Life began 3.8 billion years ago, and insects diversified 290 million years ago, but the human and chimpanzee lineages diverged only five million years ago. How have scientists figured out the dates of long past evolutionary events? Here are some of the methods and evidence that scientists use to put dates on events:
Read more about radiometric dating or molecular clocks.
Learn more about molecular clocks in context: Evolutionary evidence takes the stand, a news brief with discussion questions.
Teach your students about relative and absolute dating:
- Who's on first? Relative dating, a classroom activity for grades 6-8.
- Determining age of rocks and fossils, a classroom activity for grades 9-12.
Find additional lessons, activities, videos, and articles that focus on relative and absolute dating.