Evidence of earliest life on Earth disputed


Making Sugar
Feb 24, 2016
When Australian scientists presented evidence in 2016 of life on Earth 3.7 billon years ago—pushing the record back 220 million years—it was a big deal, influencing even the search for life on Mars.
But that discovery, based on an analysis of primordial rocks in Greenland, has now been challenged, with another team of researchers arguing in a study published Wednesday that the structures presented as proof of microbial activity were, in fact, geologically forged by underground heat and pressure.

The truth hinges on whether the cone-shaped formations in question are genuine stromatolites, layered structures left in the wake of water-dwelling microorganisms.

Previously, the earliest confirmed stromatolites were found in 3.45-billion year old rocks in Australia.

Being able to accurately date the first stirrings of life on our young planet—roughly a billion years old at the time—has important implications for understanding how it emerged and evolved.

Writing in the journal Nature, Abigail Allwood of the California Institute of Technology and colleagues analysed the three-dimensional shape of the disputed formations, along with their orientation in space and chemical composition.
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-evidence-earliest-life-earth-disputed.html#jCp


Expert Member
Sep 25, 2012
Shape is a horrible way to determine whether something is biological or not. You may as well argue that a cloud is biological if it looks like an animal.