion was reached independently in the early 1900s by two researchers, Godfrey Hardy [Hardy08] and Wilhelm Weinberg [Weinberg08]. It took most of the rest of the 20th century to produce the breakthroughs in genetics and molecular biology that were needed to test their hypothesis. Hardy and Weinberg hypothesized that evolution occurs whenever there is a change in the number of individuals in a population having certain alleles when compared to the number of individuals having those same alleles in earlier generations or in subsequent generations. They further stated that the following ve criteria must be met in order to prevent a population from undergoing evolution [Freeman01]: 1. There is no selection (the genetic makeup of individuals gives them no advantage or disadvantage in dealing with challenges they face). 2. There is no mutation. 3. There is no migration (no immigrants or emigrants).



4. There are no chance events, (the population must be large enough so that random meetings between eggs and sperm during fertilization that could produce a shift in gene frequencies are neutralized by the huge number of other fertilization events, thus maintaining the predicted unchanging allele frequencies). 5. All mating is completely random (no mate selection). What is the likelihood of these ve criteria being met at the same time in any natural population? Never! That is the point! The violation of just one of these criteria will ensure that a population experiences a change in allele frequencies. This means that all naturally occurring populations of living things are constantly evolving.

Idea #15: Microevolution, Macroevolution, and Punctuated Equilibrium

Microevolution is dened as changes in allele frequencies that occur within populations from generation to generation [Freeman01]. Those small-scale changes can be driven by any violation of the Hardy-Weinberg criteria. Microevolution therefore represents generation-to-generation allele frequency uctuations that may move in one direction for a while and then other direction for a while. Macroevolution, also known as speciation, is dened as large-scale evolutionary change that represents the accumulation of many microevolutionary changes, and produces new species from old ones. The accumulation of microevolutionary changes in reproductively isolated populations of a species can cause those populations to diverge genetically from each other to the point where members of the two populations either no longer recognize each other as prospective mates or are no longer genetically compatible with each other and cannot therefore produce viable ospring. When this happens a new species is formed [Freeman01]. Its interesting to note that some speciation appears to be able to take place slowly and gradually over many generations. This pattern of change is referred to as phyletic gradualism. On the other hand, there is strong evidence that some speciation happens rapidly by process called punctuated equilibrium [Eldredge72]. Evolution via punctuated equilibrium occurs when a population undergoes rapid change that causes them to diverge quickly from other populations of the same species. This rapid form of macroevolution appears to happen most frequently after major extinction events when many species go extinct and increased ecological space becomes available to surviving species. The patterns and processes of evolution introduced in this document have been tested in a wide range of places and on a diverse array of species. One hundred and fty years of critical review of the theory of evolution continue to add condence to this scientic explanation of how populations of living things change and how new species arise.

Microevolution: Changes in allele frequencies that occur within a population from generation to generation. Macroevolution: Large scale evolutionary change representing the accumulation of many small scale changes.

Phyletic gradualism: Speciation that occurs gradually over large spans of time. Punctuated Equilibrium: Processes that result in rapid macroevolution.

End Note
Why does it matter that we understand evolution? As you may have heard earlier this semester, physicists have been on a quest for some time to discover a grand unifying theory that explains the way things work at all scales of nature, from subatomic particles to the level of the universe. Such a theory has thus far evaded their eorts. In biology, however, the modern theory of evolution, which grew directly out of Charles Darwins theory of evolution by natural selection, provides a grand unifying foundation for all of biology. It combines all elds of biology, e.g., cell and molecular biology, genetics, anatomy and physiology, paleontology, zoology, botany, ecology, and even medicine, into one complete



Figure 5.29: Claudograms representing the processes of phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. Phyletic gradualism (left) suggests a gradual change in the morphology of a species. Punctuated equilibrium (right) suggests that species remain mostly invariant for long periods of time, followed by relatively brief periods of rapid evolution. (Image is in the public domain.) framework of understanding. Evolution explains the unity and diversity we see among living things. It also explains how and why entities such as the HIV (AIDS) virus changes so quickly and is so di cult to treat, how all species change over time, the patterns and processes of speciation and extinction, and the mechanisms by which these kinds of changes take place. All evidence collected over the more than 150 years since the publication of Darwins On the Origin of Species, as well as eorts to challenge and sometimes refute the theory of evolution, has done nothing but bolster and conrm the basic premises and strength of evolution as a description of how life works. The signicance of evolution to our understanding of life and how it works was stated clearly in 1973 by the evolutionary biologist and Russian Orthodox Christian Theodosius Dobzansky who wrote, Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.

1. Explain the process whereby the genetic code embedded in DNA is used to produce the proteins responsible for expressing traits. 2. Explain how a mutation, or change in the genetic code, can modify or eliminate a trait. 3. Explain how each of the ve Hardy-Weinberg criteria would cause a population to evolve. 4. Discuss the dierences between phyletic gradualism and punctuated equilibrium. 5. In what way does the quote by Dobzansky accurately portray the signicance of evolution to our understanding of biology?




Human Evolution I: Anatomical Evidence


Summary: In this section and the next, we will present several pieces of evidence supporting the theory that humans and other primates evolved from a common ancestor. In particular, this section focuses on the comparative anatomy of humans and other primates and investigates the evidence found in the fossil record. Learning Outcomes: Explain how scientic observations support the conclusion that the human physical body is the result of evolutionary change. List anatomical characteristics that provide evidence that all primates, including humans, share a common ancestor. List anatomical characteristics that show how humans dier from other primates, thus showing that the human line diverged from other primate lines. Dene what an intermediate form is, and provide chronologically organized examples and characteristics of intermediate forms that have been discovered in the human line. Vocabulary: Comparative anatomy Primates Phylogenetic tree Intermediate species

As you probably know, human evolution has been a topic of considerable controversy over the years both within and outside of religious circles. Since this is the case it is important for you to know that we will focus this reading and our class discussions on the scientic observations that pertain to this topic. At the same time, you should be aware that two separate First Presidencies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have released o cial statements that pertain to the topic of human evolution. These statements, which represent the o cial position of the Church on this issue, are included at the end of the text in the appendix in a document titled The BYU Evolution Packet which was reviewed and approved by the Board of Trustees of the Church Board of Education in 1992. For your information, the Board of Trustees includes the entire First Presidency, selected members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, the General Young Womens President, the General Relief Society President, and additional board members as assigned by the First Presidency. In this reading we consider the hypothesis that humans and other primates have a common ancestor, a species that gave rise to more than one daughter species. These daughter species are related to each other only because they share the same common ancestor. This hypothesis includes the explanation that the physical body of modern humans is the result of evolutionary change. We will test this hypothesis by examining two lines of evidence: 1) the comparative anatomy of modern humans and other living species of primates, and 2) fossil evidence of human evolution. Throughout this reading and reading 5.6 it is important that you realize that the principles we discuss apply not only to the evolution of the human body, but are equally applicable to the evolution of any species.

Comparative anatomy: Similarities and dierences in the physical structures of two species.



Comparative Anatomy of Modern Humans and other Primates

Biologists assign the diversity of life to taxonomic groups such as kingdoms, phyla, classes, families, orders, genera, and species. Organisms are assigned to these groups based on their anatomical, developmental, and genetic characteristics. These traits interestingly also provide strong indications of their respective evolutionary histories, and relationships between them and other groups of living things. In this part of todays reading we will review observations obtained mainly through the comparative anatomy of modern humans and other living, non-human primates. Anatomical traits shared by all living primates Primates: A taxonomic group of mammals which includes humans, apes, and monkeys. All members of the mammalian order Primates share a body plan that is adapted to an arboreal (tree-dwelling) lifestyle. This conclusion is supported by the observation that all primates, with the exception of humans, live in tropical or subtropical forests, and most species spend a signicant amount of their time in trees. As you review these characteristics, ask yourself whether humans have these traits or not. 1. Large brain-to-body ratio, especially the neocortex: The neocortex (the outer layer of the brain) functions in sensory perception, spatial orientation, hand-eye coordination, conscious thought, and, in humans, language. 2. Unique hands and feet: Hands and feet with ve digits (ngers and toes). Tactile pads on tips of digits eshy tips of ngers and toes provide excellent grip. Flat keratin ngernails instead of claws provide the ability to grip small branches where claws just get in the way. Opposable thumb - useful for picking up and manipulating small objects (precision grip). Long inward closing ngers: together with the opposable thumb provide a powerful grasping hand/foot. 3. Perception dominated by touch and vision: Primates have a reduced sense of smell and hearing compared to most other mammals. Binocular vision - two forward-facing eyes on the front of the skull have overlapping elds of view that provide depth perception and three-dimensional vision. Color vision - trichromatic cones (able to dierentiate between reds, blues, and greens) or dichromatic cones (able to dierentiate blues and greens) in the retina of the eye allows for color vision. Primates are the only placental mammals with color vision. 4. Collar bone functions as part of the pectoral girdle (shoulder): The arms of primates can reach behind and over the head. 5. Reduced litter size: Most primates have just one ospring at a time. This allows arboreal forms increased mobility when moving through trees with a clinging young, and allows more individual attention to be given to each individual ospring.



Evolutionary theory states that the reason modern humans share so many characteristics with other primates is that human and non-human primates share a common ancestor. Likewise, dierences between modern humans and other primates indicate where our shared evolutionary history diverged from those of other primates. Anatomical traits that make modern humans dierent than other living primates The following list describes some of the anatomical dierences between modern humans (Homo sapiens) and other living primates. Most of these characteristics are adaptations for bipedalism (walking on two legs), complex and abstract thought, and language: 1. Skull and jaw anatomy: Location of the foramen magnum - the opening through which the spinal cord enters the skull:This opening is located at the base of the skull in humans, allowing their eyes to look forward while the individual is standing upright. It is located at the back of the skull in non-human primates that are quadrupeds allowing them to easily look forward when they are down on all four legs. Brow ridge: Modern humans lack a prominent brow ridge, while other primates have a prominent brow ridge. Forehead shape: Modern humans have a tall/high forehead. Other primates have a sloped or at forehead. Nose shape: Modern humans have a prominent nose that projects from the plane of the face and features downward pointing nostrils. Monkeys, apes, and chimps have a broad, at nose that does not project signicantly from the plane of the face, and features forward opening nostrils . Jaw shape: Modern humans have a thinner jaw that does not project beyond the plane of the face. Non-human primates have a broader jaw that extends beyond the plane of the face. Dentition: Modern humans have smaller teeth, and the canines are the same size as other teeth. Other primates have larger teeth, with especially prominent canines. Brain size: Modern humans have a larger brain than any living primate, with an adult brain size of about 1350 cubic centimeters (cc). Only Neanderthals had a larger brain size, at about 1450 cc. A large brain is believed to be a precondition for language and abstract thought. Other primates have signicantly smaller brains than modern humans, e.g., the brain of a chimp is about 400 cc and the brain of a gorilla is about 500 cc. To help you understand how big these brain sizes are, the volume of a baseball is 405 cc. 2. Pelvis and femur anatomy (see Figure 5.30): Pelvis shape: Modern humans have a tall, bowl-shaped pelvis which supports the weight of the organs of the abdominal cavity, and allows a large surface for the attachment of a large gluteus maximus muscle needed for eective walking. Other primates have a tall, at pelvis that is horizontal to the ground when they are on all fours, these animals use strong abdominal muscles to support the organs of the abdominal cavity, and the lack of a bowl-shaped pelvis allows only a small gluteus maximus muscle to be attached there.


CHAPTER 5. LIFE Location of the ball-and-socket joint of the femur on the pelvis: In modern humans this joint is located midway back along the pelvis, directly under the center of gravity of the body when standing upright. In other primates this joint is located at the back of the pelvis when the animal is on all fours, and is behind of the center of gravity when the animal is upright. Angle of the femur relative to the midline of the body: In modern humans the femur angles inward from the ball and socket joint toward the midline of the body, thus placing the feet just on either side of the midline, directly under the center of gravity, and allowing a smooth walking gait In other primates the femur extends nearly straight down from the pelvis. The feet are consequently farther removed from the center of gravity when they are upright, so they waddle when they walk on two legs

Figure 5.30: Knee and pelvis joints in primate species. The three specimens shown include a modern chimpanzee (left), Australopithecus afarensis (center), and a modern human (right). (Image is in the public domain.) 3. Knee structure: In modern humans the patella (knee cap) is able to lock the knee when the leg is fully extended. The knee of other primates does not lock and the leg remains slightly bent, even when fully extended. 4. Foot shape (see Figure 5.31): The foot of modern humans has a forward pointing big toe, an elevated arch, and is not a prehensile structure. The foot of other primates has a big toe that points to the side and functions as an opposing digit, like a thumb, and is at, lacking an arch all together. 5. Arm and leg length ratio: Modern humans have longer legs than arms. Apes and monkeys have arms that are as long or longer than their legs. By comparing similarities and the dierences among any group of organisms, we can place them into taxonomic groups (i.e., scientically named groups) and estimate how closely related they are to each other. One common way to do



Figure 5.31: Ape feet compared to human feet. The blue line represents the areas where the weight is supported during walking motion. The quadrupeds ape support their weight entirely on one side of the foot. Bipeds transfer the weight across the ball of the foot and to the big toe. (Image is in the public domain.) this is by developing a diagram called a phylogenetic tree or cladogram. This approach to determining and indicating evolutionary relatedness between groups will be addressed in more detail in the next section of the text. However Fig. 5.32 shows a phylogenetic tree of the living mammals, with an emphasis on the primates. Remember that, as scientists, we make testable, veriable predictions, and phylogenetic trees represent predictions of relatedness between groups of organisms. This means that the idea that hominids and other primates share a common ancestry is a testable, potentially falsiable hypothesis. The methods and data used to test this or any other scientic hypothesis must be rigorous and be held to the highest scientic standard. If any one of the predictions related to the hypothesis fails, that result will lead to a re-evaluation of the hypothesis. If, however, after rigorous tests are performed and the predictions are conrmed time and time again we gain stronger condence in the predictions stated in the hypothesis until all researchers in the eld universally accept it. Some scientic explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. It is at this point the explanation becomes a scientic theory, a rmly established scientic fact. Many predictions, tests, and even challenges have been made over the past 150 years with regard to the theory of relatedness between modern humans and other primates. This association was rst implied by the principles outlined in Darwins book, On the Origin of Species. Some of the observations used to show relatedness between humans and other primates are included in the lists of anatomical similarities and dierences shown above. We will now consider anatomical data from the fossil record that can be used to test the hypothesis that the modern human body is the result of evolutionary change.

