Mineral extinction

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 20 set, 2019 18:12

Prossima pubblicazione.

Referenza:
▪ Mills, S.J. & Christy, A.G. (2019): Mineral extinction. Mineralogical Magazine, 83, (in press).

Abstract:
"Mineral evolution" has attracted much attention in the last decade as a counterpart of the long established biological concept, but is there a corresponding "mineral extinction"? We present new geochronological data from uranium-bearing secondary minerals and show that they are relatively recent, irrespective of the age of their primary uranium sources. The secondary species that make up much of the diversity of minerals appear to be ephemeral, and many may have vanished from the geological record without trace. Nevertheless, an "extinct" mineral species can recur when physiochemical conditions are appropriate. This reversibility of "extinction" highlights the limitations of the "evolution" analogy. Mineral occurrence may be time-dependent but does not show the unique contingency between precursor and successor species that is characteristic of biological evolution.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » mer 06 nov, 2019 11:01

Pubblicazione effettuata.

Referenza:
▪ Mills, S.J. & Christy, A.G. (2019): Mineral extinction. Mineralogical Magazine, 83, 621-625.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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Carlo Alciati
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Carlo Alciati » ven 08 nov, 2019 15:43

Mi puoi far avere una copia dell'articolo, Marco?
Carlo Alciati
Segretario GMI - Gruppo Mineralogico di Ivrea "Aldo Nicola"

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 08 nov, 2019 15:49

Sì Carlo, ti passo il PDF.
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Massimo Russo
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Massimo Russo » ven 08 nov, 2019 22:03

Anche a me grazie.

Massimo
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Massimo Russo
INGV - Osservatorio Vesuviano

"Un minerale senza nome è solo un inutile pezzo di pietra" (Massimo Russo)

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 08 nov, 2019 22:29

Fatto Massimo.
Ciao.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Massimo Russo » sab 09 nov, 2019 10:07

TKS.

Massimo
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Massimo Russo
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"Un minerale senza nome è solo un inutile pezzo di pietra" (Massimo Russo)

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » ven 13 dic, 2019 14:04

Un messaggio di Hazen sull'argomento:

""First a few personal observations:
• I've long felt that "mineral evolution" could not rise to any level of significance unless it was openly questioned and criticized. I'm very grateful to Mills and Christy for taking the time and effort to explore this facet of the topic.
• I have a folder in my office with a draft outline of a paper on "mineral extinction", so in some ways they beat me to the punch.
• Having said that, I think it would be a mistake to assume that mineral evolution is trying to be a close analogy to biological evolution. As we clearly state in the original and subsequent papers, we use "evolution" in its broader meaning. So I'm inclined to start a kind of rebuttal (probably a much longer email to follow). It's possible some of us might want to submit a comment, or even a longer paper, to Min. Mag. Anyone interested?
In any event, before I write a rebuttal, it's important to note that the original "Mineral evolution" paper from 2008 had a discussion of this topic (pages 1712-1713). I copy that text here, which I hope will be part of the conversation. Note in particular that in the context of deep-time, planets and moons often have major and irreversible mineral extinction events. By all models of their evolution, both Mars and Venus have lost significant mineral diversity. And Earth will certainly do the same when the Sun warms significantly. Thus, on the scale of billions of years (as opposed to the ephemeral comings, goings, and reappearance of some individual mineral kinds), mineral extinction is a very real planetary-scale process.

