The amazing evolution of minerals on Earth

Evolution is for real and it started way before the first organelles and cells formed.

Mineral Evolution I. The Initial Idea for Mineral Evolution (December, 2006 to November, 2008) 1. Hazen, R. M., D. Papineau, W. Bleeker, R.T. Downs, J. Ferry, T. McCoy, D. Sverjensky and H. Yang (2008) Mineral evolution. American Mineralogist 93, 1693-1720. Mineral evolution posits that the mineralogy of terrestrial planets and moons evolves as a consequence of varied physical, chemical, and biological processes that lead to the formation of new mineral species. The novelty of mineral evolution is epitomized by the new questions it raises about the history of mineralogy. For example, we could find no reference to the question, “What was the first mineral in the cosmos?" That is, what was the first crystalline material to form after the Big Bang? It was too hot following the Big Bang, and the first generation of atoms—mostly hydrogen and helium—are gases. No crystals formed in the first stars, either. But stars produce heavier elements, including such mineral-forming atoms as carbon, oxygen, silicon, and magnesium. We concluded that the first mineral was diamond—pure carbon condensed from the expanding atmospheres of energetic stars. Approximately a dozen “ur-minerals," including nitrides, carbides, oxides, and silicates, condensed as micro-crystals at temperatures greater than 1500°C. The central question of mineral evolution is thus how a dozen phases with 10 essential elements were transformed to the >5000 minerals with 72 essential elements we see today. While an exact division of geological history into stages of mineral evolution is somewhat arbitrary, we propose that Earth's mineral evolution can be divided into at least ten stages, each of which increased the mineral diversity of the planet. Stage 1 occurred in the stellar nebula prior to planetary accretion, when presolar “dust bunnies" were melted into droplets (“chondrules") by the fitful early Sun. These droplets accumulated in the earliest generations of meteorites, called chondrites. Unaltered chondritic material with approximately 60 different refractory minerals thus represents the starting point of the mineral evolution of all planets and moons in our solar system. … Stage 1 occurred in the stellar nebula prior to planetary accretion, when presolar “dust bunnies" were melted into droplets (“chondrules") by the fitful early Sun. ... Stage 2 mineralogical repertoire limited to the approximately 250 minerals now found in the diverse suites of unweathered lunar and meteorite samples. ... Stage 3 is defined as the period of planetary differentiation into the major layers of metallic core, silicate mantle, and volcanic-derived basaltic crust. ... Stage 4 marks the appearance of Earth’s first extensive terrains of granite, a silica-rich rock that forms when wet basalt partially melts. ... Stage 5 of Earth’s mineral evolution arises from the great global-scale process of plate tectonics, by which wet crustal rocks are recycled into the mantle by subduction. … Stage 6: Biological processes began to affect Earth’s surface mineralogy by the Paleoarchean (~3.8 Ga), when large-scale surface mineral deposits, including carbonate and banded iron formations, were precipitated under the influences of changing atmospheric and ocean chemistry. … Stage 7: (2.5 to 1.9 Ga)The Paleoproterozoic “great oxidation event" , when atmospheric oxygen may have risen to >1% of modern levels, and the Neoproterozoic increase in atmospheric oxygen following several major glaciation events, gave rise to multicellular life and skeletal biomineralization and irreversibly transformed Earth’s near-surface mineralogy. … Stage 8: commenced at ~1.85 Ga, when the production of banded iron formations ceased relatively abruptly, signaling a significant change in ocean chemistry likely driven by microbial activity. … Stage 9: featured the “Snowball Earth" (1.0 to 0.57 Ga). Multiple lines of evidence indicate that Earth experienced dramatic fluctuations in climate and atmospheric composition between about 1.0 and 0.57 Ga, with at least two (and possibly as many as four) snowball Earth events between about 0.75 and 0.57 Ga. During the coldest periods, ice was Earth’s most abundant surface mineral. However, mineral diversity did not significantly increase during Stage 9. Stage 10: The most recent of Earth’s mineral evolution saw the biological innovations of shells, teeth, and bones, as well as the rise of the terrestrial biosphere. Dozens of new organic mineral species have appeared during the Phanerozoic Eon. ...
Now that's some fun stuff to try and wrap your head around. Also see,
"Mineral Fodder - We may think we are the first organisms to remake the planet, but life has been transforming the earth for aeons" aeon[dot]co/magazine/science/how-life-transformed-the-planet/ Robert Hazen is a research scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Geophysical Laboratory and professor of earth science at George Mason University. His latest book is The Story of Earth (2012).
American Mineralogist, Volume 93, pages 1693–1720, 2008 Review Paper Mineral evolution Robert Hazen, Dominic Papineau, Wouter Bleeker, Robert Downs, John Ferry, Timothy McCoy, Dimitri Sverjensky, and Hexiong Yang easier fair... How life could have produced most minerals on Earth April 30, 2014 by Elizabeth Howell, Universe Today

I read a book by Hazen entitled the “History of Earth.” One of the sub-themes touched on was how minerals “evolved” along with the evolution of our earth and the life forms that inhabit it. Really interesting stuff. It gave me an entirely new perspective on our planet.

I read a book by Hazen entitled the "History of Earth." One of the sub-themes touched on was how minerals "evolved" along with the evolution of our earth and the life forms that inhabit it. Really interesting stuff. It gave me an entirely new perspective on our planet.
Sure does. Add to that how life influenced the evolution of Earth's Geology - utterly amazing. such as A) consider, before plants existed on our planet, there were only sand dunes, delta deposits, etc. Nothing but gravity, temperature, sun's rays wind and rain, …varying sizes of rocks and the oceans. B) subduction of living matter into Earth's interior and volcanism - which is the agent of land creation on this planet. Cooking ingredients and such … and so on and so forth . . . gotta run

By total coincidence look at what I ran into this evening.
It’s from 2011 and not perfect, but it does a pretty job of describing our planet’s pageant of creation these past billions of years.

The Story Of Earth And Life Published on Oct 18, 2013 The Earth might seem solid beneath our feet but five billion years ago there was no sign of the planet we call home. Instead there was only a new star and a cloud of dust in our solar system. Over millions of years, a series of violent changes led to the formation of our world and, eventually, the creation of life. In this photorealistic CGI epic, see how a boiling ball of rock transformed into the blue planet we know today. Explore every aspect of our world; learn how water first arrived on Earth, discover the vital role oxygen played as life forms began to evolve, and find out how land mammals evolved into dinosaurs and other giant beasts, before becoming extinct 65 million years ago. Cutting-edge imagery also reveals how humans first began to walk on two feet and looks into the future to see what may be in store for our home over the next five billion years. National Geographic: The Story of Earth (TV 2011) TV Movie - Documentary