Towards a ‘natural’ time scale for the Precambrian – A proposal



A proposal is put forward to redefine the geological time scale for the Precambrian. Flaws of the present, chronometrically defined, time scale are discussed and illustrated. It is concluded that we need to go back to the rock record to define a “natural” time scale, in which major divisions (eons, eras, etc.) are defined in terms of first-order events and transitions in the observable stratigraphic record. For the earliest part of Earth history, we need a time scale, including a formalized Hadean eon, that is fully consistent with rapidly evolving insights from planetary science.