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

Post by 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.

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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."

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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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

Post by 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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