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Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.All living things on Earth are made up of a high percentage of an element called carbon.Carbon combines with other elements in complex ways to form the molecules that make up our bodies.
Thus, as living things take in carbon, they inevitably will take up a small amount of radioactive carbon into their bodies.
Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.
Every few years, new geologic time scales are published, providing the latest dates for major time lines.
Also includes info on how fossils are formed, the “cleaning, preparing, & repairing” of fossils, and other useful resources.
One method that scientists use to date ancient fossils and artifacts is called radiocarbon dating.
The methods are all based on radioactive decay: The first radiometric dates, generated about 1920, showed that the Earth was hundreds of millions, or billions, of years old.