Richard Currier – Author of UNBOUNDED – Thank you for the further indications of the recommendations and approvals of your book UNBOUNDED . Attached is the updated Preface to my pending publication of The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History thaat I recently sent to the publisher. – ”
A Chronological Summary of the origins of the Geologic Time Scale:
Persian geologist Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Avicenna also first proposed one of the principles underlying geologic time scales, the law of superposition origins of mountains in The Book of Healing in 1027.
13th century Dominican bishop Albertus Magnus (Albert of Saxony)
The Chinese naturalist Shen Kuo (1031–1095) also recognized the concept of ‘deep time’.
Formation of primary principles
The principles underlying geologic (geological) time scales were later laid down by Nicholas Steno in the late 17th century.
Steno argued that rock layers (or strata) are laid down in succession, and that each represents a “slice” of time. He also formulated the law of superposition, which states that any given stratum is probably older than those above it and younger than those below it. While Steno’s principles were simple, applying them to real rocks proved complex. Over the course of the 18th century geologists realized that:
The Neptunist theories popular at this time (expounded by Werner) proposed that all rocks had precipitated out of a single enormous flood.
A major shift in thinking came when James Hutton presented his Theory of the Earth; or, an Investigation of the Laws Observable in the Composition, Dissolution, and Restoration of Land Upon the Globe before the Royal Society of Edinburgh in March and April 1785.
It has been said that “as things appear from the perspective of the 20th century, James Hutton in those readings became the founder of modern geology”.
 Hutton proposed that the interior of Earth was hot, and that this heat was the engine which drove the creation of new rock: land was eroded by air and water and deposited as layers in the sea; heat then consolidated the sediment into stone, and uplifted it into new lands.
This theory was called “Plutonist” in contrast to the Neptunist” flood-oriented theory.
Formation of geologic time scale – Encyclopedia Wikipedia:
“The first serious attempts to formulate a geological time scale that could be applied anywhere on Earth were made in the late 18th century.
The most influential of those early attempts (championed by Abraham Werner, among others) divided the rocks of Earth’s crust into four types:
Primary, Secondary, Tertiary, and Quaternary.
Each type of rock, according to the theory, formed during a specific period in Earth history.
It was thus possible to speak of a “Tertiary Period” as well as of “Tertiary Rocks.”
Indeed, “Tertiary” (now Paleogene and Neogene) remained in use as the name of a geological period well into the 20th century and “Quaternary” remains in formal use as the name of the current period.
The identification of strata by the fossils they contained, pioneered by William Smith, Georges Cuvier, Jean d’Omalius d’Halloy, and Alexandre Brogniart in the early 19th century, enabled geologists to divide Earth history more precisely.
It also enabled them to correlate strata across national (or even continental) boundaries. If two strata (however distant in space or different in composition) contained the same fossils, chances were good that they had been laid down at the same time. Detailed studies between 1820 and 1850 of the strata and fossils of Europe produced the sequence of geological periods still used today.
Naming of geologic periods, ERAS and EPOCHS:
The process was dominated by British geologists, and the names of the periods reflect that dominance.
The “Cambrian”, (the classical name for Wales)
and the “Ordovician”, and “Silurian”, named after ancient Welsh tribes,
were periods defined using stratigraphic sequences from Wales.
The “Devonian” was named for the English county of Devon,
and the name “Carboniferous” was simply an adaptation of “the Coal Measures”,
the old British geologists’ term for the same set of strata.
The “Permian” was named after Perm, Russia, because it was defined using strata in that region by Scottish geologist Roderick Murchison.
However, some periods were defined by geologists from other countries.
The “Triassic” was named in 1834 by a German geologist Friedrich Von Alberti from the three distinct layers (Latin trias meaning triad) —red beds, capped by chalk, followed by black shales — that are found throughout Germany and Northwest Europe, called the ‘Trias’.
The “Jurassic” was named by a French geologist Alexandre Brogniart for the extensive marine limestone exposures of the Jura Mountains.
The “Cretaceous” (from Latin creta meaning ‘chalk’) as a separate period was first defined by Belgian geologist Jean d’Omalius d’Halloy in 1822,
using strata in the Paris basin and named
for the extensive beds of chalk (calcium carbonate deposited by the shells of marine invertebrates).
British geologists were also responsible for the grouping of periods into Eras
and the subdivision of the Tertiary and Quaternary periods into epochs.
In 1841 John Phillips published the first global geological time scale based on the types of fossils found in each era.
Phillips’ scale helped standardize the use of terms like
Paleozoic (“old life”) which he extended to cover a larger period than it had in previous usage,
and Mesozoic (“middle life”) which he invented.
