Millions and Billions of Years Ago: Dating Our Earth and Its Life (Venture Book)

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9780531125335: Millions and Billions of Years Ago: Dating Our Earth and Its Life (Venture Book)
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Discusses the processes by which scientists determine the age of their specimens, such as counting the number of tree rings, reading the strata, and using chemical analyses and the carbon-14 test. Also looks at recent findings that may tell us how old the universe is.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up-Explaining difficult scientific concepts to laypeople is a challenge that Smith has met admirably. He recounts how scientists, over the centuries, have attempted to date historical and geologic events-from the thousands of years of civilization to the billions of years of the universe-in a lucid and readable manner. Arranged by methodology (dendrochronology, radioactivity, etc.), his text provides an overview of geology and a history of the development of that branch of science. The diagrams are readily understandable and further clarify the text, but the black-and-white photographs, though appropriate, are merely adequate. Franklyn Branley's Mysteries of Planet Earth (Dutton, 1989) covers some of this material, but from a different perspective and in a question-and-answer format. Sandra Markle's Digging Deeper (Lothrop, 1987) and Donald Silver's Earth (Random, 1989) include some of this information, but it is not presented as thoroughly, or in the same context.
Meryl Silverstein, American Museum of Natural History, New York City
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

In the Venture series, a discussion of scientific dating, including the study of tree rings, strata, varves, carbon remains, thermoluminescence, space rocks, and radioactivity. Using a clear, readable style and helpful drawings, Smith is most successful at presenting earlier methods. But when it comes to methods employing radioactivity, his descriptions are too brief to be very informative--e.g., ``This very difficult method [thermoluminescent dating] has given some useful results in dating pottery, bones, teeth, and volcanic ash that is relatively young, geologically speaking.'' Why difficult? How young is young? In generalizing about complex topics, it's especially important to list sources. None are given here; moreover, though geological dating is a rapidly changing field, more than half the titles listed for ``Further Reading'' are 20 years old or more. A book that attempts too much and falls short. Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 12-14) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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