The History of the Evolution of the World and Man
In p.s. #3 to the Kluznickian Calendar page, I mentioned that people should be more aware of
the changes that the earth undergoes. Of course I was referring to the cyclical changing of the
seasons but the same admonishment applies to all of the changes of the earth – both man
made and the ongoing evolution of the earth. It’s a bit of a stretch to go from seasons to
evolution, but I just happen to have the material on hand and I believe mankind will benefit from
a better understanding or at least a better awareness of what Mother Nature is all about.
Changes to earth affect life on earth. We should be aware of the changing nature of earth. We
should learn how to not cause any undesirable changes. And we should learn how to prepare
for the expected changes. (For a further discussion of past climate changes see: http://www.
But we don’t have to worry too much about screwing up this world because we will someday be
able to escape to some other world, right? Wrong. Space travel to other worlds is presently
impossible* and will probably remain so for all of eternity. The world we have today is most
likely the only world we will ever have, so we better learn how to take care of it. Even if we
could discover a way to make space travel possible (such as SciFi's worm holes or warp drives
that would enable us to exceed the speed of light), just imagine how much it would cost us, both
in money and resources, to do the research, design, development, construction and testing of a
series of machines to achieve that goal, and then a HUGE fleet of space ships to transport the
people. Suppose we succeed, what percentage of the 7 billion person world population do you
think we could manage to send to a new world? Who gets to choose who escapes and who is
left behind? What happens to those of us who stay behind? Guess what happens to the
relatively small elite group of pioneers that do go on this one-way suicide trip - they all die in
transit after spending a lifetime incarcerated in a cramped and smelly space bus.
* Using Voyager 2 technology (speed = 1.8 E4 m/sec, at Neptune, after 12 years of travel,
i.e. 0.006 % of the speed of light = 0.000,06 x c), it would take about 67,000 years to reach
the nearest star system, Proxima Centuri, at a distance of 4.2 light years. (How much do
you want to bet that there are no habitable planets there?) (c = 3.0 E8 m/sec)
As of Dec 2012, Tau Ceti is the closest single star to us that has a spectrum similar to
our sun, and that has 5 planets, one of which is in a habitable zone. It is 11.9 ly from earth.
The 34 Nearest Stars
* These numbers ignore the time it would take to accelerate to and decelerate from
Using an ion cruising engine would shorten that time by some amount (it depends on the
size of the solar panels and the size of the Xenon fuel tank). Even if the ion engine
reduced the transit time by a factor of 100 we are still talking about 670 years! (Think of
the number of sandwiches you would have to pack.) And relativistic effects [Dt' = Dt/(1 –
v^2/c^2)^1/2] are of no help at these low speeds (~0.006 x c). And we have not even
mentioned space rocks in the asteroid belt, the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud, or radiation
due to solar flares or worse yet, coronal mass ejections of the stars at each end of the trip,
or cosmic radiation, or the effects of atrophy, or a hostile or predatory reception committee
(if a place is habitable, it will be inhabited), or alien microbes from which we have no
immunity. So, once you leave our solar system, you are not coming back. Not only that,
you are not going to be alive when you get to your destination. Not a very good escape
plan. In fact it is not an escape plan at all. At best it is a colonization plan and that doesn't
make sense to do unless we are on a mission from God to extend the human species to
another planet. I don't think an omnipotent God needs our help to do that.
*Tau Ceti is the closest single star to us that has a spectrum similar to our sun, and that has 5
planets, one of which is in a habitable zone.
Instead of spending a giant sum of money on manned planetary exploration (robots can do the
job a lot cheaper), or space travel R&D so a few people can escape earth, we should spend it
on learning how to sustain life here on earth for now and the indefinite future. Big, big problems
await solution – over population (now 7 BILLION people and increasing at the rate of 1.2% per
year, ie doubling every 58 years), pollution, over fishing, deforestation, loss of animal habitat,
species extinctions, loss of farm land, depletion of natural resources, excessive greenhouse
gas, ozone shield depletion, … These are all man made problems, but Mother Nature is also
doing her thing – ticking off the time for the next ice age to begin, among other things
(volcanoes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, global warming, water
shortages, encroaching deserts, rising sea levels, solar system rocks, galactic rocks (due to
galactic oscillation), outer space rocks, magnetic field reversal (and temporary loss of our
magnetic shield?), and more). Some scientists say that the next ice age is due now. What are
we going to do to prepare for it? Send a man to the moon??? Think about 7 billion people all
headed for the tropics. How are they all going to survive once they get there? Think housing,
infrastructure, farming, industry... A smaller population would have a better chance of surviving
and sustaining their numbers.
So anyhow, the message is this, we should: 1) be aware of the changing nature of the world, 2)
stop screwing up the world, 3) learn how to live here indefinitely (as much as the next 5 billion
years) on this changing planet, 4) be prepared for the next natural disaster, 5) put an end to the
manned planetary exploration and the space travel R&D nonsense and divert that funding to
solving down-to-earth problems, and 6) get a president who does not have two way
conversations with God and who does have two way conversations with scientists. (We should
also get a president that has a 3 digit IQ.)
Back to evolution - the material that follows is not perfect. Not all scientists agree on
everything; different authors say different things. Sometimes they reevaluate and change their
minds. Investigation is ongoing and sometimes they find some new evidence. Etc., etc., ,,,
Also, I used some mathematical notation and abbreviations that some of you may not be familiar
with. I will include some definitions below. And finally, I made these compendiums of
evolutionary history for my own edification, a long time ago. So they are terse, incomplete, and
unrefined, but I like them anyhow and I hope you will too.
@ = at, about, concerning, regarding, with respect to, at the rate of, …
~ = approximately
2.9E6 LY = 2.9 million light years = 2.9 Mega light years
AU = astronomical unit
B = billion
BYA = billions of years ago = GYA = Gigayears ago
c = the speed of light
cc = cubic centimeter
CCW = counter clockwise
k = kilo = thousand
km/s = kilometers per second
LY = light years
m = meters
M = million
nm = nanometers = E-9 meters
E-9 = ten to the minus nine
E9 = billions, or Giga in metric.
If the population were to continue to increase at the rate of 1.2% per year then:
P(n) = P(1) x 1.012^n =
Year Pop (BILLIONS)
3000 909,209 ie ~1 thousand trillion people!
So who says we don't have a population problem?
I'm guessing that a more sustainable world population would be a maximum of 2 billion people, as existed in
1925. Thats a reduction of 5 billion people from the present population! As a point of reference, WW2 caused
only 70 million casualties, so it would take 71.4 WW2's to reduce the population to 2 billion people. That's a bit
much to ask for, but the very least we should do is to stop the continued growth of the world population. A
moderate negative growth rate would be much much better...
Stephen Hawking asked: "How can the human race survive the next hundred years?" That is a very good
question. Do you know what needs to be done? I think getting religion out of politics and government,
worldwide, would be a good start.
a % of c
|Velocity as a
factor of c
Years to go
4 ly *
to go 4 ly *
|WoR = Without Relativity
WR = With Relativity
||(years to go 11.9 ly)
||(years to go 11.9 ly)
||(years to go 11.9 ly)
||<--- Max time target. (@ 11.9 ly)
||<--- Max practical time.
||<--- Too long.
||<--- Too long.
||<--- We are here now.
|Luyten 789-6 C
|61 Cygni A
|61 Cygni B
|Gliese 725 A
|Gliese 725 B
|Gliese 15 A
|Gliese 15 B
|Alpha Centuri A
|Alpha Centuri B
|Luyten 726-8 A
|Luyten 726-8 B
|Luyten 789-6 A
|Luyten 789-6 B