Rudimentary life may have existed on Earth 3.95 billion years ago, a time when our infant planet was being bombarded by comets and had hardly any oxygen, researchers said Wednesday.
A team presented what they say is the oldest-known fossil evidence for life on the Blue Planet—grains of graphite, a form of carbon, wedged into ancient sedimentary rocks in Labrador, Canada.
For the new study, Komiya and a team studied graphite, a form of carbon used in pencil lead, in rocks at Saglek Block in Labrador, Canada.
They measured its isotope composition, the signature of chemical elements, and concluded the graphite was “biogenic”—meaning it was produced by living organisms.
The identity of the organisms, or what they looked like, remains a mystery.More.
Life is making short work of current theorists.
See also: Is origin of life research undergoing a renaissance?
What we know and don’t know about the origin of life
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham