The Nature Of Fossils

Simply defined, fossils are the remains or traces of organisms that lived prior to historic times. They most commonly preserve the shape or impression of the organism itself in rock, but they may be actual bone, or flesh preserved by freezing, or trails and other marks made by ancient animals. Today it is generally accepted that life has existed on our earth for more than two billion years, and that fossils are important clues to understanding its history and development. These facts seem obvious today, yet men for centuries refused to believe the evidence before their eyes that life had existed on earth for a very long time.

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