HELEN Most people who have had any passing introduction to evolution are familiar with the idea that the early atmosphere on the earth had what is called a ‘reducing’ atmosphere, or one lacking free oxygen. The reason this is presumed is primarily because for amino acids to form proteins, presumably spontaneously, could not be exposed to either free oxygen or water, as that would undo everything rather rapidly. Therefore something called an oxygen-evolution curve had been formulated to show the gradual increase of oxygen in the atmosphere which was supposed to coincide with the development of life on earth which could cope with it. Some of the earliest material tested for evidence of free oxygen has been dated at over two billion years old. And until recently, this material appeared to be confirming the idea that there was an early reducing atmosphere on earth. However, as the abstract of an article recently published shows, deeper drilling showed something else – that what they were testing was essentially the same as material found in places with abundant life. Because some of the professional language may throw people off who are not used to it, I have taken the liberty to bold a couple of key points. It looks like the oxygen-evolution curve may not be indicative of what really happened. Keep in mind, please, that any of the creation models supposes oxygen in the atmosphere of earth from the beginning. Tropical laterites, life on land, and the history of atmospheric oxygen in the Paleoproterozoic Nicolas J. Beukes, Herman Dorland, and Jens Gutzmer, Munetomo Nedachi, Hiroshi Ohmoto Geology: Vol. 30, No. 6, pp. 491–494. ABSTRACT: The ca. 2.2 Ga Hekpoort paleosol of the Transvaal Supergroup in southern Africa has been considered a type example and the youngest iron-depleted paleosol formed under a reducing atmosphere in the early Precambrian. However, the mineralogical and geochemical data on recently acquired deep drill core intersections indicate that the Hekpoort paleosol represents part of an ancient lateritic weathering profile with an iron-depleted pallid lower zone and an iron-enriched lateritic upper zone. Previous studies of the paleosol took place in areas where only the lower pallid zone was preserved from erosion prior to deposition of cover beds. The laterite profile is comparable to that of modern tropical laterites formed under an oxic atmosphere in the presence of abundant terrestrial biomass. Revised stratigraphic correlation indicates that the Hekpoort laterite profile is a correlative to highly ferruginous laterite profiles of Wolhaarkop in Griqualand West. This information indicates that the oxygen-evolution curve, based on loss or retention of iron in paleosols, should be reexamined.