Earliest Life on Earth Pushed Back Another 300 Million Years

by cofty 34 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • cofty

    Researchers have found evidence of ancient microorganisms that lived in what is now Western Australia at least 4.1 billion years ago. If confirmed, the discovery suggests that life originated on Earth 300 million years earlier than previously thought. ...

    The ancient microorganisms in question were found trapped inside zircons formed from magma in Western Australia. Zircons are heavy, durable minerals that can capture and preserve traces of their immediate environment, just like tiny time capsules.

    Harrison and his team analysed more than 10,000 of these zircons, dating back 4.1 billion years, and found some that contained mysterious dark specks. Upon closer inspection, they discovered that these specks had the molecular and chemical structure of ancient microorganisms.

    But to confirm that they'd found life, they needed to find traces of carbon, which is fundamental for life. They found that one of the zircons contained graphite - pure carbon - in two locations, shown below,


    pnas paper ...

  • Splash

    The earth is about 4.5 billion years old, so these organisms came just 400 million years later!

  • Phizzy

    Thank you Cofty !

    I doubt I would easily have come across this information without your having Posting it, much appreciated.

    I guess this paves the way for some new hypotheses about the origins of life on Earth, fascinating times !

    Thanks again.

  • cofty
    Yes. It makes the emergence of life almost inevitable.
  • Syme

    Very interesting link, cofty.

    Creationists: "Hey, see? Now scientists say that life appeared instantaneously after the Earth's formation! Isn't that proof that God created life in an instant, just after creating the Earth? Checkmate, evolutionists!"

  • Ignoranceisbliss
    >Yes. It makes the emergence of life almost inevitable

    this is fascinating stuff. But I'm not sure what you mean here. Could you please explain?

  • cappytan
    This means that other goldilocks planets likely have some form of life.
  • Ignoranceisbliss
    I am hoping that in our lifetime we will find out that DNA is common to the universe.
  • cappytan

    Ignoranceisbliss: it may not be what we know of as DNA. But it could be some other kind of self-replicating molecule. Pure speculation, obviously, but it could be that in a different environment it took on a different form.

    Fascinating to contemplate.

  • Heaven

    cappytan said: This means that other goldilocks planets likely have some form of life.

    Yes. There are at least 12 other planets we know of currently besides Earth in the 'habitable zone' of stars. Nasa's Kepler mission discovered these: http://www.nasa.gov/ames/kepler/a-keplers-dozen-small-habitable-zone-planets

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