Outline a method for dating fossils using 14c
All these labors have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.Paleontologists now apply sophisticated mathematical techniques to assess the relative quality of particular fossil successions, as well as the entire fossil record.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.Repeated recalibrations and retests, using ever more sophisticated techniques and equipment, cannot shift that date. With modern, extremely precise, methods, error bars are often only 1% or so.The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution.Older dates may change by a few million years up and down, but younger dates are stable.
Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.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.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.
These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.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.Organisms that have inherited traits that are well suited to the environment are able to survive and pass on their genes.