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Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.Every few years, new geologic time scales are published, providing the latest dates for major time lines.Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.These demonstrate that, of course, we do not know everything (and clearly never will), but we know enough.Today, innovative techniques provide further confirmation and understanding of the history of life.
Geologists and paleontologists are highly self-critical, and they have worried for decades about these issues. D., is a vertebrate paleontologist with particular interests in dinosaur origins and fossil history.Radioactive atoms are inherently unstable; over time, radioactive "parent atoms" decay into stable "daughter atoms." When molten rock cools, forming what are called igneous rocks, radioactive atoms are trapped inside. By measuring the quantity of unstable atoms left in a rock and comparing it to the quantity of stable daughter atoms in the rock, scientists can estimate the amount of time that has passed since that rock formed.