I am currently reading ‘Oxygen: The Molecule that made theWorld by Nick Lane’. I highly recommend this book as it is well written and very informative although a healthy bit of science will make the reading easier. I have read some other very good science oriented books recently such as ‘AnOcean of Air’ and ‘The Disappearing Spoon’ that were much easier reads and geared towards less-science focused individuals. I will review those books in the future.
Let me get back to being out of touch. While reading ‘Oxygen’, early on in the book Lane mentions the ‘Snowball Earth’ hypothesis. He describes this as being much more extensive ice age than the recent Pleistocene ice ages that most people are more familiar with. These ice ages occurred during the Precambrian time are believed to have covered the earth with ice even at the equator. There is growing evidence for this hypothesis including glacial deposits in equatorial regions, carbon isotope ratios, and banded iron formations to name a few.
I have Master’s Degree in Geology/Geochemistry and was floored by reading this. I thought I was up-to-date on all the latest since I graduated recently. Lane was writing this in his book as if it were common knowledge so I did some pecking around and discovered that the hypothesis started gaining traction in 1998 and more acceptance in the years that follow.
So where was I? For the last ten years I was teaching Chemistry and occasionally General Science thinking I was not one of the old guys. As I said, I graduated recently. High school in 1984, College in 1989, and Graduate school in 1992…