The Hockey Schtick:
A new study finds life on Earth is 4 times older than previously believed by the scientific ‘consensus’.
Researchers say a newly named South African fossil points to rising oxygen and life 2.2 billion years ago
EUGENE, Ore. — (July 22, 2013) — 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, which is detailed in the September issue of the journal Precambrian Research, 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.