What was missing from the early geologic time scale? While the order of events was given, the dates at which the events happened were not. With the discovery of radioactivity in the late s, scientists were able to measure the absolute age , or the exact age of some rocks in years. Absolute dating allows scientists to assign numbers to the breaks in the geologic time scale.
What is the difference between absolute age and relative age of fossils?
Geology can also include the study of the solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite such as Mars or the Moon. Modern geology significantly overlaps all other earth sciences , including hydrology and the atmospheric sciences , and so is treated as one major aspect of integrated earth system science and planetary science. Geology describes the structure of the Earth on and beneath its surface, and the processes that have shaped that structure. It also provides the tools to determine the relative and absolute ages of rocks found in a given location, and also to describe the histories of those rocks.
An absolute age is one determined usually by mass-spectrometry where an isotope is measured and then an age can be calculated a very very basic explanation. So in the end you can say this fossil is 50 thousand years old always with an associated uncertainty. We can absolute date materials but it will always have an uncertainty range, we can never know the age with infinite precision.