Current understanding of the history of life is probably close to the truth because it is based on repeated and careful testing and consideration of data.The rejection of the validity of fossils and of dating by religious fundamentalists creates a problem for them: Fossil sequences were recognized and established in their broad outlines long before Charles Darwin had even thought of evolution.Though there is no one age, a good rule is anything over 10,000 years old can be considered a fossil.The oldest fossils ever discovered are more than 3.5 billion years old.Fossils are the remains of animals or plants that lived a long time ago.When we think of fossils, the first things that come to mind are the bones of dinosaurs; but a fossil can be anything.
Some critics, particularly religious fundamentalists, argue that neither fossils nor dating can be trusted, and that their interpretations are better.
Fossils are found all over the world and on every continent.
A paleontologist is a scientist that studies fossils.
Early geologists, in the 1700s and 1800s, noticed how fossils seemed to occur in sequences: certain assemblages of fossils were always found below other assemblages. Since 1859, paleontologists, or fossil experts, have searched the world for fossils.
In the past 150 years they have not found any fossils that Darwin would not have expected.New discoveries have filled in the gaps, and shown us in unimaginable detail the shape of the great ‘tree of life’.