Scientific dating methods list

It can't float in mid-air, particularly if the material involved is sand, mud, or molten rock.

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This orientation is not an assumption, because in virtually all situations, it is also possible to determine the original "way up" in the stratigraphic succession from "way up indicators".

For example, wave ripples have their pointed crests on the "up" side, and more rounded troughs on the "down" side.

The layers of rock are known as "strata", and the study of their succession is known as "stratigraphy".

Fundamental to stratigraphy are a set of simple principles, based on elementary geometry, empirical observation of the way these rocks are deposited today, and gravity.

The example used here contrasts sharply with the way conventional scientific dating methods are characterized by some critics (for example, refer to discussion in "Common Creationist Criticisms of Mainstream Dating Methods" in the Age of the Earth FAQ and Isochron Dating FAQ).

A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging.

They are applied by geologists in the same sense that a "null hypothesis" is in statistics -- not necessarily correct, just testable.

In the last 200 or more years of their application, they are valid, but geologists do not assume they are.

For example, the principle of superposition is based, fundamentally, on gravity.

In order for a layer of material to be deposited, something has to be beneath it to support it.

Many other indicators are commonly present, including ones that can even tell you the angle of the depositional surface at the time ("geopetal structures"), "assuming" that gravity was "down" at the time, which isn't much of an assumption :-).

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