The principles of relative dating for continuous stratigraphic sequences: (as put forth by scientists such as Nicolas Steno): Ice cores are obtained by drilling core samples of ice in glaciated regions, such as near the poles.
Visible light and dark rings can be found in such cores that are then analyzed to determine the age of the ice.
Further, even within these two broad usages of the term, there are different theoretical approaches.
Broadly, kinship patterns may be considered to include people related by both descent – i.e.
The concept is considered by uniformitarian geologists to be a major breakthrough in scientific reasoning by establishing a rational basis for relative time measurements.
However, unlike tree-ring dating -- in which each ring is a measure of 1 year's growth -- no precise rate of deposition can be determined for most of the rock layers.
Anthropologist Robin Fox states that "the study of kinship is the study of what man does with these basic facts of life – mating, gestation, parenthood, socialization, siblingship etc." Human society is unique, he argues, in that we are "working with the same raw material as exists in the animal world, but [we] can conceptualize and categorize it to serve social ends." These social ends include the socialization of children and the formation of basic economic, political and religious groups.
This technique has posed a different problem for creationists, as this dating method does not make use directly of accelerated decay.
These layers are presumed to be the result of annual fluctuations in climate, and using this method, uniformitarians purport to document ages of over 100,000 years.
Creationists, such as Michael Oard, contend that these laminations are from subannual events, including layering due to dust to be found in a post-flood ice age. Subannual formation is supported by observations that several such layers of snow and ice can result from the storms within a single winter season.
Uniformitarian geologists began using the principles of stratigraphy to assign dates to the layers of the geological column fossils back in the late 1700s.
Relative dating uses a combination of fossil studies and structural interpretation to draw conclusions about the geological history of an area.