Forming Fossils

Geologic Time

Why do some dates differ on the various geologic time scale charts?

Determining the true age divisions of the past 4.6 billion years for the geologic time scale is not a perfect science. (Determining the date of a rock layer is not as precise as knowing your own age.) In addition, there is often disagreement as to the extent of certain time periods, since rocks and fossils found on different continents vary. Even radiometric dating does not reveal the true age of a rock or mineral because there is always a certain amount of estimation involved.


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