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Harrisburg University Earth Systems Science Professor Michael Meyer recently was featured in the Gizmodo article, “How Do We Know How Old Fossils Are?”

Dr. Meyer discussed the importance of differentiating a real fossil from simple imperfections in rocks.

“These can be scratches on rocks, uneven erosion on a rock, or a ‘weird’ appearance from different minerals in the rock that make it look like it was once living,” Meyer said. “Because many people do not know how fossils are formed, and the human mind’s drive to ‘see’ recognizable shapes, there are often assumptions that a rock, which looks like an object, may be a fossilized version of it.”

Meyer shared that he once was given “fossilized” feet and ducks, which he said turned out to be oddly shaped rocks. The same phenomenon, he said, makes people see strange things Mars.

In determining what actually is a fossil, Meyer gave two broad definitions: Fossils are any evidence of past life, typically organic material, that’s been turned to stone; or simply any evidence of ancient life.

To read the article, visit this link.

For information about HU’s B.S. in Integrative Sciences Program, click here.


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