Dating fossils and rock

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Illustration Media Spotlight Dating Fossils in the Rocks The geologic stratigraphy of Lake Turkana For the complete illustrations with media resources, visit: This diagram shows a selection of rock layers, or stratigraphic columns, from the Koobi Fora geologic formation on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana in Kenya.This area is a ridge of sedimentary rock where researchers have found more than 10,000 fossils, both human and other hominins, since These fossils aid the scientific investigation of human evolution.The problem is that you cannot simply look at a rock and tell what layer it belongs to. Layers vary in thickness, are frequently missing altogether, and many of the same minerals are found throughout many layers.It is also hard to look at a set of layers at one place in the world and figure out which part of the worldwide geologic column it belongs to.In my last two articles I talked about carbon dating (for formerly living things) and general radiometric dating (for minerals) and the problems with both methods.Now we’re going to mix the two and ask how scientists come up with dates for fossils that are supposedly much older than the maximum “age” carbon dating can measure (57,300 years).In this series of articles I plan to summarize the basic ideas behind the major forms of dating and let you draw your own conclusions about their reliability.

Although most attention in today's world focuses on dinosaurs and why they became extinct, the world of paleontology includes many other interesting organisms which tell us about Earth's past history.But if the Bible is true then most of the secular truth claims are completely wrong.With so much riding on the age of the Earth, perhaps it is worth understanding these methods a bit better.Sequencing the rock layers will show students how paleontologists use fossils to give relative dates to rock strata.Once students begin to grasp "relative" dating, they can extend their knowledge of geologic time by exploring radiometric dating and developing a timeline of Earth's history.

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