Faint Young Sun Paradox - Origins of Life Paradox

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posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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While reading an article on the origin of life on Earth, it mentions that during the supposed time frame of the emergence of life on Earth, the sun was too cold to sustain liquid water (liquid water is a necessity for life as we know it). Stars go through a 'cycle of life' where they start off colder and grow hotter with age. However, going by this cycle, our sun was much too cold to sustain life during the period we have attributed to the emergence of life on our planet. This is known as the Faint Young Sun Paradox.



Between 3.8 and 2.4 billion years ago, the Archean eon, life evolved on Earth. At the same time the Sun was only running at about 70 percent of what it does now. At that rate, the Earth shouldn’t have had any liquid water, and consequently should not have had life. However, that’s not what the record shows.


Stronger solar winds, higher levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide or nitrogren, and the effects of various green house gases such as ammonia and methane were proposed as possible factors that contributed to higher temperatures on earth, thus enabling liquid water to flow across the surface and provide the necessary ingredients for life to flourish. However, each of these hypotheses have been discredited.



"To counter the effect of the weaker Sun, carbon dioxide concentrations in the Earth's atmosphere would need to have been 1,000 times higher than present," said lead author Bernard Marty, from the CRPG-CNRS University of Lorraine. "However, ancient fossil soils—the best indicators of ancient carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere—suggest only modest levels during the Archean. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases were also present, in particular ammonia and methane, but these gases are fragile and easily destroyed by ultraviolet solar radiation, so are unlikely to have had any effect."


It is evident that our knowledge is lacking in one or more disciplines when it comes to the origins of life on our planet. Either our astronomy is lacking and we do not fully comprehend the solar cycles and development of stars (something for the electric universe proponents to ponder), or our fossil records and dating of ancient soils/organisms is inadequate. Perhaps life did not originate on planet Earth after all and the proponents of panspermia are closer to identifying the mechanism through which this beautiful planet was seeded with the wonders of life.

What do you guys think? Do you have any ideas on which areas we are lacking in knowledge (there are many), or propose any ideas on how life could have emerged on our planet.




posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 03:00 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


I think...you may be right on this one....





Either our astronomy is lacking and we do not fully comprehend the solar cycles and development of stars (something for the electric universe proponents to ponder), or our fossil records and dating of ancient soils/organisms is inadequate.


I gather there is something "wrong" with most of our theories. I think we start off from the position that we understand certain processes, but ultimately...we don't.

For instance, earlier in your post...you claimed...a well accepted mainstream theory...that life needs water (as we all know it)...but I don't feel this is true. Life as we know it...perhaps. Because our life adapted to a watery world. I suspect that life is possible in a plethora of "other" conditions...and that life thrives...without oxygen, without sunlight, without water.

But that's just my uneducated opinion.



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 03:31 AM
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Pistoche
What do you guys think? Do you have any ideas on which areas we are lacking in knowledge

I'd say every single scientist on the planet, without exception, would say that there are "areas we are lacking knowledge".


But this "faint young sun" issue is one that I'd completely forgotten about, after reading out it some decades ago...

The faint young Sun paradox ... was raised by astronomers Carl Sagan and George Mullen in 1972.


BTW, it also goes to destroy the common assertion of creationists, that all the scientists are in collusion to cover up falsities of science. When you get an issue being raised decades ago by a famous scientist and educator, and even to this day scientists are still publishing papers saying "not sure why", then the conspiracy theory cannot be true.
Conversely, it will now just lead to creationists saying "they now admit"... etc...
edit on 7-10-2013 by alfa1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 06:07 AM
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Follow me through some thought on the matter.

It's 3.5 billion years ago, and I visualize the young Earth, with a somewhat fainter star.

The Earth is very young and it has an atmosphere, without oxygen. This means life as we know it doesn't exist. We would be looking at a barren planet, without life, there wouldn't be forests that removed carbon from the atmosphere, and without life in the seas, that would photosynthesize light. The natural way our oceans stock carbon from the atmosphere, isn't functioning yet...

So all carbon, and other gases around, would not be processed into the Earths recycling system yet.

The planet was still very active, it just finished forming after a pretty chaotic start, that caused our planet to get so hot, that it melted again.

