What is the purpose of absolute dating
The Wheeler Formation has been previously dated to approximately 507 million year old, so we know the trilobite is also about 507 million years old.But, how can we determine how old a rock formation is, if it hasn’t previously been dated?
Absolute age dating is like saying you are 15 years old and your grandfather is 77 years old.
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.
Unlike people, you can’t really guess the age of a rock from looking at it.
Yet, you’ve heard the news: Earth is 4.6 billion years old. That corn cob found in an ancient Native American fire pit is 1,000 years old. Geologic age dating—assigning an age to materials—is an entire discipline of its own.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.