The New Zealand Herald reported on the age of the Earth, and a recent scientific discovery going back a few billion years. With the Earth aged at around 4.54 billion years ago for its origin, this means the finding was very close, geologically speaking, to the origins of the Earth.
When the Solar System was beginning to form, the Earth was definitely not the more human-friendly, comparatively speaking, place that it is experienced today, especially if you can take advantage of the fruits of modern science and technology.
The discovery has placed the age of the Earth at around 4.3 billion-years-old. That’s super old. The discovery is a piece of the early Earth’s crust. Some have reported this at 4.2 billion-years-old – a hundred million years as a margin of difference is fantastical. Modern anatomical humans have, probably, been around between only 200,000 to 100,000 years.
There’s something called the Canadian Shield. Its contents are estimated, the continental crust, to be about 2.7 billion years old. That this is true, many deem remarkable.
There is supposed to be an elusive, probably extrapolated from expert analysis, set of contents in the Canadian Shield that run to the earliest formations of the Earth. A lot of stuff, various rock materials and crust contents, are difficult to date and provide an accurate dissecting for the geological historical record because of things like continental drift.
Continents, move, and churn, and shift, and crash and crush up against one another – and they undergo subduction. Continents slide one underneath another and on top of each other. The stuffing down back into the Earth is where the materials get recycled. So new stuff is made from the recycled parts.
So what then? It essentially would restart the clock, I guess, for any reasonable dating of the materials.
There should not be that many original, unrecycled pieces, understandably. In the “eastern shore of the Hudson Bay in Northwestern Quebec, in Canada,” some professional geologists found this “sliver.”
This sliver is a piece of earliest Earth rock. Jonathan O’Neil, an assistant professor of geology at the University of Ottawa, and others published the findings in the prestigious and well-regarded journal, Science.
“I think that it’s a piece of the original crust. It was cooked, but I think it’s still very close to what it used to be,” O’Neil said. And it’s a substantial uptick in the reports of the recorded dates in prior pieces of rock. The earliest have been only 2.7 billion-years-old. Not much, comparatively.
As the old core of North America, the continent, the rock was discovered in a huge patch of granite. The sliver is apparently basalt, or volcanic rock. It can be found, at some point or other, beneath the oceans.
Using new dating methods, the date of the rock, likely, came as a surprise. It is expected to provide insight to the early Earth’s geodynamics. O’Neil said, “If we understand early processes that shape our planet, we can maybe understand other planets: Why are they different? Or are they similar and where in their life they drift apart in terms of geology?”
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere.