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Discovering Planet Earth

The earth has already been in existence for 4.6 billion years. Humans came into being for only about 2.5 million years. Knowing these things, it would seem ridiculous to conclude that humans first discovered the earth. Be that as it may, it is still worthy to know how we, humans, advanced our way to the discovery of the planet earth.

The Shape of the Earth

During ancient times, people believed that the Earth’s shape was flat. Different civilizations had their very own flat model of the earth which ranged from large circular discs to a square shaped earth which floated in water. Believing that the earth was so left philosopher and educated men into a similar conclusion that the earth has edges where explorers could fall. This is the reason why Christopher Columbus had a very hard time looking for a crew in his journey around the world

hard time looking for a crew in his journey around the world Pythagoras was the first

Pythagoras was the first person known to have publicly called that the Earth was really round. The theory was further strengthened by Aristotle and the amazingly accurate measurement of the Earth’s diameter by Eratosthenes. The first person who actually circumnavigated the earth was the crew of Ferdinand Magellan. However, Magellan himself did not accomplish the feat of travelling around the world because he was killed during such expedition.

The Solar System

According to Early Greek philosophy, the Earth was the center of the universe where the sun, moon and other naked eye planets are circling around it. During medieval times, everyone believed this theory which is strongly backed up by the church. The geocentric model was not challenged until the release of Copernicus’ theory that the earth and the other planets was actually revolving around the sun via the heliocentric model.

In 1610, Galileo Galilei started supporting Copernicus’ theory and was called to recant his belief of the heliocentric view by the Roman Inquisition. Of course, Galileo did not heed this which resulted to him being in house arrest for the rest of his life. It was not long when a scientist named Giordano Bruno formulated his own cosmological theory basing his findings on Copernicus’ and Galileo’s concept which placed the Sun as merely one of many other stars

existing throughout the universe. With this theory, Bruno was burned at the stake after being convicted of heresy. When his theory was found to be correct by modern science, he was famed as a martyr of free thinking and scientific ideas.

The Earthrise, Blue Marble and the Small Blue Dot

In the Christmas Eve of 1968, the most influential photograph in history was taken. A picture of the earth was taken by the crew of Apollo 8 while on a mission passing over the moon. This photograph was called the earthrise which shows an image of the earth floating in a vast void of darkness which reminded humanity of the delicateness of our world. This picture launched numerous environmental movements and brought public consciousness for the preservation of the earth. In 1972, astronauts were able to take a picture of the whole earth including the south polar ice cap. This picture called the Blue Marble was the most widely distributed picture of the Earth.

Marble was the most widely distributed picture of the Earth. In 1990, another picture of the

In 1990, another picture of the Earth was taken from the Voyager 1 spacecraft at a vast distance of 3.7 billion miles. It showed the Earth as a tiny speck of dust which showed us how vast the space is and how insignificant our size is compared to the incalculable vastness of space. With the aid of modern technology, humans will probably have a good shot on the discovery of the planet earth sooner than we think.

How Humans Came To Be

Human life has been in existence in this world as homo sapiens (the upright human) for about 100,000 years. However, hominid or human like species has been discovered to exist for about 4-6 million years ago. There are a lot of theories that seeks to explain how we, human beings, came into existence in this world. The Theory of Evolution by Charles Darwin may very well explain how the modern man came into existence. In this article, it will be discussed how humans came to occupy planet Earth.

There are two major theories that try to explain how life existed on earth and how humans came about. These are the Theory of Intelligent Design and the Theory of Natural Selection.

Theory of Intelligent Design

This theory describes that the formation of the universe and life was done by virtue of an intelligent cause and not by any random process or natural selection. In this theory, a supreme designer (which could be God or extraterrestrial beings) is responsible for the existence of life on earth and possibly explains how humans came to occupy the planet Earth. Our present form is the product of the exact biological design that our designer has intended it to be. As such, our existence and what we are today is not based on chance. This only connotes that there is a reason for our existence here in the universe which we still do not know.

existence here in the universe which we still do not know. The theory of intellectual design

The theory of intellectual design has been accused to be a form of theological creationism in the guise of being explained through science by deliberately avoiding the revelation of the identity of this Intellectual Designer which would probably be the Christian God. This school of thought has been denied to be a part of science because it violates a fundamental requirement of science in proving such claim by experimentation. Clearly, the existence of a supreme designer cannot be proven by any scientific process.

