Origin Of Life

Evidence for earliest life is evidence for strongest imagination, say astrobiologists

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Astrobiology Magazine, (not the source you’d expect), offers MSNBC a word of caution re fossils of early life:

However, the interpretation of the structures has always been controversial, and it is still hotly debated among scientists searching for Earth’s earliest evidence for life. Specimens from the site apparently displayed branching structures that some researchers said were inconsistent with life, while others dismissed such branching as artifacts from photo software.Analysis of the structures themselves suggested they were carbon-based, and therefore associated with the organic chemistry of life, but some contended they were a type of carbon known as graphite, while others said they were kerogen, a mixture of organic compounds.

Now University of Kansas geospectroscopist Craig Marshall and his colleagues have taken another look at the Apex Chert structures and determined they might not be carbon-based after all. Instead, they seem to just be a series of fractures filled with crystals.

“It’s one of those funny moments in science when you go out to do one thing and it completely flips 180 on you,” Marshall said.

– – Charles Q. Choi (Study of ancient fossils asks, ‘Is it really life?’: Many structures aren’t microbes, but mineral formations, researchers claim, 3/25/2011)

Happens in every field, actually.

The obvious result is that eliminating some of the very oldest proposed life forms narrows the window for the Holy Grail, a purely accidental origin of life, to appear.

Eventually, numbers catch up with people.

You didn’t read that in the story, so I didn’t quote it.

5 Replies to “Evidence for earliest life is evidence for strongest imagination, say astrobiologists

  1. 1
    tragic mishap says:

    Those 1.5 billion years really wasn’t helping the numbers much tbh.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Ms. O’Leary, the evidence for the sudden appearance of life on earth has always been based primarily on geo-chemical markers, not on micro-fossils:

    The Sudden Origin Of Life & Cambrian Explosion – Dr. Fazale Rana
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4284466/

    etc.. etc..

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    Ms. O’Leary, your thinking here seems to be that if the time is constrained for how long life has been on earth then that will somehow be detrimental to the Darwinian framework. Yet that does not clearly follow from the evidence nor the philosophy, for it is found that there is actually ‘purpose’ (teleology) for life to originate so early in earth’s history, for it is found that long term bacterial life was and is essential for ‘terra-forming’ the earth. Terra-forming the earth from a toxic wasteland into place that was and is habitable for higher life-forms to exist.;

    Dr. Ross points out that the extremely long amount of time it took to prepare a suitable place for humans to exist in this universe, for the relatively short period of time that we can exist on this planet, is actually a point of evidence that argues strongly for Theism:

    Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency.
    Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now.
    http://christiangodblog.blogsp.....chive.html

    One scientist is far more pessimistic about the ‘natural’ future lifespan of the human race than 20,000 years:

    Humans will be extinct in 100 years says eminent scientist – June 2010
    http://www.physorg.com/news196489543.html

    further notes:

    Microbial life can easily live without us; we, however, cannot survive without the global catalysis and environmental transformations it provides. – Paul G. Falkowski – Professor Geological Sciences – Rutgers
    http://www.bioinf.uni-leipzig......g_2008.pdf

    Since oxygen readily reacts and bonds with many of the solid elements making up the earth itself, and since the slow process of tectonic activity controls the turnover of the earth’s crust, it took photosynthetic bacteria a few billion years before the earth’s crust was saturated with enough oxygen to allow a sufficient level of oxygen to be built up in the atmosphere as to allow higher life:

    New Wrinkle In Ancient Ocean Chemistry – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: “Our data point to oxygen-producing photosynthesis long before concentrations of oxygen in the atmosphere were even a tiny fraction of what they are today, suggesting that oxygen-consuming chemical reactions were offsetting much of the production,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....141217.htm

    Increases in Oxygen Prepare Earth for Complex Life
    Excerpt: We at RTB argue that any mechanism exhibiting complex, integrated actions that bring about a specified outcome is designed. Studies of Earth’s history reveal highly orchestrated interplay between astronomical, geological, biological, atmospheric, and chemical processes that transform the planet from an uninhabitable wasteland to a place teeming with advanced life. The implications of design are overwhelming.
    http://www.reasons.org/increas.....mplex-life

    Planet’s Nitrogen Cycle Overturned – Oct. 2009
    Excerpt: “Ammonia is a waste product that can be toxic to animals.,,, archaea can scavenge nitrogen-containing ammonia in the most barren environments of the deep sea, solving a long-running mystery of how the microorganisms can survive in that environment. Archaea therefore not only play a role, but are central to the planetary nitrogen cycles on which all life depends.,,,the organism can survive on a mere whiff of ammonia – 10 nanomolar concentration, equivalent to a teaspoon of ammonia salt in 10 million gallons of water.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....132656.htm

    etc.. etc.. etc..

    Sometimes it is honestly asked, “Why did God wait so many billions of years to send Jesus to this earth to reconcile God with man?” Yet from the perspective of human race itself it is found:

    What happened 5000 years ago? – Dinesh D’Souza
    Excerpt: The Population Reference Bureau estimates that the number of people who have ever been born is approximately 105 billion. Of this number, about 2 percent were born before Christ came to earth. “So in a sense,” Kreps notes, “God’s timing couldn’t have been more perfect. If He’d come earlier in human history, how reliable would the records of his relationship with man be? But He showed up just before the exponential explosion in the world’s population, so even though 98 percent of humanity’s timeline had passed, only 2 percent of humanity had previously been born, so 98 percent of us have walked the earth since the Redemption.”
    http://www.estatevaults.com/bo.....ned_5.html

    World Population Growth Through History – Graph
    http://cdn.physorg.com/newman/.....opulat.gif

    Galatians 4:4
    But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

  4. 4
    Bantay says:

    The avoidance of acknowledging geo-chemical evidence for first life suddenly appearing fully formed, bio-chemically complex about 3.8 BYA would be interesting to investigate.

    I mean, to find out why some researchers deny or avoid it, while others accept it (but attribute it as some unsolved mystery)

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: of interest to those who have ever been hit with the ‘Why are there mythical unicorns in the Bible question?’ from atheists;

    Of course there are Unicorns, pt.I
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWHJMz2Neog

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