Thursday, March 15, 2012

Obama: 'On the Origin of Species'

The most prominent and well respected scientists in the world have made a remarkable discovery. They have directly tied President Obama's ancestral lineage to the Big Bang.

Through ancient records, theology, modern scientific evidence, and complicated DNA analysis, they have also traced Obama's roots all the way back through the evolution of mankind - - and then back to the American Revolution. Not only is Obama more patriotic than most people in the current Tea Party, but he's also more human!

Geneticists have proved, using mitochondrial DNA haplogroups to define genetic populations (which are often geographically oriented) that on his father's side, President Obama's heritage can be traced all the way back to one of the first Homo sapiens on Earth.

And the Tea Party would also hate the fact that "Adam" was not only a black man from East Africa, but whose future ancestors were also some of America's original Founding Fathers!

From the Creation of the Universe to the Creation of Obama

The most precise estimate of the universe's age is 13–15 billion years. The universe is immensely large and possibly infinite in volume. The region visible from Earth (the observable universe) is a sphere with a radius of about 46 billion light years. Less than 5% of the known universe as we see it is ordinary matter. A 2010 study by astronomers estimated that the observable universe contains 300 sextillion stars, and they all most likely have at least one, if not more, planet in their solar systems.

So, what is the possibility that life exists elsewhere else?

Our Sun (a star) was formed about 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of part of a giant molecular cloud that consisted mostly of hydrogen and helium. The Moon's origins is thought to have formed some 4.5 billion years ago in a giant impact event involving Earth. Life first appeared at least 2.5 billion years ago, and has existed on land for about 1 billion years.

The forming of super-continents on Earth, and their breaking up, appears to be cyclical through Earth's 4.6 billion year history. There may have been several others before the last super-continent of Pangaea.

The most severe ice ages of the last billion years occurred from 850 to 630 million years ago (the Cryogenian period) and may have produced a Snowball Earth in which glacial ice sheets reached the equator.

The last super-continent of Pangaea existed during the late Paleozoic and early Mesozoic eras, forming about 300 million years ago, and then beginning to rift approximately 225 million years ago - - about when the first dinosaurs evolved from the archosaurs, the "ruling lizards".

65 million years ago at the peak of the Mesozoic era, when there were no polar ice caps, the consensus is that an impact event (an asteroid hitting the Yukon Peninsula) was the primary cause of the extinction of all non-avian dinosaurs (birds are their only descendants today).

Since then, the component continents were separated into their current configurations. (More on tectonic plates near the end of this post)

(Image below) Tectonic Plates from 225 million BC to the Present: The Cradle of Homo Sapiens, the Olduvai Gorge, and the Cradle Of Humankind are represented by the red dots.

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Tectonic Plates

The Origin of Humans

The Middle Awash is an archaeological site along the Awash River in Ethiopia's Afar Depression. A number of Pleistocene and late Miocene hominid remains have been found at the site, along with some of the oldest known Olduwan stone artifacts and patches of fire-baked clay, disputed evidence of the use of fire. Chimpanzee and pre-human lineages are thought to have split around this time, somewhere between 5 million and 7 million years ago.

The Zanclean flood (also known as "Zanclean Deluge") is a flood theorized to have refilled the Mediterranean Sea 5.33 million years ago, at the beginning of the Zanclean age, between the Miocene and Pliocene, which ended the Messinian salinity crisis.

The "Cradle of Humankind" is about 80 miles northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. It contains a complex of limestone caves where the 2.3-million year-old fossil Australopithecus Africanus (nicknamed "Mrs. Ples") was found in 1947. The name Cradle of Humankind reflects the fact that the site has produced a large number, as well as some of the oldest, hominid fossils ever found, some dating back as far as 3.5 million years ago.

The Pliocene-Quaternary glaciation, started about 2.58 million years ago during the late Pliocene period, when the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere first began.

Early human migrations began when Homo erectus first migrated out of Africa over the Levantine corridor and Horn of Africa to Eurasia about 1.8 million years ago.

