Volcanic Landforms. Create an account. Creature Cast. Various elements are used for dating different time periods; ones with relatively short half-lives like carbon or 14 C are useful for dating once-living objects since they include atmospheric carbon from when they were alive from about ten to fifty thousand years old. Radiometric dating has been carried out since when it was invented by Ernest Rutherford as a method by which one might determine the age of the Earth.
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The amount of time it takes for half of the parent isotopes to radioactively decay to daughter isotopes. Because they are often rare, primate fossils are not usually good index fossils. Earth Science Basics.