UPDATED: September 10, 2014: Chapter 3: Origin of the Earth – The Age of the Earth and the Origin of Life on the Earth

Harold L Carter, The Human Odyssey:  The African Odyssey:  The African Heritage in World History and Human Biological and Cultural History:  From Prehistoric Times:  4.6 Billion Years Ago and the Earliest Civilizations:  6,000 Years Ago to the 21st Century (2014)

I have not been the only one who have endeavored to write a comprehensive world  history that would cover all the chronological periods of time and geological ages that covered our knowledge of the history of the earth on up to the first appearance of man on the planet Earth

A book that would be a history of civilization and humankind that would include the history of  population groups that became nations and the earliest interpretations of the history of the diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds of the peoples of the Earth who are a part of those racial, ethnic groups, and nations, on up to the present moment I the 21st century. One historian wrote: “The  earliest history of man presupposes a knowledge of the history of the earth upon which he lived and we must begin with a sketch of Earth’s history.  This was the conclusion made by Professor Joseph Ward Swain, in his Book, The Harper History Of Civilization, published in 1958.

History and Prehistory: Professor Joseph Ward Swain, in The Harper History Of Civilization (Harper & Row, Publishers: New York And Evanston), 1958, stated:

Being the story of civilization itself history is universal in its length, stretching over all the ages from the first appearance of man on our planet to the present moment;  it is universal in its breadth covering all the nations and peoples of the earth;  and it is universal in its depth, including every form of human activity.  All these human activities woven together, make up one gigantic story  the history of civilization. 

Prehistory – Earth History:

All civilizations are the creations of men, and they cannot be understood apart from their creators.  Our introductory sketch of the earliest civilizations must therefore be preceded by a brief account of the earliest history of man,  or prehistory, and this in turn presupposes a knowledge of the history of the earth upon which he lived.  AWe must begin with a sketch of earth history.

“That is why I chose to begin this interpretation of the story of civilization, The Human Odyssey: The African Odyssey: The African Heritage in Human Biological and Cultural History, with the history of the earth, its origin, and the evolution of the universe.

Professor Swain had indicated:

“Scientists tell us that the earth came into existence as much as four billion years ago.  it developed a solid crust; parts of it were covered with seas and oceans of water; it was surrounded by air, and its temperature gradually moderated. In an article in The New York Times, National, A Scientists Date Parts Of Bedrock At 4.28 Billion Years,@ on Friday, September 26, 2008, Kenneth Change indicated:

“A swath of bedrock in northern Quebec may be the oldest known piece of the earth=s crust. In an article appearing in Friday=s issue of the journal Science, scientists report that portions of that bedrock are 4.28 billion years old, formed when the earth was less than 300 million years old.  >These rocks paint this picture of an early earth that looked pretty much like the modern earth.= said Richard W. Carlson of the Carnegie Institution of Washington and one of the authors of the paper.  Other scientists are intrigued, but not yet entirely convinced that the rocks are quite that old.  >There is a certain amount of healthy skepticism that needs to play a role here,= said Stephen J. Mojzsis, a professor of geological sciences at the University of Colorado.  Dr. Mojzsis said the new research was well done, but that he thought these were younger sedimentary rocks, pressed together out of the remnants of earlier rocks that were indeed 4.28 billion years old.  >I hope that I’m wrong,’ Dr. Mojzsis said, ‘If that happens, I believe there will be a land rush by geologists to northern Quebec.

“At present, the oldest dated rocks are in the Canadian Northwest, at 4.03 billion years old.  Geologists have also found older bits of the earth: tiny, zircon crystals as old as 4.36 billion years old, embedded within younger rocks in Western Australia. The age of the earth is more than 4.5 billion years

Radioactive elements trapped within zircons provide precise ages, but Dr. Carlson and his collaborators at McGill University and the University of Quebec have not found any zircons in the Quebec bedrock.  Instead, they determined the age of the rocks from the amounts of neodymium and samarium, two rare earth elementADr. Carlson said the skeptics might be correct that the bedrock could be younger rocks formed out of older material.  “The age is pretty certain,= he said.  >The interpretation of the age is less certain. 

If the rocks are as old as claimed, the significance would be that ‘they=re not dramatically different from rocks you would find today in Japan or places like that,’ Dr. Carlson said. 