"1. Extinction: Extinction, the selective disappearance of some states, is a recurrent feature of many evolving systems. New technological innovations inevitably replace the old, some words become obsolete, and biological species eventually die out. Is the same true of mineral phases? Mineral evolution points to the fact that many mineral species had a specific time of first appearance on Earth, but is it likely that some near-surface species become unstable and disappear permanently from a terrestrial planet? Some mineral-forming processes, for example those that formed the unusual reduced minerals of enstatite chondrites (Table 2), have ceased. These phases, which are unstable at Earth’s oxidized surface, are now found only because of the continuing flux of EH chondrites. Nevertheless, given that surface temperatures throughout Earth’s history have spanned the range from water ice to water vapor, and that most, if not all, of Earth’s mineral forming processes (i.e., continued delivery of varied meteorites to the surface, igneous and metamorphic processes, plate tectonics, surface weathering and microbial metabolism, for example) are still in play, Earth’s mineralogical diversity has likely not diminished significantly. Indeed, one would be hard pressed to postulate a single mineral species that once was found in a near-surface environment but no longer exists.
Nevertheless, the permanent disappearance of species must have played a significant role in the mineral evolution of some terrestrial planets. Venus, for example, may have had a water-rich and clement surface environment early in its history (Ingersol 1969; Donahue and Pollack 1983; Grinspoon 1997). However, the gradual loss of water (via hydrogen escape) and subsequent runaway CO2-mediated greenhouse effect with present day surface temperatures of 480ºC must have resulted in the loss of some low-temperature and hydrous mineral phases (Johnson and Fegley 2000, 2003). For example, hydrated magnesium sulfates (MgSO4.nH2O), including kieserite, starkeyite, hexahydrite, epsomite and meridianiite (with n= 1, 4, 6, 7 and 11, respectively) are observed in carbonaceous chondrites, hypersaline environments on Earth, and possibly on the surface of Mars (Kargel 1991; Fortes 2005; Peterson et al. 2007). They were likely also once present on the surface of Venus but in the present dry, high-temperature environment they (and hundreds of other hydrous minerals) are no longer stable phases.
Given these and other parallels between mineral evolution and the behavior of other living and non-living complex systems, the search for unifying evolutionary principles will provide a continuing motivation for studying the history of Earth’s changing mineralogical landscape."

I should also note a growing literature by early-Earth geologists (Matt Pasek on phosphites, for example) suggests a variety of minerals that may have gone permanently extinct on Earth since the origin of life. Some of those minerals (specifically prebiotic organic crystals) are discussed in a recent paper by Morrison et al. (2019) "The paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon revisited," Life, v.8, 64.

In summary, I have always maintained that evolution of minerals is not an exact analogy to biological evolution by Darwinian natural selection. However, these differences do not in any way invalidate the use of the word "evolution" for a mineral kingdom that has experienced deep-time change, complexification, and congruency, all driven by such processes as selection, punctuation, and (on some worlds) extinction.

Therefore, I strongly disagree that there is a "flaw in the evolution analogy" (Mills and Christy, p.624). The flaw is in the misinterpretation of the word "evolution," which is not to be applied in mineralogy in its strictly biological context. Earth's mineralogy has been, and continues to be, a classic example of a complex evolving system. Biological evolution, with its intertwined aspects of speciation by natural selection and permanent extinction, is not the only valid mode of evolutionary change. Indeed, as we have argued before, in a time when biological evolution is often under attack by religious fundamentalists, the exploration of mineralogy as another obvious and comprehensible example of an evolving system might prove to be one path for acceptance of evolution as a more general driving characteristic of our universe.

I'd love to continue this discussion, and once again thank Stuart and Andrew for raising these important points for discussion.""
Marco E. Ciriotti

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » sab 14 dic, 2019 11:33

Nel loro lavoro Mills & Christy (2019) concludono: ""Phylogenesis of organisms produces unique occurrences of species that are contingent upon the nature of their equally unique predecessors, while paragenesis of minerals lacks this unidirectional, irreversible flow" ("La filogenesi degli organismi produce ricorrenze uniche di specie che dipendono dalla natura dei loro predecessori altrettanto unici, mentre la paragenesi dei minerali manca di questo flusso unidirezionale e irreversibile").

Questo punto pone in discussione la "evoluzione minerale" e colloca i lavori conseguenti quasi sulla linea di "falsa disciplina scientifica".


