Charles Lyell, divided the fossil bearing rock strata into three divisions. He dated one as youngest, later called “Cenozoic Era”, another as older, later called Mesozoic Era and the third as ancient, later called “Paleozoic Era”. Lyell and others worked out these strata dates in the early 19th century, before very much was known about the rock strata and their fossils. The layers of rock strata were studied in England, Scotland, and France.
Lyell developed a theory to base the age of fossils with the number of still living species represented by fossils in each stratum. If a given stratum had few fossils represented by species alive today. Then Lyell dated it more anciently. It has since been established that Lyell’s theory does not agree with reality. The fossil-bearing rock strata are said to fall into three major divisions called “eras”. At the top are the “Cenozoic Era” rocks. Below that comes the “Mesozoic Era” rocks. Next under them comes the “Paleozoic Era” rocks. Cenozoic means “recent life”, Mesozoic means “middle life” and Paleozoic means “ancient life”.
The fossil/strata theory is genuinely archaic. The basics of the theory were developed when very little was known about strata or fossils. But geology and paleontology have been saddled with it ever since. The eras were developed long before radiodating of rocks were available. Cenozoic and Mesozoic were developed 1841. The Paleozoic was developed in 1838. These 19th century theories were devised to fit these 19th century strata dates! But it is done by using only a few test samples which fit the 19th century dates.
What’s wrong with the so-called “eras” is that modern animals have been found fossilized in all three eras. Birds have been found with dinosaur fossils in the Mesozoic Era (Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods). Also mammals, reptiles ,and amphibians too. Insects such as bees, ants, and butterflies have been found with dinosaurs. The Solnhofen Limestone Quarry in Germany has discovered many insects fossils with dinosaur fossils.
The sedimentary layers that turned to rock strata give evidenced that they were laid down rapidly and in a short period of time. The worldwide flood of Genesis 6-8 fits this scenario. The flood lasted about a little over a year. Animals and plants were buried rapidly in sediments laid down by the worldwide flood. This rapid burial with sedimentary water prevented the scavengers from eating them. Plus it stop decay of the organism and permitted pre-mineralization of the organism to turn to a fossil.
Sedimentary rocks are distinguished by sharply-defined layers, called “strata”. Fossils almost always lie within such layers. Fossils and strata, seen globally, have many unusual characteristics. A little-known and poorly understood phenomenon called “liquefaction” (pronounced lik-wuh- FAK-shun) explains these characteristics. It also explains why we do not see fossils and strata forming on a large scale today. Liquefaction, associated with quicksand, earthquakes, and wave action, played a major role in rapidly sorting sediments, plants, and animals during the flood. Indeed, the worldwide presence of sorted fossils and sedimentary layers shows that a gigantic global flood occurred. Massive liquefaction also left other diagnostic features such as cross-bedded sandstone, plumes, mounds, and fossilized footprints.