The relative dating principle of

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Relative dating not only determines which layers are older or younger, but also gives insight into the paleoenvironments that formed the particular sequence of rock.

A chance encounter between determined fishermen and a great white shark off the Tuscan coast in 1666 sparked a chain of events that would help change humans views of fossils and Earth’s geologic past (Cutler 2003, pp. Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) dissected the head of this shark and realized fossil tongue stones believed to be petrified snake or dragon tongues were actually fossil shark teeth (Prothero 1998, p. One problem still existed, how do fossils become embedded in solid rock?

Using these key or index fossils as markers, geologists began to identify a particular layer of rock wherever it was exposed.

Because fossils are believed to record the slow but progressive development of life, geologist use them to identify the relative age of rocks throughout the world.

It only sequences the age of things or determines if something is older or younger than other things.

Some types of relative dating techniques include climate chronology, dendrochronology, ice core sampling, stratigraphy, and seriation.

Geologists have divided the Earth's history into Eras -- broad spans based on the general character of life that existed during these times -- and Periods -- shorter spans based partly on evidence of major disturbances of the Earth's crust.

The "relative" positions of layers and fossils to assign estimated dates to strata.

This technique has posed a different problem for creationists, as this dating method does not make use directly of accelerated decay.The principles of relative dating for continuous stratigraphic sequences: (as put forth by scientists such as Nicolas Steno): Ice cores are obtained by drilling core samples of ice in glaciated regions, such as near the poles.Visible light and dark rings can be found in such cores that are then analyzed to determine the age of the ice.Between the years of 17, James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of relative dating.Hutton, a Scottish geologist, first proposed formally the fundamental principle used to classify rocks according to their relative ages.

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