Dating a relative

can be used to tell us whether or not the animals they were from actually lived at about the same time.

This relative dating method is based on the fact that there are specific progressive chemical changes in skeletal remains that result from burial underground.

Unfortunately, by 195 Piltdown Man Hoax--an explanation of one of the greatest frauds in the history of science This link takes you to an audio file at an external website.

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At the same time, percolating ground water deposits trace amounts of fluorine and other elements, such as uranium, into the bone.

As a result, the amount of fluorine Fluorine analysis can be used only as a relative dating method because the rate of decay and the amount of dissolved minerals in the ground water varies from site to site.

it had an ape-like jaw and was found in association with the bones of extinct animals, this "Piltdown Man" was also believed to be a very ancient human.The skull and jaw clearly were not from the same time period.The jaw was likely to have come from a modern young adult orangutan.These processes result in All of these processes confuse the stratigraphic record.In many cases, however, it is possible to reconstruct the original sequence of strata so that they can be used for relative dating.It had been cleverly carved to fit the skull and stained to look ancient.In addition, the associated bones from extinct animals had much older fluorine and nitrogen ratios than either the jaw or the human skull.As time passes, the organic components of bone (mostly fat) are lost primarily through bacterial action.Since these components contain nitrogen, there is a progressive loss of that element.For instance, if we find a fossil bone below the strata 3 rock level shown above, we assume that the animal most likely lived at a time before that layer was formed.However, we must be careful to note whether or not the fossil comes from the mixed strata zone of the filled in hole..

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