Thursday, July 9, 2009

(3) Earth Home

As for the Land and the Water, well I decided that I needed a
breather from all the books that I had been studying. I decided
to take a "hands-on" approach and go see for myself. Hence I
spent well over a two-year period traveling around the world,
visiting great parklands, magnificent mountains, beautiful lakes,
and thunderous oceans. I could literally see what the books said,
findiing seashells and marine fossils in the desert, musing over
majestic jutting monoliths, gasping with amazement at the great
canyons eroded over millions of years by rapid rivers. All-in-all,
very impressive.

As for Life, well museums have case after case of ancient life forms.
And from their displays it is possible to see evolutionary jumps, not
just in human beings but also in many other living forms. As for going
from Big to Small, well one exhibit I saw really convinced me! One
day I was looking at an ancient shark's tooth. Inquiring, I was told
that scientists could determine from this particular tooth that this
ancient shark was as big as a semi-truck. Whew! I wouldn't want
to have run into this fellow--the Great White Shark is bad enough!
Also, there's the theory that modern birds might be descended from
the dinosaur. So it goes, moving from Big to Small.

Still there's the mystery how Life--much less all its varied forms--
emerged from a previously lifeless planet. Here we are pretty much
into speculation. One of the more fascinating guesses is what is
called "panspermia." This is a theory that the "seeds" of Life exist
all over the universe--and, thus, in time our planet was seeded.
Even more fascinating, some people speculate that Intelligent Life
Forms from other cosmic systems may have purposefully seeded
Life on our planet--hence "directed panspermia."

But beyond the speculation, we do know that the universe does
provide the necessary elements for the emergence of Life as we
know it--such as hydrogen, oxygen, silicon, carbon, etc. There's
much more, too. On Earth there's the atmosphere, the climate,
food-producing parts, and minerals that also enable Life. All the
right stuff stumbled onto our planet, and here we are!

And I am willing to bet that throughout the universe, in the midst
of all the endless galaxy formations, amongst their solar systems
and planets, there is probably Life blooming all over the place.

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