By carboniferous [carbon bearing] soils, Richard Kirwan in 1799 meant the "various sorts of earth or stone among or under which coal is usually found".
The end-Frasnian extinction (the largest) about 375 million years ago.
The about 365 million years ago during the Famennian.
All of the major animal groups of the Ordovician oceans survived, including trilobites, "When I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long before the first bed of the Silurian system was deposited, they seem to me to become ennobled.
Judging from the past we may safely infer that not one living species will transmit its unaltered likeness to distant futurity." (Charles Darwin) From primal swamp to speaking humans: Ernst Haeckel said (1903) that the Pithecoiden (monkey) theory of human evolution requires tracing our animal ancestors before monkeys.
"More than 3.5 billion years ago, small single-celled organisms acquired the capacity to photosynthesize" "Plants were restricted to the aquatic world until three billion years later, the first uncontroversial evidence for life is found 2,700,000,000 years ago.
The reference relates to sulphate and iron reduction as early forms of microbial respiration.It mentions the following periods to indicate how long ago coal was formed: Carboniferous followed by 359,200,000 - 326,400,000 years ago Dinantian series or epoch from the Lower Carboniferous system in Europe 326,400,000 to 313,400,000 years ago Namurian stage in the regional stratigraphy of northwest Europe are found - Silicious Grit, providing stone for building and millstones - Shale - then lime-stone and toadstone alternately.The veins of metallic ores appeared in the limestone.It is suggested that analysis of sedimentary pyrite from the Belingwe sedimentary basin in Zimbabwe may provide evidence for bacterial reduction at this date.2,500,000,000 to 542,000,000 years ago The Proterozoic Eon: the most recent part of the Precambrian Supereon.The reference relates to Multicellular filaments from arctic Canada identified as a red algae Bangiomorpha pubescens. The curtain rises on a drama in the sea that has already begun, and has been going on for some time". London, Published by James Reynolds 174 Strand, 20t.10.1849. The first of these began about 443 million years ago.