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Scenes from Deep Time

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The idea of ``deep time'' developed with the advance of geological knowledge in the Victorian age. Rudwick has studied paleontological illustrations from that period to trace changes in how scientists visualized the prehistoric world and attempted to illustrate the span of time. He finds that the dominant themes were the conception of fossils as remnants of the biblical flood, pressure from the scientific community to refrain from flights of fancy, and the lack of complete data as a basis for reconstructions. At the same time, popular illustrations showed fantastic prehistoric monsters that captured the public imagination. Rudwick's scholarly text is heavily illustrated with pictures and quotations from source material. Although some of the pictures are lively, the topic is esoteric and requires the reader to be familiar with the history of geological science. For academic libraries.-- Amy Brunvand, Fort Lewis Coll. Lib., Durango, Col.

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