Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the significance of fossils. In the middle of the nineteenth century the discoveries of the fossil hunters used to worry poor Ruskin to death, he wrote in a letter in 1851, “my faith, which was never strong, is being beaten to gold leaf…If only those Geologists would let me alone I could do very well, but those dreadful Hammers! I hear the clink of them at the end of every cadence of the Bible verses.”The testimony of fossils over the ages has been remarkably eloquent when we have wanted to listen; and now with mass spectrometers, electron microscopes and secondary X-ray detectors, these long dead organisms can speak to us of the past in ways they never could before.

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  • Richard Corfield 10 episodes
    Research Associate in the Department of Earth Sciences at Oxford University
  • Dianne Edwards No other episodes
    Distinguished Research Professor in Palaeobotany at Cardiff University
  • Richard Fortey No other episodes
    Senior Research Palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum

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Auto-category: 560 (Fossils and prehistoric life)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. In the middle of the 19th century, the discoverers of the fossil hunters worried John Ruskin greatly.