Relative dating of rock strata

In the past, relative dating methods often were the only ones available to paleoanthropologists.

This approach avoids the circularity associated with using fossils to correlate rocks, and then using those correlations to infer biological patterns…” (“Cambrian Explosion: New Timeline for Appearances of Skeletal Animals in Fossil Record,” , Nov.10, 2010.) “In about 1830, Charles Lyell, Paul Deshayes, and Heinrich George Bronn independently developed a biostratigraphic technique [geologic column] for dating Cenozoic deposits based on relative proportions of living and extinct species of fossil mollusks….Strangely, little effort has been made to test this assumption.(Some of the following quotes are as cited in Morris, 1997 and Snelling, 1990).The series of quotes begins with a vivid illustration of this circular reasoning in action.

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