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Such recurring events as mountain building and sea encroachment and believed to be recorded in rock layers that comprise units of geologic time.Geologists have divided the Earth's history into Eras -- broad spans based on the general character of life that existed during these times -- and Periods -- shorter spans based partly on evidence of major disturbances of the Earth's crust.The ten strata systems that compose the “standard geologic column” are the familiar Cambrian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian, Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Tertiary periods.Although no absolute methods were available to establish actual dates, Lyell needed to assign very old dates to the strata to make them consistent with the long eons of time that would be necessary to meet the new uniformitarianism theory developed by James Hutton and himself.
Some types of relative dating techniques include climate chronology, dendrochronology, ice core sampling, stratigraphy, and seriation.The relative dating methods themselves are generally sound when used with good assumptions.However, when scientists apply relative dating to a preconceived uniformitarianism model, the dating methods are only as good as the model. During the same interval of time in another part of the world, the land surface subsided and was covered by the seas.With the sinking of the land surface, sediments were deposited on the ocean floor.
Estimates of the absolute age of prehistoric and geological events and remains amounted to little more than inspired guesswork, as there was no scientific basis for testing such proposals.”With this background, it is strange that the “standard geologic column” that identifies the rock strata on the earth and assigns very old ages to those strata was developed by Sir Charles Lyell in 1830.