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Posted by / 06-May-2020 01:32

If the fossils, or the dating of the fossils, could be shown to be inaccurate, all such information would have to be rejected as unsafe.

Geologists and paleontologists are highly self-critical, and they have worried for decades about these issues. D., is a vertebrate paleontologist with particular interests in dinosaur origins and fossil history.

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.

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.

Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.

Paleontologists now apply sophisticated mathematical techniques to assess the relative quality of particular fossil successions, as well as the entire fossil record.

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.

The methods are all based on radioactive decay: The first radiometric dates, generated about 1920, showed that the Earth was hundreds of millions, or billions, of years old.

Since then, geologists have made many tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations, and they have refined the earlier estimates.

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