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Thread: What is fire (of the type we are familiar with) and when did it start occurring on earth?

  1. #1 What is fire (of the type we are familiar with) and when did it start occurring on earth? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    There's lava, but the fire we are familiar with usually involves a chemical destruction of, usually organic-ish matter, right? I dont see fire occurring on a flat desert plain or on the moon(no oxygen). Did life-ish chemical reactions occur before fire-ish reactions started to occur? If life started in water I assume fire really started to occur more often once life started to spread on land? (edit: Crap I forgot about methane, theres seas of it on some jovian moon so I guess you can have methane fires without life being in the picture)

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  3. #2  
    Comet Dust Collector Moderator
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    Mar 2011
    New Jersey, USA
    There was insufficient oxygen in the atmosphere before life to support fire. So life came first, then fire.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    In fact, over, at least, half of the entire life of planet Earth, fire was impossible due to lack of oxygen. Anaerobic life had been present about a billion years before cyanobacteria could produce enough oxygen for fire. Methane on Jovian moons cannot burn due to lack of oxygen. In their particular environments, the methane is inert.
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