Phylogenetic Tree: A diagram representing evolutionary linkages between species.

The Fossil Record

Our rst prediction, based on the hypothesis that modern humans and apes share a common ancestor, is that there should be intermediate forms between modern humans and their ancestral species if the human body is indeed the result of evolutionary change. Intermediate forms should demonstrate ways in

Intermediate form: A species that is intermediate in form and time between two other species.



Figure 5.32: A phylogenetic tree or cladogram including the primates and representatives of other orders of mammals. The more closely animals are related to each other, the more closely linked they are on the tree. This means that our most distant living mammal relative is the group containing the duckbilled platypus, and our closest relations are chimpanzees and bonobos. (Image courtesy of Fred Hsu, used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License)



which ancient fossil species could have given rise to modern species. In order for an organism to be considered an intermediate form it must meet at least two criteria. First, the organism must be intermediate in its anatomy in that it must have some traits found in earlier species, and it must also display at least some anatomical structures that make it dierent than its ancestral species. Second, the intermediate form must be intermediate in time. Scientists test this prediction by using the relative and absolute dating methods that we discussed in sections 4.1 and 4.2 of this text. Fossils of the intermediate forms must be dated to a period that occurs after the appearance of an ancestral species, but also earlier than the younger species for which it is an intermediate form. Additionally, if fossils are spread over a geographic area, fossils of intermediate forms should generally be found in intermediate geographical locations that lie between the ranges of the older and younger forms. In order to assess the value of a fossil as an intermediate form between modern humans and their common ancestor with apes, scientists will also consider the basic anatomical dierences between apes and modern hominids that were discussed earlier in this reading. At this point we will examine a number of fossil species that have been discovered that show evidence of being intermediate forms between modern humans and a non-hominid common ancestor that humans share with other primates. As we begin this part of this case study be careful not to fall into the misconceived notion that modern humans evolved from apes. Modern humans and apes are both living species, and the actual prediction is that modern apes and modern humans both evolved from a common ancestor. Before we examine evidence of intermediate forms between modern humans and our last shared common ancestor with chimpanzees you need to be aware that science has not yet discovered a fossil that has been widely recognized as the link between the ancestral line that gave rise to modern humans and the line that gave rise to chimpanzees. Using a technique called a molecular clock (that will not be described here), however, scientists concluded that the hominid line and the chimpanzee line probably diverged from each other between about 8 and 6 million years ago. Before we begin our review of selected intermediate forms, take a look at the three phylogenetic trees in Figure 5.33. Each tree presents a slightly dierent interpretation of how intermediate hominid forms may have been related to each other. While there are slight dierences between the trees, take note that all experts in the eld a rm the conclusion that the bodies of modern humans are the result of evolutionary change, and that there are certain aspects of every tree that are consistent within all three trees.

Introduction to selected intermediate forms This section of the reading presents information about selected intermediate fossil forms between hominids and their last common ancestor with chimpanzees. We will start with the forms that appeared longest ago in the fossil record and move forward until we reach modern humans. As you review the characteristics associated with each intermediate form you will see a table of anatomical traits that shows characteristics that are considered to be ancestral, or similar to traits the hominid and chimp common ancestor most likely had, on the left side of the table. Characteristics considered to be derived, or more modern, are on the right side of each table. Derived traits that are new for a particular intermediate form are highlighted in red font. Before we start our review of intermediate forms, take a moment to review the list of characteristics that a common ancestor of both hominids and chimps would most likely have had (see Table 5.5). All of these characteristics are considered to be ancestral, so there are no derived traits in this table.

Ancestral traits: traits that are shared with an ancestral species.

Derived traits: traits that a descendant species has, but that its ancestral species did not have.



Figure 5.33: These phylogenetic trees show dierent interpretations of relationships between intermediate forms of hominids. Though there are slight dierences between the trees, there is no disagreement among the three leading specialists who produced these trees about whether there are intermediate forms or that modern humans are the result of evolutionary change. You should also note that the question marks in the trees show areas where the specialists still have questions about details of the tree. The uppermost tree is based on the work of Donald Johanson of the University of Arizona, and a co-discoverer of the fossil Lucy. The middle tree is based on the work of Ian Tattersall, a curator at the American Museum of Natural History. And the bottommost tree is based on the work of Bernard Wood of George Washington University. (Images courtesy of which provides this information as part of an interactive download.)



Ancestral Traits Basic body plan is quadrupedal Arms as long or longer than the legs Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by strong abdominal muscles Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at back of skull Pronounced brow ridge Forehead at or sloped Brain probably less than 350 cc in volume Flat face, with forward opening nostrils Wide (tall) lower jaw that projects beyond the plane of the face Large teeth, especially canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Pelvis tall, at, horizontal to the ground when animal is on all fours Small gluteus maximus muscle attachment surfaces on the at pelvis Femur ball and socket joint at the back of the pelvis Femur extends straight down from pelvis Leg cannot lock at the knee Foot at, with big toe to the side of the foot Lower spine shape straight, no signicant curvature Table 5.5: Summary of anatomical traits that a common ancestor of hominids and chimps are theorized to have had. Sahelanthropus tchadensis We start with the oldest known possible hominid form, Sahelanthropus tchadensis (see Figure 5.34). This species lived 6.9 6.2 Ma (million years ago). Enough of the skull has been recovered to show its general form, and the strong likelihood that it was bipedal. Too little of the rest of its skeleton has been found, however, to make denite statements about other anatomical traits it had. Some paleontologists have suggested that this species could be a common ancestor between hominids and chimps, but others contend that this species may have gone extinct before the hominid and chimp lines diverged, others state that the chimp-hominid split occurred before this species appeared in the fossil record. Until more complete fossil remains are located, however, the suggestion that this is the common ancestor of humans and chimps remains rmly entrenched in the realm of hypothesis, not theory.

Figure 5.34: Fossil skull of Sahelanthropus tchadensis. (Image courtesy of Didier Descouens, Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.)


Sahelanthropus tchadensis Ancestral traits Arms as long or longer than the legs (?) Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by strong abdominal muscles (?) Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge Forehead at or sloped Flat face, with forward opening nostrils Wide (tall) lower jaw that projects beyond the plane of the face Pelvis, leg, and foot Pelvis tall, at, horizontal to the ground when animal is on all fours (?) Small gluteus maximus muscle attachment surfaces on the at pelvis (?) Femur ball and socket joint at the back of the pelvis (?) Femur extends straight down from pelvis (?) Leg cannot lock at the knee (?) Foot at, with big toe to the side of the foot (?) Lower spine shape straight, no signicant curvature (?)

Derived traits Bipedalism strongly suggested

Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull

Brain volume 320-380 cc Small canine teeth

Body mass (?) Body height (?)

Table 5.6: Anatomical traits of S. tchadensis. The question marks indicate traits for which there is no fossil evidence. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in S. tchadensis. 176



The next intermediate form we will review is Ardipithecus ramidus (nicknamed Ardi; see image, below). This species lived about 4.4 million years ago, well after the divergence of hominid and chimp lines. An amazingly complete skeleton of this species was discovered in 1994, and after several years of dedicated analysis of that fossil the entire October 9th, 2009, issue of the prestigious journal Science ( was devoted to the formal announcement of this discovery and eleven reports on its anatomy and possible position within the ancestry of hominids. Note: If you are interested, you may peruse those articles by clicking on the link provided above. The articles describe the anatomy of the skull, limbs, pelvis, legs, and other anatomical structures that are useful in showing the relationship between Ardi and other species. Though there are still intense discussions regarding where Ardi ts in the hominid line, most paleontologists rmly include this species in the hominid line. The skeletal reconstruction in the gure at the right shows an extremely interesting combination of anatomical traits. This combination of ancestral and derived traits is shown in Table 5.7.

Figure 5.35: Left: A digital reconstruction of the fossil skull of Ardipithecus ramidus. (Image courtesy T. Michael Keesey, Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 general license) Right: An artists concept of Ardipithecus ramidus. (Image courtesy Jason Sunnar)


Ancestral traits Arms as long or longer than the legs Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge Forehead at or sloped Flat face, with forward opening nostrils Wide jaw that projects beyond the plane of the face Pelvis, leg, and foot Small gluteus maximus muscle Femur extends straight down from pelvis Foot at, with big toe to the side of the foot

Ardipithecus ramidus Derived traits Bipedalism strongly suggested

Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull Brain volume 300-350 cc

Small canine teeth Pelvis, leg, and foot Short, bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs

Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Knee possibly able to lock Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 110 lbs. Body height 311

Table 5.7: Anatomical traits of A. ramidus. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species. 178

5.5. HUMAN EVOLUTION I: ANATOMICAL EVIDENCE Australopithecus afarensis


The next intermediate form we will examine is Australopithecus afarensis (see image below). If you take another look at Figure 5.33 of the family trees of humans you will see that most scientist place A. afarensis at the base of the tree that gave rise to modern humans. A. afarensis lived between 3.8 and 2.9 Ma. This was an extremely successful species, and it is well represented in the fossil record with specimens collected from over 300 individuals. In the 1970s researchers found one unusually complete skeleton of an adult female. The fossil nd included a complete lower jaw, parts of the skull, most of the pelvis, one femur, and many other skeletal structures that provided information about her size, shape, and anatomy. Interestingly, the paleontologists who discovered her felt that she deserved a name, so they named her Lucy, after the popular Beatles song Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lucy has an interesting set of characteristics that make this species an important intermediate form. These traits are listed in Table 5.8.

Figure 5.36: Fossil remains and artists concepts of Australopithecus afarensis. The rst image is of a cast found at the Museum National dHistorie Naturelle in Paris, France. The second image is an assembled cast of the same specimen found at the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfort, Germany. The third image is from a display at the Cosmocaixa Museum in Barcelona, Spain. It is worth noting that additional details on the shape and size of the skull can be acquired from other A. afarensis specimens. (Images licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.)


Ancestral traits Arms as long or longer than the legs Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge Forehead at or sloped Flat face, with forward opening nostrils Wide jaw that projects beyond the plane of the face Pelvis, leg, and foot Small gluteus maximus muscle

Australopithecus afarensis Derived traits Bipedalism clearly demonstrated

Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull Brain volume 400 cc

Small canine teeth Pelvis, leg, and foot Short, bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs

Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee possibly able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 65-90 lbs. Body height 3.5-5

Table 5.8: Anatomical traits of A. afarensis. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species. 180



The next intermediate form is Homo habilis, nicknamed Handy Man (Figure 5.37). This species lived 2.4-1.4 Ma, and is placed on the direct line that gave rise to modern humans. It is nicknamed Handy Man because the earliest known stone tools are found in the same rock strata and location as fossils of H. habilis. You should note the general shape of the skull. It is larger and more human-like than any preceding species, such as that of A. afarensis (Figure 5.38).

Figure 5.37: Skull and artists reconstruction of Homo habilis. (Left image courtesy of Lillyundfreya, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license)

Figure 5.38: Reconstructed skull of A. afarensis, for comparison to that of H. habilis above. (Image is in the public domain.)


Ancestral traits

Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge Flat face, with forward opening nostrils Wide jaw that projects beyond the plane of the face Pelvis, leg, and foot Small gluteus maximus muscle (?)

Homo habilis Derived traits Bipedalism clearly demonstrated Legs as long or longer than arms Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull Forehead less sloped than previous species Brain volume 510-600 cc

Small teeth, including canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Short, bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs


Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 70 lbs. Body height 3.5-4.5 Tool making

Table 5.9: Anatomical traits of H. habilis. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species.



The next species is Homo ergaster. This species lived 1.9-1.4 Ma, and is nearly universally accepted as being the species that is a direct line ancestor of younger Homo species (see the three phylogenetic trees in Figure 5.33). It also gave rise to Homo erectus, a species that was a side-branch o of the main hominid tree that lived from about 1.4 Ma until perhaps as recently as 70,000 years ago, and was the rst hominid species to move out of Africa into Europe and Asia. H. ergaster is known for having a thinner skull and higher forehead than its predecessors.

Figure 5.39: Reconstructed skull of Homo ergaster. The key features to note are the higher forehead compared to those of previous species. (GNU Free Documentation License.)

Figure 5.40: Reconstruction of Homo ergaster by Nikolas Zalotockyj. (Image is in the public domain.)


Ancestral traits

Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge

Homo ergaster Derived traits Bipedalism clearly indicated Legs as long or longer than arms Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull

Forehead less sloped than previous species Brain volume 800-900 cc Downward pointing nostrils Narrower jaw Small teeth, including canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Short, bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs Large gluteus maximus muscle Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass to 150 lbs. Body height 510 Tool making

Table 5.10: Anatomical traits of H. ergaster. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species. 184



Homo heidelbergensis is the next intermediate form we will consider. This species lived between about 1.3 Ma and 200,000 years ago, and is the common ancestor of modern humans and of Homo neanderthalensis. Scientists concluded that modern humans and Neanderthals are related to each other only by this common ancestor. H. heidelbergensis is the rst hominid known to routinely use re, build shelters, and use spears to hunt large animals. Fossils of this species have been found in Africa, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Figure 5.41: Artists rendition of Homo heidelbergensis (left, image courtesy of Jose Luis Martinez Alvarez, Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 2.0 Generic license), and a model of a H. heidelbergensis lower jaw at the Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Heidelberg (right, image courtesy of Gerbil, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license).


Ancestral traits

Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge

Homo heidelbergensis Derived traits Bipedalism clearly indicated Legs as long or longer than arms Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull

Forehead less sloped than previous species Brain volume 1,100-1,400 cc Downward pointing nostrils Narrower jaw Small teeth, including canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs Large gluteus maximus muscle Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 110-150 lbs. Body height 5-6 Tool making Fire Building structures First spears, used to hunt large animals Loss of body hair (determined by studies on the evolution of pubic lice and body lice)


Table 5.11: Anatomical traits of H. heidelbergensis. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species.



