Science, since it concerns just one universe with one set of laws, constitutes a seamless whole; we cannot unpick the single thread of absolute dating without the whole thing beginning to unravel.
Still, it has happened in the past that scientists have thought they'd got hold of a law of nature and then found out it was false.
Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
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Instead, other methods are used to work out a fossil’s age.
These include radiometric dating of volcanic layers above or below the fossils or by comparisons to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
Sedimentary rocks are rarely useful for dating because they are made up of bits of older rocks.
Uranium is present in many different rocks and minerals, usually in the form of uranium-238.
This means that if we didn't have any other way of doing absolute dating, we would as a first approximation take the age of basalt on a spreading sea floor to be the distance from the rift divided by the rate of spreading.
Now if we estimate the age of the sea floor like that, then we get a good agreement with the dates produced by radiometric methods.
Dating is a technique used in archeology to ascertain the age of artifacts, fossils and other items considered to be valuable by archeologists.
There are many methods employed by these scientists, interested in the old, to get to know the age of items.
There is no particular reason to suspect that this will turn out to be the case when it comes to the laws underlying absolute dating; nonetheless, an argument from principle alone can never be entirely convincing. You will recall from our discussion of sea floor spreading that the sea floor spreads out from mid-ocean rifts, and so ought to be younger nearer the rifts and progressively older further away from them.