Sunday, April 30, 2017

THE URANTIA PAPERS#36 THE LIFE CARRIERS,#57,THE ORIGIN OF URANTIA,#58 LIFE ESTABLISHMENT ON URANTIA

3 papers here, the first on the Life Carriers is a continuation of Part 2 on the Local Universe.The other 2 are from Part 3 of the Papers,and Part 3 deals with the history of the planet,starting with the origin of the solar system....

Paper 36

The Life Carriers

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36:0.1 (396.1) LIFE does not originate spontaneously. Life is constructed according to plans formulated by the (unrevealed) Architects of Being and appears on the inhabited planets either by direct importation or as a result of the operations of the Life Carriers of the local universes. These carriers of life are among the most interesting and versatile of the diverse family of universe Sons. They are entrusted with designing and carrying creature life to the planetary spheres. And after planting this life on such new worlds, they remain there for long periods to foster its development.

36:1 

Origin and Nature of Life Carriers

36:1.1 (396.2) Though the Life Carriers belong to the family of divine sonship, they are a peculiar and distinct type of universe Sons, being the only group of intelligent life in a local universe in whose creation the rulers of a super-universe participate. The Life Carriers are the offspring of three pre-existent personalities: the Creator Son, the Universe Mother Spirit, and, by designation, one of the three Ancients of Days presiding over the destinies of the super-universe concerned. These Ancients of Days, who alone can decree the extinction of intelligent life, participate in the creation of the Life Carriers, who are entrusted with establishing physical life on the evolving worlds.
36:1.2 (396.3) In the universe of Nebadon we have on record the creation of one hundred million Life Carriers. This efficient corps of life disseminators is not a truly self-governing group. They are directed by the life-determining trio, consisting of Gabriel, the Father Melchizedek, and Nambia, the original and first-born Life Carrier of Nebadon. But in all phases of their divisional administration they are self-governing.
36:1.3 (396.4) Life Carriers are graded into three grand divisions: The first division is the senior Life Carriers, the second, assistants, and the third, custodians. The primary division is subdivided into twelve groups of specialists in the various forms of life manifestation. The segregation of these three divisions was effected by the Melchizedek's, who conducted tests for such purposes on the Life Carriers’ headquarters sphere. The Melchizedek's have ever since been closely associated with the Life Carriers and always accompany them when they go forth to establish life on a new planet.
36:1.4 (396.5) When an evolutionary planet is finally settled in light and life, the Life Carriers are organized into the higher deliberative bodies of advisory capacity to assist in the further administration and development of the world and its glorified beings. In the later and settled ages of an evolving universe these Life Carriers are entrusted with many new duties.

