By Roger Oakland
Understand the Times, International
Fossils are preserved life forms that lived in the past. But how do we know how long ago in the past these plants or animals were preserved? From time to time, we hear about a new fossil discovery that has become newsworthy because it was older than any other fossil of its kind that had ever been found. But what is the scientific basis? Or is there a scientific basis at all.
The layers of our planet contain billions of fossils. Because there are so many fossils over the world, discovering one is really not an “earth-shattering” event. But once in a while, a fossil discovery makes the news. When this happens, it is usually because someone has found a fossil older than any other of the same type ever found before.
Usually the names of the scientists associated with the find are publicized widely by the media; and another claim further enshrines the theory of evolution. The scientist or group of scientists associated with the find will be awarded a large sum of money in the form of a research grant. Then more papers are published that promote the fossil as the oldest and the best ever discovered.
Recently, newspapers and magazines around the world reported another one of these fossil sensations. Click here to continue reading.