Archbishop James Ussher of Armagh, Ireland, 1654, added up generations from the Old Testament and determined that Earth formed on October 23, 4004 BCE.Scientists can use certain types of fossils referred to as index fossils to assist in relative dating via correlation.
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Sometimes, scientists already know the age of the fossil because fossils of the same species have been found elsewhere and it has been possible to establish accurately from those when the dinosaur lived.
Geologists call this the principle of lateral continuity.
Fossils are important for working out the relative ages of sedimentary rocks.
Geologists have studied the order in which fossils appeared and disappeared through time and rocks.