The word paleontology is taken from the Greek words 'palaios' meaning old, 'ontos' a being, and 'logos' to study (Hamlyn, 1968). It is usually loosely translated to mean 'the study of past life', or 'the study of fossils'. Though the word itself has been used only in recent times, an interest in fossils (as interesting objects literally "dug out of the earth") is probably as old as humankind. The subject of this paper is the development of ideas that deal with the significance and origin of fossils. The explanations range from ancient times up to the nineteenth century when fossils became generally accepted as evidences of past life, and paleontology became recognized as an area of scientific inquiry.
Iowa Science Teachers Journal
© Copyright 1983 by the Iowa Academy of Science
Simonis-Parish, Mary and Simonis, Doris A.
"Reading Rocks: Early History of Paleontology,"
Iowa Science Teachers Journal: Vol. 20
, Article 7.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/istj/vol20/iss3/7