The next species we will consider, Homo neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man), is not an intermediate form, but is a species that existed at same time as modern humans. H. neanderthalensis lived between 200,000 and 28,000 years ago and is related to humans by their shared common ancestor, H. heidelbergensis. Neanderthals had mostly modern looking facial features, but had a heavier, more muscular body than Homo sapiens. Paleontologists agree that Neanderthals were not the ancestors of H. sapiens, but were a side-branch group that evolved and migrated out of Africa before modern humans did. Anatomical traits of H. neanderthalensis are listed in Table 5.12. The leading explanation about why H. neanderthalensis went extinct includes environmental and physiological explanations. The physiological part of the explanation states that because of the heavier, more muscular bodies of Neanderthals, they would have had to expend about 30% more energy to get from one place to another than the more slightly built H. sapiens. Also, while a big brain probably seems like a good adaptation, the brain consumes about 20% of all the energy used by the body. As you may have noted in Table 5.12 Neanderthals have big brains - up to 1450 cc in size. So, when you combine the extra energy required to move a heavier body and run a big brain, Neanderthals needed hundreds of calories more each day than modern human bodies would have needed. If something happened that aected Neanderthals food supply, Neanderthals would suer the eects of a food shortage very quickly. This is probably what happened. Paleontologists and archaeologists discovered that Neanderthals ate large mammals almost exclusively. Other evidence shows that there was a global cooling event that occurred starting about 70,000 years ago, and that those changes probably caused a shift in the ranges and abundances of their prey species, and may have even included indirect competition for the same food with other predators. As a result food became scarce, and Neanderthals most likely starved and froze to death because of their inability or unwillingness to shift to eat other kinds of food. The last known Neanderthal site was in southern Spain, at the Straits of Gibraltar, about 28,000 years ago.

Figure 5.42: An artists recreation of Homo sapiens-neanderthal. (Image is in the public domain.)


Ancestral traits

Skull and jaw Pronounced brow ridge

Homo neanderthalensis Derived traits Bipedalism clearly indicated Legs as long or longer than arms Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull


Forehead less sloped than previous species Brain volume 1,400-1,450 cc Downward pointing nostrils Narrower jaw Small teeth, including canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs Large gluteus maximus muscle Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 120-145 lbs. Body height 5 - 56 Tool making Fire Building structures Spears, used to hunt large animals Loss of body hair Evidence of symbolism and abstract thinking

Table 5.12: Anatomical traits of H. neanderthalensis. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species.



Figure 5.43: Comparison of Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens-neanderthal skulls. (Image courtesy of hairymuseummatt, used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license)

Homo sapiens Homo sapiens, modern humans, are the last group we will examine. This species evolved in Eastern Africa about 200,000 years ago during a time of major environmental upheavals in that part of the world. Sometime after it evolved H. sapiens also migrated out of Africa, and eventually became the sole surviving species of hominids on the planet. H. sapiens demonstrate a resilient ability to adapt to dierent conditions, food sources, etc. When one type of food is scarce, they readily switch to other prey, and have a relatively indiscriminate diet. The lighter body build and slightly smaller brain gives an energetic advantage when compared to Neanderthals. Characteristics of modern humans are listed in Table 5.13.

The observations included in this reading show that the modern human body has many anatomical similarities and many dierences when compared to other primates, as well as to other hominids. The abundance of intermediate forms, each displaying changes in anatomical structures becoming less like the ancestral form and more like the derived (modern) form provides strong evidence that the human body is the result of evolutionary change. So far all of the empirical anatomical evidence discovered to date supports the hypothesis that the physical human body is the result of a process of evolutionary change. In the next reading we will investigate additional sources of evidence, namely genetic evidence, to continue to test the hypothesis that patterns and processes of evolution produced the bodies of modern humans.

Ancestral traits

Skull and jaw

Homo sapiens Derived traits Bipedalism clearly indicated Legs as long or longer than arms Organs of the abdominal cavity supported by pelvis Skull and jaw Foramen magnum at base of skull Greatly reduced brow ridge Tall forehead Brain volume 1,300 cc Downward pointing nostrils Narrower jaw Small teeth, including canines Pelvis, leg, and foot Bowl-shaped pelvis that can support abdominal organs Large gluteus maximus muscle Pelvis-femur joint in line with spinal column when standing upright Femur angles toward the midline of the body Knee able to lock Foot has an arch and forward pointed big toe Lower spinal column somewhat curved Body mass 100-200 lbs. Body height 5 - 6 Tool making Fire, building structures Distance hunting weapons (arrows, throwing spears), farming, language, modern technologies Loss of body hair



Table 5.13: Anatomical traits of H. sapiens. Traits indicated in red represent observed, derived (i.e. more modern) traits that rst appeared in this species.



1. Why are humans considered primates? 2. Name some of the similarities and dierences in the anatomy of modern humans and apes. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these anatomical features. 3. What does a phylogenetic tree tell you? 4. What is an intermediate form? 5. Is there some other way to explain the similarities and dierences in human and ape anatomies? Is there some other way to explain what we see in the fossil record? Do these explanations qualify as scientic hypotheses or theories?




Human Evolution II: Anatomy and Genetics


Summary: A continuation of the discussion on human evolution, focusing on vestigial structures, homologous structures, and genetic evidence. Learning Outcomes: List vestigial structures that exist in the human body, and explain why the existence of these structures represents evidence of the evolutionary history of humans. List examples of homologous anatomical structures, and explain how these structures help scientists to identify relatedness between groups of species. Explain what a pseudogene is, and carry out a phylogenetic analysis of DNA, explaining how the results of that analysis show evidence of the degree of relatedness between species. List a few examples of how small dierences in the timing and duration of developmental regulatory gene activity can produce significant anatomical dierences between closely related species. Recognize that the conclusion that the human physical body is the result of evolutionary change does not contradict or challenge any authoritative statements on the origin of man made by First Presidencies of the Church. Vocabulary: Vestigial structures Pseudogenes Homologous structures

This reading is a continuation of the previous section: a case study using the physical human body as an example of evolutionary change. The rst part of this section addresses additional material related to anatomical evidence that the human body has changed over time: vestigial structures and homologous structures. The latter part of this reading focuses on evidence of genetic change.

Vestigial Structures
Scientists observe that the anatomy of any living species retains some hints of its ancestry. Therefore, if the human body has undergone evolutionary change, some clues of that change should still exist in our modern bodies. Some of this evidence may be puzzling at rst, since these structures sometimes have no known function in the body, yet the same structure is known to play a vital role in the bodies of other species. This type of non-functional organ is referred to as a vestigial structure. Before we address the question of whether there are vestigial structures in the human body, lets consider an example of a vestigial structure in a nonhuman species. Did you know that some species of whales have hips? That is, these whales have a pelvis, as well as femur bones. The forelimbs of whales evolved into ippers that play an important role in maintaining stability as they swim, but they have no hind limbs, just the tail that developed into the powerful ukes that they use for generating thrust as they swim. As you read in section 5.1 of this text, whales are air-breathing mammals that evolved from

Vestigial structure: An anatomical structure that played a vital role in the body of an ancestral species, but no longer plays a vital role or may be completely non-functional in the body of the descendant species.



a land-dwelling ancestor. Since this is the case, you may predict that modern whales have at least some vestigial structures associated with their terrestrial ancestry. When early comparative anatomists rst examined skeletons of large whales they were surprised to discover that they had a vestigial pelvis and femur bones. These bones are covered completely by tissues of the body so there is no external evidence of their existence, and they have no known function (see Figure 5.44).

Figure 5.44: The upper drawing is of the skeleton of a sperm whale, the largest species of toothed whale, and the letter p indicates a vestigial pelvis in that species. The lower drawing shows the skeleton of a bowhead whale, and the letter C marks the location of a vestigial pelvis and femur. (Images are in the public domain.) Lets now turn our attention to the question about vestigial structures in humans. Several such structures have been identied, and some of these are described in Table 5.14. The characteristics listed in this table clearly show that we share characteristics in common with other organisms, and that some of these traits have become non-functional in our bodies. This evidence of change supports the prediction that the human body has undergone evolutionary change. This is the case, because vestigial structures provide evidence of a connection to other species via a common ancestor, as well as of evolutionary change in the species of interest; in this case, humans.

Homologous Traits
Anatomical features other than vestigial structures also provide insights into evolutionary changes that a species has experienced. These include homologous traits, which are features that come from the same developmental origin, but produce structures of dierent sizes, shapes, and functions in dierent related species. When we look at the skeletal anatomy of humans and other mammals we see many structures that are homologous traits. The rst example we will examine is the structure of the mammalian/reptilian forelimb (Figure 5.45). The homology of bones of the forelimb is obvious in that each forelimb has the same bones in the same general orientation to each other, even thought the large-scale structures produced carry out signicantly dierent functions. Because all mammals and reptiles came from the same ancestral species, it is not surprising that the basic skeletal anatomy of mammalian forelimbs is the same. That is, they all have a humerus bone in the upper arm, radius and ulna forearm bones, wrist bones, and bones of the digits (ngers). At the same time, it is perfectly logical that the sizes and lengths of these bones will

Homologous traits: traits that are similar because they are inherited from a common ancestor.


Trait Appendix (a closed-ended pouch attached to the intestine) Coccyx (the tail bone) Wisdom teeth Muscles of the external ear Plica semiluminaris (a small fold in the tissue in the corner of the eye Hair/fur Arrector pili (small muscles attached to the base of hair follicles Palmer grasp reex (infants grasp things that touch their palm Grinding of brous, tough food Orients the ear toward sounds Nictiating membrane (extra eyelid), in some shes and reptiles Insulation and species recognition Raises hair to trap air between the skin and fur to increase insulation, or to raise the fur to appear larger as a blu ng display Allows infants to hang onto a parents fur

Function in non-humans Used by herbivores to digest cellulose from plant material Long tail used for balance

Function in humans Mostly non-functional, but some evidence suggests that it may help retain bacteria Non-functional as a tail, but is an attachment point for some muscles. Usually non-functional Non-functional Non-functional

Mostly non-functional, but hair on the head provides insulation, and hair under the arms and in the groin along with oily sweat reduce cha ng Non-functional, but causes goose bumps

Non-funtional, but research shows that 37% of infants tested can support their own weight in this manner Table 5.14: A list of a few vestigial structures found in the modern human body.




dier between species to reect the evolutionary changes dierent species went through to produce the dierent sizes, shapes, and functions of forelimbs we see today. The human arm is used for reaching and grasping, the mole forelimb is used for digging and clawing, the whale forelimb is used for swimming, and the bat forelimb is used for ight. Groups of homologous traits become obvious once you start to compare traits among any related group of organisms. And, since humans share a huge number of homologous traits with other organisms, these traits provide evidence of shared evolutionary histories. These traits also show the degree to which each species that shares the same ancestry has evolved from the other species that shares that same history. Further study of mammalian skeletons reveals equally impressive similarities between the pelvis and legs of humans and pelvis and hind limbs of other mammals, bones of the skull, spinal column, and so forth. Lets consider a somewhat extreme comparison. What trait strikes you as being one of the most striking anatomical dierences between giraes and humans? If you ask me, its the length of our necks. Are the necks of humans and giraes homologous? What do you predict? To help you get started thinking about this, a human neck is about three to four inches long. On the other hand, the neck of an adult girae may be six to eight feet long. How many cervical vertebrae would you predict are in the neck of a girae? If you look at Figure 5.46 you can count the number of cervical vertebrae in humans and giraes. What does this observation tell you about human and girae necks? Are they homologous structures? About now you may be asking yourself where these kinds of homologous traits come from. The blueprint for each organisms anatomy is found in its genetic make-up, and this genetic make-up is inherited from an organisms ancestors. It therefore follows that if more than one species shares a common ancestor, that they are likely to have inherited similar traits. The genetic code carried in each species DNA determines the kind of species it is, and their development from fertilized egg to mature adult is regulated by genetic factors. It is this process of development that produces the physical similarities and dierences we see between species. We will therefore spend the rest of this reading examining genetic evidence of evolutionary change.

Genetic Evidence
Do you think that it would make sense that species that are closely related to each other would be more similar genetically than more distantly related species? Thats a completely logical and correct assumption. The data in Table 5.15 show the degree of genetic similarity between modern humans and some other species. You will note that the degree of genetic similarity indicates how closely species are related. Dierences in genetic similarities between taxa (i.e., groups of organisms) reect the amount of time that passed since the taxa shared a common ancestor. It is therefore no surprise that humans have a smaller genetic similarity to roundworms than they do to any of their mammalian relatives: the last common ancestor of humans and roundworms lived much, much longer ago than the last common ancestor of humans and Neanderthals. At the same time, you may be surprised to see that we share as much as a 50% genetic similarity with roundworms. Actually, this isnt all that surprising, since all animals use the same basic set of genes to carry our cellular activities, make and use the same kinds of molecules, etc. Once the amount of genetic dierences between taxa are known, scientists can use those data to generate gures called phylogenetic trees, also known as cladograms, to show the degree of relatedness between taxa (see Figure 5.47).



Species Roundworm Fruit y Chicken Horse Cow Mouse Cat Monkey Ape Chimpanzee Homo neanderthalensis

Percentage of genetic similarity to humans 50% 55% 60% 71% 80% 85% 90% 93% 97% 98.8% 99.7%

Table 5.15: Percentages of similarity between human DNA and DNA of selected species. Note: These data are di cult to standardize because of the dierent methods that are used to test for genetic similarity and because not all of every species genomes are known. These percentages may represent comparisons between specic segments of DNA or comparisons of entire genomes. The numbers presented in the table represent the highest percentages of similarity reported.



Figure 5.45: This gure shows the skeletal anatomy of forelimbs of (starting on the top row) salamanders, turtles, crocodiles, birds, bats, whales, moles, and humans. The humerus (upper arm bone) in each forelimb is indicated by the letter o, the radius and ulna (bones of the forearm) by a and s, respectively, the bones of the wrist by h, and bones of the digits by the letters m and f. (This diagram originally appeared in a text by Wilhelm Leche. It is now in the public domain.)



Figure 5.46: The image on the left shows the cervical vertebrae and skull of a girae, and the image on the right is an x-ray of the human neck region showing the cervical vertebrae. Humans and giraes both have seven cervical vertebrae. (Image sources: girae after Richard Owen, 1866, in the public domain; human x-ray courtesy Hellerho, Creative Commons Attribution - Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.)



