For a man who does not believe in a miracle, a slow miracle would be just as incredible as a swift one."*G. Chesterton (1925)."The theory of evolution gives no answer to the important problem of the origin of life and presents only fallacious solutions to the problem of the nature of evolutive transformations . We are condemned to believe in evolution, but we will always search for a suggestion concerning the methods of transformations . Perhaps we are now in a worse position than in 1859 because we have searched for one century and we have the impression that the various hypotheses [of how evolution could have occurred] are now exhausted.
Presently, nature appears to be more steady, more firm and more refractory [resistant] to changes than we thoughtbefore we had made a clear distinction between hereditary variability [within species] and acquired characteristics [DNA characteristics fixing each species]. Salet, Hasard et Certitude: Le Transformisme devant la Biologie Actuelle (1973), p. Several methods for dating ancient materials have been developed.
It took a canal surveyor circa 1800, William Smith in England, who noticed that he could map out great tracts of rocks on the basis of their contained fossils.
The sequences he saw in one part of the country could be matched precisely with the sequences in another.
Early geologists, at the end of the 18th and early 19th century noticed how fossils appeared in certain sequences: some fossil assemblages were always found below other assemblages, not above.
This meant that the ones below were older than the ones on top.
Later, this date was confirmed by two other dating methods (paleomagnetism and fission tracks), and was widely accepted.
Methods of dating rocks Absolute dating involves determining a rock’s actual age as a number of years, whereas relative dating methods provide an estimate of the age of a rock by comparing it to rocks of a known age The Geological Time Scale has been created by combining both absolute and relative dating methods."In a billion years [from now], it seems, intelligent life might be as different from humans as humans are from insects . To change from a human being to a cloud may seem a big order, but it's the kind of change you'd expect over billions of years." Freeman Dyson, Statement made in 1986, quoted in Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. [American mathematician.]"Slowness has really nothing to do with the question.An event is not any more intrinsically intelligible or unintelligible because of the pace at which it moves.The Geological Timescale divides the Earth’s history into several periods of differing lengths of time.There are different ways that scientists can measure geological time.Radioactive or radiometric dating is a very important method of determining an absolute age for a rock using radioactive isotopes.