Oldest fossils found, claim scientists, according to reports in BBC News, Science (AAAS) News and Nature News 31 August 2016, and Nature (2016) doi:10.1038/nature19355 published online 31 August 2016.

Australian and British scientists studying a rock formation named the Isua supracrustal belt (ISB) in Greenland claim to have found the oldest fossils on earth. They wrote: “Here we report evidence for ancient life from a newly exposed outcrop of 3,700 Myr old metacarbonate rocks in the ISB that contain 1-4 cm high stromatolites – macroscopically layered structures produced by microbial communities”.

Stromatolites are multi-layered structures of limestone mineral grains laid down by mats of microbes, forming dome shaped structures described in the Nature News article as looking like “geological cauliflowers”. The Greenland formations show the same multi-layered structures with peaks and domes just like living stromatolites.

Martin van Kranendonk explained: “We see the original unaltered sedimentary layers, and we can see how the stromatolite structures grow up through the sedimentary layering. And we can see the characteristic dome and cone-shaped forms of modern stromatolites”. According to Science News “The shapes are set against a distinctive background in the rock with a different texture and chemical makeup, the team reports. Further analyses of rare-earth elements suggest that the rocks were deposited in shallow ocean waters – just like modern microbial mats made by bacteria living in today’s oceans”.

The researchers went on to claim “The ISB stromatolites predate by 220 Myr the previous most convincing and generally accepted multidisciplinary evidence for oldest life remains in the 3,480 Myr old Dresser Formation of the Pilbara Craton, Australia”.

Martin van Kranendonk commented to the BBC: “This helps us think about how life developed on Earth, how fast that process was. It pushes everything back a little further, narrows the window between when we know nothing, and when we begin to know something”.

BBC, Nature, Science

Editorial Comment: Drat! This editor has specimens from the previously ‘oldest’ Dresser formation, so we have been outclassed by the new find. This discovery tells us nothing about how life developed on earth. If these formations were laid down by the same cyanobacteria as today’s stromatolites, it is evidence that such microbes were fully formed and functioning whenever these stromatolites were made. Furthermore, time for evolutionists to fess up – these ‘really old’ rocks provide no evidence the stromatolite microbes have evolved from or into any other form of life because stromatolites with the same structure are still living today.

The best known examples of living stromatolites are in Shark Bay Western Australia and are classic examples of “living fossils”, a term coined by Charles Darwin for creatures whose living representatives show no evidence of evolution. In fact such creatures truly are evidence that living things have reproduced after their kinds, just as Genesis says Christ the Creator made them to do.

Evidence News vol. 16, No. 19
26 October 2016
Creation Research Australia

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