Alongside the stuff on fossils I’ve been reading, I’ve also been accumulating a few notes and references to things that seem closer to what Meillassoux means by an arche-fossil. The work of Lord Kelvin on the cooling of the earth, using physical laws rather than observation of natural phenomena is important, but also Lord Rutherford’s work on radioactive decay, and the development of this by Marie and Pierre Curie. The Age of the Earth by G. Brent Dalrymple is helpful as an introductory guide (though a little dated); but Pascal Richet, A Natural History of Time is a much better book.
On Meillassoux, these two recent posts are worth a look – from An und für sich; and from Graham Harman. The first suggests that the argument concerning the arche-fossil is ‘terrible’ but its real point is to raise the question of temporality. I wouldn’t describe it as a terrible argument but it does seem to me to be most interesting in terms of time. Graham’s post works as another trailer for his forthcoming book on Meillassoux. I’m hoping to get back to my ‘Fossils’ paper soon, but there are a number of other demands on my time at the moment.