The study of fossils and the exploration of what they tell scientists about past climates and environments on Earth can be an interesting study for students of all ages.
Steno recognized that fossils represent organisms that became buried in sediment, which later turned into rock.
Though relative dating can only determine the sequential order in which a series of events occurred, not when they occur, it remains a useful technique especially in radiometric dating.
Relative dating by biostratigraphy is the preferred method in paleontology, and is in some respects more accurate (Stanley, 167–69).
The realization that sediments turn into rock was counter to the view that all rocks on Earth formed in a single creation event.
Once Steno recognized that the fossils he was contemplating (sharks teeth and sea shells) were formed in the sediments of oceans he was able to work out the basic rules of stratigraphy.
Discover how geologists study the layers in sedimentary rock to establish relative age.