Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Did glaciers cause a billion-year gap in information about the development of life?


Scientists have argued for tectonic activity or, alternatively, glaciation to explain the Great Unconformity. A Dartmouth research team favors glaciation:

This giant lapse in Earth’s memory exceeds one billion years in some places, resulting in 550 million-year-old rocks sitting atop ancient layers that date back 1.7 billion years, with no trace of the many lost epochs in between…

Now, a team led by Kalin McDannell, a postdoctoral researcher in earth sciences at Dartmouth College, has presented new evidence that glaciers were the main force that carved out this mysterious gap in time.

The researchers discovered a strong “cooling signal” at four very different geological locations across North America, suggesting that continental-scale glaciation may be “the only foreseeable process that can account for both the formation and preservation of the Great Unconformity,” according to a study published Tuesday in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Becky Feirrera, “A Billion Years of Time Are Mysteriously Missing. Scientists Think They Know Why.” at VICE

Of course, the gap ended roughly at the same time that identifiable complex life began, roughly 550 million years ago. What was going on in the meantime is anyone’s guess.

The paper is open access.

Certainly possible. Glaciers push everything out of the way, and squash the layers underneath. But they're not likely to get a valid measurement by guessing the temperature of the same rocks they're looking for life in. The two measurements are mixed and conflated. It would be better to compare an area that never glaciated with an area that did get scrubbed. polistra
No. get out of that deep-time dependent confirmation bias reinforced box. There are no gaps with the far strong ID AND YeC strongest science model/s. Creation week one of the universe, with First Adam and genetic Eve on literal day 6, followed by the break up of the original single continent mid the 1,656 anno-mundi 'Mabul' impacts year epoch, 29% into history of life on Earth, followed by The ice ages spanning about 340 years till the start of the dispersion from Bavel, account for all the empirical observations and evidence, take-in in maximum available context. reference the Pearlman YeC series for the alignment of Torah testimony, science and ancient civ. Pearlman

Leave a Reply