36:2 

The Life Carrier Worlds

36:2.1 (397.1) The Melchizedek's have the general oversight of the fourth group of seven primary spheres in the Salvington circuit. These worlds of the Life Carriers are designated as follows:
36:2.2 (397.2) 1. The Life Carrier headquarters.
36:2.3 (397.3) 2. The life-planning sphere.
36:2.4 (397.4) 3. The life-conservation sphere.
36:2.5 (397.5) 4. The sphere of life evolution.
36:2.6 (397.6) 5. The sphere of life associated with mind.
36:2.7 (397.7) 6. The sphere of mind and spirit in living beings.
36:2.8 (397.8) 7. The sphere of unrevealed life.
36:2.9 (397.9) Each of these primary spheres is surrounded by six satellites, on which the special phases of all the Life Carrier activities in the universe are centered.
36:2.10 (397.10) World Number One, the headquarters sphere, together with its six tributary satellites, is devoted to the study of universal life, life in all of its known phases of manifestation. Here is located the college of life planning, wherein function teachers and advisers from Uversa and Havona, even from Paradise. And I am permitted to reveal that the seven central emplacements of the adjutant mind-spirits are situated on this world of the Life Carriers.
36:2.11 (397.11) The number ten — the decimal system — is inherent in the physical universe but not in the spiritual. The domain of life is characterized by three, seven, and twelve or by multiples and combinations of these basic numbers. There are three primal and essentially different life plans, after the order of the three Paradise Sources and Centers, and in the universe of Nebadon these three basic forms of life are segregated on three different types of planets. There were, originally, twelve distinct and divine concepts of transmissible life. This number twelve, with its subdivisions and multiples, runs throughout all basic life patterns of all seven superuniverses. There are also seven architectural types of life design, fundamental arrangements of the reproducing configurations of living matter. The Orvonton life patterns are configured as twelve inheritance carriers. The differing orders of will creatures are configured as 12, 24, 48, 96, 192, 384, and 768. On Urantia there are forty-eight units of pattern control — trait determiners — in the sex cells of human reproduction.
36:2.12 (397.12) The Second World is the life-designing sphere; here all new modes of life organization are worked out. While the original life designs are provided by the Creator Son, the actual outworking of these plans is entrusted to the Life Carriers and their associates. When the general life plans for a new world have been formulated, they are transmitted to the headquarters sphere, where they are minutely scrutinized by the supreme council of the senior Life Carriers in collaboration with a corps of consulting Melchizedek's. If the plans are a departure from previously accepted formulas, they must be passed upon, and endorsed by, the Creator Son. The chief of Melchizedek's often represents the Creator Son in these deliberations.
36:2.13 (397.13) Planetary life, therefore, while similar in some respects, differs in many ways on each evolutionary world. Even in a uniform life series in a single family of worlds, life is not exactly the same on any two planets; there is always a planetary type, for the Life Carriers work constantly in an effort to improve the vital formulas committed to their keeping.
36:2.14 (398.1) There are over one million fundamental or cosmic chemical formulas which constitute the parent patterns and the numerous basic functional variations of life manifestations. Satellite number one of the life-planning sphere is the realm of the universe physicists and electrochemists who serve as technical assistants to the Life Carriers in the work of capturing, organizing, and manipulating the essential units of energy which are employed in building up the material vehicles of life transmission, the so-called germ plasm.
36:2.15 (398.2) The planetary life-planning laboratories are situated on the second satellite of this world number two. In these laboratories the Life Carriers and all their associates collaborate with the Melchizedek's in the effort to modify and possibly improve the life designed for implantation on the decimal planets of Nebadon. The life now evolving on Urantia was planned and partially worked out on this very world, for Urantia is a decimal planet, a life-experiment world. On one world in each ten a greater variance in the standard life designs is permitted than on the other (non-experimental) worlds.
36:2.16 (398.3) World Number Three is devoted to the conservation of life. Here various modes of life protection and preservation are studied and developed by the assistants and custodians of the Life Carrier corps. The life plans for every new world always provide for the early establishment of the life-conservation commission, consisting of custodian specialists in the expert manipulation of the basic life patterns. On Urantia there were twenty-four such custodian commissioners, two for each fundamental or parent pattern of the architectural organization of the life material. On planets such as yours the highest form of life is reproduced by a life-carrying bundle which possesses twenty-four pattern units. (And since the intellectual life grows out of, and upon the foundation of, the physical, there come into existence the four and twenty basic orders of psychic organization.)
36:2.17 (398.4) Sphere Number Four and its tributary satellites are devoted to the study of the evolution of creature life in general and to the evolutionary antecedents of any one life level in particular. The original life plasm of an evolutionary world must contain the full potential for all future developmental variations and for all subsequent evolutionary changes and modifications. The provision for such far-reaching projects of life metamorphosis may require the appearance of many apparently useless forms of animal and vegetable life. Such by-products of planetary evolution, foreseen or unforeseen, appear upon the stage of action only to disappear, but in and through all this long process there runs the thread of the wise and intelligent formulations of the original designers of the planetary life plan and species scheme. The manifold by-products of biologic evolution are all essential to the final and full function of the higher intelligent forms of life, notwithstanding that great outward disharmony may prevail from time to time in the long upward struggle of the higher creatures to effect the mastery of the lower forms of life, many of which are sometimes so antagonistic to the peace and comfort of the evolving will creatures.
36:2.18 (398.5) Number Five World is concerned wholly with life associated with mind. Each of its satellites is devoted to the study of a single phase of creature mind correlated with creature life. Mind such as man comprehends is an endowment of the seven adjutant mind-spirits superimposed on the non-teachable or mechanical levels of mind by the agencies of the Infinite Spirit. The life patterns are variously responsive to these adjutants and to the different spirit ministries operating throughout the universes of time and space. The capacity of material creatures to effect spirit response is entirely dependent on the associated mind endowment, which, in turn, has directionized the course of the biologic evolution of these same mortal creatures.
36:2.19 (399.1) World Number Six is dedicated to the correlation of mind with spirit as they are associated with living forms and organisms. This world and its six tributaries embrace the schools of creature co-ordination, wherein teachers from both the central universe and the super-universe collaborate with the Nebadon instructors in presenting the highest levels of creature attainment in time and space.
36:2.20 (399.2) The Seventh Sphere of the Life Carriers is dedicated to the unrevealed domains of evolutionary creature life as it is related to the cosmic philosophy of the expanding factualization of the Supreme Being.

