Elements used in absolute dating separated and dating with kids

As an example of how they are used, radiometric dates from geologically simple, fossiliferous Cretaceous rocks in western North America are compared to the geological time scale.

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There are situations where it potentially fails -- for example, in cave deposits.

In this situation, the cave contents are younger than both the bedrock below the cave and the suspended roof above.

They are applied by geologists in the same sense that a "null hypothesis" is in statistics -- not necessarily correct, just testable.

In the last 200 or more years of their application, they are valid, but geologists do not assume they are.

The simplest situation for a geologist is a "layer cake" succession of sedimentary or extrusive igneous rock units arranged in nearly horizontal layers.

In such a situation, the "principle of superposition" is easily applied, and the strata towards the bottom are older, those towards the top are younger.

An early summary of them is found in Charles Lyell's .

In no way are they meant to imply there are no exceptions.

This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden.

My thanks to both him and other critics for motivating me.

Most of these principles were formally proposed by Nicolaus Steno (Niels Steensen, Danish), in 1669, although some have an even older heritage that extends as far back as the authors of the Bible.

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