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Absolute Dating/Numerical Age Method and How It Is Used to Evaluate Geologic Time The absolute dating or numerical age method approximates the number of years of a given rock, say 200 million years, as compared to relative dating which compares two rocks and merely determines if one is older or younger than the other (earthsci.org, 2008).The geologic time scale was originally based on relative dating methods but with the development of radioactive dating technology, numerical ages further enhanced the scale.These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception.I thought it would be useful to present an example where the geology is simple, and unsurprisingly, the method does work well, to show the quality of data that would have to be invalidated before a major revision of the geologic time scale could be accepted by conventional scientists.Over time, the number of parents decreases as they decompose into daughters and consequently, the latter increases.

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Buffon's Iron Sphere Experiments- On the basis of iron sphere cooling experiments, Frenchman Georges de Buffon estimated that the Earth would have needed 75,000 years to cool to its present temperature.In this manner, geologic time is evaluated with respect to the period it takes for elements in the rock formation to reach their current chemical state.Parent isotopes and daughter isotopes have an inverse relationship.However, the spontaneous and continuous process of decay will in time yield isotopes with very different chemical compositions.The absolute or numerical age of a rock material containing radioactive isotopes is established through “counting the number of its daughter isotopes and using the known decay rate of its parent isotopes, calculating the length of time required in generating the said number of daughters” (earthsci.org, 2008).The quantitative approach is admirable, but Buffon's assumptions are flawed. Silicate minerals have lower heat conductivity than steels and are better insulators leading to slower cooling rates.

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