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These skeptics do not provide scientific evidence for their views.

Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.

Geologists and paleontologists are highly self-critical, and they have worried for decades about these issues. D., is a vertebrate paleontologist with particular interests in dinosaur origins and fossil history.

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Since then, geologists have made many tens of thousands of radiometric age determinations, and they have refined the earlier estimates.

A key point is that it is no longer necessary simply to accept one chemical determination of a rock’s age.

Darwin and his contemporaries could never have imagined the improvements in resolution of stratigraphy that have come since 1859, nor guessed what fossils were to be found in the southern continents, nor predicted the huge increase in the number of amateur and professional paleontologists worldwide.

All these labors have not led to a single unexpected finding such as a human fossil from the time of the dinosaurs, or a Jurassic dinosaur in the same rocks as Silurian trilobites.

The fossil record is fundamental to an understanding of evolution.

Fossils document the order of appearance of groups and they tell us about some of the amazing plants and animals that died out long ago.

Fossils can also show us how major crises, such as mass extinctions, happened, and how life recovered after them.

If the fossils, or the dating of the fossils, could be shown to be inaccurate, all such information would have to be rejected as unsafe.

Age estimates can be cross-tested by using different isotope pairs.

Results from different techniques, often measured in rival labs, continually confirm each other.

The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.