Methods of Age Datin2

Methods of Age Datin2 - of Uniformitarianism , the basis of...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Methods of Age Dating Niels Stensen (1638-1686), more widely known by his Latinized name of Nicholas Steno, made a series of observations about the nature of fossils and the rocks that contained them. Steno, along with his contemporaries John Ray and Robert Hooke, recognized "tongue stones" as the teeth from ancient sharks. Steno's Principle of Superposition states that in undisturbed strata the layer on the bottom is oldest. This is one of the founding principles of modern geology. Another of Steno's observations was that sedimentary particles tended to settle out of water as thin sheets or horizontal layers. Steno noted that sediment layers extended laterally in all direction until they thinned, pinched out or met the edge of the depositional basin. James Hutton 1726-1797, a Scottish physician, intellectual, and farmer, is regarded as the father of modern geology. His investigations led to his development of the Theory
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: of Uniformitarianism , the basis of modern geology and paleontology. According to Hutton's work, certain geological processes operated in the past in much the same fashion as they do today, with minor exceptions of rates, etc. Thus many geological structures and processes cannot be explained if the earth is only 5000 years old. British geologist William Smith (1769-1839) recognized different strata (layers) had their own unique collections of fossils. He concluded that fossil assemblages succeed one another through time. This led to the process of correlation of rock strata, as well as evolution (change in life over time). The 18th century French scientist Georges Louis de Buffon cooled iron balls he thought simulated the Earth, arriving at an age of at least 75,000 years. This date was well beyond Ussher's calculations!...
View Full Document

Ask a homework question - tutors are online