The Relics of Earth
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A short introduction
Long ago the Earth was a very different place. The winds howled across the surface of a frozen ocean and geysers of ice erupted into the thin air. This was the world into which life arose. The moon, ten times closer than it is today, generated unimaginably intense tides which would transform the Earth into a world with continents, seas, weather, and simple life. This is the story of that transformation, and the survival of the relics of that time, the relics of earth.
N. Frank Miller has, for most of his life, been curious about the origins of life on our planet. As a student, he attended lectures on the Urey-Miller experiments. Later he was privileged to make the acquaintance of Dr. Preston Cloud, one of the foremost researchers in early Earth history. A career as a petroleum geologist interpreting sub-sea and sub-surface data off the coast of Alaska led to an appreciation of the processes that dominate such a frigid environment. The "Aha" moment came when he recognized frazil tubules (little cylinders of frozen ice and sediment) as a "test tube" in which life could have arisen. Setting this insight aside, he moved south and, working in close collaboration with petroleum engineers, gained a thorough understanding of properties of the rocks in Earth's crust. Pulling together his expertise in rock properties and in arctic sea floor conditions, along with knowledge gained in an earlier career as a chemist and extensive reading in fields as diverse as astrophysics and molecular biology, Frank has devised the Althea Hypothesis, a new theory for the origin of life and the Earth systems we know today.
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