Recently an article appeared in Discover titled “3 Billion-Year-Old Sulfur-Eating Microbes May Be the Oldest Fossils Ever Found“. Having collected fossils in my younger years, including looking at them under microscopes, my immediate question was “how do they know” ? Another question when reading the article was regarding the metabolic processes of the microbes.
The simple reality is that even establishing that we are looking at fossilized bacteria is quite a stretch. Its not impossible to establish but it is not easy and will always remain open to doubt. However there is absolutely nothing present to indicate what the “innards” of that bacteria looked like, what they metabolized, or anything else. All of that remains conjecture and speculation.
It is fun to speculate and explore the world. I enjoy it as much as the next fellow. But it is important to differentiate between sound science and speculation.