36:3 

Life Transplantation

36:3.1 (399.3) Life does not spontaneously appear in the universes; the Life Carriers must initiate it on the barren planets. They are the carriers, disseminators, and guardians of life as it appears on the evolutionary worlds of space. All life of the order and forms known on Urantia arises with these Sons, though not all forms of planetary life are existent on Urantia.
36:3.2 (399.4) The corps of Life Carriers commissioned to plant life upon a new world usually consists of one hundred senior carriers, one hundred assistants, and one thousand custodians. The Life Carriers often carry actual life plasm to a new world, but not always. They sometimes organize the life patterns after arriving on the planet of assignment in accordance with formulas previously approved for a new adventure in life establishment. Such was the origin of the planetary life of Urantia.
36:3.3 (399.5) When, in accordance with approved formulas, the physical patterns have been provided, then do the Life Carriers catalyze this lifeless material, imparting through their persons the vital spirit spark; and forthwith do the inert patterns become living matter.
36:3.4 (399.6) The vital spark — the mystery of life — is bestowed through the Life Carriers, not by them. They do indeed supervise such transactions, they formulate the life plasm itself, but it is the Universe Mother Spirit who supplies the essential factor of the living plasm. From the Creative Daughter of the Infinite Spirit comes that energy spark which enlivens the body and presages the mind.
36:3.5 (399.7) In the bestowal of life the Life Carriers transmit nothing of their personal natures, not even on those spheres where new orders of life are projected. At such times they simply initiate and transmit the spark of life, start the required revolutions of matter in accordance with the physical, chemical, and electrical specifications of the ordained plans and patterns. Life Carriers are living catalytic presences which agitate, organize, and vitalize the otherwise inert elements of the material order of existence.
36:3.6 (400.1) The Life Carriers of a planetary corps are given a certain period in which to establish life on a new world, approximately one-half million years of the time of that planet. At the termination of this period, indicated by certain developmental attainments of the planetary life, they cease implantation efforts, and they may not subsequently add anything new or supplemental to the life of that planet. 
36:3.7 (400.2) During the ages intervening between life establishment and the emergence of human creatures of moral status, the Life Carriers are permitted to manipulate the life environment and otherwise favorably directionize the course of biologic evolution. And this they do for long periods of time.
36:3.8 (400.3) When the Life Carriers operating on a new world have once succeeded in producing a being with will, with the power of moral decision and spiritual choice, then and there their work terminates — they are through; they may manipulate the evolving life no further. From this point forward the evolution of living things must proceed in accordance with the endowment of the inherent nature and tendencies which have already been imparted to, and established in, the planetary life formulas and patterns. The Life Carriers are not permitted to experiment or to interfere with will; they are not allowed to dominate or arbitrarily influence moral creatures.
36:3.9 (400.4) Upon the arrival of a Planetary Prince they prepare to leave, though two of the senior carriers and twelve custodians may volunteer, by taking temporary renunciation vows, to remain indefinitely on the planet as advisers in the matter of the further development and conservation of the life plasm. Two such Sons and their twelve associates are now serving on Urantia.

