Friday, June 13, 2008

Meet the Intraterrestrials

Olivia Judson is nearly always three days late and three dollars short. This article is no exception.

However, given the agenda-driven, cornucopian interrogatory from my long time literal-fundamentalist, conservative evangelical gadfly Ken;
Do you think plants and dinasaurs decomposed and were compressed and then came the hydrocarbons on this Saturn moon?

Hey back on earth, I was hoping for clarification on the evolution process. The plants and dinasaurs and all this life decomposed and then through heat and compression came hydrocarbons, I got that, is it then hydrocarbon eating animals began to evolve? Here is where this article had me wondering...
her modest little contribution is right on time.
Then there are the “intraterrestrials” — the organisms that live in rocks deep in the earth, the creatures of the “deep subsurface biosphere.” Bacteria have been found in rock samples taken several hundred meters below the sea floor, even when the sea floor itself is 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) below sea level.

We don’t know how many organisms are living in this (to us) alien environment. But based on what’s been found in rock samples so far, the numbers are likely to be gigantic. One recent study found between 1 million and 1 billion bacteria per gram of rock (a gram is 1/28 of an ounce). It may be that a large proportion — perhaps as many as a third — of all bacteria on Earth live in rocks below the floor of the sea. That would be a lot of bacteria.

Until recently, it was assumed that the chemical alteration and decomposition of rocks in the ocean crust was due purely to elemental forces — the circulation of seawater, the grinding of rocks against one another. But increasingly, intraterrestrial bacteria are suspected of making a contribution, too. Shards of volcanic glass from basaltic rocks hundreds of meters beneath the seabed show grooves and etchings that appear to have been made by bacteria.
kaaaay.....?

So Ken, though I've not really troubled myself to explain where I believe oil comes from, instead of making silly assumptions and dubious projections that disclose more about the inner workings of your formatory apparatus than about anything I might think or believe, you might instead simply ask the question in good faith. Hamfisted attempts at sophistry are bound to yield little more than sustained malevolent ridicule from yours truly. Given our lengthy discoursive history, you know me more than well enough to know that by now.

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