The article explains, “Think of it as ordering rather than dating.” Basically, scientists could only determine where an item belonged within a particular sequence (think layers of time represented by different sediments or rocks).
Scientists could, for example, say that one particular item is older or younger than another item based on these relative methods, but they could not assign a numerical age to the items.
Index fossils are defined as: Any animal or plant that is preserved in the rock record of the Earth that is characteristic of a particular span of geologic time or environment.
A useful index fossil must be distinctive or easily recognizable, abundant, and have a wide geographic distribution and a short range through time.
Our dating methods are not exact enough to be used alone.
In order to be considered “good,” more than one method must be used, and if more than one method isn’t possible, then the confidence in the results is greatly reduced.
This rules out carbon dating for most aquatic organisms, because they often obtain at least some of their carbon from dissolved carbonate rock.
The age of the carbon in the rock is different from that of the carbon in the air and makes carbon dating data for those organisms inaccurate under the assumptions normally used for carbon dating.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
This technique is not restricted to bones; it can also be used on cloth, wood and plant fibers.
There are a lot of people who believe, unequivocally, that the ages scientists assign to all rocks and fossils are certain.
It’s what we are taught in school and the evidence provided to us seems unarguable.
Indeed, it was science that brought me not only to a belief in God, but also to faith in Christianity.