Of all the places in the universe, how did I end up walking around on this particular planet? This question usually comes up while I'm lying in the grass on a summer night and looking up at the stars. Stone Age guys probably asked the same thing a long time ago while relaxing in their rock garden at night.
Man represents a unique and special organism in that he is the only animal on this planet capable of reflecting on his own origins, nature, and destiny.In him, for the first time, evolution has become conscious of itself.(Carrington)
Also, it probably seemed logical to stone age guys that the world was flat, and the ground they stood on was stationary ... (some people still believe that even today).Actually, of course, what we're doing is clinging to a big ball spinning on its axis at a thousand miles an hour, circling a nearby star (the Sun)at 20 miles a second, and hurtling through space on the edge of the Milky Way galaxy at 170 miles every second ... it also happens to be a MINOR ball, whirling around a MINOR star in a MINOR galaxy!
It's kind of humiliating when put that way.
But ... how did all of this begin?And WHEN did it begin?
What was God doing before
He made heaven and earth?
The big ball is actually a fiery blob. 99% is molten magma in a liquid form. We live on the thin crusted shell covering the top. When it cracks everything shakes for 1-2 seconds. And, once in a while a day like December 26th, 2004 comes along. That's when the biggest earthquake ever recorded took place. It lasted 10-minutes and created an 800-mile long gash in the floor of the ocean. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed by the tsunamis that followed. And new information indicates the WHOLE PLANET was actually moved a half-inch on that day.
This world was ever, is now, and ever shall be an ever-living fire. (Heraclitus, philosopher 2500 years ago) Under the western United States there is a huge cauldron of magma which has erupted cataclysmically every 600,000 years or so. The last such eruption was just over 600,000 years ago (in other words, IT’S DUE AGAIN). It’s a super-volcano waiting to happen and it sits under YellowstoneNational Park. The last eruption of this type was in Sumatra 74,000 years ago. It may have carried human beings right to the brink of extinction. All modern humans arose from a very small population base that survived. (Bryson)
But millions of years ago things got a lot hotter around here. A cataclysmic event of huge proportions happened and a part of the Earth itself was torn away and thrown into the sky to become the moon.
The PacificBasin is probably nothing more than a giant scar in the granite of Mother Earth, a constant reminder of the birth of her first and only daughter. (Gamow)
The moon’s steady gravitational influence keeps the Earth spinning at the right speed and angle. But, this won’t go on forever. The moon is slipping from our grasp at a rate of 1.5 inches per year. In another two billion years it will have receded so far it won’t keep us steady and we’ll have to come up with some other solution. (Bryson)
All the water that was eventually to become our oceans was in a vaporized form at the time, suspended in thick clouds. For thousands of years sunlight never penetrated to the surface below. And, when it rained, the water boilrf as it fell toward the fires below ... then returned to the sky in clouds of steam. It wasn't until about two billion years before Christ was born that everything cooled down enough to allow the crust to solidify. When it did, rains rushed down in a deluge filling-in all the valleys. After it ended, the first oceans gleamed in the rays of the sunshine.
WE'RE ALL FISH
The chemical composition of the universe is surprisingly uniform ... about 55% of cosmic matter is hydrogen and about 44% is helium. Our Earth represents a remarkable exception, almost lacking in hydrogen & helium. (Gamow)
More than ⅔ of the Earth is under water ... and if it weren't for irregularities of altitude, the whole thing would be covered! Much more water is stored at the North & South Poles in the form of ice. And, if melted, the sea level would be 100 feet higher ... submerging New York, London, and many inland cities.
During the first half of the history of the Earth nothing was alive on the planet. The wind stirred the oceans, and the gravitational pull of the moon created tides ... but nothing swam, flew, walked or crawled. The atmosphere was comprised of water-vapor, ammonia and methane ... and without oxygen or ozone to act as a filter, the full force of the Sun's ultraviolet rays blistered down.
Then, something strange happened! Somewhere over the ocean a violent electrical storm began charging certain molecules to form amino acids developing mirror-images of themselves (essentially the function of reproduction).Inanimate matter became life!.
And one day, from out of the waters, a creature crawled up onto the dry land and took a breath of air.
Let the waters bring forth the creeping
creature having life.(Genesis 1:20)
The sea is the raw material of life!We, and all living things, exist within that a “hairline" margin of temperatures because we're all made of water.In human beings, water represents 70% of our bodies, and all the elements of the sea swim in our blood. We're SEA creatures in a long chain of other animals ... and all of us are dependent on our old home for survival.
After that first mysterious moment when life appeared, special adaptations began.Those organisms with physical characteristics which helped them to survive in a particular situation were able to reproduce other survivors."Change or die" was the law-of-life and those failing to meet the challenge became extinct.
It may be hard to accept, but you come from a long line of creatures that once disliked oxygen, grew fins, laid eggs, flicked the air with forked tongues…were sleek for a time, were furry for a time, lived underground, lived in trees, been BIG and as small as a mouse. (Bryson)
Three million years ago a great grandmother of ours named “Lucy” lived in Ethiopia.She was 3˝ feet tall and probably had chimpanzee ancestors.Genetically you and I are 98.4% the same as modern chimps.
"I Love Lucy"
The scientists who found her skeleton named her "Lucy"
after drinking beer all night and listening to the Beatle's
song "Lucy In The Sky".
You'll be glad to know there’s also some talent in our family. About a million years after Lucy lived, a guy named HOMO HABILIS invented tools made out of rocks. (Homo Habilis means "handy man".)
Another relative of ours, the Neanderthal Man (a guy from the Neander Valley of Germany), lived about 40,000 years ago. He was a hunter and a savage for the most part, but the artifacts he left behind indicate he was also aware of "loneliness" and of his insignificance in the hostile situation. To overcome his fear of wild animals and the elements (as well as other Neanderthal guys) he sought help from the supernatural.
But, as Neanderthalians became less concerned about how to get enough food to eat and how to keep from getting hurt ... they began to think about why they were alive at all!
Please Click Here to continue to PART 2: You're "green slime"