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A few principles were recognized and specified later.
An early summary of them is found in Charles Lyell's .
When an organism dies it ceases to replenish carbon in its tissues and the decay of carbon 14 to nitrogen 14 changes the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14.
Experts can compare the ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 14 in dead material to the ratio when the organism was alive to estimate the date of its death.
A common form of criticism is to cite geologically complicated situations where the application of radiometric dating is very challenging.
These are often characterised as the norm, rather than the exception.
Fundamental to stratigraphy are a set of simple principles, based on elementary geometry, empirical observation of the way these rocks are deposited today, and gravity.
This document is partly based on a prior posting composed in reply to Ted Holden.
My thanks to both him and other critics for motivating me.
Much of the Earth's geology consists of successional layers of different rock types, piled one on top of another.
In no way are they meant to imply there are no exceptions.
For example, the principle of superposition is based, fundamentally, on gravity.