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Posted by / 21-Feb-2016 22:29

Absolute dating methods fossils

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.Dating is a technique used in archeology to ascertain the age of artifacts, fossils and other items considered to be valuable by archeologists.There are many methods employed by these scientists, interested in the old, to get to know the age of items.For example, suppose that using stratigraphic methods, we can show that a particular fossil is always older than rocks which are 14 million years old or less, and always younger than rocks which are 16 million years old or more, whenever we are in a position to make a comparison.Now, it is a fundamental principle of science — arguably, the only fundamental principle of science — that a rule that works every time we can test it must be taken as true unless and until we find a counterexample.

The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.

Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods.

Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.

Hence we can use datable rocks to put dates on fossil species; and then we can use the fossil species to put dates on other rocks which would otherwise be difficult to date.

Those fossils we have described as "index fossils" are particularly suitable for this purpose, since they have a wide geographical distribution but only inhabit a thin slice of time.

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Absolute dating, on the other hand is capable of telling the exact age of an item using carbon dating and many other techniques that were not there in earlier times.