Fossil record radiometric dating
Minerals precipitate from the groundwater, occupying the empty spaces.
This process can occur in very small spaces, such as within the cell wall of a plant cell.
As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.
To get to that point, there is also a historical discussion and description of non-radiometric dating methods.
The example used here contrasts sharply with the way conventional scientific dating methods are characterized by some critics (for example, refer to discussion in "Common Creationist Criticisms of Mainstream Dating Methods" in the Age of the Earth FAQ and Isochron Dating FAQ).
A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.
Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
For permineralization to occur, the organism must be covered by sediment soon after death, or soon after the initial decay process.
Since the morphology of a fossil cannot be changed, it is obvious that the dating is the more subjective element of the two items.
Yet, accurate dating of fossils is so essential that the scientific respectability of evolution is contingent upon fossils having appropriate dates.
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