Despite seeming like a relatively stable place, the Earth's surface has changed dramatically over the past 4.6 billion years.Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.Chronological Analysis of the Scriptures- Literal interpretation of the scriptures led some people to conclude that the Earth was created approximately 6,000 years old.In fact, Archbishop Usher of Ireland calculated that the Earth was created at 9 AM on It was believed that prior to the Great Flood, Earths surface was flat and its climate was mild.The study of fossils across geological time, how they were formed, and the evolutionary relationships between taxa (phylogeny) are some of the most important functions of the science of paleontology.Such a preserved specimen is called a "fossil" if it is older than some minimum age, most often the arbitrary date of 10,000 years.
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are the preserved remains or traces of animals, plants, and other organisms from the remote past.
The totality of fossils, both discovered and undiscovered, and their placement in fossiliferous (fossil-containing) rock formations and sedimentary layers (strata) is known as the fossil record.
These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.
As these changes have occurred, organisms have evolved, and remnants of some have been preserved as fossils.