Relative dating method
While digging the Somerset Coal Canal in southwest England, he found that fossils were always in the same order in the rock layers.As he continued his job as a surveyor, he found the same patterns across England.He also found that certain animals were in only certain layers and that they were in the same layers all across England.Due to that discovery, Smith was able to recognize the order that the rocks were formed.
This was done 100 years before absolute dating methods were available.Consequently, today the dates assigned to the “standard geologic column” are still based upon Lyell’s assignment where index fossils are used to date the rocks and the rocks are used to date the fossils. Today, it is not surprising that many geologists are rejecting uniformitarianism and embracing catastrophism again.There is much evidence that refutes uniformitarianism. Helens demonstrated that rapid deposition and rapid canyon erosion are a fact. Also, when life forms die they only become fossils when they are buried rapidly. Polystrate tree fossils that extend through multiple layers are common. Consequently, the uniformitarianism model, along with the age assignments of the geologic column, is in doubt. ANSWER: Relative dating is used to determine the relative ages of geologic strata, artifacts, historical events, etc.This technique does not give specific ages to items.