The expansion of Homo erectus out of Africa was followed by that of Homo antecessor into Europe around 800,000 years ago, followed by Homo heidelbergensis around 600,000 years ago, where they probably evolved to become the Neanderthals

Olduvai Gorge is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the world and has been instrumental in furthering the understanding of early human evolution. This site was occupied by homo habilis approximately 1.9 million years ago, paranthropus boisei 1.8 million years ago, and homo erectus 1.2 million years ago. (Homo sapiens are dated to have occupied the site 17,000 years ago.) Read: The First Industrial Complex Circa 2,500,000 BCE – 500,000 BCE

Homo sapiens are supposed to have appeared in East Africa around 200,000 years ago. The oldest individuals found left their marks by the Omo remains (195,000 years ago) and the Homo sapiens idaltu (160,000 years ago), that was found at site Middle Awash in Ethiopia. In a 2005 article on the Omo remains, Nature Magazine said that, because of the fossils' age, Ethiopia is the current choice for the "Cradle of Homo sapiens".

In an article from National Geographic (published in 2005) it says an analysis of DNA of thousands of men from around the world discovered that all humans alive today can be traced back to a small tribe of hunter-gatherers who lived in Africa 60,000 years ago.

(Image below) The Cradle of Homo Sapiens, the Olduvai Gorge, and the Cradle Of Humankind are represented by the red dots. (Note the sites' proximity to Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and Egypt.)

A stone calendar that is apparently older than 75 000 years has been discovered in Mpumalanga in South Africa. "Adam's Calendar", as it has been named by the two South Africans who discovered the find, is reportedly the oldest man-made structure on Earth.(More here) In another article, this "African Stonehenge" was claimed to be more than 100,000 years old.

The dawn of modern homo sapiens occurred in Africa between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago. Evidence of modern man's migration out of the African continent has been documented in Australia and Central Asia at 50,000 years and in Europe at 40,000 years. The fact that humans could have been in North America at or near the same time is expected to spark debate among archaeologists worldwide, raising new questions on the origin and migration of the human species. (More on migration further below)

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Migration of Early Humans

The human population appears to have crashed to around 2,000 individuals around 70,000 years ago, at the same time they were headed into the worst part of the last ice age. The crash was possibly brought on by a massive volcanic eruption.

Spencer Wells, a geneticist and an anthropologist and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, says, "The hypothesis is that the survivors of this near-extinction event had to be smarter in order to survive, and this allowed them to settle the rest of the world outside of Africa. So, 'human-ness' may not have been widespread until around 50,000 to 60,000 years ago, and this could be seen as the real origin of our species."

The earliest known remains of Cro-Magnon-like humans are radiocarbon dated to 35,000 years before present, and were hunter-gatherers who migrated.

"The Ice Age" refers to the most recent glacial period that lasted from approximately 110,000 BC and ended almost 10,000 years ago. The maximum extent of glaciation (pictured below) was approximately 18,000 years ago, before the extensive ice sheets that lay over large parts of the North American and the northern Eurasian continents slowly began to melt.

The Black Sea deluge is a hypothesized catastrophic rise in the level of the Black Sea circa 5600 BC after glacial melt, due to waters from the Mediterranean Sea breaching a sill in the Bosporus Strait. (Some hypothesized that this is the Great Flood during the time of Noah.)

This was also about the same time when the Great Lakes are estimated to have been formed at the end of the last glacial period when the Laurentide ice sheet in North America receded.

The earth is currently in an interglacial period, but scientists predict that changes in orbital forcing suggests that the next glacial period would begin at least 50,000 years from now, even in the absence of human-made global warming.

The two Ġgantija temples off the north coast of Africa were built during the Neolithic Age (c. 3600-2500 BC) making these temples more than 5,500 years old, and some of the world's oldest man-made religious structures. Also read: The Megalithic Temples of Malta

From 3600 BC to about 3100 BC, Neolithic Egyptian societies along the Nile River had based their culture on the raising of crops and the domestication of animals. Egyptian society began to grow and advance rapidly toward a refined civilization.

The earliest among the great Egyptian pyramids is the Pyramid of Djoser, which was constructed from 2630 BCE–2611 BCE. The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that is still in existence, built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) over an approximately 20 year period, concluding around 2560 BC.

Napata was founded by Thutmose III after his conquest of Nubia. In 1075 BC the fragmentation of power in Egypt allowed the Nubians to regain autonomy. They founded a new kingdom, Kush, and centered it at Napata.

Napata was a city-state of ancient Nubia on the west bank of the Nile River, at the site of modern Karima in Northern Sudan. During the 8th to 7th centuries BC, Napata was the capital of the Nubian kingdom of Kush, whence the 25th, or Nubian Dynasty conquered Egypt. The rule of the 25th dynasty is also known as the "Napatan period" of Egypt.

