Disadvantages of relative dating in geology

New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.

These include some that establish a relative chronology in which occurrences can be placed in the correct sequence relative to one another or to some known succession of events. This process also depends on the relative temperatures of different years, which allows comparison with paleoclimatic data. Thus, each annual layer starts 18O rich, becomes 18O poor, and ends up 18O rich.Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods.Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.Local relationships on a single outcrop or archaeological site can often be interpreted to deduce the sequence in which the materials were assembled.

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