Difference between relative absolute dating

Then after another 5,000 years half of the remaining parent isotope will have decayed.

While people are most familiar with carbon dating, carbon dating is rarely applicable to fossils.

The age of the fossil must be determined so it can be compared to other fossil species from the same time period.

Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.

These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.

Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.Despite seeming like a relatively stable place, the Earth's surface has changed dramatically over the past 4.6 billion years.Mountains have been built and eroded, continents and oceans have moved great distances, and the Earth has fluctuated from being extremely cold and almost completely covered with ice to being very warm and ice-free.These isotopes break down at a constant rate over time through radioactive decay.By measuring the ratio of the amount of the original (parent) isotope to the amount of the (daughter) isotopes that it breaks down into an age can be determined.

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