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Earth's oldest living inhabitant "Methuselah" at 4,767 years, has lived more than a millennium longer than any other tree.[ While this may be true, a shrub in Tasmania could be 40,000 years old.Because fossils actually record the slow but progressive development of life, scientists use them to identify rocks of the same age throughout the world.See more information about "Strata" Smith and his original geologic map of England.A specialized form of cross-dating, using animal and plant fossils, is known as biostratigraphy.Keyed to the relative time scale are examples of index fossils, the forms of life which existed during limited periods of geologic time and thus are used as guides to the age of the rocks in which they are preserved.There, you will find a brief description of the method, plus links to take you to other webpages with more extensive information.Dating is not necessary to demonstrate that evolution is a fact.
Further, he proposed that wherever uncontorted layers were exposed, the bottom layer was deposited first and was, therefore, the oldest layer exposed; each succeeding layer, up to the topmost one, was progressively younger.Be sure to see An Animated Isochron Diagram, or, Watching a Rock Age on an Isochron Diagram. Radiometric Dating from The Evolution Evidence Page.The most compelling argument for an age of the earth of 4.5 billion years are the large number of independent tests that have been used to confirm this date.See Oldest Living Organism.] The Sheffield Laboratory now has a continuous master sequence for England going back to about 5000BC. This article should be a "must read" for any person interested in factualy accurate information on dating methods.This is made up of numerous regional tree-ring chronologies, particularly in the medieval and post-medieval periods, for which the laboratory now has more than 200 reference chronologies from many areas. By comparing the proportion of K-40 to Ar-40 in a sample of volcanic rock, and knowing the decay rate of K-40, the date that the rock formed can be determined.