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(Far from being a rubber stamp, radiometric dating would go on to revolutionize our understanding of the Precambrian.) Thus, it became possible to date strata directly from index fossils.
Note that evolution has nothing to do with how the index fossils are used to date strata!
The depth at which either is found can vary dramatically.
In the Grand Canyon area the Cambrian lies beneath a huge column of strata; in California's Mojave Desert portions of the Cambrian are exposed at the surface.
Once the worth of index fossils had been established on the basis of stratification studies, they could logically be used to extend the correlation of rock formations to other continents.
At this point in time they were simply a useful tool for correlating rock formations.
Why should the percentage of lead to uranium in zircon crystals (the key to ordinary uranium-lead, radiometric dating) depend on which geologic period they are found in?
One creationist editor, who is more mellow than his unfortunate statement suggests, phrased the argument thus: Unfortunately the geologists date the rocks as the paleontologists tell them to. That passage might have come out of one of Henry Morris' books, except that Morris usually avoids crude slander. Hovind is not aware of the fact that by 1815 the broad outlines of the geologic column from Paleozoic times onward had been worked out by people who were mostly geologists.By 1830 Lyell's famous textbook, Principles of Geology, came out. Such was the age of the great creationist geologists!The principle of faunal succession in the geologic record was established by direct observation as early as 1799 by William Smith.One would think that the flood sediments (gathered from the four corners of the old antediluvian world) and their associated igneous rock (formed during the flood) would all register very little radiometric age.At the very least we would expect random fluctuations if the radiometric methods were totally at sea.
The depth of burial, itself, has little to do with our mystery.