Stromatolites, science and the Bible



One of my friends, Peter Ross, was convinced that Science has it wrong and the Bible has it right: God created the universe and our earth 6.000 years ago. And he loved fossils: wherever he went, he collected them. And then he realized that these tiny stomatolites indicated that this earth is billions of years old:

“Thanks to study of these tiny bacterial fossils, we have ample evidence that the world has radically changed over the many billions of years, for example, recent studies in Stomatolite fossils have evidenced that the early earth contained very little to no free oxygen in the atmosphere. See a stromatolite is a living pillar of bacteria, specifically cyanobacteria (formerly called blue-green algae).

Cyanobacteria carry out photosynthesis by splitting water and release oxygen as a byproduct. Stromatolite fossils housed microbial mats safely within their rock layers. The layers formed bands that show how the sediments settled, similar to tree rings, revealing information about Earth’s past. According to the modern time scale, 3.5 billion years ago, stromatolites appeared on Earth. During times of high activity, these microbial mats produced abundant oxygen, which reacted with iron to form iron oxide that was deposited in sediments. When photosynthetic activity was low, little oxygen was produced, and we find no iron oxide formed which resulted in light colored bands of minerals deposited. After over 50 million years of this process, we see through the fossil record that all the banded iron bearing stromatolite fossils disappear, replaced by solid iron oxide layers of rock. Scientists deduce that it was at this time the stromatolites had produced enough oxygen to significantly and permanently change the atmosphere to an oxygen-containing one. This means that life, in the form of these stromatolites, existed prior to an oxygen rich atmosphere, and thanks to their life cycles, we see such a slow gradual rise of oxygen in the fossil record.”

And he understood that God’s eternal plan can cover these long time span easily.

This story was shared in the facebook group Celebrating Creating by Natural Selection. If you wish to discuss  the idea that evolutionary science and God are harmonious truths, please join us! “We are open to everyone, especially anyone who loves science and wants to celebrate Darwins’ powerful theory and would like to worship the creator who designed such an elegant system and works through it!”


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