Dating of time scales:
When William Smith and Sir Charles Lyell first recognized that rock strata represented successive time periods, time scales could be estimated only very imprecisely since various kinds of rates of change used in estimation were highly variable.
While creationists had been proposing dates of around six or seven thousand years for the age of Earth
based on the Bible,
early geologists were suggesting millions of years for geologic periods with some even suggesting a virtually infinite age for Earth. Geologists and paleontologists constructed the geologic table based on the relative positions of different strata and fossils,
and estimated the time scales based on studying
rates of various kinds of weathering, erosion, sedimentation, and lithification.
Until the discovery of RADIOACTIVITY in 1896 and the development of its geological applications through RADIOMETRIC DATING during the first half of the 20th century
(pioneered by such geologists as Arthur Holmes)
which allowed for more precise absolute dating of rocks, the ages of various rock strata and the age of Earth were the subject of considerable debate.
The first geologic time scale that included absolute dates was published in 1913
by the British geologist Arthur Holmes. He greatly furthered the newly created discipline of GEOCHRONOLOGY and published the world-renowned book
The Age of the Earth in which he estimated Earth’s age to be at least 1.6 billion years.
In 1977, the Global Commission on Stratigraphy (now the International Commission on Stratigraphy) started an effort to define global references known as GSSP (Global Boundary Stratotype Sections and Points) for geologic periods and faunal stages.
The commission’s most recent work is described in the 2004 geologic time scale of Gradstein et al. A UML model for how the timescale is structured, relating it to the GSSP, is also available.
Condensed graphical timelines:
The following four timelines show the geologic time scale. The first shows the entire time from the formation of the Earth to the present, but this compresses the most recent eon. Therefore, the second scale shows the most recent eon with an expanded scale.
The second scale compresses the most recent era, so the most recent era is expanded in the third scale.
Since the Quaternary is a very short period with short epochs, it is further expanded in the fourth scale. The second, third, and fourth timelines are therefore each subsections of their preceding timeline as indicated by asterisks.
The Holocene (the latest epoch) is too small to be shown clearly on the third timeline on the right, another reason for expanding the fourth scale. The Pleistocene (P) epoch. Q stands for the Quaternary period.
Outline List, partially annotated, of Primary Bibliographical Sources – Chapter 1 – Section 1:
Chapter 1: Origin of the universe, origin of the oceans and origin of life in the oceans.
This chapter discusses the scientific version of the the origin of the universe, the planet earth,and the emergene of life in the oceans – from origins of the universe, to single cell organisms and multicellular organisms, to early sea life .
The Fossil Book: A Record Of Prehistoric Life (With Over 1500 Illustrations), Carroll Lane Fenton & Mildred Adams Fenton (the classic work for fossil collectors and enthusiasts revised and expanded by Patricia Vickers Rich, Thomas Hewitt Rich, and Mildred Adams Fenton (Doubleday: New York, London, Toronto, Sydney, Auckland), 1958, 1989:
Section 1: Prehistory: Origin of the Universe 20 – 10 billion years ago:
A Short History of the Universe (Scientific American Library: A Division of HPHLP: New York), 1994, written by Joseph Silk, Professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of California, Berkeley and also the author of The Big Bang (Freeman, 1989) and co-author of The Left Hand of Creation (Oxford University Press, 1993)
Steven Weinberg, The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe (Basic Books Inc., Publishers: New York), 1977, 1988
Time Magazine, “A Person Of The Century: Albert Einstein: 1879-1955,” and “A Brief History Of Relativity” By Stephen Hawkins (What Is It? How Does It Work? Why Does It Change Everything? An Easy Primer by the World’sMost Famous Living Physicists,” December 31, 1999:
Richard Milner, The Encyclopedia Of Evolution: Humanity’s Search For Its Origins, Foreward By Stephen Jay Gould (Henry Holt And Company: New York), 1990
Stephen Hawkin’s The Grand Design (Bantam Books: New York), 2010 is described as “the first major work in nearly a decade by one of the world’s great thinkers—a marvously concise book with new answers to the ultimate questions of life: when and how did the universe begin? Why are we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And finally, is the apparent ‘grand design’ of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation?”
Stephen Hawkins, the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge for thirty years, and has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors including most recently, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His books for the general reader include the classic A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time. He lives in Cambridge, England.
“When and how did the universe begin? Why were we here? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is the nature of reality? Why are the laws of nature so finely tuned as to allow for the existence of beings like ourselves? And, finally, is the apparent ‘gra Tnd design’ of our universe evidence of a benevolent creator who set things in motion—or does science offer another explanation? That we create history by observing it, rather than that history creates us.” [Book Jacket]
Victor J. Stenger, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us (Prometheus Books: Amherst, New York), 2011 Physicist Victor J. Stenger responded to the “laws of nature finely tuned” question in The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is Not Designed for Us (Prometheus Books: Amherst, New York), 2011.
