In regard to a recent claim that life from 3.95 billion years ago was spotted in Newfoundland, I wrote Senior Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute Tim Standish to ask, On a practical basis, how did these earliest organisms even stay alive?
He got back to me to say,
Exactly. The bottom line is that life couldn’t have lasted all that long without a complete nitrogen cycle, carbon cycle and who knows what else. Those things are generally the domain of multiple organisms. I’ve yet to see an actual organism that can survive and reproduce in the absence of other life. The closest might be the C. elegans I worked with for years. You can grow them without other organisms in their culture, but the culture itself contains liver and other extracts. In addition, they were not very happy worms.
When did the Earth cool enough to allow life to exist? Or even liquid water? Estimates I’ve seen put the formation of the crust about 4 billion years ago. Who knows when that cooled enough to actually allow life. I have seen estimates that the Earth formed as long as 4.7 billion years ago, and that may push back the formation of the crust a hundred million years or so, but it is still a major problem.
In 2015, some researchers claimed to have found life at 4.1 billion years ago (Science). According to some estimates out there, this means life was present on Earth when it had a molten surface! At what point do you have to say that life formed in an actual instant, not even a geological instant?
That’s the trouble I have always had picturing the conventional claims for origin of life, as in: All life arose from a single primordial cell.
But how did that cell arise? The fact that there was allegedly only one such cell doesn’t make the problem easier. It might make it harder.
Case in point: Theistic evolutionists who doubt Adam and Eve typically insist that the entire human race could not have descended from a single couple. Well, if they see a problem with that, do they not see a problem with all life descending from a single primordial cell?
Origin of life might work according to current naturalist formulas if there were an epoch that favoured the origin of life forms generally. That is way messier than the single common ancestor. But we don’t know of such an epoch and the one described by these early life finders does not sound that way.
Oh, never mind. We will, in any event, need to source a recycling market for splintered Establishment lecterns.
See also: Researchers: Evidence of life 3.95 billion years ago
What we know and don’t know about the origin of life