Rock Of Ages Or Just Zircon Around?
There are some pretty cool things about science. No, really. It’s not all GMO food and terrible weather forecasts. Sure, those are important and all, but wait, there’s more! You don’t even have to be one of the first 100 callers to the number displayed on the bottom of your screen.
Wait. You guys know I’m not an actual scientist… don’t you? Okay, let’s have a real expert tell us some cool stuff about science.
No! that’s not all. It’s time to play Friday Night Fun Facts. (fun is subjective, your mileage may vary)
Recent research (on the world’s oldest rocks)
The zircons from the Western Australian Jack Hills returned an age of 4.404 billion years, interpreted to be the age of crystallization. These zircons also show another interesting feature; their oxygen isotopic composition has been interpreted to indicate that more than 4.4 billion years ago there was already water on the surface of the Earth. The importance and accuracy of these interpretations is currently the subject of scientific debate. It may be that the oxygen isotopes, and other compositional features (the rare earth elements), record more recent hydrothermal alteration of the zircons rather than the composition of the magma at the time of their original crystallization. In a paper published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters, a team of scientists suggest that rocky continents and liquid water existed at least 4.3 billion years ago and were subjected to heavy weathering by an acrid climate. Using an ion microprobe to analyze isotope ratios of the element lithium in zircons from the Jack Hills in Western Australia, and comparing these chemical fingerprints to lithium compositions in zircons from continental crust and primitive rocks similar to the Earth’s mantle, they found evidence that the young planet already had the beginnings of continents, relatively cool temperatures and liquid water by the time the Australian zircons formed.
Look, if you don’t find that impressive because it’s from Wikipedia, try this article from NPR about the story that this rock can tell us.
Think about it. This is evidence that the primordial ooze that people talk about being the birth place of life on this planet has supporting evidence for it’s existence. In fact, it has more supporting evidence than the creator god that is also supposed to have birthed life on this planet. It’s hard evidence. (good pun, no?) That supposed Hadean Eon with primordial soup sloshing about has actually left signs and evidence.
The thing that you can take away from this is that scientists are clearly hard at work looking under every rock and bush and you know what? They have found no credible evidence for a creator god. Not one little bit.
Now for a special Dusty bonus track, especially for fans of psychic fail.