What is relative dating

For example, carbon dating is used to determine the age of organic materials.

Once something dies, it ceases taking in new carbon-14, and the existing carbon-14 within the organism decays into nitrogen at a fixed rate.

Basically, fossils and rock found in lower strata are older than those found in higher strata because lower objects must have been deposited first, while higher objects were deposited last.

Radiometric dating, based on known rates of decay of radioactive isotopes in objects, allows a specific age of an object to be determined to some degree of accuracy.

Relative dating is a scientific process of evaluation used to determine the relative order of past events, but does not determine the absolute age of an object.

states, “Before the 20th century, archaeologists and geologists were largely limited to the use of relative dating techniques.

Estimates of the absolute age of prehistoric and geological events and remains amounted to little more than inspired guesswork, as there was no scientific basis for testing such proposals.” With this background, it is strange that the “standard geologic column” that identifies the rock strata on the earth and assigns very old ages to those strata was developed by Sir Charles Lyell in 1830.

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There are several techniques employed in both sets of methods. Long Answer: Sciences such as geology, paleontology and archeology are very interested in identifying the age of objects found and these scientists sometimes use both relative dating or absolute dating to characterize the age of the objects they study.

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