The Evolution of the Earth

The+Evolution+of+the+Earth

Alex Davis, Editor

There are many mysteries and theories that are about our Earth. Though there is many unknown things and ideas about Earth there is still a lot of scientifically proven things as well. For example, using very advanced technology scientists can get a somewhat good idea of what Earth might have first looked like. Aside from technology finding fossils and other left-over evidence is also key to figuring out some things. Still, theories must be made based on reasonable explanations. 

 

Earth at the Beginning 

There are many different theories about how the planet we live on was formed but a very popular one is the big bang theory. The big bang theory is a theory where the world started as a single point and then spread out to the universe as we know it today. Another not so popular theory is core accretion. Core accretion theory is where about 4.6 billion years ago, the galaxy was just a cloud of dust and gas. Otherwise known as the space nebula. As the galaxy began to spin Gravity collapses the material in on itself and the sun forms in the middle of the space nebula. After the sun has risen the other material clump up and then drawn by the force of gravity, small particles clump and form bigger particles. Lighter elements are swept away by solar winds. As these elements are swept away it resulted in heavy rocky materials which created smaller terrestrial planets like Earth. Though, farther away the solar winds had less impact on lighter elements leading to the creation of gas giants. There are many theories, some more similar then others, that talk about beliefs on how the solar system was created. 

 

Life enters the world 

Over 3 billion years ago an amazing thing happened, life began to form. Though there is no set explanation on how life was first formed there are some good ideas on the most possible way life probably came off. The Earth started as basic little microbes and evolved to remarkable and complicated species we see now. So basically, life forms were able to slowly evolve and become species like us and others that we see today. For example, we were most likely an evolution of a chimpanzee (or vise-versa). There are even many more species that we don’t know of. The basic concept is evolution. And that is how we got were we are today. As for how the smaller evolutions got here in the first place, there are some ideas that a lightning strike started the spark of light because it provides amino acids and sugars from atmospheres that have access to water, methane, ammonia, and hydrogen. So, this is a very possible way that we have life. Having lightning strikes provide us with the materials we need to start life. 

 

Earth moves on 

Life forms continue to live on in Earth. Then the dinosaurs are wiped out by an asteroid. With no more dinosaurs, humans and Neanderthals fight to become the most dominant species and it was not looking good. Neanderthals were stronger and smarter than humans and seemed to have them beat in every way. The big difference for the humans was below the waist. If the Neanderthals were so much better than humans how come, we survived, and they went extinct. Well, humans had feet. Of course, Neanderthals did too but their feet were flatter, causing them to be much slower. This gave humans a big advantage over the Neanderthals. Along with this, humans had a better reproduction rate. So, the Neanderthals may have been able to create better weapons and more strength. But humans had speed and they could run a way and chase down prey. So, eventually the Neanderthals were gone. And the humans were left to reign. 

 

The Start of Civilization and settlement 

As human’s population grow it is time that they start to build and create cities and towns that we grow up with today. Early civilizations were starting to form in about 3200 B.C.E. humans started to create the two earliest civilization from were southwest Asia joins with Northeast Africa. Early humans had to carefully pick where they place their civilizations were because rivers played a crucial part in settlement. Egypt and Mesopotamia were the two earliest civilizations which show examples of how the location of settlement is very important. The Sumerians settled in what is currently Southern Iraq. They were between the mouth of the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers. Rivers provide two big advantages to a growing civilization. It offers transport among areas of the civilization along with the water to irrigate crops. These rivers can also provide seafood for the civilization and over time fertile silt can be left behind. Of course, rivers can also provide extra cautions like flooding which can be very scary and unpredictable for some civilizations. Rivers are not the only things people look for when starting a settlement. Climate, mountains, soil, and altitude can also factor in to whether you should settle somewhere or not. 

I was curious about how much students knew about how the Earth was formed so I interviewed some people and here are two results that I got:

my question: “How do you think the Earth began?”

One answer: “I think that it started by the Big Bang because all the stuff came together to make a planet.”

Another answer: “I don’t know,” the middle school said that wasn’t really sure how the Earth was made.

In conclusion, the ideas people have about the Earth and how it form can be very different and students responses can also vary as one student thought the Earth formed through a reasonable theory and the other student didn’t really know how the Earth was formed. This shows that some students have a good idea of how the Earth was made and some don’t have as much of an idea. I took information from several people and I got the same amount of data being that some students aren’t quite sure or have a different idea of how the Earth was made and others have a concept that is pretty well known among other people about their theory on how the Earth was made. 

“What Is the Big Bang?” NASA, NASA, 27 June 2019, https://spaceplace.nasa.gov/big-bang/en/.

Redd, Nola Taylor. “How Was Earth Formed?” Space.com, Space, 1 Nov. 2016, https://www.space.com/19175-how-was-earth-formed.html.

McDougall, Christopher. Born to Run: a Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen. Alfred A. Knopf, 2016.