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Traces of life forms found from 3.5 billion years ago

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Earlier today, we noted that some researchers think that purple planets are a better bet for alien life forms because such life forms have been around for three billion years. Well, get this:

Scientists have discovered possibly the earliest signs of life on Earth– remains of bacteria that are almost three-and-a-half billion years old – in a remote region of north-west Australia.

Evidence of the complex microbial ecosystem was found in sedimentary rocks in the remote Pilbara region in Western Australia, an area which contains some of the world’s oldest rock formations.

The researchers found evidence of “large clusters, or mats” of the bacteria, including tangled filaments and organic material from decomposed microorganisms. This seems clearer evidence than the Greenland find which, if valid, is even older (3.8 billion years old), but see this first.

Researcher David Wacey from the University of Western Australia hopes the team’s work will help with locating life on other planets, and also, but it is not clear how at present, because we would need to retrieve samples, and also notes “Ultimately, we are looking for when that soup of chemicals became something that could be called life.”

Dunno about that “ultimate,” but the general pattern is, those dates they just keep a-rolling on back.

Hat tip: Bioethics.com

bornagain77 "Static evolution" is a classic contradiction in terms.
Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.
Do I hear cries of cognative dissonance? DLH
DLH, Static evolution: is pond scum the same now as billions of years ago? Excerpt: But what intrigues (paleo-biologist) J. William Schopf most is lack of change. Schopf was struck 30 years ago by the apparent similarities between some 1-billion-year-old fossils of blue-green bacteria and their modern microbial counterparts. "They surprisingly looked exactly like modern species," Schopf recalls. Now, after comparing data from throughout the world, Schopf and others have concluded that modern pond scum differs little from the ancient blue-greens. "This similarity in morphology is widespread among fossils of [varying] times," says Schopf. As evidence, he cites the 3,000 such fossils found; http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Static+evolution%3A+is+pond+scum+the+same+now+as+billions+of+years+ago%3F-a014909330 bornagain77
The earliest evidence of life shows complex social communication with intra-species and inter-species social communication. See also the earlier post sRNA for Quorum Sensing: Evidence for CSI? Scientists find signs of life in Australia dating back 3.48 billion years
"We conclude that the MISS in the Dresser Formation record a complex microbial ecosystem, hitherto unknown, and represent one of the most ancient signs of life on Earth." . . . "this MISS displays the same associations that are known from modern as well as fossil" finds. The MISS also shows microbes that act like "modern cyanobacteria,"
Geobiologist Noffke Reports Signs of Life that Are 3.48 Billion Years Old
the mats woven of tiny microbes we see today covering tidal flats were also present as life was beginning on Earth. The mats, which are colonies of cyanobacteria, can cause unusual textures and formations in the sand beneath them. Noffke has identified 17 main groups of such textures caused by present-day microbial mats, and has found corresponding structures in geological formations dating back through the ages.
posted on another article topic ool http://science.discovery.com/tv-shows/the-unexplained-files/the-unexplained-files-videos/blood-red-rain.htm smiddyone
And on top of the fact that poisonous heavy metals on the primordial earth were brought into 'life-enabling' balance by complex biogeochemical processes, there was also an explosion of minerals on earth which were a result of that first life, as well as being a result of each subsequent 'Big Bang of life' there afterwards.
The Creation of Minerals: Excerpt: Thanks to the way life was introduced on Earth, the early 250 mineral species have exploded to the present 4,300 known mineral species. And because of this abundance, humans possessed all the necessary mineral resources to easily launch and sustain global, high-technology civilization. http://www.reasons.org/The-Creation-of-Minerals "Today there are about 4,400 known minerals - more than two-thirds of which came into being only because of the way life changed the planet. Some of them were created exclusively by living organisms" - Bob Hazen - Smithsonian - Oct. 2010, pg. 54
To put it mildly, this minimization of poisonous elements, and 'explosion' of useful minerals, is strong evidence for Intelligently Designed terra-forming of the earth that 'just so happens' to be of great benefit to modern man. Clearly many, if not all, of these metal ores and minerals laid down by these sulfate-reducing bacteria, as well as laid down by the biogeochemistry of more complex life, as well as laid down by finely-tuned geological conditions throughout the early history of the earth, have many unique properties which are crucial for technologically advanced life, and are thus indispensable to man’s rise above the stone age to the advanced 'space-age' technology of modern civilization. Verse and Music:
