Proteins in '2-Billion-Year-Old' Rock | The Institute for Creation Research

Proteins in '2-Billion-Year-Old' Rock

Rock researchers highly regard Ontario's Gunflint chert for its fresh-looking microfossils. Long ago, the chert's microcrystalline quartz grains embedded microscopic single-celled creatures, including algae. A research team used new techniques to analyze the chemicals inside these fossil cells. They found protein remnants where they should no longer exist—given these rocks' vast age assignment.

The team of French scientists partnered with UCLA ion-microprobe specialist Kevin McKeegan to publish in the online journal Nature Communications.1 Their investigation of tiny algae cells revealed remnants of original biochemistry despite their evolutionary age assignment of 1.88 billion years.

Microprobe analyses gathered information from organic microfossils collected from five different outcrops of the same rock layer. The study authors wrote, "In fact, despite the 1.88-Gyr-long geological history that they experienced, Kakabeka Falls [outcrop] and Schreiber Beach [outcrop] organic microfossils exhibit C- and N-XANES spectra sharing strong similarities to those of modern cyanobacteria and modern micro-algae."1 They apparently used the word "despite" to acknowledge the disparity between the rocks' evolutionary age expectations and the presence of original biochemicals.

Many chert-rich rocks experienced temperatures high enough to bake any biochemicals. Heat can turn them into blackened, more-resistant compounds. But the Gunflint chert contains signs of a cooler formation history. This certainly helped convey these actual chemicals from the cells entombed so long ago until today.

The scientists used the same spectral analysis on modern photosynthetic bacteria and single-celled algae as the fossil versions, since both look so similar. In other words, it appears that none of the expected evolution has occurred across 1.88 billion supposed years.

The study authors wrote, "In addition, these microfossils still contain amide functional groups (absorption feature at 288.2 eV), which were likely to be involved in the proteinaceous compounds synthetized by the once living organisms."1 Biochemistry studies reveal that amide bonds have plenty of potential to perform spontaneous chemistry. What are the odds that these bonds completely missed almost 2 billion years' worth of opportunities to decay?

Proteins should have undergone chemical reactions with any number of nearby chemicals, totally obliterating the original proteins in far fewer than a million years. Three orders of magnitude separate protein's longevity based on repeatedly measured decay rates and the evolutionary age assignment for this deposit that houses algal protein remnants.

If the Gunflint chert was emplaced only thousands of years ago, then these dilemmas evaporate.2

References

  1.  Alleon, J. et al. 2016. Molecular preservation of 1.88 Ga Gunflint organic microfossils as a function of temperature and Mineralogy. Nature Communications. 7: 11977. 
  2.  This short time scale fits the idea that most rocks were deposited during the single Flood year, not over billions of years. Different processes in the pre-Flood world may have deposited the Gunflint chert, along with Michigan's banded iron formations and other nearby stromatolite-rich layers.

Image credit: Copyright © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved. Partner of AGORA, HINARI, OARE, INASP, ORCID, CrossRef, COUNTER and COPE. Adapted for use in accordance with federal copyright (fair use doctrine) law. Usage by ICR does not imply endorsement of copyright holders.

*Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research.

Article posted on July 21, 2016.

The Latest
NEWS
Titan Receding from Saturn Faster than Expected
Data obtained from the Cassini space probe show that Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is receding away from Saturn a hundred times faster than scientists...

NEWS
Evolutionists Struggle to Explain Canadian-Australian Connection
A new species of a split-footed lacewing was recently unearthed in British Columbia, Canada, creating a bit of controversy among secular paleontologists.1...

NEWS
Surveillance Tracing: Red Pandas in Himalayan Nepal
It’s tough to be a red panda in this fallen world, especially after the global Flood. Conservationists are satellite tracking red pandas in...

NEWS
Maine Lobsters Make International News
The life of a Maine lobster is mostly a matter of crawling around on muddy continental shelf seafloors, not far from a coastline. Benthic scavenging is...

NEWS
Should We Grouse About Not Seeing Grouse?
A recent report in Chesapeake Bay Journal laments the decline in ruffed grouse populations in the Chesapeake watershed region of its natural range. Ruffed...

NEWS
Meet Dr. G: Roller Skating, Evangelism, and a Changed Life
Have you heard the news? ICR’s Board of Trustees recently appointed Dr. Randy Guliuzza to be ICR’s new President & Chief Operating Officer....

NEWS
Honeybees: How Sweet It Is, Again
After some scary population downturns and scarier rumors of bee populations crashing, honeybees are making a comeback, populationally speaking.1,2...

NEWS
Dolphins Learn Tricks from Peers to Catch Fish
Dolphins—like other cetaceans such as whales, wholphins, and porpoises—are highly intelligent marine mammals, capable of astonishing feats....

NEWS
Liberty and the Word of God
“And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts” (Psalm 119:45). July 4th is called Independence Day here in our country because on...

NEWS
Wandering Albatross: Wide Wings on the Winds
Wandering albatrosses have the largest wingspan of any living bird, so they live much of life soaring above the oceans. With their wings—and a lot...