Theory of Natural Selection

This theory also known as the “survival of the fittest” has been formulated by a biologist named Charles Darwin. In this theory, the existence of humans today is a result of a very long and continuing process of evolution. It is believed in this theory that all organisms came from a single organism who continued reproducing. In the process, several accidents would happen which would result to a better version of such organism to suit the efficiency of reproduction. In the animal level, certain habitat conditions make animals more efficient than others. Through time, some animals will be born with irregularities which could give them some advantage in surviving the environment they are in. While those who do not have such advantage will die in the process, those who survive will continue on reproduction. Repeating the entire process would bring us to superior creatures that are more suited to living in their respective habitats.

To make the long story short, the Theory of Natural Selection explains how humans came to occupy the planet Earth through evolution. Certain similarities between human and ape species show that there is a strong possibility that they share the same genetic ancestry. Our human form today and superior intellectual capacity is a product of a very long and tedious deduction process in singling out the most superior qualities to obtain the best chance of survival.

Planet Earth May Not Be Able To Support Us In The Near Future

The question of "how much human life can the earth sustain?" could prove to be very difficult. As early as 200AD, Tertullian wrote about the finiteness of the world’s resources to sustain human life. At that time, the population of the earth was just about in its hundredth million or so. In 1679, Anton Van Leeuwenhoek first estimated the human carrying capacity of the earth to be about 13.4 billion. The Germans in 1765 however claimed that the world could support 13.9 billion people.

Thomas Malthus

In

1798,

Thomas

Malthus

produced a writing which provoked a hot debate on the carrying capacity of the earth and asserted the imminent doom of mankind due to overpopulation. He argued that the Earth population is increasing geometrically which means that it is almost always being multiplied by a minimum of 2. This poses a great problem since food production could only increase arithmetically. As such, there will come a time where the availability of food will not be enough to feed enough humans if the population growth is to remain uncontrolled.

humans if the population growth is to remain uncontrolled. The writings of Thomas Malthus were very

The writings of Thomas Malthus were very controversial as it criticized the view of the Utopians who believed that life could only become better and perfected as time goes by. He also criticized some pro-poor laws that seem to encourage people to have more kids which can lead a bad effect to the population and food supply.

Given this situation, there are two kinds of checks that could hold the population to a manageable and sustainable level. These are the positive checks and the preventive checks. Positive checks are those that increase humans’ death rate. It includes wars, diseases, calamity and famine. Moreover, Malthus believed that if the people are made aware of famine or developed a fear for famine, they will somewhat be prevented from procreating due to fear of starvation. Preventive check, however, is a different story. This talks about the lowering of birth rate such as moral restraint to marry and have children at a certain age, abstinence, homosexuality and birth control.

How Can We Cope

In the mid-1800s, the human population was able to obtain its first billion. In the mid- 1900s the population more than doubled to 2.5 billion. Today, the human population is nearly reaching a whopping 7 billion. While it may take some time to reach the earlier predicted 13-plus billion marks, it must be noted that the human lifestyle back then was more in harmony with nature than what we are doing today. Despite the fact that technology is able to provide us with more efficient ways of growing and producing food, it may not be enough due to high rate of population growth rate.

How much human life the Earth could sustain? The answer does not rely on food production alone. There still are things that should be taken into consideration. Such other problems to deal with are the availability of fresh water that are safe for humans to use, the protection of the atmosphere to prevent global warming and the depletion of oil and fossil fuels as sources of energy.

Since overpopulation is starting to become a big threat as it is shown by mass poverty especially in third world countries, it is about time for our leaders to think beyond the current status quo and formulate ways on how to control the population and equally distributing wealth to avoid wastage of resources.

Life and the Planet Earth

For quite a number of years, we have been learning things about our planet Earth. While we are still in the process of discovering its mysterious secrets, one thing that we can be sure of is that life exists here in our planet. Thus, it is safe to assume that life is nothing without planet Earth. In this article, it will be discussed how our planet is able to support life.

Temperature

how our planet is able to support life. Temperature The earth is the third planet from

The earth is the third planet from the Sun. Its location in the solar system is such that it is not too cold and not too hot. This zone in the solar system is called the Goldilocks zone. Moreover, the Earth moderates the heat received from the sun by air currents that distributes heat and cold to different parts of the globe. Moreover, the greenhouse effect also helps by stabilizing the temperature on the ground and providing heat in the atmosphere by absorbing the heat of the sun and thus limiting the albedo effect.

