Wide rings are produced during wet years and narrow rings during dry seasons.
This technique has posed a different problem for creationists, as this dating method does not make use directly of accelerated decay.
This technique does not give specific ages to items.
Between the years of 17, James Hutton and William Smith advanced the concept of relative dating.
Hutton, a Scottish geologist, first proposed formally the fundamental principle used to classify rocks according to their relative ages.
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.
The concept is considered by uniformitarian geologists to be a major breakthrough in scientific reasoning by establishing a rational basis for relative time measurements.