Figure 5.47: This phylogenetic tree shows the degree of relatedness between the major forms of life on earth. The lengths of line segments between branches indicate how closely or distantly related taxa are. The names in green are Bacteria that survive under typical conditions on earth. The names in turquoise are the Archaea, groups of bacteria that require unique, hostile environments, such as acidic conditions, high temperatures, or extremely salty conditions. The names in blue are the Eucaryota, groups of organisms that have cells with a nucleus, and include the protists, fungi, plants, and animals. (Image is in the public domain.) Historically these kinds of trees were based solely on anatomical and developmental traits. More recently, however, genetic traits including DNA sequences (the specic order of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs) and amino acid sequences of homologous proteins have been used to test the accuracy of older phylogenetic trees. By combining anatomical, developmental, and genetic traits we now produce trees that give us the best insights available about relatedness between groups of organisms. Sometimes trees need to undergo signicant revision. In other cases, such as the traditional phylogenetic tree of primates, only minor adjustments were needed. Further research into the genetics of organisms uncovered an extremely surprising result, the existence of vestigial genes, also known as pseudogenes. Pseudogenes were once functional genes, but they became disabled by random mutations. Once a gene becomes a pseudogene it remains in the DNA of the species, it is not expressed, and is therefore no longer subject to selection. That means that a pseudogene will be retained for a long, long time. It also means that once a gene becomes a pseudogene the only genetic changes it will experience are the result of random mutations. Some pseudogenes are homologous genetic traits, since a particular pseudogene will be found only in organisms that are direct ancestors of the organism in which the original pseudogene was produced. Many pseudogenes are known to exist in primates, and some of them are found only in primates (Table 5.16). The last gene listed in Table 5.16, the GULO pseudogene, makes it impossible for primates to make their own Vitamin C. The production of Vitamin C is a multi-step process requiring multiple enzymes (a kind of protein), but in primates the GULO pseudogene does not produce a necessary enzyme needed to complete the synthesis of Vitamin C. This is why the diets of primates must include foods that have vitamin C in them. If they dont have access to Vitamin C they will eventually weaken and die as a result of a malnutrition disease called scurvy. The primate GULO pseudogene has the same disabling point deletion mutation in exactly the same place in the genetic code of all primate

Pseudogenes: Vestigial genes, which were once functional, but have been disabled by random mutations.

200 Pseudogene Enolase pseudogene Hemoglobin pseudogene Sulfatase pseudogene Steroid-21 pseudogene

CHAPTER 5. LIFE Lost function Lost ability to synthesize a specic kind of organic compound called an enol, we have other functional enolase genes Lost ability to produce a specic kind of hemoglobin protein, we have other functional hemoglobin genes Lost ability to form bonds needed to make steroids, proteins and other molecules, we have other functional sulfatases Loss of ability to produce compounds like aldosterone (manages ion balance in the kidney) and cortisol (an adrenal gland secretion used to deal with stress), we have other functional steroid-21 genes Lost ability to synthesize the last step of the production of Vitamin C, there is no functional GULO gene in primates

GULO pseudogene

Table 5.16: A few pseudogenes found only in primates. species (see Figure 5.48).

Figure 5.48: A segment of the GULO gene, which produces an enzyme that creates vitamin C in most mammals. In primates, the gene has been disabled by a mutation and is a pseudogene. (Image is in the public domain.) This observation provides additional genetic evidence that all primates are related. That is, all primates share a common ancestor that experienced a mutation that disabled the GULO gene. The existence of pseudogenes like the GULO gene allow us to state with a high degree of condence that the mutation producing the GULO pseudogene occurred at some time after the divergence of the evolutionary line that gave rise to rats and the line that gave rise to primates, but before the ancestral primate diverged into dierent species. This observation supports the conclusion that all primates have a common ancestor (see Figure 5.49). One other extremely interesting observation on the evolutionary history of humans relative to other primates has to do with the number of chromosomes we have. Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Interestingly, all other primates have 24 pairs of chromosomes. Where did this dierence come from? Did humans simply lose one pair of chromosomes? That seems unlikely, since losing and entire pair of chromosomes would also mean that we had lost about 1/24th of our entire genetic code. Since our genetic code is made up of about three billion base pairs of nucleotides, if we lost 1/24th of that, we would have lost about 125 million base pairs, and who knows how many genes! Some researchers predicted that we didnt lose a chromosome, but that two of our chromosomes



Figure 5.49: A cladogram indicating the timing of the GULO mutation. All species possessing the same mutation evolved from a common ancestor. The mutation happened somewhere around the time indicated by the red star. (Image is in the public domain.) must have fused together to form a combined single chromosome. In 2005 researchers discovered that human chromosome #2 is a fused chromosome, and solved the mystery of the missing chromosome. You will have a chance to learn more about this discovery during class discussion. Su ce it to say that our fused chromosome is a derived trait that makes humans dierent than other primates, yet provides further evidence of our common ancestry. The last topic we will consider in this reading is how even closely related species can produce signicantly dierent looking bodies.

Developmental regulatory genes

Sometimes people wonder how closely-related species, like humans and chimpanzees, can be so similar genetically, yet produce bodies that are so dierent. For example, how can science explain why the arms of chimps are proportionally longer than those of humans, why chimps have atter noses, sloped foreheads, large canines, etc., when humans and chimps have close to a 99% similarity in their genetic make-up? At rst glance this appears to be a perplexing question. Recent advances in the eld of developmental-evolutionary biology, a union between the elds of evolutionary biology and developmental biology, have, however, provided some answers. All mammals share the same basic body plan, with essentially the same structures in the same places relative to each other. With that thought in mind, consider the question of how chimps and humans can have dierent leg to arm lengths, and dierent skull shapes. Do these dierences have to be explained by genetic mutations? No! Scientists have learned that specialized cells that appear during development produce signal molecules called regulatory gene products that have specic eects on neighboring masses of cells. These regulatory gene products cause these neighboring tissues to develop into sometimes extremely complex structures, like an arm, or a leg, or even an eye. The only thing that has to happen for one species to produce longer legs than arms is to have these regulatory genes active longer at the end of the developing arms than at the end of developing legs. Just in case you are curious, here is a specic example of how limbs are produced in vertebrates (animals with a backbone). During embryonic development a small ridge of cells called a limb bud forms where a limb will be produced. The cells at the tip of the limb bud are called the Apical Ectodermal Ridge (AER). These cells produce a chemical that causes neighboring cells to divide rapidly, causing the limb bud to elongate. As long as the cells of the AER actively produce their signal molecules, the limb will continue to elongate. In the meantime, other regulatory genes drive the formation and organization of



bone, muscle, and other tissues of the limb. In chimpanzees the AER of the arm limb buds are active longer than the AER of the leg limb buds, so by the time a chimp is fully developed it has longer arms than legs. The reverse is true in humans. There is no known mutational change involved in producing these structures; only the duration of regulatory gene activity diers between these species. In this way, the timing and duration of activity by regulatory genes can produce markedly dierent structures including dierences in limb length, skull size and shape, pelvic size and shape, etc. These dierences in timing during development are collectively referred to as heterochrony (i.e, dierent timing). Through heterochrony even species that are genetically similar can produce bodies that have markedly dierent proportions without having to rely on genetic mutations. Another example of heterochrony during development produces the dierently shaped skulls of humans and chimpanzees (Figure 5.50).

Figure 5.50: The top row of gures shows the shape of a chimpanzee skull at the fetal stage of development (left), at birth (middle), and then at adulthood (right). The lower row shows the shape of the fetal human skull before birth (left) and at adulthood (right). The shapes of the cells in the gures of the adult skulls indicate the degree of shape change that has occurred relative to the fetal skull. It is obvious the timing and duration of regulatory genes are dierent in humans and chimpanzees. In humans these signals produce a taller forehead and larger brain cavity than in chimpanzees. At the same time, in chimpanzees, regulatory genes produce a more elongated skull with a protruding jaw and smaller brain cavity. These kinds of dierences may be the result of only very small dierences in genetic information, or perhaps only species-specic dierences in the timing and length of expression of identical regulatory genes. Scientists hope that further work in this eld will yield additional insights into how bodies of dierent species are produced, as well as additional information about the evolutionary history of life on earth. Lets look at one last example, the development of the homologous structures of the hand of a human and the ipper of a whale. Can scientists explain how whales produce a broad, tissue covered structure, while humans produce a hand with separate ngers and a thumb? Scientists discovered that during development of the mammalian limb, the digits at the end of the limb always form in paddle-like structures. Bones and muscles develop within the paddle, so all of the parts and pieces of digits are there, but they are not separate from each other during early stages of limb development. Then, in humans, after the



internal structures of the hand are fully formed a regulatory gene produces a substance sends a signal to cells in the tissue between ngers to die. In this way you could say that the ngers of your hand were sculpted out of a paddle-like structure, or, in other words, the reason that your ngers are independent of each other is that the tissue between them died. Whales, however, dont have ngers. So in order to produce its pectoral ns the regulatory gene that signals cell death between ngers is simply not activated, and the solid n structure, with bones and muscles homologous to our hand, is produced. It is exciting to see how scientic research is starting to reveal the interplay between genetics, development, and evolutionary change. Further studies on the development of living things should provide additional insights into homologous structures, their developmental origins, and their evolutionary signicance.

Scientic discoveries have provided an incredible number of observations showing that the physical human body is the result of evolutionary change: Humans have the same molecular and genetic structure as other organisms (universal genetic code). Humans use the same cell signaling pathways as other animals (protein synthesis, genetic overlap, and regulatory developmental genes). Humans have the same anatomical features as other animals (comparative anatomy of living and fossil forms, homologous traits). There is variation in the human population (a prerequisite for evolution to occur) Humans go through similar patterns of development as other species (developmental biology) Humans have vestigial organs (comparative anatomy of living forms) Humans have pseudogenes that carry genetic information of ancestral characteristics found in other organisms (genetics) There are abundant intermediate species that exist in the fossil record. Intermediate in time, anatomical structure, and even in culture (comparative anatomy of intermediate forms). Fossil evidence shows that the human body plan did not appear suddenly, but was produced via evolutionary change the same as all of the other forms of life on earth (comparative anatomy of intermediate forms).

1. What is a vestigial structure? Name a few vestigial structures found in humans and explain how they are used by other animals. 2. What is a homologous structure? Name a few that were not mentioned in this reading. 3. How similar is human DNA to that of other primates? 4. What is a pseudogene? 5. How do pseudogenes help conrm genetic and evolutionary relatedness between two groups? 6. How can diering times and durations of regulatory genes produce signicantly dierent body forms?



Appendix A

Views on Science and Religion

A.1 Reconciling Scientic and Religious Views of Nature

Dr. Dan Moore, BYU-Idaho, 2009 I have been announced as a student of science. But I also like to think of myself as one who loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For me there has been no serious di culty in reconciling the principles of true science with the principles of true religion, for both are concerned with the eternal verities of the Universe. And yet there are many people, and particularly among our youth, who regard the eld of science and the eld of religion as two wholly dierent spheres, the one entirely separated from and unrelated to the other. In fact, there are those in both elds who have done themselves and the causes to which they give their interests a distinct disservice in teaching that the two are opposed and that they cannot be harmonized one with the other. Dr. Henry D. Eyring We have a dilemma, however, because God has left messages all over in the physical world that scientists have learned to read. These messages are quite clear, well-understood, and accepted in science. That is, the theories that the earth is about four-and-one-half billion years old and that life evolved over the last billion years or so are as well established scientically as many theories ever are. So, if the word of God found in the scriptures and the word of God found in the rocks are contradictory, must we choose between them, or is there some way they can be reconciled? Dr. Henry D. Eyring Many are confused about the origin and history of the natural world. Individuals hear scientic and religious assertions about the Earth and Universe and are unsure how to reconcile them. Most commonly, they attempt to solve the apparent discrepancy by rejecting either religious or scientic truths about nature or by compartmentalizing them, i.e., not allowing them to be compared. Both of these solutions are awed. Since all truth is compatible with all other truth and God is the author of all truthscientic and religious, the goal should be to bring together the truth from science and the truth from religion into one harmonious whole. There are three aspects of nature where the confusion about the truth is the greatest: the origin of the universe, the age of the Earth, and the origin of life. These aspects of nature provide us with an excellent opportunity to better understand two important aspects of the relationship be205



tween science and religion. The rst relates to the complementary nature of scientic and religious truth. The second has to do with why scientic study of the physical world identies governing laws not the hand of the Creator.

Science and Religion: Hand in Glove

Clearly, scientic truth and religious truth are distinct. These two paths to truth are commonly perceived to be in opposition to each other. However, when seen from the correct perspective their relationship is complementary, not antagonistic. Lets take a look at that perspective. Both religion and science contain truth revealed from God to man or discovered by man with Gods help. Even so, the nature of truth in religion is distinct from the nature of truth in science. In religion we can know things absolutely, without understanding how they work. Take your testimony of the atonement, for example: You know absolutely that the atonement is real and true, but you dont understand the details of how it works, only how you can gain access to its power. By contrast, in science we can understand how something works without knowing that it is the ultimate truth. Take the theory of plate tectonics, for example: It allows us to understand how the Earth works, and yet we cannot prove that it is the ultimate truth that it will never be improved. In fact, we expect it to be modied as our knowledge grows. Because of their unique characteristics, religious and scientic truths complement each other. In short, religious truth allows you to know absolutely without understanding the mechanism(s) by which that truth operates, and scientic truth allows you to understand the operation of mechanisms without the ability to know absolutely. God has revealed truth about nature through scientists and through prophets. Understanding the complementary nature of these two sources of truth facilitates appreciating and making use of both. Religious truths about nature include revelation about who the Creator is and why He created what He did. Scientic truths about nature are descriptions of how and when things were created and how they work. Many people see conict and disagreement when they compare scientic and religious truths about nature. I do not. Instead, I see compatible truth. To me, their similarities testify that they came from the same source, God. Apparent discrepancies typically arise when people try to use the truth from one of these sources inappropriately like turning to religious truth to understand how or when the Earth was made, or turning to science to understand the purpose of the Earth or who made the Earth. We must choose the path to truth science or religion that is appropriate for the question we are asking! Of course, the source of all truth is the same: God. Moreover, we must recognize that each source of truth places constraints on how truths from the other source should be interpreted; that is, a correct understanding of scientic truths must be compatible with religious truths and vice-versa. If the truths from each source are used appropriately, they t together like a hand in a glove.

