Preserved Organics Found in Ancient Stromatolites | The Institute for Creation Research
Preserved Organics Found in Ancient Stromatolites

Evolutionary scientists are continually searching for evidence of the “first life” on Earth. Their most recent claim involves well-preserved stromatolite fossils from Australia. Stromatolites are finely laminated biomats formed by colonial cyanobacteria—a complex type of photosynthetic bacteria. Fossil stromatolites are found in mounded structures similar to modern stromatolites. The fossils aren’t composed of the bacteria themselves, but by unique sediment-trapping mats formed by the biological activity.

Publishing in the journal Geology, Raphael Baumgartner, from the Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of South Wales, and his colleagues claimed to have uncovered definitive proof of biological activity in rocks from the Dresser Formation of Western Australia.1 They further assert that these fossils are the oldest evidence of life on Earth as they are found in rocks that have been dated by secular methods to be 3.5 billion years old.1

Unexpectedly, they even found organic matter—soft tissue—preserved as strands of filaments within the fossils. Baumgartner explained,

The organic matter that we found preserved within pyrite of the stromatolites is exciting—we’re looking at exceptionally preserved coherent filaments and strands that are typically remains of microbial biofilms [stromatolites]. I was quite surprised—we never expected to find this level of evidence before I started this project.2

Exciting, but the claimed evolution of stromatolites about 3.5 billion years ago creates a significant problem for evolutionary scientists in terms of the timing of the origin of life on Earth. How could cyanobacteria have evolved so quickly? Life would have had to originate and develop the ability to photosynthesize and colonize in about a billion years, assuming Earth is around 4.55 billion years old as they have alleged.3

Flood geologists dispute the great ages for these rocks, noting that the radioisotope dates used to date them are flawed by insurmountable assumptions.4 And the discovery of the preserved organic material also indicates a much younger age for these fossils—one that fits the biblical timeline.

Creation scientists believe God created stromatolites as part of His original biome on Day 3 of Creation Week. It’s no surprise we find numerous stromatolite fossils still preserved and buried beneath Flood sediments in many of the pre-Flood rocks of the world—Archean and many Proterozoic rocks—including the rocks in Western Australia.5

Stromatolites apparently proliferated in unique pre-Flood environments, fed by hydrothermal springs, and grew extensively during the 1,650 years or so between Creation and the Flood. Furthermore, creation scientists have proposed that the catastrophic nature of the Flood reshaped Earth’s surface sufficiently to destroy most of the pre-Flood environments where stromatolites formerly thrived.6

Today, stromatolites only exist in specialized environments and are considered another example of a “living fossil.”5 Although secular science claims these organisms are around 3.5 billion years old, they show no evidence of evolution. They are the same today as in the past. Stromatolites support a recent creation and a recent Flood.

1. Baumgartner, R. J. et at. 2019. Nano-porous pyrite and organic matter in 3.5-billion-year-old stromatolites record primordial life. Geology: doi/10.1130/G46365.1
2. Starr, M. 2019. A Mind-Blowing Study Just Confirmed Earth Had Living Organisms 3.5 Billion Years Ago. Posted on on September 26, 2019, accessed September 30, 2019.
3. Clarey, T. 2018. Stromatolites: Evidence of Pre-Flood Hydrology. Acts & Facts. 47 (5): 10-12.
4. Cupps, V. 2019. Rethinking Radiometric Dating: Evidence for a Young Earth from a Nuclear Physicist. Dallas, TX: Institute for Creation Research.
5. Clarey, T. 2018. Stromatolites by Land and by Sea. Creation Science Update. Posted on January 22, 2018.
6. Purdom, G. and A. A. Snelling. 2013. Survey of Microbial Composition and Mechanisms of Living Stromatolites of the Bahamas and Australia: Developing Criteria to Determine the Biogenicity of Fossil Stromatolites. In Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Creationism. M. Horstemeyer, ed. Pittsburgh, PA: Creation Science Fellowship.

*Dr. Clarey is Research Associate is at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his doctorate in geology from Western Michigan University.
The Latest
Seafloor Spreading Matches Creation Predictions
Evolutionary scientists recently determined that seafloor spreading has been slowing down.1 And they are not exactly sure of the reason. However,...

Remembering Patti Morse
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from...

What Happened with Washington's Violent Volcano? | The Creation...
How did a 1980 volcanic eruption change our understanding of geology? What impact did this event have on the age assignments of sediments? Join us for...

Fossil Insect Predation Shows No Evidence of Evolution
Some recent science news stories have come out describing fossils of insects feeding on plants supposedly many “millions of years ago.” What...

Adaptive Genetic and Epigenetic Changes in Plants
Being sedentary organisms, plants are essentially stuck where they are planted and need to dynamically adapt to the conditions around them to not only...

Dr. Tim Clarey Awarded Adjunct Professor of the Year
Congratulations to ICR Research Scientist and geologist Dr. Tim Clarey! He received the Adjunct Professor of the Year award from King’s University,...

Mars Rover Records Dramatic Solar Eclipse
NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has filmed the Martian satellite (or moon) Phobos eclipsing the sun, and this short but impressive video may be viewed...

Darwin or Design? CET Pt. 2 | The Creation Podcast: Episode 22
How does design provide a better explanation for biological functions and adaptations than natural selection? And how can engineering principles help...

Resurrecting “Ancient” Enzymes?
The most abundant protein on Earth is probably an enzyme (biological catalyst) called RuBisCO (or Rubisco) designed by the Creator to function in photosynthesis.1...

Inside May-June 2022 Acts & Facts
How can Christians stand up to scientific elitism? What does the plant fossil record in Iceland tell us about the global Flood? Does a new bacterium...