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Richard Corfield

Architects of Eternity

Palaeontology has made huge progress in the last century or so, moving from mostly fossil collecting to having detailed information about life in the long history of the earth. In Architects of Eternity:The New Science of Fossils Richard Corfield tells the stories of many of the people who made this possible and how they achieved it. There are tales of the dinosaur hunters in the late 19th century, as well as a look at whether Jurassic Park might ever become a reality. There is also the story of the discovery of the meteor impact which killed off the dinosaurs.

Corfield describes how the timescale of life on earth was established, including the use of radioactive dating. There is also a chapter on the use of isotope ratios to deduce the changes in the climate and the state of the ocean. Corfield writes with a touch of humour, and makes the details of palaeontology accessible to a wider readership. What I found was that if I knew something about a topic then the book provided some fascinating details. For other topics, however, I noticed that the book could still seem a bit technical. Hence the book is probably best suited to those readers who have already read a bit about the subject of palaeontology.  |  Chronon Critical Points  |  Recent Science Book Reviews