When asked for your age, it's likely you won't slip with the exception of a recent birthday mistake. But for the sprawling sphere we call home, age is a much trickier matter. Before so-called radiometric dating, Earth's age was anybody's guess. Our planet was pegged at a youthful few thousand years old by Bible readers by counting all the "begats" since Adam as late as the end of the 19th century, with physicist Lord Kelvin providing another nascent estimate of million years. Kelvin defended this calculation throughout his life, even disputing Darwin's explanations of evolution as impossible in that time period. In , Marie Curie discovered the phenomenon of radioactivity, in which unstable atoms lose energy, or decay, by emitting radiation in the form of particles or electromagnetic waves.
Difference Between Relative Dating and Absolute Dating
Radiometric Age Dating - Geology (U.S. National Park Service)
In the field of Geology, dating is an important term as it is a technique through which evaluation regarding the age and period about the fossil, remains, the archaeologists do valuables and artifacts. At first, there were not many methods of dating were available, but now with advancement in the technology, we mainly have two types of techniques to ascertain ages of ancient belongings. Relative Dating and Absolute Dating are two types of such techniques which are under practice to determine the age of the fossils, objects or civilizations. The relative dating is the technique in the Geology through which the age is determined with relation to the other objects. In other words, we can say that in relative dating the archaeologist determines that which of the two fossil or the artifacts are older. Contrary to this, absolute dating is the technique, using which the exact age of the artifacts, fossils, or sites are ascertained.
Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find. They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years. This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time order. Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods. These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.
Perhaps the most widely used evidence for the theory of evolution through natural selection is the fossil record. The fossil record may be incomplete and may never fully completed, but there are still many clues to evolution and how it happens within the fossil record. One way that helps scientists place fossils into the correct era on the geologic time scale is by using radiometric dating. Also called absolute dating, scientists use the decay of radioactive elements within the fossils or the rocks around the fossils to determine the age of the organism that was preserved. This technique relies on the property of half-life.