A fossil!This week’s Fossil Friday is from our Fossil Friend Dan Phelps. He just got the fossil cleaned up recently, and let me tell you, the before and after images are pretty amazing. Maybe if we ask nicely, Dan will post them in the comments below. But in the meantime, can you figure out the genus of this organism? What about its very lovely common name?

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11.25.2014

Ken Ham, via Wikimedia CommonsKen Ham

“In the year 1806 the French Institute enumerated not less than eighty geological theories which were hostile to the Scriptures; but not one of those theories is held to-day.” In part 1, I explained that Luther Tracy Townsend’s Collapse of Evolution (1905) attributes that sentence to “the eminent geologist, Professor Charles Lyell,” but found it, apparently, in Albert Barnes’s The Progress and Tendencies of Science (1840) instead. In part 2, I added that Barnes included a footnote to Lyell’s Principles of Geology later in the same paragraph, which probably misled Townsend into thinking that Lyell was the authority for the claim about the eighty-plus geological theories. And in part 3, I traced the claim instead to Georges Cuvier, who alluded to eighty-plus geological theories in 1806, but conspicuously didn’t describe them as “hostile to the Scriptures.”

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In last week’s somewhat belated post, I gave a long introduction to this question: What does it take to become a fossil, and what does it take to be found? I made the claim, too, that if you can understand how rare quality fossil finds are, you can begin to appreciate all that we do know and get excited about what we have yet to discover. So let’s get cracking!

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11.24.2014

Last week's Fossil Friday was a beachcomber's delight. According to our fossil friend Gerald Wilgus, these fossils apparently wash up on Lake Michigan to this day.

What is it? Well, I’ll let Gerald supply the answer:

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This week on Fossil Friday, we are relying on our Fossil Friends once again to keep us out of the gambling hells of Nevada and on the road to fossil salvation. This week’s fossil comes from Gerald Wilgus, who says that size might not matter, but shape is everything when it comes to this fossil! Coming from Michigan but originating in the Devonian, this species is a favorite among beachcombers, Gerald says, as it still washes up on the shores of Lake Michigan to this day.

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