Nautilus

World’s Oldest Fossils Now Appear to Be Squished Rocks

Reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine’s Abstractions blog.

Two years ago, scientists announced that they had found evidence of life in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks, suggesting that life arose on Earth extremely quickly. A new analysis of rocks from the same location calls that conclusion into doubt.Photograph by Abigail Allwood

n August 2016, a research team  to have unearthed evidence of life in a remote outcrop of 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland. This bold claim not only pushed back the origin of life by at least 220 million years, it also added to a growing body of evidence that challenged the standard story of Earth’s violent beginning, as  reported this year in “.” Joining a series of ancient fossil finds—as well as geological evidence from Earth and the moon—the Greenland discovery added weight to the idea that Earth was warm and

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