What is the purpose of the geologic time scale?

1 Answer
Jun 5, 2017

One purpose of the geological time scale is to support the idea of slow uniform processes such as Darwinian evolution.


Chales Lyell proposed the idea of slow uniform processes observed today being able to explain all of the geological features of the earth. These slow process like the current erosion of the Grand Canyon would take millions of years to cut the mile deep gorge that now exists.

The geological time scale supports Lyell's theory of uniform process. and give ages for the various layers of rocks exposed by the erosion of the grand canyon.

Charles Darwin applied Charles Lyell's ideas to biological processes. Darwin extrapolated small changes and adaptations in organisms he observed. Darwin speculated that these small changes over vast periods of time could result in the descent through modification of complex modern animals from a single "simple" cell.

The geological time scale supports Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by providing the vast periods of time required by the theory. Also the various layers of rock are dated using Darwin's theory of evolution. The layers with simpler fossils are dated as being older and the fossils with complex fossils younger. The geological time scale is largely based on Darwin's theory of organic evolution.