Evidence of the Creators Hand

Behold, all these are kingdoms, and any man who hath seen any or the least of these hath seen God moving in his majesty and power. I say unto you, he hath seen him; nevertheless, he who came unto his own was not comprehended. The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not; nevertheless, the day shall come when you shall comprehend even God, being quickened in him and by him. Then shall ye know that ye have seen me, that I am, and that I am the true light that is in you, and that you are in me; otherwise ye could not abound. Jehovah (D&C 88: 47-50)

A.1. RECONCILING SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS VIEWS OF NATURE207 You and I know that the Gods created the Universe and everything within it, including the Earth (Abraham Ch 4-5). Alma teaches that all things, including the earth, denote there is a God (Alma 30:44). The Creator himself Jehovah has declared that observing his creations is equivalent to seeing His glory (D&C 88:47-50; see above). When scientists study the physical world, we see physical systems and physical causes. Why dont scientists see the Creators hand? How do we reconcile the above declarations with the observations of scientists? The answer to this apparent conundrum is found in the declarations of the Creator himself: the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son... Jehovah (Moses 1:32) word, which is my law... Jehovah (D&C 132:12) And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, ... The light which is in all things, which giveth life to all things, which is the law by which all things are governed, even the power of God who sitteth upon his throne, ... Jehovah (D&C 88:11-13) ...he hath given a law unto all things...and their courses are xed Jehovah (D&C 88:42-43) All kingdoms have a law given; and there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. Jehovah (D&C 88:36-39) All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Jehovah (D&C 93:30)

These and other verses suggest that Gods do not create like humans do. Gods create by establishing law (with bounds and conditions) in a system (kingdom). Examples of physical systems include the atom, the cell, an organism, a solar system, and a galaxy. The law established by Gods in systems is independent, it acts for itself. Is it any wonder, then, that scientists nd law, not the Creators hand, when they study physical systems? Discovering these laws the processes and mechanisms by which physical systems are governed is the central aim of science. Still, how do we reconcile scientic observations with scriptural declarations that indicate that God can be seen as we observe nature? As with all things spiritual, believing is seeing. Finding God in nature is something that is felt more than seen. The spiritual world, including knowledge of the existence of God, lies outside the realm of science. Still, for those who believe that He created the physical world, observing His creations as on a starry night causes us to be in awe of His glory, the power and understanding of truth that allowed Him to create the physical world. To summarize, when we study the physical world, we observe physical systems being governed by the laws that God placed to govern those systems (kingdoms). To see the Lawgiver requires the heart. We come to know the Creator through His Spirit, as we approach him with a sincere heart and real intent, exercising faith in Christ (Moro 10:3-5).



End Note
It is important for you and I not to succumb to the common, easy, and false notion that science and religion are opposed, that we must reject one to accept the other. God is in both. Even so, there is a clear distinction between the relative importance of scientic and religious truth: both are eternally important, though in dierent ways religious truth is essential to our salvation; scientic truth is not. If ever you nd yourself convinced that religious and scientic truth cannot be reconciled, that you must reject one to accept the other, I hope you will remember that all truth is compatible with all other truth. Find a faithful scientist or a faithful member of the church that is scientically literate and ask them for guidance in working through your questions. If, after that, you still dont feel that you can reconcile things, set the scientic explanation aside for a day when you can see things more clearly and cling to the central truths of the gospel.

1. Reconciling Science and Religion: Eyring, H.D., 1967, The Faith of a Scientist, Bookcraft, 53 p.; Eyring, H.D., 1983, Reections of a Scientist, Shadow Mountain, 111 p. Both of these books are classics. Dr. Eyring strikes a wonderful balance as he reconciles faith and reason. 2. Eyring, H.J., 2008 Mormon Scientist: The Life and Faith of Henry Eyring, Deseret Book, 320 p. This is a great biography, written by Dr. Eyrings grandson (who, at the time of this writing, was serving in the administration at BYU-Idaho).


Making Sense of Scientic and Religious Assertions

Dr. Dan Moore, BYU-Idaho, 2009 Have you ever heard anyone say something like this, The Big Bang Theory proves that life has no purpose, or conversely, like this, It is impossible to believe in the Bible and believe that the Earth is old? Both of these statements are typical of the kind of mud-slinging that (unfortunately) has been part of the science and religion debate for centuries. All this mud-slinging has lead to some very muddy water that is di cult for most people to see through. The purpose of this brief essay is to help to more clearly and eectively analyze the assertions that you are presented with each day. Science and religion debates typically pit one against the other in a way that encourages you to choose one or the other path to truth, but not both. Clearly, this is false, for God is the source of all truthboth scientic and religious, and all truth is compatible with all other truth. Both science and religion are avenues to truth and speak with authority, but in dierent areas. The authority of religion is absolute in all areas where God has revealed truth and a true prophet has clearly taught how we are to understand that truth. Science is limited to areas of inquiry that are physically falsiable. Science speaks with authority for explanations that have withstood many independent tests. (Science does not, and cannot, prove things true; rather, it proves things false. Our condence in a particular scientic explanation grows as the number of independent tests it has withstood grows.) Ideas that are not solidly grounded on the authority of religion or science are opinions, and we are free to agree or disagree with opinions according to our pleasure though hopefully we have a good reason for doing so. Authoritative religious and scientic declarations carry much weight, while opinions do not.



Problem arise and the waters are muddied for unknowing or lazy hearers when scientists or religionists make proclamations outside their realm of authority; that is, when someone tries to state an opinion as if it is founded on the authority of either science or religion. This would not be a problem if the hearers of such statements would recognize that the declaration was nonauthoritative, an opinion. Sadly, most hearers do not. To illustrate, let me walk you through several examples. Some scientists and philosophers have used Big Bang theory or the theory of evolution to suggest that human lives have no purpose or that there is no God. When most religionists hear such statements, they typically do not see that what theyve heard is a misapplication of science; rather, they react something like this: if youre going to tell me that the big bang or evolution suggests that life has no meaning or that God doesnt exist, then I must conclude that those theories are false, because I know absolutely that God exists and that life has a purpose. Instead, the reaction should be, simply: I reject your opinion; it is a misapplication of science and is without authority; I will evaluate those theories on their own merits, untainted by your opinion. Unfortunately, many religionists try to paint their opinions as authoritative declarations as well. They will say, for example, that the scriptures prove that the Earth is very young, or that it is not possible to have a testimony of the atonement and believe in evolution. Unfortunately, many of those who hear these statements make the mistake of rejecting what is true (the scriptures and the atonement, in these cases) because of someones opinion, which may or may not be true. My experience indicates that most of the problems in the science and religion debates are like those described above: people talk at cross purposes and then, as a reaction throw the baby out with the bathwater. You, however, as a lover of truth, as a religionist with a big R, and as a scientist with a small s, will do better. You and I must critically evaluate each assertioncome from whatever source it doesto determine whether it rests on the authority of religion, rests on the authority of science, or whether it is merely opinion. If an opinion, we should analyze its merits and agree or disagree with it according to our pleasure, but we should not assign to it the clout of authoritative religious or scientic declarations. When you and I share opinions, we must clearly indicate to those that are listening that we are not speaking with authority, and we must not engage in silly, heated arguments about opinions. It saddens me deeply to think about the amount of wasted energy and brainpower and the number of people that have been led astray because of the empty, inane nature of the so-called science and religion debates. You and I must rise above the intellectual and spiritual poverty that typically characterize these debates! As Voltaire once said, opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.


The BYU Evolution Packet

The following materials are taken from the BYU evolution packet. They have been reformatted to conform to the style of this text, but are otherwise unchanged.

Evolution Packet Dened

BYU Daily Universe Nov. 12, 1992 p.3 In the interest of clarifying the background and purpose of the library packet on evolution and the origin of man, which was announced in The Daily Universe on Thursday, Oct. 29. I provide the following information about the development of this packet and the motivation for it. As appropriate at any university, the subject of organic evolution and the origin of man comes up in BYU courses in several departments. In these courses,



students naturally wish to know the o cial position of the LDS Church on this subject. Some faculty members in the sciences and in Religious Education have gathered material on these topics to distribute to their students. Students might receive one set of statements by Church leaders from one professor and a dierent set from another professor. Several faculty members and administrators felt the diversity of materials on these subjects, which were often selected to emphasize the views of the professor, tended to create confusion in the minds of the students and accentuate the potential for controversy about the Churchs position. In 1991, in response to questions from students about the Church position on evolution, President Rex E. Lee authorized that one of these packets be placed in the HBLL Reserve Library as a source for information about the Churchs position on evolution and the origin of man. Purpose of packet Because of my experience in preparing the evolution article for the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, I was asked by Provost Bruce Hafen to consider a packet that could be made available to students as the o cial and fundamental Church position on this subject. It was immediately clear that the selection of material for such a packet could not depend on the content of the statements. The goal is not to achieve some kind of balance among the views that have been expressed, but to give students the full range of o cial views so that they can judge the dierent positions they encounter. The full range of o cial views should provide the basis for the evaluation of other views that have been expressed but that do not have the status of o cial Church positions. In line with this philosophical stance, I prepared an initial draft of the packet, which contained the First Presidency statements and all published statements made by presidents of the Church during the time they held that o ce. It also included the speech given in 1931 by Elder James E. Talmage of the Quorum of the Twelve, which was reviewed and approved by the First Presidency and o cially published by the Church. Finally, this draft packet included the Encyclopedia of Mormonism article because of the excerpt from the First Presidency Minutes in 1931 about the Churchs stance toward scientic studies of evolution and the origin of man. This packet was made entirely of materials with o cial status and included all of the statements published by or with the authorization of the First Presidency. The draft packets contents were discussed amicably with Dean Robert Millet of Religious, Education and Provost Hafen. After considerable discussion, we agreed that the o cial university packet should contain only those items that represent the o cial position of the Church, i.e. statements from the First Presidency. The encyclopedia article was kept because of the First Presidency Minutes item included in it, which is not otherwise available to the public. The nal packet was then reviewed by BYUs Board of Trustees-consisting of The First Presidency, many members of the Quorum of the Twelve and other general authorities and o cers. They approved the packet. Balance not the issue Again, I emphasize that balance was not the issue. The issue was providing only those materials that could clearly be said to be the o cial, declared position of the Church. None of us involved in preparing this packet for Board review anticipate that professors will be limited from distributing other materials to their students. It is only requested that BYU faculty members refer students to the materials in this specic packet along with the other items they may choose to distribute. When other items are distributed, they should be clearly separated and given



as a supplement to this material and include a fair sampling of the diverse viewpoints among LDS leaders. For example, if one included statements by LDS apostles in a handout on evolution, the range of views would include some statements against evolution, some sympathetic to evolution and several shades of opinion in between. We want to avoid the implication that a greater sense of unanimity or resolution of this topic exists than is actually the case, and we are eager to avoid contention. The university has also suggested that faculty members limit supplemental LDS material on the subject of evolution and the origin of man to published documents, avoiding private letters or other private material. The process was one of constructive and harmonious eort to provide materials from which students could see clearly the foundation of LDS doctrine on this subject and distinguish it from the wide variety of opinions encountered in LDS literature. by William E. Evenson Dean, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences professor of Physics

Evolution and the Origin of Man

October, 1992 This packet contains, as far as could be found, all statements issued by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on the subject of evolution and the origin of man, and a statement on the Churchs attitude toward science. The earliest First Presidency statement, The Origin of Man, was issued during the administration of President Joseph F. Smith in 1909. This was followed by a First Presidency Message in 1910 that included brief comments related to the study of these topics. The second statement, Mormon View of Evolution, was issued during the administration of President Heber J. Grant in 1925. Although there has never been a formal declaration from the First Presidency addressing the general matter of organic evolution as a process for development of biological species, these documents make clear the o cial position of the Church regarding the origin of man. This packet also contains the article on evolution from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992. The current First Presidency authorized inclusion of the excerpt from the First Presidency minutes of 1931 in the 1992 Encyclopedia article. Various views have been expressed by other Church leaders on this subject over many decades; however, formal statements by the First Presidency are the denitive source of o cial Church positions. It is hoped that these materials will provide a rm foundation for individual study in a context of faith in the restored gospel. Approved by the BYU Board of Trustees June, 1992

The Origin of Man

BY THE FIRST PRESIDENCY OF THE CHURCH. IMPROVEMENT ERA. Vol. XIII. NOVEMBER, 1909. No. 1. Editors Table. God created man in his own image.



Inquiries arise from time to time respecting the attitude of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints upon questions which, though not vital from a doctrinal standpoint, are closely connected with the fundamental principles of salvation. The latest inquiry of this kind that has reached us is in relation to the origin of man. It is believed that a statement of the position held by the Church upon this important subject will be timely and productive of good. In presenting the statement that follows we are not conscious of putting forth anything essentially new; neither is it our desire so to do. Truth is what we wish to present, and truth - eternal truth - is fundamentally old. A restatement of the original attitude of the Church relative to this matter is all that will be attempted here. To tell the truth as God has revealed it, and commend it to the acceptance of those who need to conform their opinions thereto, is the sole purpose of this presentation. God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. In these plain and pointed words the inspired author of the book of Genesis made known to the world the truth concerning the origin of the human family. Moses, the prophet historian, learned, as we are told, in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, when making this important announcement, was not voicing a mere opinion, a theory derived from his esearches into the occult lore of that ancient people. He was speaking as the mouthpiece of God, and his solemn declaration was for all time and for all people. No subsequent revelator of the truth has contradicted the great leader and law-giver of Israel. All who have since spoken by divine authority upon this theme have conrmed his simple and sublime proclamation. Nor could it be otherwise. Truth has but one source, and all revelations from heaven are harmonious with each other. The omnipotent Creator, the maker of heaven and earth - had shown unto Moses everything pertaining to this planet, including the facts relating to mans origin, and the authoritative pronouncement of that mighty prophet and seer to the house of Israel, and through Israel to the whole world, is couched in the simple, clause: God created man in his own image (Genesis 1:27; Pearl of Great Price - Book of Moses, 1:27-41.) The creation was two-fold - rstly spiritual, secondly temporal. This truth, also, Moses plainly taught - much more plainly than it has come down to us in the imperfect translations of the Bible that are now in use. Therein the fact of a spiritual creation, antedating the temporal creation, is strongly implied, but the proof of it is not so clear and conclusive as in other records held by the Latter-day Saints to be of equal authority with the Jewish scriptures. The partial obscurity of the latter upon the point in question is owing, no doubt, to the loss of those plain and precious parts of sacred writ, which, as the Book of Mormon informs us, have been taken away from the Bible during its passage down the centuries (I Nephi 13: 24-29). Some of these missing parts the Prophet Joseph Smith undertook to restore when he revised those scriptures by the spirit of revelation, the result being that more complete account of the creation which is found in the book of Moses, previously cited. Note the following passages:

And now, behold I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth,

A.3. THE BYU EVOLUTION PACKET And every plant of the eld before it was in the earth, and every herb of the eld before it For I, the Lord God, created all things of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men, and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them, and there was not yet esh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air. But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the rst esh upon the earth, the rst man also. Nevertheless, all things were before created, but spiritually were they created and made, according to my word. (Pearl of Great Price - Book of Moses, 3:4-7. See also chapters 1 and 2, and compare with Genesis 1 and 2).


