By dating these surrounding layers, they can figure out the youngest and oldest that the fossil might be; this is known as "bracketing" the age of the sedimentary layer in which the fossils occur.
Teach your students about absolute dating: Determining age of rocks and fossils, a classroom activity for grades 9-12.
As discussed before, the assumptions influence the interpretation of the data.
There are three main assumptions that must be made to accept radiometric dating methods.
Carbon-14 dating is another common technique, but it can only be used on carbon-containing things that were once alive.
The method of calculating radiometric dates is like using an hourglass.
You can use the hourglass to tell time if you know several things: the amount of sand in the top of the hourglass when it started flowing, the rate that the sand flows through the hole in the middle, and that the quantity of sand in each chamber has not been tampered with.
If any of these three conditions is not accurately known, the hourglass will give an inaccurate measure of time.
It is possible to measure the ratio of the different radioactive parent isotopes and their daughter isotopes in a rock, but the ratios are not dates or ages.
For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water.
Most scientists and many Christians believe that the radiometric dating methods prove that the earth is 4.5 billion years old.
When someone mentions scientific dating methods, the first thing to come to mind for most people is carbon dating.
However, there are many methods that can be used to determine the age of the earth or other objects.