So we got a lot of heat, from the interior of the planet, that was probably venting out into the atmosphere, a lot more often, and in unimaginable large scale events. All released gas, from the period, would stay part of the atmosphere, until life started dumping oxygen in the air, and carbon would get stocked in the rock, oceans, and soils of the planet, with the death of all living things, every remains of life that, will become stuck somewhere, is what is responsible for all carbon deposits on Earth.

Then there is the Moon, that was in a much closer orbit. The Moon is still getting further away fom us every year. The tides would be a lot stronger, and they would pull the water, miles further into land and back. The higher gravity, would also cause much more stress, to the geological structures at the time, causing it to be more active, producing more quakes and volcanic eruptions, from all the added energy, that is released from higher gravity of the Moon, on the Earths crust.

So we got a number of reasons for higher readings of carbon in the atmosphere. More geological activity, and a much hotter interior of the planet, that can all cause more heat, stay trapped in the early atmosphere.

So... What do you think ?

There should be a math guy, who can calculate the separate effects, and the amount of heat that would add, into our atmosphere.
Eventually the balance was right, we are living proof of that.



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 09:04 AM
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Much of this I think stems from the so called "Goldilocks" zone, which back in the 70-80s was thought to be extremely narrow. It would however appear to be much wider.

The atmosphere is a wonderful thing, but it was as pointed out, a different thing back then. The Earth was definitely more a turbulent and chaotic place all that long ago. It wouldn't be supporting life was we know it. The atmosphere was probably also full of super-greenhouse gasses, as the Volcanoes spewed out lots of lovely stuff as the geology started to get kicked in.

A 30% effect is actually quite small on the grand scheme of things. Calculations of power input from the sun today predict a average temperature of around 15 degrees C, oh but wait, there is a good part of the planet that is significantly hotter and significantly colder. Any water on the planet may well have been frozen at the poles though even if the average temperature was say -15 degrees C, there would still be liquid water present, at the equator, or as has been pointed out already, under the surface, being heated geothermal.

That kind of environment is actually not a deadzone as people want to jump on and say "Oh impossible, science is wrong!"

There were a lot more factors at play and the exact content of the atmosphere I don't think can be predicted too easily. I mean the albedo of the Earth changes by more than 30 % throughout the year because of cloud coverage, cloudy days, the Earth is more reflective than Sunny ones... does the Earth suddenly freeze over? No... so there is some definite thermal inertia that stops it in form of the Atmosphere. It is pretty easy to make up that 30 %. I did Physics with Astronomy at Uni and we did talk a good deal about conditions on the Earth and evolution of the sun and stars similar. Cold earth and life was never something that was a problem, more of a "there is a gap in understanding, but there are 100 and 1 ways of fixing it."
edit on 7-10-2013 by ErosA433 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 10:03 AM
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Pistoche
While reading an article on the origin of life on Earth, it mentions that during the supposed time frame of the emergence of life on Earth, the sun was too cold to sustain liquid water (liquid water is a necessity for life as we know it). Stars go through a 'cycle of life' where they start off colder and grow hotter with age. However, going by this cycle, our sun was much too cold to sustain life during the period we have attributed to the emergence of life on our planet. This is known as the Faint Young Sun Paradox.

Well, first of all I have never heard this argument before, so I would have enjoyed a link to some legitimate source that validates it. Anyway, this seemed rather related. So, no problem after all..



posted on Oct, 7 2013 @ 11:41 AM
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reply to post by Pistoche
 


There are other sources of heat, primarily radioactive elements that were in high concentrations in the early Earth.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 03:59 AM
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Cypress
reply to post by Pistoche
 


There are other sources of heat, primarily radioactive elements that were in high concentrations in the early Earth.
This is probably the answer.

The Oklo Natural Nuclear Reactor

in 1972 the remains of a natural, spontaneously formed uranium reactor were found in ancient rocks of the African nation of Gabon, in the Oklo uranium mine.


Don't forget, the Earth didn't start out cold, in fact it was probably a ball of molten lava. It had to cool enough for water to not evaporate instantly, and when it finally did, there was still plate tectonics probably far more active than today.

After the impact that formed the moon the Earth once again became a ball of molten lava for some time and had to cool again.

The hydrothermal vent origin of life hypothesis wouldn't require significant heat from the sun for life to originate, and there were actually natural nuclear reactors generating heat within the Earth. Hydrothermal vents long ago were probably more active than they are today.



posted on Oct, 10 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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What about Geothermal/Tidal energy increasing the heat of the surface of the Earth? Any data on that? Proposed data I should say?





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