Friday, July 29, 2005

Making sense of "It All?"

Distilling the "bigger picture" from the mish-mash of todays news is an increasingly difficult task for the average news junkie.

Newspapers, TV, radio and now the World Wide Web fervently blast out headlines and monologue 24/7 as fast as they can, attempting to incite controversy that sells more advertising than the next guy. How much of what we hear and read that is truly from the heart of the speaker or author we'll probably never knows. One thing for sure, it sells advertising nicely.

Standing back a moment and trying to making sense of the big picture (our world) I find a few interesting points that I can pretty well bank on:

1. Man can not stay still and has always been on the move, migrating to the next nearest valley, country or continent and...

2. The further man migrated, the better things got (in general: South America has its problems).

One of the first four civilizations began around the area of we today call Ethiopia; Ethiopia today is one of the poorest countries on earth. Make sense? Yes, this phenomenon can be explained in several ways by a number of scientific and religious interpreters. Maybe even your parents had there own version.

Here's a short recap of how things progresses from the "beginning," just in case your interested in coming with your own conclusion.

The universe is about 13.7B years old...

4500 MYA—The planet Earth forms from the accretion disk revolving around the young Sun.

4000 MYA—Life appears, possibly derived from self-reproducing RNA molecules.

1000 MYA—Multicellular organisms appear: initially colonial algae and later, seaweeds, living in the oceans.

365 MYA—Insects evolve on land and in fresh water from the myriapods.

150 MYA—Giant dinosaurs are common and diverse - Brachiosaurus, Apatosaurus, Stegosaurus, Allosaurus, along with smaller forms like Ornitholestes and Othneilia.

10 MYA—Human ancestors speciate from the ancestors of the gorillas.

We finally make an appearance...

250 kYA—Homo sapiens (Human beings) lived from about 250 thousand years ago (TYA) to the present.

15 kYA—The last Ice Age ends. Sea levels across the globe rise, flooding many coastal areas, and separating former mainland areas into islands.

10 kYA—Humans reach Tierra del Fuego at the tip of South America, the last continental region to be inhabited by humans (excluding Antarctica).

10 kYA—The earliest known civilizations originated in the Nile valley, China's Henan Province, Fertile Crescent, the Indus Valley and West Africa, where ancient peoples grouped together to form the first developed societies between the 10th and 4th millennia BCE.

4 kYA—Jews and Christians have independently worked backwards to find the implied time of the Creation of the world at around the beginning of the 4th millennium BCE.

3.5 kYA—Writing and historical records first appear, roughly 3,500 BCE. Interesting!

2.5 kYA—Noah's Ark; according to Archbishop Ussher's calculations the flood took place around 2348 BCE. This has since been revised by conservative scholars to 2519 BCE.

2 kYA—Abraham of Old Testament probably lived between 2166 BC and 1991 BCE.

1.5 kYA—Exodus of the Jews from Egypt is still debated today. Religious scholars usually favor the earlier date during the reign of Amenhotep II around 1444 BCE.

1 kYA—Maya civilization starts to build ceremonial architecture at approximately 1000 BCE.

Modern civilization develops...

0000—Dead Sea scrolls written at various times between the middle of the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE: discovered between 1947 and 1956 in eleven caves in and around the Wadi Qumran.

0030—Beginning of Christianity (30s CE) and Islam (7th century).

1835—Human population reached 1 billion.

1946—ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) unveiled on February 14, 1946 at the University of Pennsylvania.

1969—The first moon landing by a human was that of American Neil Armstrong, Commander of the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969.

1997—Human population reached 6 billion.

The above historical data researched and edited by Stan Morris, compiled from Wikipedia