The last sixty years has seen incredible breakthroughs in paleontology.  We learned that the continents have shifted.  We’ve learned how to measure geologic time precisely.  We’ve learned that asteroids have caused extinction on this planet.  We’ve learned that we can extract DNA from fossils and tie the relationship of living things to fossil things.  And we’ve learned that carbon is closely related to climate. 

Those five insights have framed a toolkit for understanding how our planet works and gives us the scientific understanding to really move into the twenty-first century in a knowledgeable way and to begin to choose the future that we want. 

60 Second Reads is recorded in Big Think's studio.

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