Sudan is a country in North Africa that is often considered to be part of the Middle East. The population of Sudan is a combination of indigenous Nilo-Saharan-speaking Africans, and descendants of migrants from the Arabian Peninsula.

The majority of the population of Sudan adheres to Islam. The Nile divides the country between east and west sides. The people of Sudan have a long history extending from antiquity which is intertwined with the history of ancient Egypt.

The Nilotic peoples, derived from the River Nile Valley (the Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and others) first entered South Sudan sometime before the 10th century. "Nilotic" derives specifically the Upper Nile and its tributaries, where most Sudanese Nilo-Saharan-speaking people live.

DNA - Wood et al. (2005) tested samples of three Nilotic populations: Maasai from Kenya, Luo from Kenya (Obama), and Alur from the DRC as part of a broad survey of human Y-chromosome DNA variation in Africa -- E1b1a-P1 being the most frequent among Luo -- 6/9 = 67%, including 4/9 E1b1a7-M191 and 2/9 E1b1a-P1(xE1b1a7-M191). Bearers of haplogroups L2, L3, and others mtDNA remained in East Africa (the ancestors of Niger–Congo- and Nilo-Saharan-speaking peoples). (see L-mtDNA)

The Luo originated at Wau in southern Sudan. According to ethnologists, linguists and their oral history, the Luo are part of the Nilotic group of tribes who separated from family tribes in East Sudan about 3000 BC (about the same time as Egypt's very first civilization).

The Kenya Luo migrated into western Kenya via today's eastern Uganda, the first wave arriving sometime around 1500 AD. Ramogi Hills is where the Luo first settled after migrating to Kenya from the Nile Valley in Sudan.

Owiny, one of Barack Obama's great grandfathers (several generations back) was said to be a powerful leader of the Luo tribe, which last migrated into Kenya some 400 years ago. Owiny was a Muslim who, for a brief time, had converted to Christianity. (Obama's Luo roots go back 12 generations)

In the 18th century, Muslim slavers moved into the interior of Kenya for the purpose of exploiting blood rivalries between local tribes. Muslims encouraged warring tribes, the Luo included, to capture "prisoners of war" and sell them into slavery.

Kenya tribe leaders, also exported slaves and ivory that had been exchanged by Africans from the interior for salt, cloth, beads, and metal goods. The slaves were then marched to the coast and shipped to Muslim Zanzibar (an island South of Kenya), to be traded again.

African slaves and ivory became hugely profitable and Zanzibar Muslims grew rich on the trade. Slave trading continued despite the public outrage in Europe demanding an end to all slave trade. The British, eventually brought their forceful anti-slavery message directly to the Muslim Sultan. After years of pressure, the Sultan finally relented and agreed to ban slavery in 1847. It was not until 1876, 11 years after the American Civil War had ended, that the sale of slaves was finally prohibited in Zanzibar.

Onyango, Barack Obama's paternal grandfather, was born in 1895 and raised in Alego, Kogelo, Siya district in Nyanza province of Kenya. His family are all members of the Kenya Luo ethnic group.

Onyango joined the King's African Rifles during World War I, a British colonial regiment in East Africa from 1902 until Kenya's independence in the 1960s.

Onyango had traveled widely while in the British regiment, visiting Europe, India, and Zanzibar, where he converted from Roman Catholicism to Islam and took the name Hussein.

"Hussein Onyango" was jailed by the British for six months in 1949 due to his involvement in the Kenyan independence movement. Hussein was subjected to beatings and abuse which caused permanent physical disabilities and a loathing of the British until he died in 1979.

Onyango was sometimes referred to as "Mzee" Hussein Onyango Obama. The word "mzee" is a Kenyan honorific meaning "old man" or "elder."

Barack Obama's father (Obama Sr.) was born in 1936 on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya when it was still a colony of the British Empire. He was born into a Muslim and Christian family, but was an atheist as a young man.

In 1959, Obama Sr. received a scholarship in economics through a program organized by nationalist leader Tom Mboya. The program offered Western educational opportunities to outstanding Kenyan students, so he went to school at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Honolulu.

Obama Sr. met Stanley Ann Dunham and she dropped out of the University of Hawaii in 1960 after the fall semester -- after becoming pregnant with Obama Jr. while Obama Sr. continued on with his education.

