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All these labors have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.Paleontologists now apply sophisticated mathematical techniques to assess the relative quality of particular fossil successions, as well as the entire fossil record.These demonstrate that, of course, we do not know everything (and clearly never will), but we know enough.Today, innovative techniques provide further confirmation and understanding of the history of life.Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.

Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.Repeated, and tough, regimes of testing have confirmed the broad accuracy of the fossils and their dating, so we can read the history of life from the rocks with confidence. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact [email protected] reprint permission. Currently, he is studying certain basal dinosaurs from the Late Triassic and the quality of different segments of the fossil record.He holds the Chair in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bristol, UK, in addition to chairing the Masters program in paleobiology at the university.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.

Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.Repeated, and tough, regimes of testing have confirmed the broad accuracy of the fossils and their dating, so we can read the history of life from the rocks with confidence. Educators have permission to reprint articles for classroom use; other users, please contact [email protected] reprint permission. Currently, he is studying certain basal dinosaurs from the Late Triassic and the quality of different segments of the fossil record.He holds the Chair in Vertebrate Paleontology at the University of Bristol, UK, in addition to chairing the Masters program in paleobiology at the university.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.Older dates may change by a few million years up and down, but younger dates are stable.