The geologic account of ancient life is plagued with reports that do not withstand critical assessment. This is a special problem in the older rocks, where reports of spurious records continue to dilute the authentic record of evolution on the primitive Earth. The problem is illustrated by brief analyses of three timely examples of widely different ages. These are (1) desiccation curls interpreted as arthropods, (2) drag marks resembling “worm tracks,” and (3) pyrite rosettes interpreted as medusae. It is left to the reader to draw conclusions about similar instances not here alluded to; the record of alleged pre-Phanerozoic life is full of them.

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