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Addressing the history of the earth in terms of geological process and the resolution of the fossil record, Martin presents a lucid report on the current state of knowledge on a group of interconnected themes - process, scale and hierarchy, and the methodologies of historical science. He examines several pivotal questions about geologic history: What is the evidence for processes that occur over long periods of geologic history? Why are these long-term processes significant to the human race? How does one test hypotheses using the fossil record? And what, at the present state of knowledge, are the limits of the record?