Referenza:
▪ Mills, S.J. & Christy, A.G. (2019): Mineral extinction. Mineralogical Magazine, 83, 621-625.
Marco E. Ciriotti

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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » sab 14 dic, 2019 13:34

Referenza:
▪ Morrison, S.M., Runyon, S.E., Hazen, R.M. (2018): The Paleomineralogy of the Hadean Eon Revisited. Life, 8, 64.

Abstract:
A preliminary list of plausible near-surface minerals present during Earth’s Hadean Eon (>4.0 Ga) should be expanded to include: (1) phases that might have formed by precipitation of organic crystals prior to the rise of predation by cellular life; (2) minerals associated with large bolide impacts, especially through the generation of hydrothermal systems in circumferential fracture zones; and (3) local formation of minerals with relatively oxidized transition metals through abiological redox processes, such as photo-oxidation. Additional mineral diversity arises from the occurrence of some mineral species that form more than one ‘natural kind’, each with distinct chemical and morphological characteristics that arise by different paragenetic processes. Rare minerals, for example those containing essential B, Mo, or P, are not necessary for the origins of life. Rather, many common minerals incorporate those and other elements as trace and minor constituents. A rich variety of chemically reactive sites were thus available at the exposed surfaces of common Hadean rock-forming minerals.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315770/
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Marco E. Ciriotti
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Re: Mineral extinction

Messaggio da Marco E. Ciriotti » lun 16 dic, 2019 19:15

Ancora un messaggio di Hazen:

""The opening pages of Chapter 2 of Eugenie Scott's authoritative book, "Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction" (Greenwood Press, 2004) is an extensive discussion of the definition of "evolution" and its many contexts. She states:

"The broad definition of evolution is 'a cumulative change through time,' and refers to the fact that the universe has had a history--that if we were to go back in time we would find different stars, galaxies, planets, and different forms of life on Earth. Stars, galaxies, planets, and living things have changed through time.There is astronomical evolution, geological evolution, and biological evolution. Evolution ... is thus integral to astronomy, geology, and biology." (p.23)

There is much more relevant material. She goes on to explain that each evolutionary system has its own detailed characteristics; for example, biological evolution (unlike astronomical or geological evolution) is characterized by common descent.

Another fascinating and relevant book is Harold Morowitz, "The Emergence of Everything," in which he views the origins and evolution of life as but one facet of the evolution of the cosmos. Numerous other scholars, cited by Scott and Morowitz, explore and amplify these themes.

I think the confusion on the part of Angel and others is conflating the important, yet idiosyncratic, aspects of biological evolution--natural selection, common descent, and permanent extinction among them--with the more general and universal aspects of all evolving systems, which clearly include geological and mineral evolution.

Mineral evolution is clearly part of both astronomical and planetary evolution. In that context there is no natural selection; there is no common descent; and "mineral extinction" is not a permanent condition of the Cosmos. Mineral extinction is, however, an important aspect of understanding the evolution of individual planets. Both Mars and Venus have likely experienced extensive mineral extinction events, as will Earth in 3 or 4 billion years.

Finally, I have to comment on the ideas of Steve Gould, a friend with whom I discussed the idea of increasing complexity/diversification of life on Earth on several occasions before his untimely death in 2002. I think these MSA-Talk exchanges may have missed his core point. He fully acknowledged that there has been an obvious (perhaps punctuated) increase in the complexity of the most complex life. Chemolithoautotrophs, then cyanobacteria, then jellyfish, then vertebrates with small brains, then vertebrates with bigger brains. But he argued strongly that the average complexity of life has always been basically microbial, and that the odd, large complex organisms are outliers in a bell curve centered on single-celled prokaryotes. Interestingly, one might argue that minerals are similar. 99.99% of Earth's minerals have relatively simple structures (in the Krivovichev sense)--feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, bridgmanite, Fe metal. The extremely complex mineral structures tend to be rare and volumetrically trivial outliers. In that specific sense, one could perhaps claim that the minerals of Earth have hardly changed at all over deep time.


Bob Hazen""
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