These two points being established, namely, the creation of man in the image of God and the two-fold character of the creation, let us now inquire: What was the form of man, in the spirit and in the body, as originally created? In a general way the answer is given in the words chosen as the text of this treatise. God created man in his own image. It is more explicitly rendered in the Book of Mormon thus: All men were created in the beginning after mine own image (Ether 3:15). It is the Father who is speaking. If, therefore, we can ascertain the form of the Father of spirits, The God of the spirits of all esh, we shall be able to discover the form of the original man. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the express image of His Fathers person (Hebrews 1:3). He walked the earth as a human being, as a perfect man, and said, in answer to a question put to Him: He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14: 9). This alone ought to solve the problem to the satisfaction of every thoughtful, reverent mind. The conclusion is irresistible, that if the Son of God be the express image (that is, likeness) of His Fathers person, then His Father is in the form of man; for that was the form of the Son of God, not only during His mortal life, but before His mortal birth, and after His resurrection. It was in this form that the Father and the Son, as two personages, appeared to Joseph Smith, when, as a boy of fourteen years, he received his rst vision. Then if God made man - the rst man - in His own image and likeness, he must have made him like unto Christ, and consequently like unto men of Christs time and of the present day. That man was made in the image of Christ, is positively stated in the Book of Moses: And I, God, said unto mine Only Begotten, which was with me from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and it was so....And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him, male and female created I them (Moses 2:26, 27). The Father of Jesus is our Father also. Jesus Himself taught this truth, when He instructed His disciples how to pray: Our Father which art in heaven, etc. Jesus, however, is the rst born among all the sons of God - the rst begotten in the spirit, and the only begotten in the esh. He is our elder brother, and we, like Him, are in the image of God. All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.



God created man in His own image. This is just as true of the spirit as it is of the body, which is only the clothing of the spirit, its complement; the two together constituting the soul. The spirit of man is in the form of man, and the spirits of all creatures are in the likeness of their bodies. This was plainly taught by the Prophet Joseph Smith (Doctrine and Covenants, 77: 2).

Here is further evidence of the fact. More than seven hundred years before Moses was shown the things pertaining to this earth, another great prophet, known to us as the brother of Jared, was similarly favored by the Lord. He was even permitted to behold the spirit-body of the foreordained Savior, prior to His incarnation; and so like the body of a man was His spirit in form and appearance, that the prophet thought he was gazing upon a being of esh and blood. He rst saw the nger and then the entire body of the Lord - all in the spirit. The Book of Mormon says of this wonderful manifestation:

And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words,behold, the Lord stretched forth His hand and touched the stones one by one with His nger; and the veil was taken from o the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the nger of the Lord; and it was as the nger of a man, like unto esh and blood; and the brother of Jared fell down before the Lord, for he was struck with fear. And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him, Arise, why hast thou fallen? And he saith unto the Lord, I saw the nger of the Lord, and feared lest he should smite me for I knew not that the Lord had esh and blood. And the Lord said unto him, Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me esh and blood; and never has man come before me with such exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so, ye could not have seen my nger. Sawest thou more than this? And he answered, Nay, Lord, show thyself unto me. And the Lord said unto him, Believest thou the works which I Shall speak? And he answered, Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth and canst not lie.

A.3. THE BYU EVOLUTION PACKET And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord showed himself unto him, and said, Because thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my presence; therefore I show myself unto you. Behold, I am He who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ, I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have light, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. And never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created, for never hath man believed in me as thou hast. Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit, and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit, will I appear unto my people in the esh (Ether, 3:6-16).


What more is needed to convince us that man, both in spirit and in body, is the image and likeness of God, and that God Himself is in the form of man? When the divine Being whose spirit-body the brother of Jared beheld, took upon Him esh and blood, He appeared as a man, having body, parts and passions, like other men, though vastly superior to all others, because He was God, even the Son of God, the Word made esh: in Him dwelt the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And why should He not appear as a man? That was the form of His spirit, and it must needs have an appropriate covering, a suitable tabernacle. He came into the world as He had promised to come (III Nephi, 1:13), taking an infant tabernacle, and developing it gradually to the fulness of His spirit stature. He came as man had been coming for ages, and as man has continued to come ever since. Jesus, however, as shown, was the only begotten of God in the esh. Adam our great progenitor, the rst man, was, like Christ, a pre-existent spirit, and like Christ he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a living soul. The doctrine of the pre-existence, revealed so plainly, particularly in latter days, pours a wonderful ood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of mans origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body to undergo an experience in mortality. It teaches that all men existed in the spirit before any man existed in the esh, and that all who have inhabited the earth since Adam have taken bodies and become souls in like manner. It is held by some that Adam was not the rst man upon this earth, and that the original human being was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men. The word of the Lord declares that Adam was the rst man of all men (Moses 1:34), and we are therefore in duty bound to regard him as the primal parent of our race. It was shown to the brother of Jared that all men were created in the beginning after the image of God; and whether we take this to mean the spirit or the body, or both, it commits us to the same conclusion: Man began life as a human being, in the likeness of our heavenly Father. True it is that the body of man enters upon its career as a tiny germ or embryo, which becomes an infant, quickened at a certain stage by the spirit whose tabernacle it is, and the child, after being born, develops into a man. There is nothing in this, however, to indicate that the original man, the rst of our race, began life as anything less than a man, or less than the human germ



or embryo that becomes a man. Man, by searching, cannot nd out God. Never, unaided, will he discover the truth about the beginning of human life. The Lord must reveal Himself, or remain unrevealed; and the same is true of the facts relating to the origin of Adams race - God alone can reveal them. Some of these facts, however, are already known, and what has been made known it is our duty to receive and retain. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modem, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal ospring of Deity. God Himself is an exalted man, perfected, enthroned, and supreme. By His almighty power He organized the earth, and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist co-eternally with Himself. He formed every plant that grows, and every animal that breathes, each after its own kind, spiritually and temporally - that which is spiritual being in the likeness of that which is temporal, and that which is temporal in the likeness of that which is spiritual. He made the tadpole and the ape, the lion and the elephant; but He did not make them in His own image, nor endow them with Godlike reason and intelligence. Nevertheless, the whole animal creation will be perfected and perpetuated in the Hereafter, each class in its distinct order or sphere, and will enjoy eternal felicity. That fact has been made plain in this dispensation (Doctrine and Covenants 77:3). Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped ospring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God. JOSEPH F. SMITH, JOHN R. WINDER, ANTHON H. LUND, First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Words in Season from the First Presidency

Deseret Evening News December 17, 1910, part 1, p. 3 In this Christmas message, the First Presidency devoted several sentences to the Churchs position with regard to questions-raised by science: Diversity of opinion does not necessitate intolerance of spirit, nor should it embitter or set rational beings against each other. The Christ taught kindness, patience, and charity. Our religion is not hostile to real science. That which is demonstrated, we accept with joy; but vain philosophy, human theory and mere speculations of men, we do not accept nor do we adopt anything contrary to divine revelation or to good common sense. But everything that tends to right conduct, that harmonizes with sound morality and increases faith in Deity, nds favor with us no matter where it may be found.

Mormon View of Evolution

IMPROVEMENT ERA. Vol. XXVIII. SEPTEMBER, 1925. No. 11. Editors Table. A Statement by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints



God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. In these plain and pointed words the inspired author of the book of Genesis made known to the world the truth concerning the origin of the human family. Moses, the prophet-historian, who was learned we are told, in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, when making this important announcement, was not voicing a mere opinion. He was speaking as the mouthpiece of God, and his solemn declaration was for all time and for all people. No subsequent revelator of the truth has contradicted the great leader and law-giver of Israel. All who have since spoken by divine authority upon this theme have conrmed his simple and sublime proclamation. Nor could it be otherwise. Truth has but one source, and all revelations from heaven are harmonious one with the other. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is the express image of his Fathers person (Hebrews 1:3). He walked the earth as a human being, as a perfect man, and said, in answer to a question put to him: He that hath seen me hath seen the Father (John 14:9). This alone ought to solve the problem to the satisfaction of every thoughtful, reverent mind. It was in this form that the Father and the Son, as two distinct personages, appeared to Joseph Smith, when, as a boy of fourteen years, he received his rst vision. The Father of Jesus Christ is our Father also. Jesus himself taught this truth, when he instructed his disciples how to pray: Our Father which art in heaven, etc. Jesus, however, is the rst born among all the sons of God - the rst begotten in the spirit, and the only begotten in the esh. He is our elder brother, and we, like him, are in the image of God. All men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally sons and daughters of Deity. Adam, our great progenitor, the rst man, was, like Christ, a pre-existent spirit, and, like Christ, he took upon him an appropriate body, the body of a man, and so became a living soul. The doctrine of pre-existence pours wonderful ood of light upon the otherwise mysterious problem of mans origin. It shows that man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal body to undergo an experience in mortality. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modem, proclaims man to be the direct and lineal ospring of Deity. By his Almighty power God organized the earth, and all that it contains, from spirit and element, which exist co-eternally with himself. Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of an earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped ospring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through ages and aeons, of evolving into a God. HEBER J. GRANT, ANTHONY W. WINS, CHARLES W. NIBLEY, First Presidency.

Encyclopedia of Mormonism: Evolution

The position of the Church on the origin of man was published by the First Presidency in 1909 and stated again by a dierent First Presidency in 1925: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modem, declares man to be the direct and lineal ospring of Deity.... Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes (see Appendix, Doctrinal Expositions of the First Presidency).



The scriptures tell why man was created, but they do not tell how, though the Lord has promised that he will tell that when he comes again (D&C 101:3233). In 1931, when there was intense discussion on the issue of organic evolution, the First Presidency of the Church, then consisting of Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthony W. Ivins, and Charles W. Nibley, addressed all of the General Authorities of the Church on the matter, and concluded, Upon the fundamental doctrines of the Church we are all agreed. Our mission is to bear the message of the restored gospel to the world. Leave geology, biology, archaeology, and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientic research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church.... Upon one thing we should all be able to agree, namely, that Presidents Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund were right when they said: Adam is the primal parent of our race [First Presidency Minutes, Apr. 7, 1931]. WILLIAM E. EVENSON (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 2)

Appendix B

Study Helps
B.1 B.2 B.3 How to Take Notes Eectively Good Environments Concept Mapping




Appendix C

Image Licensing
C.1 GNU Free Documentation License 1.3
Version 1.3, 3 November 2008 Copyright c 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <> Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim copies of this license document, but changing it is not allowed.

The purpose of this License is to make a manual, textbook, or other functional and useful document free in the sense of freedom: to assure everyone the eective freedom to copy and redistribute it, with or without modifying it, either commercially or noncommercially. Secondarily, this License preserves for the author and publisher a way to get credit for their work, while not being considered responsible for modications made by others. This License is a kind of copyleft, which means that derivative works of the document must themselves be free in the same sense. It complements the GNU General Public License, which is a copyleft license designed for free software. We have designed this License in order to use it for manuals for free software, because free software needs free documentation: a free program should come with manuals providing the same freedoms that the software does. But this License is not limited to software manuals; it can be used for any textual work, regardless of subject matter or whether it is published as a printed book. We recommend this License principally for works whose purpose is instruction or reference.


This License applies to any manual or other work, in any medium, that contains a notice placed by the copyright holder saying it can be distributed under the terms of this License. Such a notice grants a world-wide, royalty-free license, unlimited in duration, to use that work under the conditions stated herein. The Document, below, refers to any such manual or work. Any member of the public is a licensee, and is addressed as you. You accept the license if you copy, modify or distribute the work in a way requiring permission under copyright law. A Modied Version of the Document means any work containing the Document or a portion of it, either copied verbatim, or with modications and/or translated into another language. A Secondary Section is a named appendix or a front-matter section of the Document that deals exclusively with the relationship of the publishers or authors of the Document to the Documents overall subject (or to related matters) and contains nothing that could fall directly within that overall subject. (Thus, if the Document is in part a textbook of mathematics, a Secondary Section may not explain any mathematics.) The relationship could be a matter of historical connection with the subject or with related matters, or of legal, commercial, philosophical, ethical or political position regarding them. The Invariant Sections are certain Secondary Sections whose titles are designated, as being those of Invariant Sections, in the notice that says that the Document is released under this License. If a section does not t the above denition of Secondary then it is not allowed to be designated as Invariant. The Document may contain zero Invariant Sections. If the Document does not identify any Invariant Sections then there are none.