Barack Jr. was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital on the island of Oahu in the Hawaiian Islands -- almost two full years after Hawaii became the 50th State of the United States of America in August 21, 1959. (The Tea Party, even after seeing the long form of his birth certification, still don't believe Obama is a U.S. citizen, even though his mother was born in Wichita, Kansas and her mother was born in Peru, Kansas.)

Obama Sr. graduated from the University of Hawaii after three years with a B.A. in economics and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and left Hawaii in June 1962. He returned to Kenya in 1964 and later died in a car crash in Nairobi in 1982 while Obama was attending school at Columbia University in NYC.

In 2007 Odinga, a fiery Luo tribe opposition leader and Kenya presidential candidate, alleged the recent voting that re-elected President Mwai Kibaki of the Kikuyu tribe was rigged. The Luo is a tribe that has long felt deprived and oppressed by the privileged. ABC's Diane Sawyer asked Obama on Jan. 3, 2008 about his appeal to the people of Kenya, and particularly to President Kibaki of the Kikuyu tribe, to do something to stop the violence. (Read: 2008 - Grand Collation)

In 2008 a house within the town of Moneygall in Ireland has been identified by the Irish company Eneclann as the residence of Phoebe Kearney, Obama’s 3rd great-grandmother.

The National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) publishes a Patriot Index, a list of persons whose honorable service in the cause of independence during the American Revolution renders their female descendants eligible for membership in the NSDAR. Several ancestors of Barack Obama appear in the Patriot Index. While President Obama is not eligible for membership in the NSDAR (by not being female), he is eligible for membership in the equivalent organization for men, the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Today it can be argued that President Obama is more of a "human being", a "patriot", and a "leader" than most other people in the Tea Party because:

  1. He is directly descended from some of the first modern human beings.
  2. He carries the blood of some of America's revolutionary forefathers.
  3. His ancestors were leaders of independence that were against oppression.

The forebears of Obama's mother might have owned slaves, according to genealogical research and census records. But there's no evidence that anyone in Obama's family lineage was actually ever a slave, let alone owned by a white American cotton-farming Southern confederate evangelist plantation owner (aka Dixiecrat aka Tea Party member).

March 2012: Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson: "We are part of this universe; we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts, is that the universe is in us." (Video) Yes, there's a little bit of President Obama in all of us, and even those in Tea Party, and that must make them very angry ;)

More on the Migration of Early Humans

Modern humans, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa up to 200,000 years ago and reached the Near East around 125,000 years ago. From the Near East, these populations spread east to South Asia by 50,000 years ago, and on to Australia by 40,000 years ago, when for the first time H. sapiens (modern humans) reached territory never reached by H. erectus.

H. sapiens reached Europe around 40,000 years ago, eventually replacing the Neanderthal population. East Asia was reached by 30,000 years ago.

The date of migration to North America is disputed; it may have taken place between 40,000 and 10,000 years ago. Colonization of the Pacific islands of Polynesia began around 1300 BC, and was completed by 900 AD. The ancestors of Polynesians left Taiwan around 5,200 years ago.

World map of human migrations, with the North Pole at center

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migration.jpg (67859 bytes)

Africa, harboring the start of the migration, is at the top left and South America at the far right. Migration patterns are based on studies of mitochondrial (matrilinear) DNA.

Numbers represent thousand years "before present". (Beginning in 1954, metrologists established 1950 as the origin year for the BP (Before Present) scale for use with radiocarbon dating.)

The blue line represents area covered in ice or tundra during the last great ice age.

The letters are the mitochondrial DNA haplogroups (pure motherly lineages); Haplogroups can be used to define genetic populations and are often geographically oriented. For example, the following are common divisions for mtDNA haplogroups:

  • African: L, L1, L2, L3
  • Near Eastern: J, N
  • Southern European: J, K
  • General European: H, V
  • Northern European: T, U, X
  • Asian: A, B, C, D, E, F, G (note: M is composed of C, D, E, and G)
  • Native American: A, B, C, D, and sometimes X

Adam and Eve in the History of Religion and Evolution

Did Adam and Eve leave the garden of Eden from 3,500 to 4,000 BC - - OR - - from 35,000 to 40,000 BC.?

Young Earth Creationism is the religious belief that the Universe, Earth, and all life on Earth were created by direct acts of the Abrahamic God during a relatively short period, sometime between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago.