John 14:2-3 ,,, I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. my fathers house / audio adrenaline / music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPPIFW_r1Ig
For the vast majority of time of life on this earth, the earth was inhabited solely by single cell organisms. From approximately 3.8 billion years ago to approximately .6 billion years, which is over 70% of the time life has existed on earth, the only life on earth was single celled organism. During the Cambrian Explosion, in less than a 2 minute period out of a 24 hour day, in a geological instance, with no transitional fossils preceding them in the fossil record, most of the major phyla presently on earth appear abruptly in the fossil record:
Cambrian Explosion Ruins Darwin's Tree of Life - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQKxkUb_AAg "Without gradualness in these cases, we are back to miracle," Richard Dawkins - River Out Of Eden pg. 83
Moreover, the pattern witnessed in the fossil record for the Cambrian, and subsequently thereafter, is actually the opposite pattern that is predicted by Darwin's theory:
Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish "In Chen’s view, his evidence supports a history of life that runs opposite to the standard evolutionary tree diagrams, a progression he calls top-down evolution." Jun-Yuan Chen is professor at the Nanjing Institute of Paleontology and Geology http://www.fredheeren.com/boston.htm Jerry Coyne's Chapter on the Fossil Record Fails to Show "Why Evolution is True" - Jonathan M. - December 4, 2012 Excerpt: Taxonomists classify organisms into categories: species are the very lowest taxonomic category. Species are classified into different genera. Genera are classified into different families. Families are classified into different orders. Orders are classified into different classes. And classes are classified into different phyla. Phyla are among the very highest taxonomic categories (only kingdom and domain are higher), and correspond to the high level of morphological disparity that exists between different animal body plans. Phyla include such groupings as chordates, arthropods, mollusks, and echinoderms. Darwin's theory would predict a cone of diversity whereby the major body-plan differences (morphological disparity) would only appear in the fossil record following numerous lower-level speciation events. What is interesting about the fossil record is that it shows the appearance of the higher taxonomic categories first (virtually all of the major skeletonized phyla appear in the Cambrian, with no obvious fossil transitional precursors, within a relatively small span of geological time). As Roger Lewin (1988) explains in Science, "Several possible patterns exist for the establishment of higher taxa, the two most obvious of which are the bottom-up and the top-down approaches. In the first, evolutionary novelties emerge, bit by bit. The Cambrian explosion appears to conform to the second pattern, the top-down effect." Erwin et al. (1987), in their study of marine invertebrates, similarly conclude that, "The fossil record suggests that the major pulse of diversification of phyla occurs before that of classes, classes before that of orders, orders before that of families. The higher taxa do not seem to have diverged through an accumulation of lower taxa." Indeed, the existence of numerous small and soft-bodied animals in the Precambrian strata undermines one of the most popular responses that these missing transitions can be accounted for by them being too small and too-soft bodied to be preserved. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/12/jerry_coynes_c067021.html Scientific study turns understanding about evolution on its head - July 30, 2013 Excerpt: evolutionary biologists,,, looked at nearly one hundred fossil groups to test the notion that it takes groups of animals many millions of years to reach their maximum diversity of form. Contrary to popular belief, not all animal groups continued to evolve fundamentally new morphologies through time. The majority actually achieved their greatest diversity of form (disparity) relatively early in their histories. ,,,Dr Matthew Wills said: "This pattern, known as 'early high disparity', turns the traditional V-shaped cone model of evolution on its head.,,, http://phys.org/news/2013-07-scientific-evolution.html
But back to the main queestion. What were this single cell organisms doing on the earth for 3/4's of the time that life has been on earth? These Stromatolites give us a clue. From 3.8 to .6 billion years ago photosynthetic bacteria, and sulfate-reducing reducing bacteria, dominated the geologic and fossil record. The geologic and fossil record also reveals, during this time, a large portion of these very first bacterial life-forms lived in irreducibly complex, symbiotic, mutually beneficial, colonies called Stromatolites. Stromatolites are rock like structures the colonies of symbiotic bacteria built up over many years, much like coral reefs are slowly built up over many years by the tiny creatures called corals. Although Stromatolites are not nearly as widespread as they once were, they are still around today in a few sparse places like Shark’s Bay Australia. Both the oldest Stromatolite fossils, and the oldest bacterium fossils, found on earth demonstrate an extreme conservation of morphology which, very contrary to evolutionary thought, simply means they have not changed and look very similar to Stromatolites and bacteria of today.
