Dating of fossils by scientists

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Potassium-40 is another radioactive element naturally found in your body and has a half-life of 1.3 billion years.

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The universe is full of naturally occurring radioactive elements.When it comes to determining the age of stuff scientists dig out of the ground, whether fossil or artifact, “there are good dates and bad dates and ugly dates,” says paleoanthropologist John Shea of Stony Brook University.The good dates are confirmed using at least two different methods, ideally involving multiple independent labs for each method to cross-check results. This is an informational tour in which students gain a basic understanding of geologic time, the evidence for events in Earth’s history, relative and absolute dating techniques, and the significance of the Geologic Time Scale.­ ­As soon as a living organism dies, it stops taking in new carbon.

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