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Science Case

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1. Summarize advances over time in determining the age of the Earth, including the importance of the discovery or radioactivity.

Advances over time in determining the Earth's age begins as early as Egyptians digging trenches along the Nile River to count the layers of sediment deposited every each and coming to the conclusion the Earth is at least 5,000 years old. In the middle ages, people used sacred texts to identify the age of Earth. In the 18th and 19th centuries, scholars used different techniques such as salinities of the ocean, rates of sedimentation, and models of the cooling of materials to determine how old the Earth was. Many phylifofers and physicist theories on the age of the Earth influenced other theories such as Darwin's natural selection. The importance of radioactive decay is due to the fact it provide the Earth with heat to keep going. The radioactive decay of uranium, thorium, and potassium give Earth the capability for Life, oceans, atmosphere, plate tectonics and continents which exits because of the slow radioactive decay. Radioactive decay also provides an important discovery to date the age of rock which led to the age of Earth.

1. What makes Earth a habitable, relatively stable environment within which we exist and survive? Review the early development of the solar system, including the Big Bang theory, to support your answer.

2. Alfred Wegener was a polar explorer and visionary. Describe how his early work was viewed with skepticism and how ultimately his theory on continental drift was proven. What kinds of evidence did Wegener rely on to substantiate his continental drift hypotheses (Pangaea)?

3. Explain how seismic tomography has been used to show what is actually happening on Earth. Include in your answer a discussion of plate tectonics and sea-floor spreading.

4. Explain how the laws of thermodynamics determine the motions that result in the formation of mountains and oceans.



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