Bad dating techniques
An age range is assigned for a particular layer based on our absolute dating methods, then the artifacts that are discovered within this layer are assigned an age range, and anything else compared to this artifact is assigned a range based on the range that was assigned to the artifact it was being compared to. Far from being exact or reliable, it is open to major error.
If one mistake is made in dating, it actually translates into multiple mistakes on down the line.
Even though Shea is obviously speaking tongue in cheek, I think there is an important truth here that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Our dating methods are not exact enough to be used alone.
This is why they try to use more than one method (when possible)- to avoid this rabbit hole. After all, an awful lot of assumptions hang on them.
It’s really pretty disturbing when you think about it.
There are a whole lot of people out there (probably the majority) that believe, unequivocally, that scientists are capable of dating rocks, fossils, and the earth with a reasonable amount of certainty. It’s what we’re taught in school and the evidence that is presented to us seems unarguable.
So, when we hear of alternate views- such as young earth creation in which the earth is somewhere in the neighborhood of 7,000 years old based on Biblical chronologies- it sounds completely ridiculous to us.
Before scientists developed our absolute methods of dating, relative dating methods were used.
As the article points out, “Think of it as ordering rather than dating.