Geologists know that radioactive dating methods are valid
Repeated, and tough, regimes of testing have confirmed the broad accuracy of the fossils and their dating, so we can read the history of life from the rocks with confidence. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact [email protected] reprint permission. Currently, he is studying certain basal dinosaurs from the Late Triassic and the quality of different segments of the fossil record.
He holds the Chair in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bristol, UK, in addition to chairing the Masters program in paleobiology at the university.
Older dates may change by a few million years up and down, but younger dates are stable.
For example, it has been known since the 1960s that the famous Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, the line marking the end of the dinosaurs, was 65 million years old.
The discovery of means for absolute dating in the early 1900s was a huge advance.
We are told that these methods are accurate to a few percent, and that there are many different methods.
We are told that of all the radiometric dates that are measured, only a few percent are anomalous.
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.