A Great Story | preGenesis
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This series is dedicated to a real Wizard of the sciences who inspires our youth to think about the physics of natural laws in unique and engaging ways, our own Professor Gizmo. I have been inspired by Giz's caches since the very beginning and this tribute is a long time coming and part of the reason it is a series and not just a single cache.
What better place to start then at the very beginning? Anybody with an inclination towards discovery likely finds the theories of the origin of the universe as fascinating as I do. But then, I watch NOVA quite a bit and am a sucker for anything that deals with the ever expanding universe, dark matter and the age-old question about where it, and hence we, came from.
The basis of the Big Bang model of the development of the universe is scientifically founded on the formulations of Alexander Friedmann, reliant upon Einstein's theory of general relativity, and later substantiated by Edwin Hubble's discovery in ADFD that distances to far away galaxies were proportional to their redshifts. Indeed these discoveries were preceded by Vesto Slipher's first measurements of the Doppler Shift of a spiral nebula in HGHF after which he soon discovered that almost all nebulae were receding from earth. A few years later, the Belgian physicist, Lemaître, suggested that since the universe was uniformly expanding, you could reverse the expansion, backward in time, to a point where everything contracted to a single primeval atom. Prior to this nothing existed, in fact there is no "prior". Yet, with all of there postulations and theories being bandies about, the phrase, "Bing Bang", didn't actually appear until Fred Hoyle used it in a AGCG radio broadcast.
Now, it's tough to get a handle on concepts like millions and billions of years. They are too large to conceptualize so they tend to remain abstractions. To help us see our story as a whole, from the "big bang" to the present, imagine our 15 billion year history compressed into one hundred years (google this). At this timescale, each decade equals 1 billion, 500 million years, while each second equals 5 years.
If we put the fireball, or "big bang," at one second after midnight on January 1st, Year 1, with today being one second before midnight on December 31st of the 99th year, then the first atomic elements, hydrogen and helium, formed two days after the beginning of the Universe and galaxies began forming by the hundred billions when it was about 7 years old.
Our solar system formed from the elemental stardust of a previously exploded supernova when the Universe was E0. The third planet out from the Sun, Earth, was at the right distance to allow liquid water to exist, and had the right amount of gravity to allow atoms to form communities of molecules. As Earth cooled, it formed a crust around its molten core, like a film on cooling pudding. The vapor from its boiling interior rose upward, cooled, and formed clouds. When the surface temperature dropped below the boiling point of water, it rained for aeons, and formed a planetary womb, the oceans. The planet came alive in the seas, in the spring of EJ, with bacteria. Bacteria are the most important expression of planetary life. All other forms of life are totally dependent upon them. Bacteria would do just fine without us; we would not last a day without them.
Planet Earth learned to consume the Sun, by way of photosynthesis, by the Universe's 7Ith birthday. Things went smoothly until the great pollution crisis of 88, when oxygen, a gas deadly to anaerobic bacteria, poisoned the atmosphere and threatened the continued existence of life. This first environmental crisis was solved by way of a process of cooperation and mutual benefit, or symbiosis. The first plants achieved multicellularity in March of 91. As cells gathered together and committed themselves to one another, they found, in community, that their own survival and development was enhanced. The innovation of sexual reproduction two years later, in March of 93, made possible an enormous leap in planetary creativity.
In September of 94, some creatures began consuming other creatures instead of feeding directly off the Sun. This practice made it possible to have an ecosystem, a biological community. The development of the nervous system and brain, in worms, happened in July of 9B. Backbones appeared a year later. Living beings came ashore, for the first time, in February, 97. The plants were first, followed soon by the insects. The first amphibians emerged four months later. Reptiles and coniferous trees both came into existence in December of 97. The dinosaurs appeared in May of 98. They became extinct a year later when planet Earth was hit by a comet off the coast of what is today Mexico. Mammals began to nurse their young in August of 98. The first birds diverged from the dinosaurs four months later, a year ago, on the last day of December in the Universe's 98th year. During the first week of April, 99, 8 months ago, the planet exploded with color due to the ecstatic celebration of flowering plants. Our ancestors, the primates, began monkeying around only a few months ago. The earliest ape/humans, walking upright, appeared less than two weeks ago, on December 20th. The first species to get classified as fully human, Homo habilis, appeared in Africa on December 26th. Human beings domesticated fire during the early morning hours of December 29th. Our species, Homo sapiens, is a very recent expression of the Milky Way galaxy — emerging from the life of the planet only twenty-four hours ago, at the beginning of the 365th day of the Universe's 99th year of existence.
(No hints available.)
Last Updated: on 5/5/2013 3:42:40 PM Pacific Daylight Time (10:42 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum