Difference between relative dating and absolute dating
For example, the reference to 1809 as Lincoln's birth year is based on the system of time measurement developed in the West, which, in turn, is based on early ideas regarding the date of Christ's birth.(As it turns out, Christ likely was born in about 6 system of dating is widely accepted and used, or at least recognized, by most of the non-Western world, a date rendered according to this system constitutes the closest possible approximation to an absolute measure of time.The scale of time for various substances, however, differs greatly.Carbon-14 decay, for instance, takes place over a few thousand years, making it useful for measuring the age of human artifacts.The term relative refers to a quality or quantity that is comparative, or dependent on something else.Its opposite is absolute, a term designating a quality or quantity that is independent and not defined in relation to another quality or quantity.The background of historical geology is discussed in some detail within the Historical Geology essay.Its principal subdisciplines include stratigraphy, the study of rock layers, or strata, beneath Earth's surface; geochronology, the study of Earth's age and the dating of specific formations in terms of geologic time; sedimentology, the study and interpretation of sediments, including sedimentary processes and formations; paleontology, the study of fossilized plants and animals; and paleoecology, the study of the relationship between prehistoric plants and animals and their environments.
Virtually all living organisms (except some microbes) incorporate only the L-forms, but once the organism dies the L-amino acids gradually convert to D-amino acids.(The other types of rock are igneous and metamorphic.) Aside from stratigraphy, discussed in a separate essay, other relative dating techniques include seriation, faunal dating, and pollen dating, or palynology.Used, for instance, in archaeological studies, seriation analyzes the abundance of a particular item (for instance, pieces of pottery) and assigns relative dates based on this abundance.The term faunal dating refers to fauna, or animal life, and faunal dating is the use of animal bones to determine age.Finally, pollen dating, or palynology, involves analysis of pollen deposits.