Relative and radiometric dating

Most scientists today believe that life has existed on the earth for billions of years.This belief in long ages for the earth and the existence of life is derived largely from radiometric dating.Along the way, we'll learn how stratigraphic succession and radioactive decay contribute to the work of paleontologists.Consider the following scenario: Paul the Paleontologist is a very famous scientist who has studied dinosaur bones all over the world.by Tas Walker A geologist works out the relative age of a rock by carefully studying where the rock is found in the field.The field relationships, as they are called, are of primary importance and all radiometric dates are evaluated against them.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 55,000 lessons in math, English, science, history, and more.Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed.

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This age is computed under the assumption that the parent substance (say, uranium) gradually decays to the daughter substance (say, lead), so the higher the ratio of lead to uranium, the older the rock must be.Relative dating places events or rocks in their chronologic sequence or order of occurrence.Absolute dating places events or rocks at a specific time.From the mapped field relationships, it is a simple matter to work out a geological cross-section and the relative timing of the geologic events.His geological cross-section may look something like Figure 2.

Relative and radiometric dating