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Creationists have long insisted that the main evidence for evolution — the fossil record — involves a serious case of circular reasoning.That is, the fossil evidence that life has evolved from simple to complex forms over the geological ages depends on the geological ages of the specific rocks in which these fossils are found.Because of the fairly fast decay rate of carbon-14, it can only be used on material up to about 60,000 years old.Geologists use radiocarbon to date such materials as wood and pollen trapped in sediment, which indicates the date of the sediment itself."That a known fossil or recent species, or higher taxonomic group, however primitive it might appear, is an actual ancestor of some other species or group, is an assumption scientifically unjustifiable, for science never can simply assume that which it has the responsibility to demonstrate.— It is the burden of each of us to demonstrate the reasonableness of any hypothesis we might care to erect about ancestral conditions, keeping in mind that we have no ancestor alive today, that in all probability such ancestors have been dead for many tens or millions of years, and that even in the fossil record they are not accessible to us." "Likewise, paleontologists do their best to make sense out of the fossil record and sketch in evolutionary sequences or unfossilized morphologies without realistic hope of obtaining specific verification within the foreseeable future." It would help if the fossil record would yield somewhere at least a few transitional sequences demonstrating the evolution of some kind of organism into some other more complex kind. "The abrupt appearance of higher taxa in the fossil record has been a perennial puzzle.
Another example is luminescence dating, which measures the energy from radioactive decay that is trapped inside nearby crystals.This is different to relative dating, which only puts geological events in time Most absolute dates for rocks are obtained with radiometric methods.These use radioactive minerals in rocks as geological clocks.They no longer ignore it or pass it off with a sarcastic denial, but admit that it is a real problem which deserves a serious answer. which starts from a chronology of index fossils, and imposes them on the rocks.The use of "index fossils" to determine the geologic age of a formation, for example, is discussed in an interesting way in an important recent paper by J. Each taxon represents a definite time unit and so provides an accurate, even 'infallible' date.