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,,, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517152520.htm
Contrary to what materialism would expect, these very first bacteria found in the fossil record, and by chemical analysis of the geological record, are shown to have been preparing the earth for more advanced life to appear from the very start of their existence by helping detoxify the earth of poisonous elements, producing the necessary oxygen for higher life-forms to exist, and by reducing the greenhouse gases of earth’s early atmosphere. Photosynthetic bacteria slowly removed the carbon dioxide, and built the oxygen up, in the earth’s atmosphere primarily by this following photosynthetic chemical reaction:
6H2O + 6CO2 ----------> C6H12O6+ 6O2
The above chemical equation translates as:
Six molecules of water plus six molecules of carbon dioxide produce one molecule of sugar plus six molecules of oxygen
Interestingly, the gradual removal of greenhouse gases corresponded to the gradual 15% increase of light and heat coming from the sun during that time (Ross; Creation as Science). This 'lucky' correspondence of the slow increase of heat from the sun with the same perfectly timed slow removal of greenhouse gases from the earth’s atmosphere was necessary to keep the earth from cascading into either a 'greenhouse earth' or 'snowball earth'. More interesting still, the byproducts of the complex biogeochemical processes involved in the oxygen production by these early bacteria are (red banded) iron formations, limestone, marble, gypsum, phosphates, sand, and to a lesser extent, coal, oil and natural gas (note; though some coal, oil and natural gas deposits are from this early era of bacterial life, most coal, oil and natural gas deposits originated on earth after the Cambrian explosion of higher life forms some 540 million years ago). The resources produced by these early photosynthetic bacteria are very useful, one could even very well say 'necessary', for the technologically advanced civilizations of humans today to exist. The following study shows that the oldest biotically formed banded iron formations go back up to 4 billion years
Iron in Primeval Seas Rusted by Bacteria - Apr. 23, 2013 Excerpt: The oldest known iron ores were deposited in the Precambrian period and are up to four billion years old (the Earth itself is estimated to be about 4.6 billion years old). ,,, This research not only provides the first clear evidence that microorganisms were directly involved in the deposition of Earth's oldest iron formations; it also indicates that large populations of oxygen-producing cyanobacteria were at work in the shallow areas of the ancient oceans, while deeper water still reached by the light (the photic zone) tended to be populated by anoxyenic or micro-aerophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria which formed the iron deposits.,,, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130423110750.htm
Interestingly, while the photo-synthetic bacteria were reducing greenhouse gases and producing oxygen, and metal, and minerals, which would all be of benefit to modern man, other types of bacteria were also producing their own natural resources which would be very useful to modern man. Some types of bacteria helped prepare the earth for advanced life by detoxifying the primeval earth and oceans of poisonous levels of heavy metals while depositing them as relatively inert metal ores. Metal ores which are very useful for modern man, as well as fairly easy for man to extract today (mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper to name a few). To this day, various types of bacteria maintain an essential minimal level of these heavy metals in the ecosystem which are high enough so as to be available to the biological systems of the higher life forms that need them yet low enough so as not to be poisonous to those very same higher life forms.
Bacterial Heavy Metal Detoxification and Resistance Systems: Excerpt: Bacterial plasmids contain genetic determinants for resistance systems for Hg2+ (and organomercurials), Cd2+, AsO2, AsO43-, CrO4 2-, TeO3 2-, Cu2+, Ag+, Co2+, Pb2+, and other metals of environmental concern.,, Recombinant DNA analysis has been applied to mercury, cadmium, zinc, cobalt, arsenic, chromate, tellurium and copper resistance systems. http://www.springerlink.com/content/u1t281704577v8t3/ The role of bacteria in hydrogeochemistry, metal cycling and ore deposit formation: Textures of sulfide minerals formed by SRB (sulfate-reducing bacteria) during bioremediation (most notably pyrite and sphalerite) have textures reminiscent of those in certain sediment-hosted ores, supporting the concept that SRB may have been directly involved in forming ore minerals. http://www.goldschmidt2009.org/abstracts/finalPDFs/A1161.pdf The Concentration of Metals for Humanity's Benefit: Excerpt: They demonstrated that hydrothermal fluid flow could enrich the concentration of metals like zinc, lead, and copper by at least a factor of a thousand. They also showed that ore deposits formed by hydrothermal fluid flows at or above these concentration levels exist throughout Earth's crust. The necessary just-right precipitation conditions needed to yield such high concentrations demand extraordinary fine-tuning. That such ore deposits are common in Earth's crust strongly suggests supernatural design. http://www.reasons.org/TheConcentrationofMetalsforHumanitysBenefit

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