Differentiate between relative and radiometric dating of fossils
I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.Geochronologists do not claim that radiometric dating is foolproof (no scientific method is), but it does work reliably for most samples.According to the laws of superposition, a strategic layer that is higher has been deposited more recently.The oldest strata are at the bottom of the sequence.Cave deposits also often have distinctive structures of their own (e.g., spelothems like stalactites and stalagmites), so it is not likely that someone could mistake them for a successional sequence of rock units. Each of them is a testable hypothesis about the relationships between rock units and their characteristics.
These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception.The principle of superposition therefore has a clear implication for the age of a vertical succession of strata.There are situations where it potentially fails -- for example, in cave deposits.It is these highly consistent and reliable samples, rather than the tricky ones, that have to be falsified for "young Earth" theories to have any scientific plausibility, not to mention the need to falsify huge amounts of evidence from other techniques.
This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden.
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