Atmosphere

A breathable atmosphere is probably the most obvious reason why our life exists here on Earth. The gas that we and most other animals breathe is called oxygen. It is present in the Earth’s atmosphere and in water as well. While the Earth’s supply of oxygen is limited, it is constantly being refreshed because plants reconvert the carbon dioxide gases that animals exhales through photosynthesis. As such, plants play a very significant role in maintaining life on Earth. Moreover, the Earth’s atmosphere protects the surface from harmful radiation given off by the sun and from small asteroids from crashing hard on the Earth’s surface.

Water

asteroids from crashing hard on the Earth’s surface. Water Two-thirds of the Earth is composed of

Two-thirds of the Earth is composed of water. It can mostly be found in liquid form, solid in the form of ice, and gas floating in the atmosphere in the form of clouds. Moreover, there is no creature in the world that is made up of less than 50% of water. Water is a vital ingredient for life. It allows an environment for life producing molecules and contains oxygen that is considered necessary for life.

Water

is

also

necessary

for

drinking.

Without it, we and the other life forms on earth will die of thirst and starvation. While water from the oceans are not suitable for drinking, it is converted to fresh water by the process of evaporation and condensation in the form of rain. As such, water is then transported to the land which animals, humans and plants use to drink.

Sun

The earth receives ample amount of heat from the sun. Without it, the Earth would just be a barren planet made of ice. Furthermore, the Earth’s rotation on its axis for 24 hours provides just the right amount of heat and light to be equally distributed around it. The light provided by the Sun is also needed by plants to produce food and oxygen for animals through the process of photosynthesis. Light is also responsible for the survival of living creatures in order to see things that can be used for food and avoid danger.

The Sun’s gravity is also very important in keeping the planets in the solar system within its axis. Without it, the Earth and other planets will be merely floating defenselessly in the vast field of the universe.

Conclusion

Indeed, life is nothing without planet earth. The conditions brought about by this seemingly perfect combination of circumstances made it possible for the Earth to host life in its very complexity.

The Late Great Planet Earth Review

In 1973, the book called The Late, Great Planet Earth by the American writer and evangelist Hal Lindsey was published by Zondervan. Due to the way things were during the 70’s and 80’s the book became a very big hit which sold around fifteen million copies and was later produced in film. Soon, most people and the religious were taking the book seriously and were studying it carefully through passages in the bible.

In this book, Hal Lindsey created a straightforward assertion where our world was headed to. By using some passages from the Old and New Testament of the bible, he was able to reconcile and put together that time’s current events to the prophecies indicated in it. The central point of this story is that the end times will come soon as Jesus Christ will soon be coming to Earth by 1988.

Israel, becoming a nation state in 1948 probably triggered Lindsey to write this book as it was predicted by the bible that the rebirth of Israel is a mark of the Second Coming of Christ. This was also pointed out by Jesus in the New Testament that when the fig tree’s buds starts to sprout, it will be as sign that summer is near. As it is well known that the bible symbolically refers to Israel as a fig tree, Lindsey pointed out that the other events happening around the world may also relate to the other prophecies on the Second Coming of Christ. The bible also prophesized that Israel will soon repossess Jerusalem which really did actually happened in 1967. These events merely strengthened the credibility of Lindsey’s assertion at that time.

did actually happened in 1967. These events merely strengthened the credibility of Lindsey’s assertion at that
did actually happened in 1967. These events merely strengthened the credibility of Lindsey’s assertion at that

At the peak of the book’s success, the contents of The Late Great Planet Earth was being thoroughly studied in schools and has become a required to be read among Christian schools. Soon, everyone was expecting that the rapture is happening very soon and news reports were being compared to what is written in The Late, Great Planet Earth.

Today, most of what is written in the book did not occur. As far as we all know, Jesus Christ did not come back to Earth in 1988, nor did the Antichrist did not manage to exert his influence to the world. The third world war did not come into realization and all those prophesy about other countries did not take place. In the final chapters of his book, he told readers to keep an eye out on Israel as it will become “fantastically

wealthy and influential in the future.” (p.173) As far as we know, Israel is not doing great given what is happening in the Middle East today and all that it

endured during the past century. While some of the book’s prophecies were a total failure, there are still some of them that came about. In his book Lindsey warned the world about drug addiction becoming a worldwide problem.

the world about drug addiction becoming a worldwide problem. To come to the point, this book
the world about drug addiction becoming a worldwide problem. To come to the point, this book

To come to the point, this book is still an interesting read despite the obsolete arguments that it claims as true. It could be nostalgic to read for some of us who enjoyed the 70’s and 80’s. It could also be fun to read for the younger generation to discover parts of our history and what people were thinking back then.