Forms of dating fossils
Nuclear tests, nuclear reactors and the use of nuclear weapons have also changed the composition of radioisotopes in the air over the last few decades.
This human nuclear activity will make precise dating of fossils from our lifetime very difficult due to contamination of the normal radioisotope composition of the earth with addition artificially produced radioactive atoms.
Once our geologist had the “index fossil” that was found approximately in the same layer as the newly discovered fossil, he would then see where in the geologic column it came from and presto, he now had a date for his newly discovered fossil.
He would simply go to a chart that listed the geologic column by ‘ages’ and find the place where the index fossil appears, and thereby the geologists could tell the paleontologist how old his fossil was.
This technique is widely used on recent artifacts, but educators and students alike should note that this technique will not work on older fossils (like those of the dinosaurs alleged to be millions of years old).
These isotopes have longer half-lives and so are found in greater abundance in older fossils.
Some of these other isotopes include: back to the last global catastrophe (i.e.
Scientists attempt to check the accuracy of carbon dating by comparing carbon dating data to data from other dating methods.
Other methods scientists use include counting rock layers and tree rings.
Carbon-14 cannot be used to date biological artifacts of organisms that did not get their carbon dioxide from the air.