Archean Eon 4 to 2.5 bya
This long period of time takes its name from the Greek word meaning ancient. It is spelt Archaean or Archean.
During this time the first supercontinent formed and the first living things appeared of which fossils have been found.
The origin and gradual development of life did not happen in isolation. Life probably began in the waters and later moved onto the rocks of the planet. These waters and rocks were gradually changing.
James Lovelock’s Gaia theory sees the Earth as a system in which the evolution of organisms is tightly coupled to the evolution of their environment. Soils, rocks, oceans, atmosphere and life are all tied intimately together and each influences the other.
It is appropriate that we begin by looking at the Earth’s crust, the continents and the oceans. This will be the stage upon which the evolution of life will occur.
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