At ScienceDaily we learn that “New Evidence Shows Mobile Animals Could Have Evolved Much Earlier Than Previously Thought” (May 18, 2011):
A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered that billions of years before life [animals?] evolved in the oceans, thin layers of microbial matter in shallow water produced enough oxygen to support tiny, mobile life forms.
The researchers say worm-like creatures could have lived on the oxygen produced by photosynthetic microbial material, even though oxygen concentrations in the surrounding water were not high enough to support life.
Worm tracks (trace fossils) have been found from 555 million years ago, and it’s suggested that the worms could have got their oxygen from photosynthetic biomats at a time when it was otherwise absent, thus could be much older in origin.
Some ask whether that doesn’t that raise questions, as well as answer them: If multicellular worms co-developed with microbes 650 million years ago … score one for either self-organization or design.
(Note: ) Shall we call the file ETs? Earlier Thans?