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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.Then the paleontologists use the geologists' dates as evidence for the age of the fossils! The relative order of the strata was first determined by the principles of stratification. Beagle, a very strong Bible believer, made it a point to have a copy of Lyell's book for the ship's library.Note that evolution has nothing to do with how the index fossils are used to date strata!Any kind of object clearly restricted to a specific point in the geologic column would do just fine.
(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.At the very least we would expect random fluctuations if the radiometric methods were totally at sea.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?If green dice were found only in the middle Ordovician strata, they would make excellent "index fossils." Evolution should be seen as an explanation of the faunal succession, a succession which was worked out long before evolution dominated the scene.Evolution, working in tandem with geologic ages, can explain why we have index fossils, but evolution is needed to make the index fossils useful for dating strata.