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New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.
Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.
Early geologists, in the 1700s and 1800s, noticed how fossils seemed to occur in sequences: certain assemblages of fossils were always found below other assemblages. Since 1859, paleontologists, or fossil experts, have searched the world for fossils.
In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected.
The age they came back with was only a few thousand years old. And kept their theory that dinosaurs lived "millions of years ago" instead. They then use potassium argon, or other methods, and date the fossils again.
This is also actually kind of trivial and easily determined in the lab. Let’s see what the Missing Universe Museum thinks are the assumptions of radioactive dating methods. I guess we have to start at the top and work our way down… During an organisms life, it takes in CO have the common 6 protons and 6 neutrons. However, due to some interesting nuclear chemistry (which I’ll go into if requested), there’s another version of carbon (called an isotope) that has 6 protons and 8 neutrons. Note that if the number of protons change, then the atom is no longer carbon. Amazingly (and unlike what is claimed by the creationists), scientists have known about a variety of methods that create carbon-14 and how those methods have varied over time. Well, we take a carbon sample from a material of a known age and date that. Basically, the calibration curves are off by no more than 16 years over the historical range (6,000 years or so) and no more than 163 years over the last 20,000 years.Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.Scientists, using rigorous methods have established a process to eliminate this problem by calibrating radiocarbon dating results to items of a known age.In this way, items of unknown age can be tested and an age determined to a reasonable degree of accuracy. More tomorrow where we explore the concept of isochron dating and how it neatly destroys most of the rest of these ‘issues’.