Fossils: An Introduction. The Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection. Evolution is a theory (set of related, well-supported hypotheses) that explains the diversity of living organisms alive today and those that have lived before.
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Radioactive dating is used to measure rocks, and fossils found in them:
The mathematical expression that relates radioactive decay to geologic time, is:
D = D0 + N(eλt − 1) where
t is age of the sample, D is number of atoms of the daughter isotope in the sample, D0 is number of atoms of the daughter isotope in the original composition, N is number of atoms of the parent isotope in the sample, and λ is the decay constant of the parent isotope, equal to the inverse of the radioactive half-life of the parent isotope times the natural logarithm of 2.
Earth’s geological history is long and complex… it is divided into hundreds of different eras, ages, epochs, etc.