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You may copy and distribute a Modied Version of the Document under the conditions of sections 2 and 3 above, provided that you release the Modied Version under precisely this License, with the Modied Version lling the role of the Document, thus licensing distribution and modication of the Modied Version to whoever possesses a copy of it. In addition, you must do these things in the Modied Version: A. Use in the Title Page (and on the covers, if any) a title distinct from that of the Document, and from those of previous versions (which should, if there were any, be listed in the History section of the Document). You may use the same title as a previous version if the original publisher of that version gives permission. B. List on the Title Page, as authors, one or more persons or entities responsible for authorship of the modications in the Modied Version, together with at least ve of the principal authors of the Document (all of its principal authors, if it has fewer than ve), unless they release you from this requirement. C. State on the Title page the name of the publisher of the Modied Version, as the publisher. D. Preserve all the copyright notices of the Document. E. Add an appropriate copyright notice for your modications adjacent to the other copyright notices. F. Include, immediately after the copyright notices, a license notice giving the public permission to use the Modied Version under the terms of this License, in the form shown in the Addendum below. G. Preserve in that license notice the full lists of Invariant Sections and required Cover Texts given in the Documents license notice. H. Include an unaltered copy of this License. I. Preserve the section Entitled History, Preserve its Title, and add to it an item stating at least the title, year, new authors, and publisher of the Modied Version as given on the Title Page. If there is no section Entitled History in the Document, create one stating the title, year, authors, and publisher of the Document as given on its Title Page, then add an item describing the Modied Version as stated in the previous sentence. J. Preserve the network location, if any, given in the Document for public access to a Transparent copy of the Document, and likewise the network locations given in the Document for previous versions it was based on. These may be placed in the History section. You may omit a network location for a work that was published at least four years before the Document itself, or if the original publisher of the version it refers to gives permission. K. For any section Entitled Acknowledgements or Dedications, Preserve the Title of the section, and preserve in the section all the substance and tone of each of the contributor acknowledgements and/or dedications given therein. L. Preserve all the Invariant Sections of the Document, unaltered in their text and in their titles. Section numbers or the equivalent are not considered part of the section titles. M. Delete any section Entitled Endorsements. Such a section may not be included in the Modied Version. N. Do not retitle any existing section to be Entitled Endorsements or to conict in title with any Invariant Section. O. Preserve any Warranty Disclaimers. If the Modied Version includes new front-matter sections or appendices that qualify as Secondary Sections and contain no material copied from the Document, you may at your option designate some or all of these sections as invariant. To do this, add their titles to the list of Invariant Sections in the Modied Versions license notice. These titles must be distinct from any other section titles. You may add a section Entitled Endorsements, provided it contains nothing but endorsements of your Modied Version by various partiesfor example, statements of peer review or that the text has been approved by an organization as the authoritative denition of a standard. You may add a passage of up to ve words as a Front-Cover Text, and a passage of up to 25 words as a Back-Cover Text, to the end of the list of Cover Texts in the Modied Version. Only one passage of Front-Cover Text and one of Back-Cover Text may be added by (or through arrangements made by) any one entity. If the Document already includes a cover text for the same cover, previously added by you or by arrangement made by the same entity you are acting on behalf of, you may not add another; but you may replace the old one, on explicit permission from the previous publisher that added the old one. The author(s) and publisher(s) of the Document do not by this License give permission to use their names for publicity for or to assert or imply endorsement of any Modied Version.



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ADDENDUM: How to use this License for your documents

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[AE98] [Alberts02] [Arons97] [Braun65] A&E Television. 1998. Biography: Charles Darwin - Evolutions Voice. Alberts, B, A. Johnson, J. Lewis, M. Ra, K. Roberts, and P. Walter. 2002. Molecular Biology of the Cell, 4th ed. New York: Garland Science Arons, Arnold B. 1997. Teaching Introductory Physics, John Wiley and Sons. Von Braun, W. Why I believe: Werhner von Braun talks about science and God in: The National Sunday Magazine For A Better America, July 18, 1965, In the New Orleans, La., Times Picayune Newspaper. Brooker, R.J., E.P. Widmaier, L. E. Graham, and P.D. Stilling. 2008. Biology. 1St ed. Boston: McGraw Hill Clark, Kim B. 2006. Out of Small Things Proceedeth That Which is Great BYU-Idaho Devotional Address, 10 Jan 2006. Clark, Kim B. 2007. Leadership with a Small L. BYU-Idaho Commencement, 14 Dec. 2007. online: 12 14 clark.htm Darwin, C. 1859. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. 1st ed. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street

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[Eldredge72] Eldredge, N. and S.J. Gould. 1972. Punctuated Equilibria: An Alternative to Phyletic Gradualism. In T.J.M. Schopf, ed. Models on Paleobiology. San Francisco: Freeman, Cooper & Co. [Eldredge85] Eldredge, N. 1985. Unnished Synthesis: Biological Hierarchies and Modern Evolutionary Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. [Eyring01] [Eyring07] Eyring, Henry B. 2001. A Steady Upward Course. BYU-Idaho Devotional Address, 18 Sept 2001. Eyring, Henry J. 2007. Mormon Scientist, Deseret Book.

[Freeman01] Freeman, S., and J.C. Herron. 2001. Evolutionary Analysis. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle, New Jersey: Prentice Hall [Hardy08] [Harper77] Hardy, G.H. 1908. Mendelian Proportions in a Mixed Population. Science 28: 49-50. H. A. Harper, V. W. Rodwell, P. A. Mayes, Review of Physiological Chemistry, 16th ed., Lange Medical Publications, Los Altos, California 1977.

[Kitagawa98] Kitagawa, H., J. van der Plicht. 1998. Atmospheric radiocarbon calibration to 45,000 yr B.P.: Late glacial uctuations and cosmogenic isotope production. Science 279 (5354): 1187-1190. [Lee82] [Lyell30] Lee, Rex E. 1982. By Study and Also by Faith. Address given at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, BYU. In: Educating Zion. BYU Studies. BYU Press, Provo, Utah. Lyell, C. 1830. Principles of Geology: Being an Attempt to Explain the Former Changes of the Earths Surface, by Reference to Causes now in Operation. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street 231



[MacDougal08] MacDougal, D. 2008. Natures Clocks: How Scientists Measure the Age of Almost Everything. Univ. of Calif. Press, Berkeley, CA. [Maddox02] [Malthus98] Maddox, B. 2002. Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA. London: Harper- Collins Malthus, T.R. 1798. An Essay on the Principle of Population; or a View of its Past and Present Eects on Human Happiness; with an Inquiry into Our Prospects Respecting the Future Removal or Mitigation of the Evils Which it Contains. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street Mayr, E. 1985. The Growth of Biological Thought. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press Mendel, G. 1866. Versuche uber Planzenhybriden. Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Br unn, Bd. IV, Abhandlungen, 347. (Mendel, G. 1866. Experiments on Plant Hybrids. Proc. Brunn Soc. Nat. Hist. 4: 3-47) Moore, J.A. 1993. Science as a Way of Knowing: The Foundations of Modern Biology. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Nelson, Russell M. 2003. Sweet Power of Prayer. 173rd annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Ensign, May 2003, 7. Nelson, Steven A. 206. Radiometric Dating. Tulane University, New Orleans, La. Available at: sanelson/eens211/radiometric dating.htm. Raupp, D.M. 1992. Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck? New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Romney, Marion G. 1968. Learn by Faith. In: BYU Speeches of the Year 1968. BYU Press, Provo, Utah.

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[Rudwick85] Rudwick, M.J.S. 1985. The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology. 2nd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press [Scott07] [Stuiver98] [Taylor99] Scott, Richard G. 2007. Truth: the Foundation of Correct Decisions. 177th semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Ensign, Nov 2007, 90-92. Stuiver, M., P. J. Reimer and T. F. Braziunas. High-Precision Radiocarbon Age Calibration for Terrestrial and Marine Samples. Radiocarbon 40, 1127-1151 (1998). Taylor, B., et. al, Autism and measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine: no epidemiological evidence for a causal association Lancet, 353:2026 (1999).

[Teachings07] Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith,(2007), 261270. [UCSB05] [Watson53] [Watson68] Chronological Methods 9 - Potassium-Argon Dating. University of California at Santa Barbara (2005). Watson, J.D., and F.H.C. Crick. 1953. Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid. Nature. Apr 25: 171(4356):737738. Watson, J. D. 1968. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA. New York: Athenum Press.

[Weinberg08] Weinberg, W. 1908. Ueber den Nachweis der Vererbung bein Menchen. Jahreshefte des Veriens fur Vaterlandische Naturkunde in Wurttemburg 64: 368-382. English translation in Boyer, S.H. 1963. Papers on Human Genetics. Englewood Clis, NJ: Prentice Hall [Wolpert92] [Words10] Wolpert, L. 1992. The Unnatural Nature of Science. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. Words in Season from the First Presidency Deseret Evening News December 17, 1910, part 1, p. 3

r-process s-process Absolute dating Accuracy Active planet Allele Alpha decay Alternative Hypothesis Amino acids Ancestral traits Anecdotal Evidence Nucleosynthesis involving the rapid capture of many neutrons., 68 Nucleosynthesis due to the capture of neutrons (when there arent many neutrons around)., 67 The process of determining the actual age of a specimen, as opposed to relative ages of several specimens., 101 When a measurement yields a similar result every time it is taken., 12 A planet whose surface is subject to change due to convective processes beneath the surface., 111 One of two copies of a particular gene carried by an organism., 153 Spontaneous decay by the emission of a 4 He nu2 cleus, or alpha particle., 87 a researchers best explanation for an observation., 10 Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, and nitrogen which serve as the basic building blocks for life., 84 traits that are shared with an ancestral species., 173 Evidence consisting of inferences based on the chronological relationship of events or personal rsthand or spiritual experiences which have not been or cannot be tested empirically., 13 Climate forcings that occur as a result of human activity., 22 The number of protons in the nucleus of an atom., 60 In scientic notation, the number representing how many times the base should be multiplied by itself., 30

Anthropogenic forcings Atomic number Base


234 Base

Glossary The integer that serves as the basis for a number system. The numbers you are accustomed to seeing are written in a base 10 format, meaning that the digits represent, ones, tens, hundreds, and so on. Another common base is base two, in which the digits represent ones, two, fours, eights, etc... Base two numbers are also called binary numbers., 30 See Beta minus decay or beta plus decay., 88 Spontaneous decay where a neutron is transformed into a proton and electron, and the electron is subsequently ejected from the nucleus., 88 Spontaneous decay where a proton is transformed into a neutron and positron, and the positron is subsequently ejected from the nucleus., 88 A theory which says that the universe started very small and very dense, and has been expanding for the last several billion years., 54 An atomic model where the electrons are only allowed to have discrete set amounts of angular momentum or energy., 74 a system where total carbon dioxide emissions are limited, and entities are allowed carbon emissions through their purchase of carbon credits., 23 Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen which have a distinct rigid ring-like structure., 84 Carbon dioxide gas released into the atmosphere., 22 A hypothesis stating that Earths geological history could be accounted for by a series of catastrophic events., 98 The age of recent life., 125 Transmutation on a large scale over a long period of time., 63 A set of genes; a linear strand of DNA., 154 See phylogenetic tree, 170 The conditions found in a given region, consisting of many factors such as atmospheric composition, temperature, tectonic activity, solar intensity, etc...., 118 A change in the average temperature, humidity, weather, etc... of a region., 20 A group of three nitrogenous bases., 161 Similarities and dierences in the physical structures of two species., 167 A chemical combination of atoms of two or more elements., 77

Beta decay Beta minus decay

Beta plus decay

Big bang theory Bohr model

Cap and trade

Carbohydrates Carbon emissions Catastrophism Cenozoic era Chemical evolution Chromosome Cladogram Climate

Climate change Codon Comparative anatomy Compound (chemical)

Glossary Convection Convergent boundary Cosmic microwave background Critical Review Cross-cutting relationships Cyanobacteria Cyclicity Daughter (radioactivity) Decay series Deoxyribonucleic acid Derived traits Divergent boundary DNA Dominant allele Doppler shift Duration Electron Electron capture Element Emission spectrum Empirical Empirical Evidence Heat transfer that occurs when hot materials rise., 111 A region where two tectonic plates collide., 114 A persistent signal of microwaves coming at us from all directions in space., 54 The process whereby a researchers work is scrutinized by the scientic community., 13 A principle of relative dating which states that a rock unit that is broken formed before the break in it did., 97 Photosynthesizing bacteria that rst appeared billions of years ago, and are thought to be the origin of oxygen in our atmosphere, 129 The characteristic and frequency of repetition in a process., 35 The nucleus that remains after a spontaneous decay process., 87 A sequence of radioactive decays that ensues when the daughter nucleus of a decay process is itself radioactive., 90 A molecule made of nucleotides which carries the genetic code., 84 traits that a descendant species has, but that its ancestral species did not have., 173 A region where two tectonic plates are separating., 114 See Deoxyribonucleic acid., 84 An allele whose trait will be expressed regardless of which other allele for the same trait is present., 154 The shifting of frequencies of sound when the source of the sound is moving relative to an observer., 52 the length of an event or time interval between events., 35 A fundamental subatomic particle with negative charge and very little mass., 60 The spontaneous decay process wherein an atomic electron and proton combine to form a neutron., 88 A fundamental type of matter, or in other words a type of matter that is not a composite of other types of matter., 60 The unique set of specic wavelengths emitted by a hot rareed gas., 53 based on measurement, as opposed to personal recollection, 10 evidence consisting of measurements and observations using the senses or instruments that extend the senses., 12


236 Epicycle Evolution Exponent False Negative False Positive Fossil succession

Glossary An additional orbital path of planets in geocentric models used to explain retrograde motion., 45 The change and development of species over time., 132 See base., 30 See Type II Error., 11 See Type I Error., 11 A principle of relative dating which states the unique set of fossils found in rock units can be used to correlate formation times of geologic features which are geographically separated., 98 The spontaneous emission of a gamma ray by an excited nucleus., 89 A discrete unit containing heritable traits; a segment of DNA found on a chromosome., 153 An extension of special relativity that includes gravitational interactions., 52 A cosmological model where the Earth is at the center of the Universe., 45 When light energy is easily transmitted into an object, but heat energy is retained., 21 The amount of time it takes for half of a sample of radioactive material to decay., 92 An early atomic model that suggested all matter was made of indivisible pieces called atomos., 71 A cosmological model where the Sun is at the center of the Universe., 48 traits that are similar because they are inherited from a common ancestor., 193 a reasoned possible explanation for an observation or set of observations., 10 A principle of relative dating which states that material wholly included inside a rock existed before the rock that surrounds it did., 97 The mechanism whereby traits are passed from parent to ospring., 153 An idea which suggests animal populations evolve when traits acquired during an individual lifetime are passed on to its ospring., 149 The quandary in radiometric dating associated with not always knowing whether and how much of a daughter isotope was in existence when a material formed., 105 A species that is intermediate in form and time between two other species., 171 Radiation which carries su cient energy to knock electrons from atoms., 86

Gamma decay Gene General relativity Geocentric model Greenhouse eect Half life Hard sphere model Heliocentric model Homologous traits Hypothesis Inclusions Inheritance Inheritance by acquired traits Initial daughter problem

