Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Life may have emerged over 4 billion years ago


Posted on Thursday, 28 September, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments

Earth was once bombarded by comets and asteroids. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists have made a discovery that could push back the emergence of life further than ever before.
The controversial findings are based on a recent analysis by researchers in Japan of graphite particles found in rocks from the Saglek region of northern Labrador, Canada.

The results of the study indicate that the rocks, which are thought to date back over 3.95 billion years, contain traces of primitive organisms, making this the earliest known example of life on our planet.

The problem however is that this would place the emergence of life within an extremely violent period of Earth's history during which the planet was being constantly bombarded by asteroids and comets left over from the formation of the solar system.

"It may be difficult to create life before 3.8bn years ago due to the bombardment, which may destroy early life," said senior researcher Yuji Sano from the University of Tokyo. "But now it is 4bn years."

"Life started on Earth during the heavy bombardment of meteorites, which is amazing."

Not everyone however is convinced that the Japanese team's findings are correct.

"Regardless of the veracity of the biogenic evidence from the graphite, the claim that it is the oldest requires that the geochronology is watertight," said scientist Martin Whitehouse.

"If it's younger than about 3.8bn years, it isn't very exciting anymore."

"I would say this fails the first test of proving an oldest anything in a region where igneous rocks have a range of ages between 3.9 and 3.7bn years old."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (12)

Tags: Earth, Life

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by paperdyer on 28 September, 2017, 16:51
Or at least life existed elsewhere. You'd think by now we would have "heard" or "seen"something to indicate a sentient species somewhere other than here. Perhaps they aren't as far in the development stage as we or they wiped themselves out as we keep threatening to do or something wiped them out or they are just ignoring us. If they are. you can't really blame them.
Comment icon #4 Posted by bison on 28 September, 2017, 22:41
We haven't been particularlygood at hearing or seeing signs of intelligent life at stellar distances, until very recently. We're getting better at this, all the time, but still have a lot of combinations of radio and optical frequencies, sky directions, power levels, modulation schemes, schedules of transmission, etc., to explore.Dr. Jill Tarter, of the SETI Institute has likened this to dipping a glassful of water out of the ocean, finding no fish in it, and concluding that there are no fish in the ocean.
Comment icon #5 Posted by pallidin on 29 September, 2017, 1:41
Good comments to an admittedly difficult topic.
Comment icon #6 Posted by spud the mackem on 29 September, 2017, 5:52
We keep reading that life started futher and further back but in real terms they haven't a clue when life started or how it started so all these theories are guesswork by guys who have nothing better to do.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seanjo on 30 September, 2017, 7:29
4 Billion years? That's pretty much how old I feel.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Peter B on 30 September, 2017, 15:11
Well, scientists have more than a clue about when life started, as the article linked in the OP indicates, partly because of other factors such as the timing of the Late Heavy Bombardment. Sure, there aren't yet any clear answers about how life started, although there are a few theories. And these theories provide ideas about what the earliest evidence for life would look like. So it's wrong to say it's "guesswork" - they're making educated guesses. Dating rocks, for example, is these days a fairly uncontroversial part of palaeontology, so scientists can usually provide reasonably narrow limit... [More]
Comment icon #9 Posted by Ogbin on 3 October, 2017, 1:47
Was the Sun able toemit enough energy for Earth to sustain life 4 billion years ago?
Comment icon #10 Posted by spud the mackem on 3 October, 2017, 17:05
I am only guessing but I would think that the Sun was much warmer 4 billion years ago, and the atmosphere would be nothing like it is today.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Noteverythingisaconspiracy on 9 October, 2017, 11:33
Actually the Sun was cooler in the beginning of the solar system, something like 70% of today, but as you say the Earths athmosphere was different back then and contained a lot more CO2than today, and that would have helped to keepthe Earth nice and warm. The Earth didn't have a breathable athmosphere until about 600 million years ago.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Mike Lansing on 9 October, 2017, 15:59
There are more clues than that. The Miller-Urey volcanic spark experiment of 1959 was reproduced at Livermore Labs. The first amino acids were, in order of abundance, especially dominated by glycine and beta-cyanoalanine. Glycine has unique folding capabilities, and the cyano moiety certainly contributed to oxygen-free respiration in these organisms. Proteins folding on the crusty edge of a volcano translates the geography precisely to the target zone: www. for "The Volcanic Margins of the Northern Labrador Sea: Insights to the Rifting Process."


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

6080526
260388
172487

 
Papers found on Blackbeard's ship identified
1-16-2018
Archaeologists have found the answer to one of the Queen Anne's Revenge's most enduring mysteries.
Aztec epidemic mystery may have been solved
1-16-2018
500 years ago, a deadly epidemic known as 'cocoliztli' killed nearly 80 per cent of the Aztec population.
Could giant lasers shoot down space debris ?
1-15-2018
A new study by researchers in China has put forward a novel new way of tackling the problem of space junk.
'Ingredients for life' found in meteorites
1-15-2018
Scientists have found new evidence to suggest that life could have arisen elsewhere in the solar system.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Typing vs handwriting
Posted 1-16-2018 | 2 comments
Is typing on a computer better or worse for your memory then writing on paper ?
 
Can coding help avoid job automation ?
Posted 1-12-2018 | 0 comments
Taking up coding and technical skills to avoid automation may be counter-productive.
 
Dinosaur death match
Posted 1-8-2018 | 0 comments
A look at how various dinosaurs might have fared against the predators of their day.
 
Best records of 2017
Posted 1-4-2018 | 0 comments
A look back at some of the most bizarre and amazing world records of the last year.
 
Did people really put frogs in milk ?
Posted 1-2-2018 | 0 comments
Is it true that people once put frogs in milk in order to stop it from spoiling ?
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
First college apartment
12-31-2017 | Daytona Beach, FL
 
The night my niece was murdered
12-19-2017 | Delhi, Louisiana
 
Mysterious Headlights
12-10-2017 | Morgan County, Alabama
 
Possibly a child ghost
12-10-2017 | Edgewater, Maryland
 
True story about black-eyed kids
12-10-2017 | Portland oregon
 
Alien or paranormal encounter ?
12-10-2017 | United States
 
Ouija board experience
12-10-2017 | Ohio
 
Strange occurrences
11-15-2017 | Fife
 
Mysterious music box song
11-15-2017 | U.S.A
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