The base layer must come first, then the second and then the third.So I can say the second layer is younger than the first and older than the third but I have no idea whether the cake is 5 minutes or 5 million years old.By deducing which fossils are formed in the sequence of time, the periods when the particular fossilized entities existed can be arranged in order without the actual dates of when the fossils were laid down.The radiometric techniques that give absolute dating estimates are based on radioactive decay of elements such as uranium. Looking at how rock formations are structured, a geologist may be able to say which rock was developed in which layer in a particular order but not be able to determine that actual geologic age of the layers. Relative dispersion, sometimes called the coefficient of variation, is the result of dividing the st. by the mean, hence it is dimensionless (it may also be presented as a percentage). An absolute age is one determined usually by mass-spectrometry where an isotope is measured and then an age can be calculated (a very very basic explanation).

One of the most widely used and well-known absolute dating techniques is carbon-14 (or radiocarbon) dating, which is used to date organic remains.

Relative dating is used commonly when looking at the relative order of geological events.

What can complicate relative dating is when the strata is not the right way up!

Absolute dating is a method of estimating the age of a rock sample in years via radiometric techniques.

Short Answer: The term relative dating is distinguished from absolute dating to make it clear that one does not get a specific estimate of the age of an object from relative dating, but one does get such an estimate of true age from absolute dating.