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Chapter 8 Science Test Notes Studying Earth’s Past • The method of dating that relies on the decay of radioactive isotopes is called radiometric dating. • Absolute dating is any method of measuring the age of an object in years. • “Younger over older” is a phrase that can be used to remember superposition. • Radioactive decay occurs at a constant rate. • Paleontology is the study of the history of life. • Fossils cannot provide evidence about how Earth looked 4.5 billion years ago. • The idea that geological change happens suddenly is called catastrophism. If I try, I could be the greatest Scientist in the World. I could be King/Queen of the World. • The idea that geologic processes gradually occur as they have in the past is called uniformitarianism. • During radioactive decay, radioactive isotopes break down into stable isotopes of other elements. • To determine the absolute age of a rock, a scientist needs to know the rate of decay for a radioactive element in the rock. • Tilting is the slanting of rock layers. • Fossils are most often formed in sedimentary rock. • After every half-life, the amount of radioactive material in a substance decreases by one-half. • To determine the most accurate and precise age of Earth’s oldest rocks, geologists would use the uranium-lead method. • Erosion is one of the major causes of the missing rock layers known as unconformities. • Comparing rock layers with other rock layers is called relative dating. • Unconformity represents a missing part of the geologic record. • The law of crosscutting relationships states a fault or body of rock is younger than the body of rock it passes through. • Sedimentary rock is formed when sediment is lithified. • Molten rock that squeezes into existing rock and cools is called intrusion. What did one duck say to other duck when he saw a meteor falling from the sky? • Global climate change may have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. • Atoms with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons are called isotopes. • A fault is a break in the Earth’s crust. • When rock layers are horizontal, geologist know that the rock layers are undisturbed. • An asteroid hitting the Earth could be an example of a catastrophe. • To make a good pizza, you need lots of cheese and pepperoni. Don’t Feed the Raccoons!