Key Earth Science Links
Precambrian Time and Origin of Life on Earth
Age of the Earth, U.S. Geological Survey. Short text summary of our current understanding of the earth's age based on the oldest rocks at the surface and data from meteorites.
Age of the Earth. Talk. Origins Archive. Explanations of the age of the earth based on age dating the oldest rocks at the surface and meteorites (with data tables). Much of the site is devoted to providing scientific details as rebuttals to various creationists' counter theories (young-earth hypotheses), such as helium in the atmosphere, decay rate of the earth's magnetic field, accumulation rates of metals in the ocean, etc. There is also a discussion that addresses criticisms of age dating.
Proterozoic Era--Life, University of California, Berkeley. Short history of Precambrian (Proterozoic) fossil record with links to key words (stromatolite, eukaryote, etc.) and topics. Also, this section on Proterozoic life crosslinks with sections concerning Proterozoic stratigraphy, tectonics, and localities. At the time chart, you can select an important Precambrian topic to find out more information.
Stromatolites: The Oldest Fossils . Virtual Fossil Museum, Tree of Life Project. Description (sometimes technical) of the geologic history of cyanobacteria and the stromatolites they form, including their contribution to oxygen in the atmosphere.
Stromatolites. Hooper Virtual Museum, Carleton University. Provides three on-line slides that explain what stromatolites are and why they are important fossils. Several pictures of modern stromatolites from Shark Bay, Australia, as well as a nice diagram of how cyanobacteria build the stromatolite mound.
Stromatolites: Our Mysterious Ancient Reefs . Jon Nelson. Great Lakes Stories. Short, general audience article with pictures about stromatolite fossils from the Gun Flint Chert along Lake Superior, which once were considered the world's oldest (1.9 billion years old) fossils. Similar fossils of cyanobacteria are now known from rocks that are 3.5 billion years old.