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Are the oldest 'fossils', fossilsA comparative statistical study has been carried out on populations of modern algae, Precambrian algal microfossils, the 'organized elements' of the Orgueil carbonaceous meteorite, and the oldest microfossil-like objects now known (spheroidal bodies from the Fig Tree and Onverwacht Groups of the Swaziland Supergroup, South Africa). The distribution patterns exhibited by the more than 3000 m.y.-old Swaziland microstructures bear considerable resemblance to those of the abiotic 'organized elements' but differ rather markedly from those exhibited by younger, assuredly biogenic, populations. Based on these comparisons, it is concluded that the Swaziland spheroids could be, at least in part, of nonbiologic origin; these oldest known fossil-like microstructures should not be regarded as constituting firm evidence of Archean life.
Document ID
19760063752
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Schopf, J. W.
(California, University Los Angeles, Calif., United States)
Date Acquired
August 8, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1976
Subject Category
Space Biology
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NSF GB-37257
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
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