How do they calculate a "million" years or more?

@coffeebreak (17824)
United States
November 21, 2007 8:33am CST
I just dont get that. They find these fossils and say they are 390 million years old - a 8 foot scorpion was just found and dated that. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071121/ap_on_sc/biggest_bug_ever What constitutes one million years in time? What do they have to physically measure by? And if its been there 390 million years, they sure didn't have to dig far to reach it - you mean that is all that has happened to this planet in 390 million years? And in this article it says these scorpions only lived in Germany for about 10 million years, about 400 million years ago. What??!?!?! Sounds like the makings of the next sci-fi flick! "Invasion of the Ancient Scorpions - don't go into the swamp lands"
2 responses
@drannhh (15002)
• United States
21 Nov 07
Wonderful article! I don't get it either, as so far it seems to me the scientist have been a tad unable to accurately predict how many days it will take for the milk to go bad or mold to form on bread. It is just a good thing markets refund or exchange, eh? But a few million years off one way or another? I used to work for some guys who were politely said "not good bookkeepers" (or maybe they were very good bookkeepers, lol, but not good people) and they would come up $10,000 short here or $40,000 short there in their budget reports with amazing frequency. Whenever I pointed out their discrepancies they always said the same thing, "Oh, that was just a ball park figure!" Maybe the scientists are just using ball park figures too.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
21 Nov 07
Could be but then I'd have to ask...why bother? What difference does it make how old a fossil is? Seems to me there are tons of things that are more necessary to deal with then determining and uprooting the past!
• United States
21 Nov 07
HI Coffee, Last time I took a college science class, it was determined through carbon testing.
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17824)
• United States
21 Nov 07
What is carbon testing