In fact, their chemical signature looks most similar to ocean floor that has been pulled under continents, Dr. Carlson said.  That suggests that the process of plate tectonics, reshaping and moving continents, could have already started on the very early earth.  At the very least, the existence of solid rock 4.28 billion years ago would run counter to the traditional image of the young earth as a rolling cauldron of magma oceans, a view that is falling by the wayside among researchers as more geological data is unearthed.”

Professor Joseph Swain had indicated:

The Age of the Earth:

Scientists tell us that the earth came into existence as much as four billion years agoIt developed a solid crust; parts of it were covered with seas and oceans of water; it was surrounded by air, and its temperature gradually moderated.  It has since gone through an elaborate history.  great chains of mountains have been thrown up, often reaching altitudes as high as 25,000 feet (almost the height of Mount Everest which, at 29,000 feet, is the loftiest mountain on earth today), and then been washed away by the erosion of rivers until only low flat plains remained.  The earth has gone through this cycle many times.  The oldest mountains existing on earth today are the Urals and the Appalachians, whose age is only about 200 million years (or about one-twentieth that of the earth itself), yet they are already eroded to about one-quarter of their original height.  The Cascades and the Himalayas, on the other hand, are only a few million years old, and perhaps the latter are still rising.

AThe Earth has also seen great changes in climate.  Coal deposits in Spitzbergen (80E north latitude) and others within three hundred miles of the south pole, and coral reefs off Greenland show that these regions once enjoyed a subtropical climate. 

There is also evidence to indicate that at other times glaciers similar to those now covering much of Greenland and Antarctica, reached almost to the Tropics. as might be expected, the cold periods followed those of active mountain building, when high mountain ranges formed convenient centers for the formation of glaciers

The most recent of these glacial epochs known to geologists as the Pleistocene, began less than a million years ago. This Pleistocene or glacial epoch Is of great importance to us since it witnessed the first appearance of man.”

Professor Joseph Ward Swain, indicated:

“Scientists tell us t that the Earth developed a solid crust; parts of it were covered with seas and oceans of water; it was surrounded by air, and its temperature gradually moderated. 

“It has since gone through an elaborate history.  great chains of mountains have been thrown up, often reaching altitudes as high as 25,000 feet (almost the height of Mount Everest which, at 29,000 feet, is the loftiest mountain on earth today), and then been washed away by the erosion of rivers until only low flat plains remained.  The earth has gone through this cycle many times.  the oldest mountains existing on earth today are the Urals and the Appalachians, whose age is only about 200 million years (or about one-twentieth that of the earth itself), yet they are already eroded to about one-quarter of their original height.  The Cascades and the Himalayas, on the other hand, are only a few million years old, and perhaps the latter are still rising.

“The Earth has also seen great changes in climate.  Coal deposits in Spitzbergen (80_ North Latitude) and others within three hundred miles of the South Pole, and Coral Reefs off Greenland show that these regions once enjoyed a subtropical climate.  There is also evidence to indicate that at other times glaciers similar to those now covering much of Greenland and Antarctica, reached almost to the tropics.  As might be expected, the cold periods followed those of active mountain building, when high mountain ranges formed convenient centers for the formation of glaciers. 

The First Appearance of Humans:

The most recent of these glacial epochs known to geologists as the Pleistocene, began less than a million years ago.  This Pleistocene or glacial epoch is of great importance to us since it witnessed the first appearance of man.”

In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, or the “Out of Africa” theory, is the most widely accepted model of the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans. The theory is called the “(Recent) Out-of-Africa” model in the popular press, and academically the “recent single-origin hypothesis” (RSOH), “Replacement Hypothesis“, and “Recent African Origin” (RAO) model. The concept was speculative until the 1980s, when it was corroborated by a study of present-day mitochondrial DNA, combined with evidence based on physical anthropology of archaic specimens.

Genetic studies and fossil evidence show that archaic Homo sapiens evolved to anatomically modern humans solely in Africa, between 200,000 and 60,000 years ago,[1] that members of one branch of Homo sapiens left Africa by between 125,000 and 60,000 years ago, and that over time these humans replaced earlier human populations such as Neanderthals and Homo erectus.[2] The date of the earliest successful “out of Africa” migration (earliest migrants with living descendants) has generally been placed at 60,000 years ago as suggested by genetics, although migration out of the continent may have taken place as early as 125,000 years ago according to Arabian archaeology finds of tools in the region.[3] A 2013 paper reported that a previously unknown lineage had been found, which pushed the estimated date for the most recent common ancestor (Y-MRCA) back to 338,000 years ago.[4] – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recent_African_origin_of_modern_humans

 

Advertisements

About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s