Everything Worth Knowing About. Scientific Dating Methods This dating scene is dead. The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent dating rock methods for each method to cross-check results. Sometimes only one method is possible, reducing the confidence researchers have in the results.
Main Body 8. It was only in the early part of the 20th century, when isotopic dating methods were first applied, that it became possible to discover the absolute ages of the rocks containing fossils.
The method of reading the order is called stratigraphy layers of rock are called strata. Relative dating does not provide actual numerical dates for the rocks. Next time you find a cliff or road cutting with lots of rock strata, try working out the age order using some simple principles. Sedimentary rocks are normally laid down in order, one on top of another.
So, how do we know how old a fossil is? There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating. Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.