One creationist editor, who is more mellow than his unfortunate statement suggests, phrased the argument thus: Unfortunately the geologists date the rocks as the paleontologists tell them to. That passage might have come out of one of Henry Morris' books, except that Morris usually avoids crude slander. Hovind is not aware of the fact that by 1815 the broad outlines of the geologic column from Paleozoic times onward had been worked out by people who were mostly geologists.
It was found that certain fossils, now referred to as index fossils, were restricted to a narrow zone of strata.Studies done on the European continent soon demonstrated the universal validity of index fossils.Furthermore, in some temperate trees that at times produce multiple rings, growth can occur in two or three periods, separated by brief intervals of dormancy.Dormancy of this type is classified as temporary, as it lasts a few days or a few weeks.In other words, the fossils found in rocks are used to date other rocks.
But how do they know the age of the original rocks?The principle of faunal succession in the geologic record was established by direct observation as early as 1799 by William Smith.By the 1830's Adam Sedgwick and Roderick Murchison established a correlation between the various types of fossils and the rock formations in the British Isles.Being ancient, the C-14 content has long since decayed away and that makes it useful in "zeroing" laboratory instruments. Hovind would take the trouble to do a little reading from something other than creationist publications he would not make such an outrageous statement.It's just one of the tricks that have been used to make the work a little more precise. I believe he has confused the use of index fossils with evolution.In other words, a tree can form a countable ring in a matter of weeks! A great deal of subjective interpretation is required to judge between true and false rings and true and false pattern matches between different pieces of wood. Indistinct or missing rings pose two problems, and extra rings present a third. There are many other things that can alter tree ring spacing.