Absolute dating of a fossil

The geologist may have found some fossils in Sedimentary Rocks A and discovered that they are similar to fossils found in some other rocks in the region.

He assumes therefore that Sedimentary Rocks A are the same age as the other rocks in the region, which have already been dated by other geologists.

Such an interpretation fits nicely into the range of what he already believes the age to be.

(Creationists do not agree with these ages of millions of years because of the assumptions they are based on.) Because of his interest in the volcanic dyke, he collects a sample, being careful to select rock that looks fresh and unaltered.

On his return, he sends his sample to the laboratory for dating, and after a few weeks receives the lab report.

He may suggest that some other very old material had contaminated the lava as it passed through the earth.

Or he may suggest that the result was due to a characteristic of the lava—that the dyke had inherited an old ‘age’. 200.4 ± 3.2 million years) implies that the calculated date of 200.4 million years is accurate to plus or minus 3.2 million years.

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