Radiometric dating sample problem
The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution.Fossils document the order of appearance of groups and they tell us about some of the amazing plants and animals that died out long ago.These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The early Christian Church Fathers constantly argued with the pagans about the age of the earth, or about the age of civilization.They were unanimous that God had created the earth less than 6,000 years before they wrote.In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected.New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.
Older dates may change by a few million years up and down, but younger dates are stable.Today, innovative techniques provide further confirmation and understanding of the history of life.Biologists actually have at their disposal several independent ways of looking at the history of life - not only from the order of fossils in the rocks, but also through phylogenetic trees. Relative dating is done by observing fossils, as described above, and recording which fossil is younger, which is older.Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.All these labors have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.The discovery of means for absolute dating in the early 1900s was a huge advance.The methods are all based on radioactive decay: The first radiometric dates, generated about 1920, showed that the Earth was hundreds of millions, or billions, of years old.For example, it has been known since the 1960s that the famous Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, the line marking the end of the dinosaurs, was 65 million years old.Repeated recalibrations and retests, using ever more sophisticated techniques and equipment, cannot shift that date. With modern, extremely precise, methods, error bars are often only 1% or so.The late Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of DNA’s structure (along with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins), came to believe that aliens, and not God, were responsible for life on earth.‘There are some, again, who, though they do not suppose that this world is eternal, are of opinion either that this is not the only world, but that there are numberless worlds or that indeed it is the only one, but that it dies, and is born again at fixed intervals, and this times without number.’There is nothing new under the sun.