36:4 

Melchizedek Life Carriers

36:4.1 (400.5) In every local system of inhabited worlds throughout Nebadon there is a single sphere whereon the Melchizedeks have functioned as life carriers. These abodes are known as the system midsonite worlds, and on each of them a materially modified Melchizedek Son has mated with a selected Daughter of the material order of sonship. The Mother Eves of such midsonite worlds are dispatched from the system headquarters of jurisdiction, having been chosen by the designated Melchizedek life carrier from among the numerous volunteers who respond to the call of the System Sovereign addressed to the Material Daughters of his sphere.
36:4.2 (400.6) The progeny of a Melchizedek life carrier and a Material Daughter are known as midsoniters. The Melchizedek father of such a race of supernal creatures eventually leaves the planet of his unique life function, and the Mother Eve of this special order of universe beings also departs upon the appearance of the seventh generation of planetary offspring. The direction of such a world then devolves upon her eldest son.
36:4.3 (400.7) The midsonite creatures live and function as reproducing beings on their magnificent worlds until they are one thousand standard years of age; whereupon they are translated by seraphic transport. Midsoniters are nonreproducing beings thereafter because the technique of dematerialization which they pass through in preparation for enseraphiming forever deprives them of reproductive prerogatives.
36:4.4 (400.8) The present status of these beings can hardly be reckoned as either mortal or immortal, neither can they be definitely classified as human or divine. These creatures are not Adjuster indwelt, hence hardly immortal. But neither do they seem to be mortal; no midsoniter has experienced death. All midsoniters ever born in Nebadon are alive today, functioning on their native worlds, on some intervening sphere, or on the Salvington midsonite sphere in the finaliters’ group of worlds.
36:4.5 (401.1) The Salvington Worlds of the Finaliters. The Melchizedek life carriers, as well as the associated Mother Eves, go from the system midsonite spheres to the finaliters’ worlds of the Salvington circuit, where their offspring are also destined to forgather.
36:4.6 (401.2) It should be explained in this connection that the fifth group of seven primary worlds in the Salvington circuit are the Nebadon worlds of the finaliters. The children of the Melchizedek life carriers and the Material Daughters are domiciled on the seventh world of the finaliters, the Salvington midsonite sphere.
36:4.7 (401.3) The satellites of the seven primary worlds of the finaliters are the rendezvous of the personalities of the super- and central universes who may be executing assignments in Nebadon. While the ascending mortals go about freely on all of the cultural worlds and training spheres of the 490 worlds comprising the Melchizedek University, there are certain special schools and numerous restricted zones which they are not permitted to enter. This is especially true of the forty-nine spheres under the jurisdiction of the finaliters.
36:4.8 (401.4) The purpose of the midsonite creatures is not at present known, but it would appear that these personalities are forgathering on the seventh finaliter world in preparation for some future eventuality in universe evolution. Our inquiries concerning the midsonite races are always referred to the finaliters, and always do the finaliters decline to discuss the destiny of their wards. Regardless of our uncertainty as to the future of the midsoniters, we do know that every local universe in Orvonton harbors such an accumulating corps of these mysterious beings. It is the belief of the Melchizedek life carriers that their midsonite children will some day be endowed with the transcendental and eternal spirit of absonity by God the Ultimate.

