Implications of Life
Scientific Research and Design
The oldest fossil on Earth is only 3.5 billion years old. For an interesting, thorough discussion on the origins of life, the oldest terran foosils, and evidence for a common origin for life on Earth, visit NASA's origin of life page.
This oldest Earth fossil is accepted by the scientific community to be valid, fossilized remains of life. In order to conclusively identify a martian fossil, it needs to be compared against this ancient fossil and the minimum characteristics a sample needs to have in order to be a fossil. A National Academies workshop for the Size Limits of Very Small Microorganisms established a scientific basis for accepting terrestrial fossils. This basis can also be applied to Martain fossils.
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Comments and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org Last updated: 10 December, 2000