Question: What is the purpose of relative and absolute dating?

Relative dating does not offer specific dates, it simply allows to determine if one artifact, fossil, or stratigraphic layer is older than another. Absolute dating methods provide more specific origin dates and time ranges, such as an age range in years.

What is the role of absolute and relative dating in shaping the geologic time scale?

Scientists use the geologic time scale to illustrate the order in which events on Earth have happened. They used relative dating to divide Earths past in several chunks of time when similar organisms were on Earth. Later, scientists used absolute dating to determine the actual number of years ago that events happened.

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