Origin Of Life

Promising early life form shown to be minerals, alas

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Here, Matt Kaplan explains (Nature News, 20 February 2011),

Twenty years ago the palaeontological community gasped as geoscientists revealed evidence for the oldest bacterial fossils on the planet. Now, a report in Nature Geoscience1 shows that the filament structures that were so important in the fossil descriptions are not remnants of ancient life, but instead composed of inorganic material.

The finding

… is not stirring feelings of jubilation. “After nearly 30 years of effort at pushing evidence for life to or beyond 3.5 billion years ago, we are reminded that the ancient record is more fraught with complications than we ever thought,” says geologist Stephen Mojzsis at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

But hope springs eternal:

Although the filamentous structures seem now not to be biological, the study did find an intriguing detail in the rock matrix surrounding the filaments — it contained carbonaceous material, which could, perhaps, have been formed by living things.

4 Replies to “Promising early life form shown to be minerals, alas

  1. 1
    SCheesman says:

    Here is a telling quote from the story:

    Brasier disagrees, saying instead that people wanted to find life so badly that they ignored the obvious. “There is a willful blindness about these structures that sometimes has more to do with local politics than global truth,” he says.

    Substitute “materialistic bias” for “local politics” and you can say the same can be said to be true of people wanting to find a) “missing link” fossils or b) earth-like planets c) genetic evidences of evolution

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    It should be noted that though the fossilized evidence for first life may be in overturned, the chemical evidence for first life, which goes much earlier than the fossilized evidence, is unscathed in its integrity;


    The Sudden Appearance Of Photosynthetic Life On Earth – video

    Dr. Hugh Ross – Origin Of Life Paradox – video

    Life – Its Sudden Origin and Extreme Complexity – Dr. Fazale Rana – video

    The evidence scientists have discovered in the geologic record is stunning in its support of the anthropic hypothesis. The oldest sedimentary rocks on earth, known to science, originated underwater (and thus in relatively cool environs) 3.86 billion years ago. Those sediments, which are exposed at Isua in southwestern Greenland, also contain the earliest chemical evidence (fingerprint) of ‘photosynthetic’ life [Nov. 7, 1996, Nature]. This evidence had been fought by materialists since it is totally contrary to their evolutionary theory. Yet, Danish scientists were able to bring forth another line of geological evidence to substantiate the primary line of geological evidence for photo-synthetic life in the earth’s earliest sedimentary rocks.

    U-rich Archaean sea-floor sediments from Greenland – indications of +3700 Ma oxygenic photosynthesis (2003)

    Moreover, evidence for ‘sulfate reducing’ bacteria, in the oldest sedimentary rocks found on earth, has been discover alonside the evidence for photosynthetic bacteria:

    When Did Life First Appear on Earth? – Fazale Rana – December 2010
    Excerpt: The primary evidence for 3.8 billion-year-old life consists of carbonaceous deposits, such as graphite, found in rock formations in western Greenland. These deposits display an enrichment of the carbon-12 isotope. Other chemical signatures from these formations that have been interpreted as biological remnants include uranium/thorium fractionation and banded iron formations. Recently, a team from Australia argued that the dolomite in these formations also reflects biological activity, specifically that of sulfate-reducing bacteria.

    Thus we now have conclusive evidence for bacterial life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found by scientists on earth. The simplest photosynthetic life on earth is exceedingly complex, too complex to happen by accident even if the primeval oceans had been full of pre-biotic soup.

    The Miracle Of Photosynthesis – electron transport – video

    Electron transport and ATP synthesis during photosynthesis – Illustration

    There is actually a molecular motor, that surpasses man made motors in engineering parameters, that is integral to the photosynthetic process:

    Evolution vs ATP Synthase – Molecular Machine – video

    The ATP Synthase Enzyme – an exquisite motor necessary for first life – video

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The photosynthetic process is clearly a irreducible complex condition:

    “There is no question about photosynthesis being Irreducibly Complex. But it’s worse than that from an evolutionary perspective. There are 17 enzymes alone involved in the synthesis of chlorophyll. Are we to believe that all intermediates had selective value? Not when some of them form triplet states that have the same effect as free radicals like O2. In addition if chlorophyll evolved before antenna proteins, whose function is to bind chlorophyll, then chlorophyll would be toxic to cells. Yet the binding function explains the selective value of antenna proteins. Why would such proteins evolve prior to chlorophyll? and if they did not, how would cells survive chlorophyll until they did?” Uncommon Descent Blogger

    Evolutionary biology: Out of thin air John F. Allen & William Martin:
    The measure of the problem is here: “Oxygenetic photosynthesis involves about 100 proteins that are highly ordered within the photosynthetic membranes of the cell.”

    Of note: anoxygenic (without oxygen) photosynthesis is even more of a complex chemical pathway than oxygenic photosynthesis is:

    “Remarkably, the biosynthetic routes needed to make the key molecular component of anoxygenic photosynthesis are more complex than the pathways that produce the corresponding component required for the oxygenic form.”;
    Hugh Ross

    also of note: Anaerobic organisms, that live without oxygen, and most viruses are quickly destroyed by direct contact with oxygen.

    In what I find to be a very fascinating discovery, it is found that photosynthetic life, which is an absolutely vital link that all higher life on earth is dependent on, seems to be designed right into the foundation of this universe. This is because photosynthetic life is found to actually use the foundational quantum mechanical principles of this universe to accomplish its photosynthesis. Once again it seems overwhelmingly obvious that the universe was designed with life in mind from its creation.

    Evidence for wavelike energy transfer through quantum coherence in photosynthetic systems. Gregory S. Engel, Nature (12 April 2007)
    Photosynthetic complexes are exquisitely tuned to capture solar light efficiently, and then transmit the excitation energy to reaction centres, where long term energy storage is initiated.,,,, This wavelike characteristic of the energy transfer within the photosynthetic complex can explain its extreme efficiency, in that it allows the complexes to sample vast areas of phase space to find the most efficient path. —- Conclusion? Obviously Photosynthesis is a brilliant piece of design by “Someone” who even knows how quantum mechanics works.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover stromatolites come in at 3.4 bya

    Ancient Microorganisms Helped Build 3.4-billion-year-old Stromatolite Rock Structures

    Odd Geometry of Bacteria May Provide New Way to Study Earth’s Oldest Fossils – May 2010
    Excerpt: Known as stromatolites, the layered rock formations are considered to be the oldest fossils on Earth.,,,That the spacing pattern corresponds to the mats’ metabolic period — and is also seen in ancient rocks — shows that the same basic physical processes of diffusion and competition seen today were happening billions of years ago,,,

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