Saxxxx - Fossil record dating assumptions

In my last two articles I talked about carbon dating (for formerly living things) and general radiometric dating (for minerals) and the problems with both methods.

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New dating methods are invented all the time, however, most have practical limitations.

Geologic research and mapping requires the determinations of the ages and composition of rocks.

The problem is that you cannot simply look at a rock and tell what layer it belongs to. Layers vary in thickness, are frequently missing altogether, and many of the same minerals are found throughout many layers.

It is also hard to look at a set of layers at one place in the world and figure out which part of the worldwide geologic column it belongs to.

(Some of the following quotes are as cited in Morris, 1997 and Snelling, 1990).

The series of quotes begins with a vivid illustration of this circular reasoning in action.Macroevolutionary Models and Tip-Dating: Turning Putative Assumptions Into Testable Hypotheses Guillerme, T., Cooper, N.Combining Living and Fossil Taxa Into Phylogenies: the Missing Data Issue Pol, D., Xu, X.effects of non-randomly distributed missing data in parsimony and Bayesian analyses Clarke, J., Boyd, C.Methods for the Quantitative Comparison of Molecular Estimates of Clade Age and the Fossil Record Puttick, M., Benton, M., Thomas, G.Tradition paleontological and biostratigraphic correlation methods are still perhaps the most common relative dating methods used by geologists.

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