Fossils as Information

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  • ISBN 9780521031646 


This book discusses procedures for handling information derived from the fossil record, and the application of this information to solving problems in geological succession and earth history. The main purpose of the book is to analyse shortcomings of the existing procedures, and to propose in their place an alternative set of data-handling arrangements of much greater simplicity and efficiency. The author argues that the procedures in current use are cumbersome and inefficient, and that, partly as a consequence of these information-handling methods, palaeontology has failed to make advances commensurate with technological improvements. In this book he proposes a system which could make possible the integrated use of every detail of geological information taken from the rocks. This would achieve better resolution in sequence correlation, in paleoecologic interpretation and in logging the course of evolution. Compatibility of style with existing records has been maintained to avoid any danger of loss of valuable data, and to simplify the process of reevaluating old records. The book will be of interest to all paleontologists, particularly those dealing with microfossils, and is intended to stimulate discussion and criticism of both the analysis and the proposals.

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