Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Oldest fossils push back life to 3.42 billion years ago

arroba Email

All the less time for Darwinism to work its supposed magic:

A team of international researchers, led by the University of Bologna, has discovered the fossilised remains of methane-cycling microbes that lived in a hydrothermal system beneath the seafloor 3.42 billion years ago.

The microfossils are the oldest evidence for this type of life and expand the frontiers of potentially habitable environments on the early Earth, as well as other planets such as Mars.

The study, published in the journal Science Advances, analysed microfossil specimens in two thin layers within a rock collected from the Barberton Greenstone Belt in South Africa. This region, near the border with Eswatini and Mozambique, contains some of the oldest and best-preserved sedimentary rocks found on our planet.

The microfossils have a carbon-rich outer sheath and a chemically and structurally distinct core, consistent with a cell wall or membrane around intracellular or cytoplasmic matter.

Università Di Bologna , “Oldest fossils of methane-cycling microbes expand frontiers of habitability on early Earth” at Eurekalert

The paper is open access.

I thought it was already 3.8 - 4.2 BYA? KF kairosfocus
Seversky, so now you believe in some starship troopers? martin_r
I'll be interested in historycal sciences after they will know everything (never!)because till then are just temporary truths that change over time. Sandy
Interestingly, two relatively recent papers that show how our conception of the early earth has changed recently. One of them seems to indicate that 30-50% of the water on earth actually predated the sun. https://news.umich.edu/the-water-in-your-bottle-might-be-older-than-the-sun/ Other researchers have found evidence that the earth was originally covered with water. This last paper found evidence, also from approximately 3.24-billion-year-old hydrothermally altered oceanic crust from the Panorama district in the Pilbara Craton of Western Australia. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41561-020-0538-9 -Q Querius
NOAA account of this early Earth history: "Water remained a gas until the Earth cooled below 212 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time, about 3.8 billion years ago, the water condensed into rain which filled the basins that we now know as our world ocean." That leaves complex methane-metabolizing water-living bacteria such as discovered and reported in the subject paper 400 million years to have arisen. The actual OOL of much simpler forms would seem to have had much less time than that. Not even slightly plausible for many reasons. This reported fossil organism continues the trend where the fossil evidence has been leaving the abiogenic OOL theorists and researchers less and less time for their miracle to happen by chance - it's getting ridiculous. doubter
Earth is about 4.5 billion years old so that gives life about a billion years to emerge, although conditions on Earth at that time were apparently pretty rough by our standards. Hydrothermal vents are not exactly what I'd choose for a holiday resort. Still, it's possible some passing starship saw the planet, thought it looked promising, seeded it with extremophile bacteria and went on their merry way - maybe after leaving a black monolith on the Moon to broadcast an alert when we got advanced enough to get there and dig it up. Of course, they may no longer be around to get the message which would be sort of sad when you think about it. We'll just have to see what the future brings. Did Daniel have anything to say about it? Seversky
Not enough time for evolution, it is not an issue for Darwinian religion... Even if the organism would emerge the same moment the Earth began to exists, Darwinists would still consider it as plausible.... so called lucky chemical accident.... martin_r

Leave a Reply