Photosynthesis Goes Back

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Photosynthesis goes back another billion years, according to a report in BBC News, 17 December 2003. Professors Mink Rosing and Robert Frei of the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, have analysed the amount of uranium and thorium in ancient sea floor sediments from Isua, Greenland and have concluded that they have found the earliest evidence for photosynthesis on earth. Rosing and Frei found much more uranium than thorium in the rocks, indicating that uranium had been chemically separated from thorium -something that normally happens in oxidising conditions, i.e. when there is oxygen in the atmosphere. According to evolutionary theory, oxygen was not added to the earth's atmosphere until algae capable of photosynthesis evolved. (Photosynthesis is the process whereby algae, cyanobacteria and plants make chemical energy and oxygen using the power of sunlight.)

The Greenland rocks are believed to be 3.7 billion years old - a billion years older than the previous earliest claim for evidence of an oxidising atmosphere. Dr Roger Buick of University of Washington, Seattle, USA commented "The biochemistry needed for oxygenic photosynthesis requires lots of bacterial evolution. If their findings are correct, life was very sophisticated, very early in earth's history."

Editorial Comment Genesis 1 tells us ten times that God created creatures to produce their own kind - so if living creatures need oxygen today, they always have. Therefore, we would expect to see evidence of oxidising conditions in rocks however old they are. Roger Buick is half right; life was very sophisticated very early in earth's history. The biblical picture implies it was most complex at the beginning of the world and has degenerated ever since the fall of man and the Flood. Photosynthesis is one of the most complex biochemical processes in living things, so complicated that scientists have only recently worked out how all the component parts fit together. The biochemistry for oxygenic photosynthesis requires lots of creative intelligence, not chance random evolution.

It's also very interesting that one Icelander we consulted stated his ancestors called Iceland - Isuland, meaning Jesus' land. According to our source, Isua is the same as Joshua which is Hebrew for Jesus and Christ is the Creator of Genesis 11 (see John 11). (Ref. oxygen, photosynthesis, Greenland)

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