Home School Life Journal

Home School Life Journal ........... painting by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

A Simulation of Using Index Fossils to Order Rock Layers

A parent sets this simulation up in advance by making up index cards with 6 sets of 3 index cards with different symbols on them. Next the parent puts these cards into 3 piles, each pile with the symbols in the same order, and writes down the order on a piece of paper. Next the parent removes 2 cards from each pile, without changing the order of the cards otherwise. (Now there will be 3 piles with four cards in each pile.)Now the student is allowed to see the cards. He needs to look at the 3 piles and use them to determine the order that all the cards were in at first. Reconstructing the piles takes some logic. Did he get the order right?
Through the process, you will see how difficult it is sometimes for paleontologists and archaeologists to reconstruct what happened in history by looking at the remains in the layers of earth and rock. A "geologist can use the same reasoning you used in your (demonstration) to determine the order in which all of the layers were laid down. Using this kind of reasoning the geologist can order each layer in terms of when it was laid down in earth's past...If a certain (type of card) does not appear in a region, that means the conditions simply were not right for forming sedimentary rock in that region of the earth at that time in earth's past. The lines then connect the layers in one region of the earth with the corresponding layers in another region, if those layers exist."-Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay Wile

source: Exploring Creation with General Science by Dr. Jay Wile

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