The second half of the 19th century--the so-called Gilded Age--was also when scientists began finding dinosaur fossils across the western half of the nation. Could the answer to the history of life and the proof of evolution be found in these bones? that was the question two young American paleontologists, Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, set out to answer. but what began as a friendly contest soon turned into a bitter rivalry that would spill over into American science and politics and rage relentlessly for three decades. and despite his Quakerism, Edward Drinker Cope, like many of his colleagues, would prove to be ruthlessly competitive.