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New Scientist: Caution urged on life at 4 billion years ago

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From New Scientist:

It’s not the first time that people have claimed the discovery of potentially organic carbon in Hadean zircons – but the carbon in those earlier claims turned out to be an artefact of the preparation techniques used to study the zircons, says Harrison. “I think there will be little dispute regarding the primary nature of the inclusions,” he says.

Ultimately, carbon isotope data on its own is too ambiguous to decide whether Hadean carbon is evidence of Hadean life, says Thomas McCollom at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “I know a lot of people want to use such data as evidence of life, but this is governed more by what they want the outcome to be rather than scientific principles,” he says. More.

If they really “want” a very early origin of life, then they don’t want a Darwinian approach. Is this ever discussed seriously?

See also: Life started soon after the planet cooled?

and

With Enceladus the toast of the solar system, here’s a wrap-up of the origin-of-life problem

Also: zircons
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2 Replies to “New Scientist: Caution urged on life at 4 billion years ago

  1. 1
    bornagain says:

    as to:

    “But the team points out there are also inorganic ways that isotopically light carbon could have accumulated in Hadean environments, for instance, through some of the Fischer-Tropsch chemical reactions that can turn carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons.”

    What they fail to mention is the enigmatic fact that all the carbon samples, from all the different ancient sediments analyzed, always give the same indication of being post-biotic, not prebiotic, i.e. There is no evidence of a prebiotic soup as is assumed in standard Darwinian thinking.

    “We get that evidence from looking at carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis. And it tells us that in Earth’s oldest (sedimentary) rock, which dates at 3.80 billion years ago, we find an abundance for the carbon signature of living systems. Namely, that life prefers carbon 12. And so if you see a higher ratio of carbon 12 to carbon 13 that means that carbon has been processed by life. And it is that kind of evidence that tells us that life has been abundant on earth as far back as 3.80 billion years ago (when water was first present on earth).,,, And that same carbon 12 to carbon 13 analysis tells us that planet earth, over it entire 4.5662 billion year history has never had prebiotics. Prebiotics would have a higher ratio of carbon 13 to carbon 12. All the carbonaceous material, we see in the entire geological record of the earth, has the signature of being post-biotic not pre-biotic. Which means planet earth never had a primordial soup. And the origin of life on earth took place in a geological instant” (as soon as it was possible for life to exist on earth).
    – Hugh Ross – quote at 40:10 mark
    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox (No prebiotic chemical signatures)- video (40:10 minute mark)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UPvO2EkiLls#t=2410

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