Why is relative dating important
Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.
This makes it ideal for dating much older rocks and fossils.We define the rate of this radioactive decay in half-lives.If a radioactive isotope is said to have a half-life of 5,000 years that means after 5,000 years exactly half of it will have decayed from the parent isotope into the daughter isotopes.Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.