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First life forms on Earth -- A bacteria reproduces itself, and the race is on

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A Godless Philosophy - Contents

Preface  (What's this all about?)

The Story of Evolution

14,000,000,000 y.a. -- The Big Bang
Evolution begins

4,600,000,000 y.a. -- Our Sun and Earth
Stars evolve, producing the complex elements of organic life

2,500,000,000 y.a. -- First life forms on Earth
A bacteria reproduces itself, and the race is on

220,000,000 y.a. -- First mammals
A tiny shrew survives among the dinosaurs

30,000,000 y.a. -- The great apes of Africa
Chimps achieve sociability, planned combat, and use of natural objects as tools

5,000,000 y.a. -- Earliest human ancestors
It looks like a chimp but walks upright

3,000,000 y.a. -- Earliest toolmakers
Still chimp-like, this larger-brained ape makes the first stone tools

1,800,000 y.a. -- Later pre-humans
More human-looking without fur, this naked ape conquers fire and reaches Eurasia   

300,000 y.a. -- Neanderthals
Evolved in Europe's Ice Age, they hunt and kill 7-ton mammoths

50,000 y.a. -- Modern humans (Homo sapiens)
Fully human now, we narrowly escape extinction to follow our destiny

45,000 y.a. -- Spread of modern humans throughout Eurasia
Out of Africa, we encounter the pre-humans and fight our way north

30,000 y.a. -- Extinction of the last pre-humans
Neanderthals, the tough guys, hold out the longest

15,000 y.a. -- First settlements, city-states and empires
It takes us 35,000 years to create the first small city

600 y.a. -- Racial differences and European conquests
Guns, germs and steel

Now -- Human evolution in modern times
Where are we, and what lies ahead?

Theory or Science?  Sources and References

Evolution's Implications  (Summary)

Miscellaneous Musings

After hundreds of millions of years of molten-metal temperatures, asteroid impacts and other turmoil, the surface of the Earth cooled enough for its crust to solidify. Oceans gradually formed, along with an early atmosphere. Warm seas, shifting continents, constant volcanic eruptions and lightning storms acted like an immense laboratory, producing uncountable random combinations of the earth's chemicals.

Scientists believe that between 4 and 2.5 billion years ago, the earliest life emerged amid this chaos, with one of these combinations taking the form of self-reproducing molecules.

While it might seem hopeless to find evidence of such ancient microscopic life forms, archaeologists have discovered fossil bacteria 1.9 billion years old in the Gunflint Formation of Ontario.

Let's step back for a quick recap at this juncture. Cosmic evolution, starting with primordial protons and neutrons, created the complex chemicals necessary for biological life. This same pattern -- from simple to complex -- is evident in the biological evolution described below.

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Copyright © 2011 Marshall C. Whitfield