The four main agents that metamorphose rocks are heat, pressure, fluids and strain.
The quantitative approach is admirable, but Buffon's assumptions are flawed. Silicate minerals have lower heat conductivity than steels and are better insulators leading to slower cooling rates.
Second, the calculations did not incorporate the heating effects of radioactive decay.
Students should be able to understand the principles and have that as a background so that age determinations by paleontologists and geologists don't seem like black magic. Geologists in the late 18th and early 19th century studied rock layers and the fossils in them to determine relative age.
William Smith was one of the most important scientists from this time who helped to develop knowledge of the succession of different fossils by studying their distribution through the sequence of sedimentary rocks in southern England.
Students not only want to know how old a fossil is, but they want to know how that age was determined.
Some very straightforward principles are used to determine the age of fossils.But this sediment doesn't typically include the necessary isotopes in measurable amounts.Fossils can't form in the igneous rock that usually does contain the isotopes.Dinosaur bones, on the other hand, are millions of years old -- some fossils are billions of years old.To determine the ages of these specimens, scientists need an isotope with a very long half-life.It is estimated to require four hours of class time, including approximately one hour total of occasional instruction and explanation from the teacher and two hours of group (team) and individual activities by the students, plus one hour of discussion among students within the working groups.