Early earth oxygen discovery puts land life back another 1.4 billion years according to a report in Nature Vol. 408, p574, 30 Nov 2000. Geochemists have found evidence of organic matter from soil dwelling bacteria in rock layers in South Africa that have been dated as 2.7 billion years old in evolutionary time. As land dwelling life needs the protection of the ozone layer the discovery indicates that earth’s atmosphere has contained oxygen for a longer time than previously thought.
Editorial Comment: This discovery adds to the already large mass of evidence that the earth’s atmosphere has always contained oxygen. Each time scientists gather evidence for older land life and an oxygen atmosphere they are coming closer to the truth. Land dwelling life forms have been on earth since the God made plants on the third day of creation. As these plants, and the birds and animals that were made soon after, have multiplied after their kind to produce the living things of today they must have needed an oxygen atmosphere from the beginning. (Ref. soil, bacteria, oxygen)