Our understanding of the shape and pattern of the history of life depends on the accuracy of fossils and dating methods.
Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.
Fossils document the order of appearance of groups and they tell us about some of the amazing plants and animals that died out long ago.
Fossils can also show us how major crises, such as mass extinctions, happened, and how life recovered after them.
If the fossils, or the dating of the fossils, could be shown to be inaccurate, all such information would have to be rejected as unsafe.
online directory of dinosaur exhibits fro around the world. t=sub_pages&cat=8 Many natural history museums and universities worldwide offer public participation programs in dinosaur events, such as fossil hunting or fossil cataloguing. The list is too long to mention here, so a couple of examples are provided to get you going on your search for programs in your area: Explore U. fossil collecting locations that are detailed on this site.
New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.
Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.
A key point is that it is no longer necessary simply to accept one chemical determination of a rock’s age.
Age estimates can be cross-tested by using different isotope pairs.
Also includes info on how fossils are formed, the “cleaning, preparing, & repairing” of fossils, and other useful resources.