Solomon's Temple also dates back to the 10,000 B.C. and was the center of orthodox Jewish belief and ancient Judaism. This is what the Hebrew Scriptures tell us. (Timeline: 10,000 BC to Jewish immigrants to USA from Eastern Europe.)

Muslims believe the Quran to be verbally revealed through angel Jibrīl (Gabriel) from God to Muhammad gradually over a period of approximately 23 years beginning in 610 CE, when Muhammad was 40, and concluding in 632 CE, the year of his death.

The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts from the Hebrew Bible and extra-biblical documents found between 1947 and 1956 on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. These manuscripts generally date between 150 BCE and 70 CE

Jesus of Nazareth ( 7–2 BC/BCE to 30–36 AD/CE), also referred to as Jesus Christ or simply Christ, is the central figure of Christianity and is also regarded as an important prophet of God in Islam. This was also when the Roman Catholic Church was established, during the Roman Empire. (Much later in 1968, Pope Paul VI banned contraception.) Jews have traditionally seen Jesus as a false messiah.

Young Earth Creationist's primary adherents are Christians and Jews who believe that God created the Earth in six 24-hour days, taking what they regard to be a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation narrative as a basis for their beliefs. They believed that the Earth was created between 5,700 and 10,000 years ago.

Abraham was a descendant of Noah's son, Shem. Genesis 11:10 records that Shem was still 100 years old at the birth of Arpachshad, two years after the flood, making him barely 99 at the time the flood began; and that he lived for another 500 years after this, making his age at death 600 years.

Christians believe that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham through Isaac, and Muslims believe that Muhammad was a descendant of Abraham through Ishmael. Abraham first appears in the Book of Genesis as Abram.

There have been over two hundred attempts to match the biblical chronology to dates in history, two of the more influential being the traditional Jewish dates (Abraham lived 1812 BCE to 1637 BCE), and those of the 17th century Archbishop James Ussher (1976 BCE to 1801 BCE); but the most that can be said with some degree of certainty is that the standard Hebrew text of Genesis places Abraham in the earlier part of the second millennium BCE.

Abraham is the first literal person in the Bible, so the story of when Adam and Eve actually existed is ultimately irrelevant. The point is that God created the universe and all that it contains. So if God created a micro-organism on Earth 2.5 billion years ago, and they eventually evolved into modern man, then God also created Adam and Eve.

The current year on the Hebrew calendar is 5767, which would place Adam and Eve at about 3,761 BCE. - before the Septuagint. The Septuagint is a translation into Ancient Greek of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. It incorporates the oldest of several ancient translations of the Old Testament.

The Masoretic Text is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible and is regarded as Judaism's official version of the Tanakh. The MT is widely used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles, and in recent years (since 1943) also for some Catholic Bibles, although the Eastern Orthodox continue to use the Septuagint, as they hold it to be divinely inspired. In modern times the Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the MT to be nearly identical to some texts of the Tanakh dating from 200 BCE but different from others.

According to the Talmud, much of the contents of the Tanakh were compiled by the "Men of the Great Assembly" by 450 BCE, and have since remained unchanged. Modern scholars believe that the process of canonization of the Tanakh became finalized between 200 BCE and 200 CE.

"It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him." - Genesis 2:18

The language of sexuality and gender distinction is not used explicitly until the woman is created in Genesis 2:22-24. Before the creation of woman, Adam is in a sense not yet specifically male. Therefore, 'Adam could be seen as both an individual and a collective human. The connection of men and women is thus affirmed, by the making of the woman from the part of the man.

Chapter four of Genesis tells of the birth of Cain and Abel and Adam and Eve's first children, while chapter five gives Adam's genealogy further. Later came Seth, and "other sons and daughters" (Genesis 5:4, NIV). Adam lived for 930 years (Genesis 5:5). There were people here when God created the Garden of Eden because Cain was scared of the others when he was banished. ( Who were the others?)

The Bible itself does not actually say. Various men who have spent years studying it came to those erroneous conclusions. If one studied the works of Zecharia Sitchin and learned that the Torah upon which the Bible as we know it is based, is the edited survival of a variety of Sumerian works.... then we would have Adam and Eve at about 35,000 to 40,000 BC.

The Last Ice Age and Early Migration to North America

Radiocarbon tests of carbonized plant remains where artifacts were unearthed along the Savannah River in Allendale County indicate that the sediments containing these artifacts are at least 50,000 years old, meaning that humans inhabited North American long before the last ice age.

