Fossil correlation dating technique

09-Nov-2017 03:22 by 7 Comments

Fossil correlation dating technique

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.Early geologists, in the 1700s and 1800s, noticed how fossils seemed to occur in sequences: certain assemblages of fossils were always found below other assemblages. Since 1859, paleontologists, or fossil experts, have searched the world for fossils.

Relative time looks at the succession of layers of rock to attribute them to certain geological events.Paleontologists now apply sophisticated mathematical techniques to assess the relative quality of particular fossil successions, as well as the entire fossil record.These demonstrate that, of course, we do not know everything (and clearly never will), but we know enough.The most effective approach in getting age dates is to combine multiple techniques.First to get relative age relationships between local units, then to find index fossil ages for the sedimentary rocks and radiometric dates where possible.Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.

All these labors have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.Age estimates can be cross-tested by using different isotope pairs.Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.To be a good index fossil, the species should: Using index fossils, geologists were able to correlate across Europe, and then to other continents.