36:5 

The Seven Adjutant Mind-Spirits

36:5.1 (401.5) It is the presence of the seven adjutant mind-spirits on the primitive worlds that conditions the course of organic evolution; that explains why evolution is purposeful and not accidental. These adjutants represent that function of the mind ministry of the Infinite Spirit which is extended to the lower orders of intelligent life through the operations of a local universe Mother Spirit. The adjutants are the children of the Universe Mother Spirit and constitute her personal ministry to the material minds of the realms. Wherever and whenever such mind is manifest, these spirits are variously functioning.
36:5.2 (401.6) The seven adjutant mind-spirits are called by names which are the equivalents of the following designations: intuition, understanding, courage, knowledge, counsel, worship, and wisdom. These mind-spirits send forth their influence into all the inhabited worlds as a differential urge, each seeking receptivity capacity for manifestation quite apart from the degree to which its fellows may find reception and opportunity for function.
36:5.3 (401.7) The central lodgments of the adjutant spirits on the Life Carrier headquarters world indicate to the Life Carrier supervisors the extent and quality of the mind function of the adjutants on any world and in any given living organism of intellect status. These life-mind emplacements are perfect indicators of living mind function for the first five adjutants. But with regard to the sixth and seventh adjutant spirits — worship and wisdom — these central lodgments record only a qualitative function. The quantitative activity of the adjutant of worship and the adjutant of wisdom is registered in the immediate presence of the Divine Minister on Salvington, being a personal experience of the Universe Mother Spirit.
36:5.4 (402.1) The seven adjutant mind-spirits always accompany the Life Carriers to a new planet, but they should not be regarded as entities; they are more like circuits. The spirits of the seven universe adjutants do not function as personalities apart from the universe presence of the Divine Minister; they are in fact a level of consciousness of the Divine Minister and are always subordinate to the action and presence of their creative mother.
36:5.5 (402.2) We are handicapped for words adequately to designate these seven adjutant mind-spirits. They are ministers of the lower levels of experiential mind, and they may be described, in the order of evolutionary attainment, as follows:
36:5.6 (402.3) 1. The spirit of intuition  quick perception, the primitive physical and inherent reflex instincts, the directional and other self-preservative endowments of all mind creations; the only one of the adjutants to function so largely in the lower orders of animal life and the only one to make extensive functional contact with the non-teachable levels of mechanical mind.
36:5.7 (402.4) 2. The spirit of understanding  the impulse of co-ordination, the spontaneous and apparently automatic association of ideas. This is the gift of the co-ordination of acquired knowledge, the phenomenon of quick reasoning, rapid judgment, and prompt decision.
36:5.8 (402.5) 3. The spirit of courage the fidelity endowment — in personal beings, the basis of character acquirement and the intellectual root of moral stamina and spiritual bravery. When enlightened by facts and inspired by truth, this becomes the secret of the urge of evolutionary ascension by the channels of intelligent and conscientious self-direction.
36:5.9 (402.6) 4. The spirit of knowledge  the curiosity-mother of adventure and discovery, the scientific spirit; the guide and faithful associate of the spirits of courage and counsel; the urge to direct the endowments of courage into useful and progressive paths of growth.
36:5.10 (402.7) 5. The spirit of counsel the social urge, the endowment of species co-operation; the ability of will creatures to harmonize with their fellows; the origin of the gregarious instinct among the more lowly creatures.
36:5.11 (402.8) 6. The spirit of worship the religious impulse, the first differential urge separating mind creatures into the two basic classes of mortal existence. The spirit of worship forever distinguishes the animal of its association from the soulless creatures of mind endowment. Worship is the badge of spiritual-ascension candidacy.
36:5.12 (402.9) 7. The spirit of wisdom  the inherent tendency of all moral creatures towards orderly and progressive evolutionary advancement. This is the highest of the adjutants, the spirit coordinator and articulator of the work of all the others. This spirit is the secret of that inborn urge of mind creatures which initiates and maintains the practical and effective program of the ascending scale of existence; that gift of living things which accounts for their inexplicable ability to survive and, in survival, to utilize the coordination of all their past experience and present opportunities for the acquisition of all of everything that all of the other six mental ministers can mobilize in the mind of the organism concerned. Wisdom is the acme of intellectual performance. Wisdom is the goal of a purely mental and moral existence.
36:5.13 (403.1) The adjutant mind-spirits experientially grow, but they never become personal. They evolve in function, and the function of the first five in the animal orders is to a certain extent essential to the function of all seven as human intellect. This animal relationship makes the adjutants more practically effective as human mind; hence animals are to a certain extent indispensable to man’s intellectual as well as to his physical evolution.
36:5.14 (403.2) These mind-adjutants of a local universe Mother Spirit are related to creature life of intelligence status much as the power centers and physical controllers are related to the nonliving forces of the universe. They perform invaluable service in the mind circuits on the inhabited worlds and are effective collaborators with the Master Physical Controllers, who also serve as controllers and directors of the pre-adjutant mind levels, the levels of non-teachable or mechanical mind.
36:5.15 (403.3) Living mind, prior to the appearance of capacity to learn from experience, is the ministry domain of the Master Physical Controllers. Creature mind, before acquiring the ability to recognize divinity and worship Deity, is the exclusive domain of the adjutant spirits. With the appearance of the spiritual response of the creature intellect, such created minds at once become super-minded, being instantly encircuited in the spirit cycles of the local universe Mother Spirit.
36:5.16 (403.4) The adjutant mind-spirits are in no manner directly related to the diverse and highly spiritual function of the spirit of the personal presence of the Divine Minister, the Holy Spirit of the inhabited worlds; but they are functionally antecedent to, and preparatory for, the appearance of this very spirit in evolutionary man. The adjutants afford the Universe Mother Spirit a varied contact with, and control over, the material living creatures of a local universe, but they do not repercuss in the Supreme Being when acting on pre-personality levels.
36:5.17 (403.5) Nonspiritual mind is either a spirit-energy manifestation or a physical-energy phenomenon. Even human mind, personal mind, has no survival qualities apart from spirit identification. Mind is a divinity bestowal, but it is not immortal when it functions without spirit insight, and when it is devoid of the ability to worship and crave survival.

