The conclusion reached by Bill Schopf that tiny carbon-rich filaments in Pilbara rock of Western Australia show the presence of fossils is now proved to be incorrect. There has been debate about the issue since Bill Schopf made his announcement.
Tests indicate that they are just rocks. Professor Martin Brasier first highlighted the problem in 2002, when he claimed that the rocks were part of a high-temperature thermal vein. In other words they were not sedimentary in nature.
New high-spacial resolution examination indicates stacks of clay-like mineral plates in the rocks' structure. Carbon has been absorbed into the worm-like chains giving the impression of cell walls. Carbon distribution was completely wrong for microfossils. The "mischievous" clay plates are the culprit in leading scientists astray in their findings.
Authentic microfossils just as old as the Shopf example have recently been found in Western Australia, so the claim for the oldest fossils still resides with WA.
✴ Chemistry by Ty Buchanan ✴