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This may indeed be the case, but there is no practical way to test this hypothesis.

Most importantly, there is no way to prove that it is false, because if we aren’t able to catch the aliens at work, we still won’t know if they did it!

For example, the decay of potassium-40 to argon-40 is used to date rocks older than 20,000 years, and the decay of uranium-238 to lead-206 is used for rocks older than 1 million years.

Radiocarbon dating measures radioactive isotopes in once-living organic material instead of rock, using the decay of carbon-14 to nitrogen-14.

The atoms of some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.

These break down over time in a process scientists call radioactive decay.

The Robson Glacier is now only a small remnant of its size during the Little Ice Age of the 15th to 18th centuries, as shown by the distinctive line on the slope on the left.

The river flowing from Robson Glacier drains into Berg Lake in the bottom right. The sedimentary rock that these mountains are made of formed in ocean water over 500 million years ago.Geology is also about understanding the evolution of life on Earth; about discovering resources such as metals and energy; about recognizing and minimizing the environmental implications of our use of those resources; and about learning how to mitigate the hazards related to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and slope failures.All of these aspects of geology, and many more, are covered in this textbook. There is no single method of inquiry that is specifically the “scientific method”; furthermore, scientific inquiry is not necessarily different from serious research in other disciplines.It is, arguably, the most integrated of all of the sciences because it involves the understanding and application of all of the other sciences: physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, astronomy, and others.But unlike most of the other sciences, geology has an extra dimension, that of time — deep time — billions of years of it.

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