But even though he used two different dating methods, Swisher kept making the same startling find: the bones were 53,000 years old at most and possibly no more than 27,000 years, a stretch of time contemporaneous with modern humans." If there is another word we could use there, that would be fantastic.Absolute is extraneous and slightly misleading to our readers.A few suggestions would be approximate or estimated or possible, or anything else that may come to mind. "3 hours, four minutes, and twenty-seven point five seconds ago" is relative. I also agree that this discussion belongs over at Talk: Radiometric dating.
I do not believe I've ever seen "absolute" used as a synonym for "precise" or "accurate".The use of "absoute" is appropriate, in my opinion, as it is used precisely as intended, to show that this determination is not relative.— Knowledge Seeker দ , (UTC)Salva: unless or until you can present us with evidence that indicates that a) radiometric dating is not only "off", but that this view is accepted by the scientific community at large (wikipedia is not a venue for original research; discussion of this point should be done on the radiometric dating talk page), and B) that this affects its use in the article on evolution (this article), I don't think we have reason to change it. When has anyone ever received an absolute conclusion from radiometric dating?Uranium, potassium argon, carbon - all of those methods produce approximate results at best.
Do I have to go out and find the info, or can we just agree on this one?Salva , (UTC) Absolute dating as opposed to relative dating. Absolute dating is dating based on some external measure - e.g., radiometric dating.Radiometric dating is based on phenomena known outside of the system in question.You can thus date a rock independently of its relative position.Guettarda , (UTC)Dates are approximate in that radioactive decay is a random process, so we can be 95% sure that rock X is between 1.1 and 1.2 million years old, (say) and maybe 98% sure rock X is between 1.0 million and 1.3 million years old.If you know any statistics you'll be aware that this isn't particularly unusual. Dunc|☺ , (UTC)"A hominid species assumed to be an ancestor of homosapiens "Erectus" was thought to have vanished some 250,000 years ago.