Geophysical King Dethroned?
There’s been a quiet revolution in geophysics. Richard Kerr asked in Science, “Great Oxidation Event Dethroned?”1 The Great Oxidation Event (GOE) is an assumed time before multicellular life appeared when microbes had just learned the secret of photosynthesis and started pumping vast quantities of fresh oxygen into earth’s atmosphere (10/18/2006). The GOE idea reigned like a monarch till “new laboratory results reported in this issue challenge that mainstream scenario by showing how supposed signs of an early lack of oxygen could have come from unrelated geochemical reactions.”
Before 2000, the consensus was that “not even a whiff of oxygen was in the air” before the G.O.E. that supposedly took place 2.4 billion years ago. Then, geochemist James Farquhar of the University of Maryland questioned the assumptions on which studies of sulfur isotopes in rocks inferred the absence of oxygen. Now, with “results [that] defy all expectations,” some Penn State researchers have re-opened the debate about the arrival of oxygen. Did the earth have oxygen much earlier? “This is at least a possibility that we should be thinking about,” one of the researchers cautiously said.
Not everyone is convinced at this point. Early oxygen would have made life’s origin nearly impossible. It would also dethrone a dynasty of geologists who have been speaking of a Great Oxygenation Event that may have never happened.
1. Richard A. Kerr, “Great Oxidation Event Dethroned?”, Science, 17 April 2009: Vol. 324. no. 5925, p. 321, DOI: 10.1126/science.324.5925.321a.
Evolutionary literature and geological history is filled with mythical Events. Evolutionists speak of these Events with glib certainty: the Great Oxygenation Event, the Late Heavy Bombardment, the Snowball Earth, the Laramide Orogeny, and dozens of other such phrases that create their own reality simply by capitalizing them and speaking them (09/08/2008). It’s a name-it-and-claim-it religion. The evolutionary framework was decided first, and then the Events were invented to fit stages of evolution into a prefabricated timeline that has little to do with verifiable reality. Every once in awhile one of these Mythical Events, like monarchs allied to King Charles, gets dethroned. How about a little democracy for a change? Like Jefferson said (cited by Stan Freberg), we’re tired of this royal jazz.