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Although relative ages can generally be established on a local scale, the events recorded in rocks from different locations can be integrated into a picture of regional or global scale only if their sequence in time is firmly established.

The time that has elapsed since certain minerals formed can now be determined because of the presence of a small amount of natural radioactive atoms in their...

The Geologic Time Scale is up there with the Periodic Table of Elements as one of those iconic, almost talismanic scientific charts.

Long before I understood what any of it meant, I'd daydream in science class, staring at this chart, sounding out the names, wondering what those black-and-white bars meant, wondering what the colors meant, wondering why the divisions were so uneven, knowing it represented some kind of deep, meaningful, systematic organization of scientific knowledge, and hoping I'd have it all figured out one day.

Precise isotopic ages are called absolute ages, since they date the timing of events not relative to each other but as the time elapsed between a rock-forming event and the present.

Absolute dating by means of uranium and lead isotopes has...

The textbooks speak of the radiometric dating techniques, and the dates themselves, as factual information.

Absolute dating is used to determine a precise age of a fossil by using radiometric dating to measure the decay of isotopes, either within the fossil or more often the rocks associated with it.

The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.

There are three main assumptions that must be made to accept radiometric dating methods.

These must be accepted on faith in uniformitarian and naturalistic frameworks.

Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.

Index fossils are fossils that are known to only occur within a very specific age range.

Using relative dating the fossil is compared to something for which an age is already known.

For example if you have a fossil trilobite and it was found in the Wheeler Formation.

When you talk about the Precambrian, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic on Earth, or the Noachian, Hesperian, and Amazonian for Mars, these are all relative ages.

Relative-age time periods are what make up the Geologic Time Scale.