Thursday, 15 June 2017

Inception 1.2

In the early days, the atmosphere on Earth was pretty much the same as it is on Venus today. It eventually cooled and life began. One of the problems I have with dating methods of fossils or rock samples, used to indicate the atmosphere on Earth, is the lack of foresight shown by science. Most samples older than 500m years are of sea-creatures, and rocks that were once part of the sea-bed. If you consider how much movement and recycling of the tectonic plates have occurred since 500m years ago, then what happened prior to then is impossible to tell. One thing for sure, the landscape would have been much different.

The other thing I dispute is how fast the tectonic plates move. They are riding on a molten mantle and the event of the Moon 'bouncing' off the Earth some 4.5 billion years ago, would have sent the plates shooting around the globe like ocean currents. Naturally they would then slow again over time but a smaller impact from a meteor could once again accelerate the process albeit to a lesser extent. It was only 50 million years ago that India was sent crashing into the Eurasian plate to create the Himalayas. 

Similarly, I have a problem with the time scientists say it took for the atmosphere to be endurable to mammalian life forms. I tend to think pockets of clean air developed and were localised by weather patterns. Take the Sargasso Sea as an example. It is an area in the North Atlantic that was notorious for becalming sailing ships. It was at the centre of the currents, like being in the eye of a hurricane. In effect, just because life wasn't possible 3 billion years ago on some parts of Earth, I contend that it was not only possible but very likely on others.

Different beliefs have their own scriptures and books to guide them, my belief does not so I felt someone had to write one. I suppose most would describe my beliefs as agnostic. I do actually believe there is something going on, I'm just not sure what it is. Before we go any further I should maybe explain exactly what is - in my interpretation - 'agnostic'. This is what we are told if you Google it......

agnostic  aɡˈnɒstɪk/

a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God.
synonyms: sceptic, doubter, questioner, doubting Thomas, challenger, scoffer, cynic

relating to agnostics or agnosticism.
synonyms: sceptical, doubting, questioning, unsure, cynical, unbelieving, disbelieving, non-believing, faithless, irreligious

Very little of that is true in my case. I define being agnostic as believing there is much we don't know and certainly a lot of things undiscovered or denied by science. I do not believe in a superior being as I feel all life forms are equal, it won't stop me swatting a fly but I won't go hunting one if it stays out of my face. There is a likelihood of life outside the Earth that is further evolved than us, but that just makes them older not better.

With that in mind we can skip all the boring stuff and personal hypotheses for now, and jump forward to around 1.2 million years ago. Apes had already been around for 10 million years, 'modern' apes 5 million years - depending on your definition. I lean towards the emergence of homo erectus as the turning point in the history of modern man. By 1.2 million years ago, homo erectus had been around for more than half a million years, but it wasn't until then something changed the course of human evolution.

A number of things changed during the 'reign' of homo erectus as the most dominant hominid. Homo erectus had already begun to use fire, initially for heat, and it was this that allowed the spread from Africa. The evolutionary process is usually long and drawn out allowing for an overlap of species. Homo neanderthalis emerged around 600,000 years ago and there is speculation by some as to whether homo erectus was the ancestor of neanderthalis. There are slight differences in skull and brain structure which the doubters will point to, just as there are similar differences between homo neanderthalis and homo sapiens.

During the erectus / neanderthalis overlap, hominids began to use fire for cooking and adopted the use of clothes. If we were to believe the regular Bible and the first use of clothing in the Eden story, it would suggest they must have lived around 400,000 years ago. This I find fanciful. However it is around this time homo erectus went into decline and neanderthalis became the new dominant hominids. It is possible that this may have been the first time an outside influence interfered with our evolutionary process.

The question is who, how, and why.

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