Relative age and relative dating
A chance encounter between determined fishermen and a great white shark off the Tuscan coast in 1666 sparked a chain of events that would help change humans views of fossils and Earth’s geologic past (Cutler 2003, pp. Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) dissected the head of this shark and realized fossil tongue stones believed to be petrified snake or dragon tongues were actually fossil shark teeth (Prothero 1998, p. One problem still existed, how do fossils become embedded in solid rock?
Steno's idea that fossils are older than the rock in which they are found hints at this principle, but Hutton is most often given credit for this principle.states that fossil organisms succeed one another in a definite, irreversible, and determinable order.Because of that disclosure, Smith could perceive the request that the stones were framed.Sixteen years after his revelation, he distributed a topographical guide of England demonstrating the stones of various geologic time periods.Examples include fractures, faults, and igneous intrusions.Igneous intrusions are sometimes referred to as a seperate principle, the Hutton’s theory of uniformatarianism and the principles of stratigraphy would be fully developed and made popular by another Scottish geologist Charles Lyell (1797-1875) with his classic three volume work, first published from 1830 to 1833, entitled The science of stratigraphy changed humans’ view of the world from one, which was static to one that was dynamic and changing.
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Although it only helps with the knowledge that which event occurred after what, it does not tell the exact time or era when the event happened and therefore lags importance.