Geological dating works

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They are the "initial working hypotheses" to be tested further by data.

Using these principles, it is possible to construct an interpretation of the sequence of events for any geological situation, even on other planets (e.g., a crater impact can cut into an older, pre-existing surface, or craters may overlap, revealing their relative ages).

For example, the principle of superposition is based, fundamentally, on gravity.

In order for a layer of material to be deposited, something has to be beneath it to support it.

Geochronologists do not claim that radiometric dating is foolproof (no scientific method is), but it does work reliably for most samples.

It is these highly consistent and reliable samples, rather than the tricky ones, that have to be falsified for "young Earth" theories to have any scientific plausibility, not to mention the need to falsify huge amounts of evidence from other techniques.

There are situations where it potentially fails -- for example, in cave deposits.

In this situation, the cave contents are younger than both the bedrock below the cave and the suspended roof above.

For example, wave ripples have their pointed crests on the "up" side, and more rounded troughs on the "down" side.

This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden.

My thanks to both him and other critics for motivating me.

Many other indicators are commonly present, including ones that can even tell you the angle of the depositional surface at the time ("geopetal structures"), "assuming" that gravity was "down" at the time, which isn't much of an assumption :-).

In more complicated situations, like in a mountain belt, there are often faults, folds, and other structural complications that have deformed and "chopped up" the original stratigraphy.

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