Radioactive dating rock
Although most of the fossils that paleontologists study are several thousands to several billions of years old, there is no absolute minimum age for a biological structure to be a fossil.
Paleontologists study fossils and attempt to use them to reconstruct the history of the Earth and the life on it.
However, human beings love to see factual precision, and we want to know how old something is.
Please remember that all dating methods, even those termed "absolute," are subject to margins of error. That is a very small amount of possible error range. Modern studies almost always use two or more methods to confirm dating work and to build confidence in the results obtained.
Radiometric dating, or radioactive dating as it is sometimes called, is a method used to date rocks and other objects based on the known decay rate of radioactive isotopes.
Different methods of radiometric dating can be used to estimate the age of a variety of natural and even man-made materials.
So, we rely on radiometric dating to calculate their ages.
Some paleontologists study the ecology of the past; others work on the evolution of fossil taxa.
For additional information on the subdisciplines of paleontology, read our "What is paleontology? Archaeologists primarily work with human artifacts objects that have been made by humans and with human remains.
Because of the distortions and lies spread by fundamentalists about scientific dating there is a need for a centralized source of information on the topic.
A few examples of such lies are presented at the very bottom of this page.
However, paleontology as a whole encompasses all life, from bacteria to whales.