"The Ice Age" refers to the most recent glacial period that peaked approximately 20,000 years ago, in which extensive ice sheets lay over large parts of the North American and Eurasian continents.

In an article from December 28, 2011, it says the early Paleoindians in eastern North America has clear roots in Asia and is found in Great Lakes and Great Plains Native American populations. These are the same areas in which the DNA X2a haplogroup has been identified suggesting that “these two lineages possibly arrived together from Beringia with the same Paleo-Indian group(s) that entered North America from Beringia through the ice-free corridor between the Laurentide and Cordilleran ice sheets at around 18-15,000 years ago. The researchers further conclude that this finding definitively dismisses the controversial hypothesis of an Atlantic glacial entry route into North America

Regarding glacial lake outburst floods in North America (15,000 to 8,000 years ago): During glacial maximum, there were no Great Lakes as we know them, but "pro-glacial" (ice-frontage) lakes formed and shifted. They lay in the areas of the modern lakes, but their drainage sometimes passed south, into the Mississippi system, sometimes into the Arctic, or east into the Atlantic.

This article, dated one year ago, says artifacts were found along a creek bed west of Salado by a Texas A&M University-led team date back as far as 15,500 years, more than 2,000 years before the Clovis people who were long believed to be the first humans in North America. The so-called Clovis people were named after a site found in 1930 near Clovis, N.M.

The first scientific report of a mega-flood is that related to the overflow of Lake Bonneville about 14,500 years ago, during the Pleistocene era. Most of the territory it covered was in present-day Utah, though parts of the lake extended into present-day Idaho and Nevada. Formed about 32,000 years ago, it existed until about 14,500 years ago, when a large portion of the lake was released through the Red Rock Pass in Idaho

On February 12, 2012 MSNBC wrote that an ancient rock carving was found and named "little horny man". Carbon dating and other tests of the sediment covering the petroglyph suggest the engraving dates between 9,000 and 12,000 years old. This makes it the oldest "reliably dated" instance of rock art found yet in the Americas.

More on Tectonic Plates

The current proposed time line is that 225 million years ago the continents were joined together as a giant landmass – Pangaea – surrounded by a large Ocean – Panthalassa. (before this, apparently the continents were separated and moved together into the Pangaea formation.

150 – 200 million years ago, Pangaea broke into two super continents – Laurasia (forming a northern hemisphere continent) and Gondwanaland (forming a southern hemisphere continent).

These two super-continents have broken into smaller continents which have drifted to their current positions – the Laurasian continent breaking into North America, Europe and Asia and Gondwanaland breaking into South America, Africa, India, Antarctica, Australia and New Zealand.

About 65 million years ago (when the dinosaurs went extinct), Australia and Antarctica were still narrowly connected and shared the same cool temperate rainforest. About 50 million years ago, Australia separated from Antarctica and headed north at a rate of around 8 cm per year. Along with heading north came increased temperature, mountain building and isolation. We have been our own continent for 50 million years and this has led to the evolution of unique native flora and fauna which is not seen anywhere else in the world. The continents of the world continue drifting at an average rate of around 2.5-5cm per year – we can see this now more clearly through accurate measurements from GPS satellites – Australia is drifting 35 degrees east of North at a rate of around 6.7cm per year.

The Great Pyramids in Egypt > Plato and the Lost City of Atlantis > Ancient Aliens

Many legends passed down from ancient civilizations mention the Pyramid as a repository of sorts to protect the knowledge of a highly advanced civilization from "a flood." This is significant, and there are records that indicate that before the limestone surface of the Pyramids was stripped away, there was a water line that reached to about halfway up the Great Pyramid - about 240 feet - strongly suggesting that the Pyramids were built before the great flood - which occurred around 10,000 B.C.

Inside, when the Great Pyramid was first opened, there were thick salt deposits along the walls to about halfway up. Though some of this salt is attributable to natural weeping by the rocks, some is also consistent chemically with sea salt - another strong piece of evidence for the Pyramids being in existence before the Great Flood. Indeed, modern studies indicate that 10,000 B.C. was a time of massive geomagnetic, climactic and geologic changes; and it is also the time frame that Plato uses to describe the destruction of the great civilization of Atlantis - assumedly from the same catastrophic events.

