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Reveals the logical framework of geology, shows relations of the science to the totality of human knowledge, and gives some idea of what it is to be a participant in the discipline. The authors stress what assumptions are made by earth historians, what kinds of evidence, and what processes of reasoning and limitations of hypotheses are involved in reconstructing and interpreting the past. The use of dioramas and reconstructions of extinct animals and plants has been greatly expanded, so that students can get a more vivid concept of typical life in any part of the geologic past. The areas of hottest controversy, such as mass extinctions, dinosaur endothermy, the origin of life, and controversies over late Proterozoic tectonics and glaciation, have been given separate sections so that students can appreciate the different sides of the debates.