Prior to the late 17th century, geologic time was thought to be the same as historical time.
This technique does not give specific ages to items.
From the beginning of this course, we have stated that the Earth is about 4.6 billion years old.
How do we know this and how do we know the ages of other events in Earth history?
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.