Intermediate form Ionizing radiation

Glossary Isotopes Lateral continuity Law Law of independent assortment Law of multiple proportions Law of segregation Light year Lipids Atoms with the same number of protons but dierent numbers of neutrons., 61 A principle of relative dating which states that sedimentary rock layers that have been separated by erosion were once continuous., 97 A generalized description of observations; a general rule that explains what will happen in a given set of circumstances., 11 A scientic law which states that alleles for a given trait are passed to ospring independently of alleles for other traits., 154 When elements react to form compounds, they react in dened whole number ratios., 77 A scientic law which states that the alleles passed onto ospring are selected randomly., 154 The distance that light will travel through empty space over the course of one year., 33 Molecules composed of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen with a characteristic rod-like structure., 84 Large scale evolutionary change representing the accumulation of many small scale changes., 165 Determining the age of things based on visible characteristics or formations., 102 The portion of a number expressed in scientic notation that tells you information beyond the appropriate power of ten., 30 The total number of nucleons in the nucleus of an atom. Equal to the sum of the atomic number and neutron number., 61 The age of middle life., 124 Changes in allele frequencies that occur within a population from generation to generation., 165 A visualization or analogue that helps a scientist understand a particular system., 12 messenger RNA; a single stranded molecule made of nucleotides that carries the genetic message out of the cell nucleus and into the body of the cell., 161 A change in the order of nitrogenous bases in a gene., 162 Climate forcings (factors that inuence climate) that occur independent of human activity., 22 A theory which states that organisms evolve as ecologically favored genetic variations are passed on to ospring., 150


Macroevolution Macroscopic dating Mantissa Mass number Mesozoic Era Microevolution Model mRNA

Mutation Natural forcings Natural selection

238 Neo-Platonism

Glossary A philosophy that suggests all things in nature are based on perfect ideas, and thus living organisms and fossils are just natures way of expressing perfection., 146 An electrically neutral subatomic particle found in the nucleus of atoms., 60 A group of elemental gasses that are chemically inert., 81 Any type of interaction involving the nucleus of an atom., 63 The synthesis of atoms (i.e. nuclei) through nuclear reactions., 63 Molecules consisting of a carbohydrate (sugar), a group of phosphates, and a nitrogenous base which serve as the building blocks for DNA., 84 The small region at the center of an atom which contains most of the atoms mass., 60 A hypothesis that states that the explanation for the observation is something other than the research hypothesis., 10 based on a measurable property and not a question of personal opinions or feelings., 9 A principle of relative dating which states that the sediments that make sedimentary rocks are originally deposited in horizontal layers., 97 The age of ancient life., 123 The original radioactive nucleus in a spontaneous decay process., 87 Refers to the amount of a celestial bodys surface illuminated by the Sun and visible to an Earth-based observer., 46 Speciation that occurs gradually over large spans of time., 165 A diagram representing evolutionary linkages between species., 170 An atomic model where the electrons orbit around a positively charged nucleus, much like planets orbiting a star., 73 An atomic model wherein the electrons are embedded in a soft positively charged mass, much like plums or raisins in a pudding., 72 The age of early Earth., 122 When repeated measurements fall within a narrow range of values., 12 Suggesting that there are additional phenomena which could be observed., 16 A taxonomic group of mammals which includes humans, apes, and monkeys., 168 , 165 Long, folded chains of amino acids., 84

Neutron Noble gasses Nuclear reaction Nucleosynthesis Nucleotides Nucleus (atoms) Null Hypothesis

Objective Original horizontality

Paleozoic Era Parent (radioactivity) Phases (astronomy) Phyletic gradualism Phylogenetic Tree Planetary model Plum pudding model Precambrian era Precision Predictive Primates Processes that result in rapid macroevolution. Proteins

Glossary Proton Pseudogenes Quantum mechanics Radiometric dating Rate Rate constant process Recessive allele Relative dating Replication Reproducibility Research Hypothesis Retrograde motion Ribosome Scaling Scientic notation Sequence Spacetime Special creation Special relativity A positively charged subatomic particle found in the nucleus of an atom., 60 Vestigial genes, which were once functional, but have been disabled by random mutations., 199 A theory which describes subatomic particles as localized waves., 51 Using radioactive isotopes to determine the age of a sample., 104 How quickly a process proceeds., 35 A process that proceeds always at the same rate (or a predictable rate) and with regular cyclicity., 36 An allele whose trait is expressed only when a dominant allele is not present., 154 Determining the sequence of events in Earths history without knowing actual ages., 97 The process by which exact copies of DNA are made., 157 An experiment is reproducible when another researcher can perform the same experiment and get the same result., 13 See Alternative Hypothesis., 10 The apparent periodic backward motion of the planets relative to the stars., 45 The structure within a cell where the genetic code is read and proteins are assembled., 161 Representing a system at a size other than its actual size., 31 a compact way of writing numbers that are not easy to express in standard format., 30 The ordering of events in time., 35 The four dimensional fabric of our universe in which time and space are intrinsically linked together., 39 A theologically based idea which states God created the various species the way that they are today., 145 A theory based on two premises: that the laws of physics are the same for all observers, and that light traveling through vacuum has the same measured speed for all observers - regardless of their motion relative to the source. Within the context of this theory, space and time change as object move at speeds close to the speed of light., 52 following the path of discipleship and learning to be more like Christ - learning to think, to feel, and to act more as He does., xxviii subject to an individuals personal opinions, feelings, or tastes; the opposite of objective., 9


Student honor Subjective

240 Superposition System Tectonics Theory Transcription Transform boundary Translation Transmutation tRNA Type I Error Type II Error Uniformitarianism

Glossary A principle of relative dating which states that older sedimentary rock units in an undisturbed sequence are found below younger units., 97 The portion of the universe of interest in a scientic investigation., 15 The movement of Earths crust on the surface, driven by mantle convection., 111 An attempt to explain, at a more fundamental level, how or why a particular phenomenon happens., 11 The process wherein the nitrogenous bases that code for a particular gene is copied into a strand of mRNA., 161 A region where two tectonic plates slide past one another., 114 The process in which proteins are formed based on the genetic code carried by mRNA., 161 Changing one type of element into another through nuclear reactions., 63 Transfer RNA; a single stranded molecule composed of nucleotides that carries amino acids into the ribosome., 162 When the null hypothesis is rejected, even though it is actually correct., 11 When the null hypothesis is accepted, even though it is actually incorrect., 11 A hypothesis stating that Earths geological history can be explained by the same processes occurring today., 98 An anatomical structure that played a vital role in the body of an ancestral species, but no longer plays a vital role or may be completely non-functional in the body of the descendant species., 192

Vestigial structure

s-process, 67 Ardipithecus ramidus, 177 Australopithecus afarensis, 179 Homo ergaster, 183 Homo habilis, 181 Homo heidelbergensis, 185 Homo neanderthalensis, 187 Homo sapiens, 189 Sahelanthropus tchadensis, 175 Absolute dating, 101 Accuracy, 12 Active planets, 111 Alleles, 153 Alpha decay, 87, 92 Alpha particles, 73 Amino acids, 84 Anecdotal evidence, 13 Anthropogenic forcings, 22 Aristotle, 17, 96 Atmospheric composition, 120 Atomic Models, 70 Atomic Nucleus, 73 Atomic number, 60 Atomic theory, 77 Atoms, 40, 60, 70, 77 Bacteria Cyanobacteria, 129 Base, 30 Becquerel, Henri, 86 Beta decay, 87 Beta minus decay, 87, 92 Beta plus decay, 88, 92 Big bang theory, 51, 54, 63 Bipedalism, 169 Black hole, 68 Bohr model, 74 Bohr, Niels, 74 Brigham Young University - Idaho Honor code, xxvii Mission statement, xxvii Cap and trade, 23 Carbohydrates, 84 Carbon dating, 105 Carbon emissions, 22 Catastrophism, 98 Cathode rays, 71 Cenozoic era, 125 Chemical bonding, 82 Chemical evolution, 63 Chromosomes, 153, 154, 161, 200 Cladogram, 171 Climate, 20, 119 Climate change, 20, 119 Climate forcings, 22 Clocks, 36, 101 CNO cycle, 65 Codon, 161 Comparative anatomy, 168 Conduction, 111 Condence level, 11 Continental drift, 112 Convection, 111, 114 Convergent boundary, 115 Copernicus, Nicolaus, 48 Cosmic microwave background, 54 Cosmological models, 43 Coulomb force, 90 Covalent bonding, 82 Craters, 111 Crick, Francis, 155 Critical review, 13 Cross-cutting relationships, 97 Curie, Marie, 86 Cuvier, Georges, 98, 147 Cyclicity, 35 Dalton, John, 77 Darwin, Charles, 149 Daughter (radioactivity), 87 Decay series, 90 Deep time, 38, 149 Democritus, 71 Dendrochronology, 102, 106 Discovery, 96 Divergent boundary, 115 DNA, 154, 155, 160, 195 Dobereiner, Johann, 78 Dominant allele, 154 241

242 Doppler shift, 52 Duration, 35 Earth, 111, 114 Einstein, Albert, 18, 38 Electron, 60 Electron capture, 88, 92 Electrons, 71 Electrostatic force, 90 Elements, 60 Emission spectrum, 73 Empedocles, 70 Empirical evidence, 12 Evolution, 121 Evolution, criteria for, 164 Experimentation, 12 Exponent, 30 Extinction, 147 Eyring, Elder Henry B., x Eyring, Henry B., 6 False Negative, 11 False Positive, 11 Fossil fuels, 22, 117 Fossil succession, 98 Foundations program, ix Four element model, 70 Franklin, Benjamin, ix Galactic evolution, 56 Galileo Galilei, 17, 46 Gamma decay, 89, 92 General relativity, 39, 52 Genes, 153, 154, 161 Genetics, 153 Geocentric model, 43, 45 Geologic time scale, 99 Geology, 96 Glacial lake sediments, 102 Glaciers, 104 seasonal layers in, 104 Gold foil experiment, 73 Gravity, 39 Greenhouse eect, 21 GULO gene, 199 Half life, 104 Hard sphere model, 71 Hardy, Godfrey, 164 Hardy-Weinberg criteria, 164 Heliocentric model, 48 Hess, Harry, 113 Holmes, Arthur, 109 Honor code, xxvii Hubbles law, 53 Human development, 201 Human evolution, 167 Hutton, James, 98 Hypothesis, 11 Alternative hypothesis, 10 Null hypothesis, 10 Research hypothesis, 10 Two hypothesis method, 10 Inclusions, 97 Inheritance, 153 Inheritance of acquired traits, 146, 149 Initial daughter problem, 105 Intermediate form, 171 Intuition, 37 Ionic bonding, 82 Ionizing radiation, 86 Isotopes, 61 Kelvin, Lord William Thomson, 101 Lake sediments, 102 Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste, 149 Lateral continuity, 97 Lavoisier, Antoine, 76 Law, 11 Law of independent assortment, 154 Law of Segregation, 154 Learning Model, xxv Lee, Elder Rex E., x Leptons, 55 Light speed of, 32 Light year, 33 Lipids, 84 Lorentz contraction, 39 Lower case s scientists, ix Lyell, Charles, 99 Macroevolution, 165 Mantissa, 30 Mass number, 61 Mendel, Gregor, 153 Mendeleyev, Dmitri, 78 Merrill, Joseph F., 6 Mesozoic era, 124 Method of isochrons, 105 Microevolution, 165 Model, 12 Molecular genetics, 163 Molecules, 84 Moon, phases of, 46 mRNA, 161 Mutation, 162, 163, 199


INDEX Natural forcings, 22 Natural selection, 150 Nelson, Elder Russell M., x Neo-Platonism, 146 Neutron, 60 Neutron star, 68 Neutrons, 55 New synthesis, the, 164 Newlands, John, 78 Newton, Issac, 18 Newtonian gravitation, 51 Nuclear reactions, 63 Nucleosynthesis, 55, 63 Big bang, 55 Nucleosynthesis, big bang, 63 Nucleotides, 84 Nucleus, 60 Nucleus (atomic), 73 Objective questions, 9 Oceans, 120 Original horizontality, 97 Overview boxes, xv Paleozoic era, 123 Pangaea, 112 Parent (radioactivity), 87 Peer review, 13 Periodic table, 78 Phyletic gradualism, 165 Phylogenetic tree, 171, 195 Planetary model, 72 Plate Tectonics, 112 Plate tectonics, 120 Playfair, John, 99 Plum pudding model, 71 Powers of ten, 29 PP-I cycle, 64 Precambrian era, 122 Precision, 12 Predictions, 16 Priestley, Joseph, 76 Primates, 168 Proteins, 84, 161 Proton, 60 Protons, 55 Proust, Joseph, 76 Pseudogenes, 199 Ptolemy, Claudius, 45 Punctuated equilibrium, 165 Quantization, 74 Quantum mechanics, 40, 51, 61, 75 Quarks, 55 Rentgen, Wilhelm, 86 o Radioactivity, 86, 101, 104 Radiocarbon dating, 105 Radiometric dating, 104 Rate, 35 Rate constant process, 36 Recessive allele, 154 Redshift, 52 Regulatory genes, 201 Relative dating, 97 Relativity, 38 Replication, 157 Reproducibility, 13 Retrograde motion, 45 Revelation, 2 Review questions, xv Ribosome, 161 RNA, 161 Rutherford, Ernest, 73, 86 Salinity of ocean, 102 Scales of nature, 37 Scaling, 31 Science Limitations of, 2 Scientic Method, 2 Scientic method, 16 Scientic notation, 29 Scientic questions, 9 Scott, Elder Richard G., 2 Sea level, 120 Seaoor spreading, 113 Sedimentation, 111 Sequence, 35 Shroud of Turin, 107 Smith, William, 98 Spacetime, 39 Special creation, 145 Special relativity, 39, 52 Standard format, 30 Stellar fuel cycle, 64 Stellar nucleosynthesis, 64 Stellarium, 43 Steno, Nicholas, 97 Strong nuclear force, 90 Subjective questions, 9 Supercontinents, 117 Superposition, 97 System, 15 Talmage, James E., 7 Tectonics, 111 Telescopes, 46 Temperature


244 of Earth, 101 Theory, 11 Thomson, J.J., 71 Time, 35, 101 Time dilation, 39 Transcription, 161 Transform boundary, 115 Translation, 161 Transmutation, 63 Tree rings, 102 Triads (chemistry), 78 Triple alpha reaction, 65 tRNA, 161 Truth, 2, 96 Type I Error, 11 Type II Error, 11 Uncertainty principle, 41 Uniformitarianism, 98 Uranium-lead dating, 108 Ussher, Archbishop James, 101 Venus, phases of, 46 Vestigial structures, 192 Volcanic activity, 120 Watson, James, 155 Wave-particle duality, 41 Wavefunctions, 75 Wegener, Alfred, 112 Weinberg, Wilhelm, 164 White dwarf, 68 Widtsoe, John A., 7