Among the commentaries on Victor J. Stenger’s New York Times bestseller, God: The Failed Hypothesis.” The New Scientist indicated: “In this much needed book physicist Victor Stenger isolates and then debunks the claims of two kinds of ‘quantum belief’ … With Stenger in charge … we are on sure ground. He adds even more value by weaving a thorough beginner’s course in quantum physics into his debunking exercise. … Stenger is a pleasure to read. And, pleasingly,the title … sounds just crockpot enough to attract those readers who will benefit most.”
“Victor J. Stenger, Ph.D., is adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Colorado and emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii. He is the autor of the New York Times bestseller God: The Failed Hypothesis, and many other books, including Quantum Gods, The Unconscious Quantum, Has Science Found God?, The Comprehensible Cosmos, Timeless Reality, Physics and Psychics, and The New Atheism.”
Robert Jastrow, in The Enchanted Loom: Mind in the Universe (Simon And Schuster: New York), 1981, in Chapter 1: “Across the Threshold of Life,” discussed the formation of the sun, earth, moon, and humans; and the sudden beginning of the universe and of every star, every planet and every living creature in the universe, stating:
“Scientific discoveries of the last decades have created a new explanation for the appearance of man on the earth. In the scientist’s version of Genesis, as in the Bible, the world begins with the dazzling splendor of the moment of creation. A few astronomers could have anticipated that this event – the sudden birth of the universe – would become a proven scientific fact, but observations of the heavens through telescopes have forced them to that conclusion.
“The first scientific indication of an abrupt beginning for the world appeared about fifty years ago. At that time, American astronomers, studying the great clusters of stars called galaxies, stumbled on evidence that the entire universe is blowing up before our eyes. According to their observations, all the galaxies in the universe are moving away From us and from one another at very high speeds, and the most distant are receding at extraordinary speeds of hundreds of millions of miles an hour.
“This discovery led directly to the picture of a sudden beginning for the universe; for if we retrace the movements of the expanding galaxies backward in time, we find that at an earlier time they must have been closer together than they are today; at a still earlier time, they must have been still closer together; and if we go back far enough in time, we find that at a certain critical moment in the past, all the galaxies in the universe were packed together into one dense mass, at an enormous pressure and temperature.
“Reacting to this pressure, the dense, hot matter must have exploded with incredible violence. The instant of the explosion marked the birth of the universe. The seed of everything that has happened in the universe was planted in that first instant; every star, every planet and every living creature in the universe came into being as a result of events that were set in motion in the moment of the cosmic explosion. It was literally the moment of creation.
Dr. Jastrow attended Townsend Harris High School and went to Columbia University for college and graduate school where he received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D in theoretical physics. Afterwards he joined National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) when it was formed in 1958 as head of its theoretical division which did basic research in fields like cosmology and astronomy. In 1961 he became director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies which worked within NASA on projects like the robotic probes Pioneer, Voyager and Galileo which sailed through the solar system. He received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the Arthur S. Flemming Award for Outstanding Service to the United States Government, as well as the Columbia University Medal of Excellence.
Time Magazine, APerson of The Century: Albert Einstein: 1879-1955, and A Brief History Of Relativity By Stephen Hawkins (AWhat Is It? How Does It Work? Why Does It Change Everything? An Easy Primer By The World’’sMost Famous Living Physicists,December 31, 1999
John F. Haught is Senior Fellow, Science and Religion, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University and the author of fifteen books, including God After Darwin, The Promise of Nature, Theology in Global Perspective Series,
Peter C. Phan, General Editor, Ignacio Ellacuria, and is a Professor of Catholic Social Thought, at Georgetown University, in the Preface of Christianity and Science: Toward a Theology of Nature (Orbis Books: Maryknoll, New York), 2007.
Research Report: “A Very Big Bang,” Ohio State Alumni Magazine, September – October, 2006:
“Scientists have found evidence of a massive meteor impact that devastated life on Earth millions of years ago”
“What caused the biggest mass extinction in Earth’s history? It wasn’t the meteor that killed the dinosaurs—that happened a mere 65 million years ago . Scientists have found evidence of a much earlier and larger impact, the Wilkes Land meteor. A crater some 300 miles wide—big enough to hold the sttate of Ohio—lies more than a mile beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet.
The People’s Almanac By David Wallechinky and Irving Wallace (Doubleday & Company, Inc.: Garden City, New York), 1975, Chapter 11: Universe – Spaced Out:
“Earth: The Earth spins through space like a top. It makes one complete spin or revolution every 24 hours.