It seems that the idea on when life first began on earth varies widely depending on your belief structure. For some it’s as recently as 5,000 years, for others it is millions and millions of years. Now, scientists have discovered new proof that it might have started a full 300 million years earlier than previously projected.

The proof comes from some ancient crystals that were discovered near Perth, Australia. The crystals are actually multi-billion year old zircons, the oldest known material ever found on dry land. When scientists from Stanford University and the University of California examined them, they found what they believe is the “the signature of life.”

What is “the signature of life?” It’s a special carbon deposit that researchers are dating back 4.1 billion years. If it turns out to be true, that would mean that life existed on earth a full 300 million years earlier than previously thought.

Source: inhabitat

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