Skip to comments.Greening of the Earth Pushed Way Back in Time
Posted on 07/27/2013 8:38:30 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Conventional scientific wisdom has it that plants and other creatures have only lived on land for about 500 million years, and that landscapes of the early Earth were as barren as Mars.
A new study, led by geologist Gregory J. Retallack of the University of Oregon, now has presented evidence for life on land that is four times as old -- at 2.2 billion years ago and almost half way back to the inception of the planet.
That evidence... involves fossils the size of match heads and connected into bunches by threads in the surface of an ancient soil from South Africa. They have been named Diskagma buttonii, meaning "disc-shaped fragments of Andy Button," but it is unsure what the fossils were, the authors say.
"They certainly were not plants or animals, but something rather more simple," said Retallack, professor of geological sciences and co-director of paleontological collections at the UO's Museum of Natural and Cultural History. The fossils, he added, most resemble modern soil organisms called Geosiphon, a fungus with a central cavity filled with symbiotic cyanobacteria.
"There is independent evidence for cyanobacteria, but not fungi, of the same geological age, and these new fossils set a new and earlier benchmark for the greening of the land," he said. "This gains added significance because fossil soils hosting the fossils have long been taken as evidence for a marked rise in the amount of oxygen in the atmosphere at about 2.4 billion to 2.2 billion years ago, widely called the Great Oxidation Event."
By modern standards, in which Earth's air is now 21 percent oxygen, this early rise was modest, to about 5 percent oxygen, but it represented a rise from vanishingly low oxygen levels earlier in geological time.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
This is an interpretive view of Diskagma buttonii with exterior view, left, and cross section. The fossils are the size of match heads and were found connected into bunches by threads in the surface of an ancient soil from South Africa. (Credit: Courtesy of Gregory Retallack)
barry and michelle all the way
Great find, Thanks.
Speculation: Appears to have evolved from aqueous sponges.
These researchers need to read the first chapter of Genesis. It’s all there.
It goes beyond Genesis, but it is all there!
it was caused by climate change too.
There’s nothing in the book of Genesis about cyanobacteria.
Just looking at those drawings I can see how the “greening of the earth” would be pushed back by millions of years. Clear as can be.
Using what isotope for those time frames?
The precision of a dating method depends in part on the half-life of the radioactive isotope involved. For instance, carbon-14 has a half-life of 5,730 years. After an organism has been dead for 60,000 years, so little carbon-14 is left that accurate dating can not be established. On the other hand, the concentration of carbon-14 falls off so steeply that the age of relatively young remains can be determined precisely to within a few decades.
Uranium-lead or potassium-argon
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