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You will investigate Steno's Laws, radiometric dating, and then visit an interactive site that will help you better understand how to tell time - with geology! As you proceed through Assignment 4, be sure to compare your answers from "If Scientists Think. ." to the actual methods scientists use to estimate the age of prehistoric objects.
Because this assignment is linked with your work in Assignment 3, you will have "If Scientists Think. Before scientists had modern technology to assist them in their research, they had to use their power of observation to infer the relative ages of the rocks they were studying.
You worked in small groups and as a class to complete the "If Scientists Think. Today's assignment will allow you to compare and contrast your ideas to some of the actual methods scientists used to develop an estimation of the age of the Earth.
Following this introduction, there are several links to different sites concerning the methods scientists use to assist them in estimating the age of the Earth.
It would benefit your understanding of this material if you studied the rest of this website on your own, but it is not required for class.
Now that you have discovered the method that scientists originally used to date geological features, you may be questioning the accuracy of this dating method.
Who's to say that the rocks a particular scientist is studying have not been displaced from their original positions?Scientists know exactly how long it will take for half the quantity of the element to change, and this state is known as its half-life.After another half-life has passed, the element will have decayed to a quarter of its original amount.This is because new sediments are always laid down on top of sediments that have already been deposited.
So, when looking at the history of a cliff face, it is important to read the story it tells from the bottom layer up.The sediment of this area was laid down after ammonite A appeared 199 million years ago, and before ammonite B became extinct 195 million years ago.