COMMENT: Finney & Edwards Article

By Jan Zalasiewicz, Colin N. Waters, Alexander P. Wolfe, et al. | GSA Today

The article about the Anthropocene by Finney and Edwards (GSA Today, v. 26, no. 3–4, p. 4–10) is part of a wider critical commentary we have addressed (Zalasiewicz et al., 2017), and is an essential and welcome part of its analysis. We agree that any formal recognition needs clear focus on the geological evidence, separating this from policy implications. In response, we note the following:

  • In current form, the Anthropocene concept entered the formal scientific literature through Paul Crutzen and the Earth System science community, effectively as a hypothesis now being explicitly tested via the stratigraphic record. Antecedents, though, are recognizable in the work of Buffon, Suess, Stoppani, Vernadsky, and others.

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