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For example, the decay of potassium-40 to argon-40 is used to date rocks older than 20,000 years, and the decay of uranium-238 to lead-206 is used for rocks older than 1 million years.Radiocarbon dating measures radioactive isotopes in once-living organic material instead of rock, using the decay of carbon-14 to nitrogen-14.
For example, an alternative hypothesis to the one above is that an extraterrestrial organization creates rounded cobbles and places them in streams when nobody is looking.
This may indeed be the case, but there is no practical way to test this hypothesis.
Most importantly, there is no way to prove that it is false, because if we aren’t able to catch the aliens at work, we still won’t know if they did it!
Geologists often need to know the age of material that they find.
They use absolute dating methods, sometimes called numerical dating, to give rocks an actual date, or date range, in number of years.