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The same rock formation also contains a type of trilobite that was known to live 415 to 425 million years ago.
Since the rock formation contains both types of fossils the ago of the rock formation must be in the overlapping date range of 415 to 420 million years.
"In a billion years [from now], it seems, intelligent life might be as different from humans as humans are from insects . To change from a human being to a cloud may seem a big order, but it's the kind of change you'd expect over billions of years." Freeman Dyson, Statement made in 1986, quoted in Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations, p. [American mathematician.]"Slowness has really nothing to do with the question.
An event is not any more intrinsically intelligible or unintelligible because of the pace at which it moves.
The majority of the time fossils are dated using relative dating techniques.
There are two main methods determining a fossils age, relative dating and absolute dating.
Relative dating is used to determine a fossils approximate age by comparing it to similar rocks and fossils of known ages.
So, often layers of volcanic rocks above and below the layers containing fossils can be dated to provide a date range for the fossil containing rocks.
The atoms in some chemical elements have different forms, called isotopes.