Earth’s Oldest Known Object

“To create buzz about an otherwise arcane subject, the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed off a tiny speck of zircon crystal believed to be the oldest known piece of Earth at about 4.4 billion years old.”

MSNBC and Geophysical World have the details.

Posted by Hello

Simon Wilde holding the slide mounted specimen
Posted by Hello

Photomicrograph
Scientists consider the speck of zircon crystal to be 4.4 billion years old. It is important because:

“It’s not very much to look at because it’s so very small. But to me, the miraculous thing about the crystal is that we’ve been able to make such wide-ranging inferences about the early Earth,” Valley said. “This is our first glimpse into the earliest history of the Earth.”

What are those inferences?

“Analysis of the object in 2001 by John Valley, a UW-Madison professor of geology and geophysics, startled researchers around the world by concluding that the early Earth, instead of being a roiling ocean of magma, was cool enough to have oceans and continents — key conditions for life.”

“Valley found that the planet had cooled to about 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius) less than 200 million years after it was formed. Before the research, the oldest evidence for liquid water on the planet was from a rock estimated to be much younger — 3.8 billion years old.”

What will the ID and YEC creationists make of this?

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2 Responses

  1. Good afternoon James(Afarensis) – your mission, should you accept it, is to complete the following book meme on your blog.

    Book Meme:
    oldwhitelady at It’s Morning Somewhere has entered the chain-meme fray is passing the book meme to you.

    You are stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book would you be?
    [Note: In the novel – because books were burned –
    to save the content of books, people memorized one in order to pass the content on to others.]

    Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?

    What is the last book you bought?

    What are you currently reading?

    Five books for your desert island cruise package.

    Who are you going to pass this book meme baton to and why? (only three people)

    There’s normally a curse if you break a chain – so – If you break the chain, you’ll know.

    If you don’t complete it, this blog will disavow sending the meme to you.
    Good luck, Jim(Afarensis). This comment will not self-destruct in 15 seconds.

  2. Actually,
    It’s Timothy but that’s okay.

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