Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.
Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.Every few years, new geologic time scales are published, providing the latest dates for major time lines.Biologists actually have at their disposal several independent ways of looking at the history of life - not only from the order of fossils in the rocks, but also through phylogenetic trees. Relative dating is done by observing fossils, as described above, and recording which fossil is younger, which is older.The discovery of means for absolute dating in the early 1900s was a huge advance.Fossils document the order of appearance of groups and they tell us about some of the amazing plants and animals that died out long ago.
Fossils can also show us how major crises, such as mass extinctions, happened, and how life recovered after them.
These demonstrate that, of course, we do not know everything (and clearly never will), but we know enough.
Today, innovative techniques provide further confirmation and understanding of the history of life.
Also includes info on how fossils are formed, the “cleaning, preparing, & repairing” of fossils, and other useful resources.
gave us ample reason to believe that radiometric dating of meteorites is solid. By dating certain types of meteorites, geologists arrive at the most precise age estimate of our Earth: 4.56 billion years.
Repeated, and tough, regimes of testing have confirmed the broad accuracy of the fossils and their dating, so we can read the history of life from the rocks with confidence. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact [email protected] reprint permission. Currently, he is studying certain basal dinosaurs from the Late Triassic and the quality of different segments of the fossil record.