Compare and contrast relative and absolute dating
The base layer must come first, then the second and then the third.So I can say the second layer is younger than the first and older than the third but I have no idea whether the cake is 5 minutes or 5 million years old.This, of course, is so that it can be properly catalogued, and, if valid, can be related to or associated with other objects from the same era. Fossils and artifacts don't come with labels attached that clearly state their age.Therefore, scientists need to make use of proper techniques to adequately specify what the age of a fossil or artifact is.Some of these objects also contain a radioactive isotope. This radioactive isotope is uranium-238, and has a half-life of approximately 4.47 billion years (4 470 000 000 years).This is a very extensive decay rate, but is still useful to scientists.
Still, scientists involved in the dating of fossils and artifacts should retain their freedom to date using the techniques they see fit to use.Unfortunately, though, it is impossible to determine exactly what the age of a fossil or artifact is using it. Well, many sources state that a recent test on the accuracy of C-14 dating - and thus, in turn, radioactive dating - attempted to date living penguins. Aside from these alleged inconsistencies, there is also the assumption that the decay rates of the isotopes is constant, or fixed.While questionable, it appears as though the living penguins were dated as 8000 years old. If this were not the case, and the decay rate was susceptible to change or was not constant, it would render all ages inaccurate.Relative dating is used commonly when looking at the relative order of geological events.
What can complicate relative dating is when the strata is not the right way up!
Sometimes beds of rock can turn over the other way, so be very cautious when relatively dating rocks!