These processes result in All of these processes confuse the stratigraphic record.
In many cases, however, it is possible to reconstruct the original sequence of strata so that they can be used for relative dating.
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.
Other critics, perhaps more familiar with the data, question certain aspects of the quality of the fossil record and of its dating.
These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.
New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.
In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected.
The new study, published in Methods in Ecology and Evolution by Dr Manabu Sakamoto and Dr Chris Venditti, from Reading, and Professor Michael Benton, from Bristol, says a technique used to 'correct' records of diversity in fossils is actually giving misleading results.
It means almost a decade's worth of work aimed at providing an insight into evolution may be misleading as it was based on this fundamental error.
A Summary of the Million Dollar RATE Research Project (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) Introduction: Rocks and fossils do not come with dates on them.
In fact, the very concept of strata representing long ages does not come from the rock strata themselves.