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You are out with friends and, because you have just attended a geology class, you notice (maybe for the first time) the rocks exposed in numerous road cuts. Your instructor has already taken you on a few field trips where you learned through hands-on experience how to identify rock types and to interpret the history they represented. Consequently, you point to the different rock layers and tell your friends the order in which they were formed, what you know about their origin, which geologists had studied them, and what was happening in the world at the time these sediments were being deposited. Your friends are initially impressed, but they soon begin to doubt you and want to know how you know that certain layers were formed before other layers, how you know the approximate age of the rocks, and especially how you know that the continents were in different places to where they are today.
How did you come to your conclusions? What evidence can you cite to support your claims?
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