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Rise and fall 3: The rise and fall of the earth

It is presumed that the solar system came into the cosmos about 5 billion years ago and the life of the sun will continue on about 5 billion years more from now. However, it is also presumed that the Sun will begin expanding itself rather before that time and reach the size swallowing the present Jupiter and Saturn, until that time the Earth will also become the victim of the Sun, though nobody knows whether it is tasty or nasty.

After the Earth was born as a member of the solar system, there have been a variety of dramas which can be called 'rise and fall' on the Earth. Geologically, the cooling of the Earth, the birth of the sea, the birth and separation of continents, and the variation and stabilization of the atmospheric components, while biologically, the birth and evolution of life, the discontinuation of the evolution by cosmic factors such as meteorite collisions and the destruction of environment caused by mankind, those are events which attract our immediate attention.

 

The 'separation of continents' has been keeping on until now e.g. the Hawaii Islands have been coming near the Kamchatka Peninsula bringing forth new volcanic islands or the separation have been causing such big disasters as the earthquakes off Sumatra last year and in Pakistan recently. As the Japan Islands are located at the forefront of the continental separation, more exactly the continental drift, we have been suffering from earthquakes of all sizes.

'Its exquisite balance of the atmosphere surrounding the earth has been created by the whole earth, and observing the earth from such a viewpoint, the earth is not a mere stage of life activities but the whole earth composes a big life sphere' asserted by J. E. Lovelock in his 'GAIA Hypothesis, the GAIA is a great mother in the Greek myths. As a lot of gigantic hurricanes broke out in the Gulf of Mexico this year, 2005, CO2 which has exponentially been increasing in these tens of years has begun threatening the 'life sphere of the earth'. The 'warming of the earth' has surely been surging on at a further closer distance than the one-time, still continuing now, enlargement of the 'Ozone Hole'.

It has become quite familiar through the popular movie 'The Jurassic Park' that the rise and fall which is depicted by the overwhelming doctrine that dinosaurs who had enjoyed their prosperity for tens of millions years in the Jurassic period is an operatic as well as vividly interesting legend coupled with the their extraordinary sizes.

In the rise and fall of the earth, personally, I am interested in the 'rise and fall' of the Cambrian period.

The Cambrian period is the time around 500 million years ago, and in this period living creatures born about 3 billion years ago had diversely evolved all at once, the certain causes or triggers have still been unknown, and almost died out within about 50 million years, an ephemeral period in the geological feeling. Only a few survived living species, it is said only a few percent, have been evolving with all their might and creating today's diverse 'life sphere' including us.

When I finished searching for all the details for of the rise and fall through the book titled 'WONDERFUL LIFE' written by Stephen Jay Gould, I was so much surprised that I lost my word, honestly speaking. In this connection the title of the book is quoted from a musical the author loves.

The attached photograph shows the 'halukillgenia' who walked about in the Cambrian period, I don't know if the description 'walked about' is apt, however this is one of my very favorite ancestors.

(1/11/2005)
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