God and evolution: evolving soil (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, February 02, 2019, 02:04 (634 days ago) @ David Turell

The Earth started out rocky with volcanic lava hardened everywhere. it had to be broken down to useful soil and with a proper group of early living forms that could use the newly formed surface of the Earth:


"Around 635 to 720 million years ago, during Earth's most severe glacial period, Earth was twice almost completely covered by ice, according to current hypotheses. The question of how life survived these 'Snowball Earth' glaciations, lasting up to about 50 million years, has puzzled scientists for many decades. An international team, led by Dutch and German researchers of the Max Planck Society, now found the first detailed glimpse of life after the 'Snowball' in the form of newly discovered ancient molecules, buried in old rocks.


"'In particular the Grand Canyon rocks really were an eye-opener," says Hallmann. Although nowadays mostly sweltering hot, these rocks had also been buried under kilometres of glacial ice around 700 million years ago. Detailed additional analyses of molecules in Grand Canyon rocks -- including presumed BNG-precursors, the distribution of steroids and stable carbon isotopic patterns -- led the authors to conclude that the new BNG molecule most likely derives from heterotrophic plankton, marine microbes that rely on consuming other organisms for gaining energy. "Unlike for example green algae that engage in photosynthesis and thus belong to autotrophic organisms, these heterotrophic microorganisms were true predators that gained energy by hunting and devouring other algae and bacteria," according to van Maldegem.

"While predation is common amongst plankton in modern oceans, the discovery that it was so prominent 635 million years ago, exactly after the Snowball Earth glaciation, is a big deal for the science community. "Parallel to the occurrence of the enigmatic BNG molecule we observe the transition from a world whose oceans contained virtually only bacteria, to a more modern Earth system containing many more algae. We think that massive predation helped to 'clear' out the bacteria-dominated oceans and make space for algae," says van Maldegem. The resulting more complex feeding networks provided the dietary requirements for larger, more intricate lifeforms to evolve -- including the lineages that all animals, and eventually we humans, derive from. The massive onset of predation probably played a crucial role in the transformation of our planet and its ecosystems to its present state."

Comment: All the while that strange combination of fungi and algae called lichens were breaking down the rock, and still doing it! Why didn't an all powerful God just create Earth as it is today all at once? Same problem, with no answer. Yet all you want is the answer that doesn't exist!

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum