Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

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Abdul Alhazred
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Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

Postby Abdul Alhazred » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:01 am

Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past
Space Daily

Conditions suitable to support complex life may have developed in Earth's oceans - and then faded - more than a billion years before life truly took hold, a new University of Washington-led study has found. The findings, based on using the element selenium as a tool to measure oxygen in the distant past, may also benefit the search for signs of life beyond Earth.

...

Buick said it was previously thought that oxygen on Earth had a history of "none, then some, then a lot. But what it looks like now is, there was a period of a quarter of a billion years or so where oxygen came quite high, and then sunk back down again."

...


Put it another way -- The Earth is situated just about right for life to develop, but it didn't "catch" the first time.
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Gord
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Re: Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

Postby Gord » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:23 am

Abdul Alhazred wrote:
Buick said it was previously thought that oxygen on Earth had a history of "none, then some, then a lot. But what it looks like now is, there was a period of a quarter of a billion years or so where oxygen came quite high, and then sunk back down again."

sank :shakefist:

...also, why is a guy named Roger Buick a professor in the astrobiology department and not a used car salesman? Does the man not even understand the concept of an aptronym??
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Re: Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

Postby Nobrot » Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:55 pm

Wouldn’t a peak in oxygen levels show up in ancient rock samples?

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Re: Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Sat Jan 21, 2017 2:33 pm

Nobrot wrote:Wouldn’t a peak in oxygen levels show up in ancient rock samples?

I think you mean "spike", and yeah, it would. Unless the life was aquatic and the O2 was absorbed by something. Or there just wasn't enough O2 to make a spike that wouldn't be confused with random fluctuations. Etc...
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Re: Complex life may have come and gone in Earth's distant past

Postby Major Malfunction » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:48 pm

It could even have been a geophysical fart. As the volatiles bubble out of the Earth.
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