In a stratigraphical context objects closer to the surface are more recent in time relative to items deeper in the ground.
Although relative dating can work well in certain areas, several problems arise.
Paleontology seeks to map out how life evolved across geologic time.
Clearly, such huge time periods cannot be fitted into the Bible without compromising what the Bible says about the goodness of God and the origin of sin, death and suffering—the reason Jesus came into the world (See Six Days? He said, This only makes sense with a time-line beginning with the creation week thousands of years ago.
It makes no sense at all if man appeared at the end of billions of years.
There are several different methods for estimating the ages of fossils, including: Paleontologists rely on stratigraphy to date fossils.
Stratigraphy is the science of understanding the strata, or layers, that form the sedimentary record.
Though still heavily used, relative dating is now augmented by several modern dating techniques.
Radiocarbon dating involves determining the age of an ancient fossil or specimen by measuring its carbon-14 content.
When it comes to dating archaeological samples, several timescale problems arise.
For example, Christian time counts the birth of Christ as the beginning, AD 1 (Anno Domini); everything that occurred before Christ is counted backwards from AD as BC (Before Christ).
If a fossil is found between two layers of rock whose ages are known, the fossil's age is thought to be between those two known ages.
Because rock sequences are not continuous, but may be broken up by faults or periods of erosion, it is difficult to match up rock beds that are not directly adjacent.
Familiar to us as the black substance in charred wood, as diamonds, and the graphite in “lead” pencils, carbon comes in several forms, or isotopes.