Learning Objectives

  1. Explain how and under what conditions fossils are created.

  2. Be aware of the limitations of the fossil record and how those limitations affect our understanding of human evolution.

  3. Define eon, era, period, and epoch and know modern humans’ place in geologic time.

  4. Compare relative age and relative dating methods with numerical age and absolute dating methods.

  5. List examples of relative methods of dating.

  6. List examples of absolute methods of dating and understand the date range that each method can measure.

  7. Define the “molecular clock” and understand its importance for human evolution.

  8. Explain why temperature is the most important feature of climate and understand how to measure temperature in the past.

  9. Explain how carbon isotopes can tell us about not just how long ago an organism lived but also what it ate.