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Oldest fossil on Earth shown to have inorganic origin

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An analysis of old core samples and new core samples from the supposed most ancient biological life found on Earth have proven to be the results of volcanic activity. Eugene G. Grosch and Nicola McLoughlin with the Department of Earth Science and Centre for Geobiology at the University of Bergen in Norway propose a rewriting of Earth’s biological history based on their research. The study was made public in the May 26, 2014, edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Previously, the oldest known fossil organic life was thought to have come from the Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa. The filamentous texture of tubules found in the trace fossils were thought to represent the first known biological life structure. The fossils date to about 3.45 billion years of age.

The new samples from the same area are not consistent with the previously accepted interpretation. The newest samples are only between 2.8 billion years in age and 2.9 billion years in age. The dating of all samples involved was done with lead and uranium dating. The structure of the new samples resembles the supposed biological samples but the new samples were found to be inorganic in composition. No evidence of organic matter was found in any of the late Archean samples.

Comparison of the new filaments with geological structures produced by volcanic activity during the same time frame indicate the Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa was not the site of the first biological life on Earth. Comparison of the new core sample filaments to inorganic structures produced by more recent volcanic activity showed the same filament structure. The first biologic life structure on Earth did not exist in South Africa based on the new evidence. The new research also destroys any concept that the first filamentous biological life on Earth had an extraterrestrial origin.

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