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But with uranium-lead radiometric dating, certain rock samples can be dated back billions of years.A link is provided to the Wikipedia article on radiometric dating to get you more information.The importance of radiometric dating is that it allows us to tell how old some things are.There are different methods of radiometric dating, and they apply to different things and they have different lengths of time, at least as regards the age of a sample, that they can speak to.This method uses the orientation of the Earth's magnetic field, which has changed through time, to determine ages for fossils and rocks.Geologists have established a set of principles that can be applied to sedimentary and volcanic rocks that are exposed at the Earth's surface to determine the relative ages of geological events preserved in the rock record.Relative dating puts geologic events in chronological order without requiring that a specific numerical age be assigned to each event.
These changes typically occur so slowly that they are barely detectable over the span of a human life, yet even at this instant, the Earth's surface is moving and changing.
Understanding the ages of related fossil species helps scientists piece together the evolutionary history of a group of organisms.
For example, based on the primate fossil record, scientists know that living primates evolved from fossil primates and that this evolutionary history took tens of millions of years.
By comparing fossils of different primate species, scientists can examine how features changed and how primates evolved through time.
However, the age of each fossil primate needs to be determined so that fossils of the same age found in different parts of the world and fossils of different ages can be compared.