Plato's dialogues Timaeus and Critias, written in 360 BC, contain the earliest references to Atlantis. According to Critias, this was 9,000 years before Plato's lifetime (which would be 9360 BC, and was near the end of The Late Glacial Maximum. It is defined primarily by climates in the northern hemisphere warming substantially, causing a process of accelerated de-glaciation following the Last Glacial Maximum.

Plato: "But at a later time there occurred portentous earthquakes and floods, and one grievous day and night befell them, when the whole body of your warriors was swallowed up by the earth, and the island of Atlantis in like manner was swallowed up by the sea and vanished; wherefore also the ocean at that spot has now become impassable and unsearchable, being blocked up by the shoal mud which the island created as it settled down."

For unknown reasons, Plato never completed Critias. Plato then introduced Atlantis in Timaeus:

Plato: "For the ocean there was at that time navigable; for in front of the mouth which you Greeks call, as you say, 'the pillars of Heracles,' there lay an island which was larger than Libya and Asia together; and it was possible for the travelers of that time to cross from it to the other islands, and from the islands to the whole of the continent over against them which encompasses that veritable ocean. For all that we have here, lying within the mouth of which we speak, is evidently a haven having a narrow entrance; but that yonder is a real ocean, and the land surrounding it may most rightly be called, in the fullest and truest sense, a continent. Now in this island of Atlantis there existed a confederation of kings, of great and marvelous power, which held sway over all the island, and over many other islands also and parts of the continent."

* Some think the Minoan eruption of Thera had something to do with this. It was a major catastrophic volcanic eruption which is estimated to have occurred in the mid second millennium BCE. The eruption was one of the largest volcanic events on Earth in recorded history.

** Also read Ancient Aliens ant The Top 10 Mysteries Surrounding the Ancient Aliens (If there is any truth to this, I believe that the "aliens" were really humans in the future traveling back in space-time...and may know when human habitation of the Earth ceases to exist.)

Other Events in the World from the Past

Japanese archaeologists have uncovered the remains of what is believed to be the world's oldest artificial structure, on a hillside at Chichibu, north of Tokyo. The shelter would have been built by an ancient ancestor of humans, Homo erectus, who is known to have used stone tools. The site has been dated to half a million years ago, according to a report in New Scientist. It consists of what appear to be 10 post holes, forming two irregular pentagons which may be the remains of two huts. Thirty stone tools were also found scattered around the site. Before the discovery, the oldest remains of a structure were those at Terra Amata in France, from around 200,000 to 400,000 years ago.

The very earliest human artifacts showing evidence of workmanship with an artistic purpose are a subject of some debate; it is clear that such workmanship existed by 40,000 years ago in the Upper Paleolithic era (present day Germany).

The oldest known example of a man-made structure was found within a prehistoric cave in central Greece and was constructed 23,000 years ago.

It's thought that Turkey's 12,000-year-old stone circles were the spiritual center of a nomadic people.

Archaeologists believe the iconic Stonehenge monument in England was constructed anywhere from 3000 BC to 2000 BC. The surrounding circular earth bank and ditch, which constitute the earliest phase of the monument, has been dated to about 3100 BC (about the same time as Egypt's very first civilization).

" The Iceman", an experienced hiker, was frozen by a surprise, massive ice storm in the Italian Alps 5,300 years ago -- when the Great Flood likely occurred (close to the time of The Black Sea deluge)

The woolly-mammoth was a creature that last walked the earth some 4,500 years ago, and now might be cloned. This mammoth species (possibly 150,000 years old) was first recorded in deposits of the second last glaciation in Eurasia. It disappeared from most of its range at the end of the Pleistocene period (10,000 years ago), with an isolated population still living on Wrangel Island until roughly 1700 BC.

The Beginning of Modern Enlightenment

Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was published November 24,1859. It is a work of scientific literature which is considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology.

In 1862, William Thompson, later Lord Kelvin, calculated the age of the Earth at between 24 million and 400 million years; and for the remainder of the 19th century, discussion focused not on whether this theory of deep time was viable, but on the derivation of a more precise figure for the age of the Earth.

Historian Jeffrey Burton Russell says the "flat earth" myth flourished most between 1870 and 1920, and had to do with the ideological setting created by struggles over evolution (like within the Tea Party today). Russell claims that "with extraordinary few exceptions, no educated person in the history of Western Civilization from the third century B.C. onward believed that the earth was flat." (Now if we can only get the Tea Party to believe in evolution, Obama is real American, and that unemployed Americans aren't just lazy bums who are trying to "game the system".)

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