36:6 

Living Forces

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36:6.1 (403.6) Life is both mechanistic and vitalistic — material and spiritual. Ever will Urantia physicists and chemists progress in their understanding of the protoplasmic forms of vegetable and animal life, but never will they be able to produce living organisms. Life is something different from all energy manifestations; even the material life of physical creatures is not inherent in matter.
36:6.2 (403.7) Things material may enjoy an independent existence, but life springs only from life. Mind can be derived only from pre-existent mind. Spirit takes origin only from spirit ancestors. The creature may produce the forms of life, but only a creator personality or a creative force can supply the activating living spark.
36:6.3 (404.1) Life Carriers can organize the material forms, or physical patterns, of living beings, but the Spirit provides the initial spark of life and bestows the endowment of mind. Even the living forms of experimental life which the Life Carriers organize on their Salvington worlds are always devoid of reproductive powers. When the life formulas and the vital patterns are correctly assembled and properly organized, the presence of a Life Carrier is sufficient to initiate life, but all such living organisms are lacking in two essential attributes — mind endowment and reproductive powers. Animal mind and human mind are gifts of the local universe Mother Spirit, functioning through the seven adjutant mind-spirits, while creature ability to reproduce is the specific and personal impartation of the Universe Spirit to the ancestral life plasm inaugurated by the Life Carriers.
36:6.4 (404.2) When the Life Carriers have designed the patterns of life, after they have organized the energy systems, there must occur an additional phenomenon; the “breath of life” must be imparted to these lifeless forms. The Sons of God can construct the forms of life, but it is the Spirit of God who really contributes the vital spark. And when the life thus imparted is spent, then again the remaining material body becomes dead matter. When the bestowed life is exhausted, the body returns to the bosom of the material universe from which it was borrowed by the Life Carriers to serve as a transient vehicle for that life endowment which they conveyed to such a visible association of energy-matter.
36:6.5 (404.3) The life bestowed upon plants and animals by the Life Carriers does not return to the Life Carriers upon the death of plant or animal. The departing life of such a living thing possesses neither identity nor personality; it does not individually survive death. During its existence and the time of its sojourn in the body of matter, it has undergone a change; it has undergone energy evolution and survives only as a part of the cosmic forces of the universe; it does not survive as individual life. The survival of mortal creatures is wholly predicated on the evolvement of an immortal soul within the mortal mind.
36:6.6 (404.4) We speak of life as “energy” and as “force,” but it is really neither. Force-energy is variously gravity responsive; life is not. Pattern is also non-responsive to gravity, being a configuration of energies that have already fulfilled all gravity-responsive obligations. Life, as such, constitutes the animation of some pattern-configured or otherwise segregated system of energy — material, mindal, or spiritual.
36:6.7 (404.5) There are some things connected with the elaboration of life on the evolutionary planets which are not altogether clear to us. We fully comprehend the physical organization of the electro-chemical formulas of the Life Carriers, but we do not wholly understand the nature and source of the life-activation spark. We know that life flows from the Father through the Son and by the Spirit. It is more than possible that the Master Spirits are the seven-fold channel of the river of life which is poured out upon all creation. But we do not comprehend the technique whereby the supervising Master Spirit participates in the initial episode of life bestowal on a new planet. The Ancients of Days, we are confident, also have some part in this inauguration of life on a new world, but we are wholly ignorant of the nature thereof. We do know that the Universe Mother Spirit actually vitalizes the lifeless patterns and imparts to such activated plasm the prerogatives of organismal reproduction. We observe that these three are the levels of God the Seven-fold, sometimes designated as the Supreme Creators of time and space; but otherwise we know little more than Urantia mortals — simply that concept is inherent in the Father, expression in the Son, and life realization in the Spirit.
36:6.8 (405.1) [Indited by a Vorondadek Son stationed on Urantia as an observer and acting in this capacity by request of the Melchizedek Chief of the Supervising Revelatory Corps.]

Paper 57

The Origin of Urantia 

57:0.1 (651.1) IN PRESENTING excerpts from the archives of Jerusem for the records of Urantia respecting its antecedents and early history, we are directed to reckon time in terms of current usage — the present leap-year calendar of 365¼ days to the year. As a rule, no attempt will be made to give exact years, though they are of record. We will use the nearest whole numbers as the better method of presenting these historic facts.
57:0.2 (651.2) When referring to an event as of one or two millions of years ago, we intend to date such an occurrence back that number of years from the early decades of the twentieth century of the Christian era. We will thus depict these far-distant events as occurring in even periods of thousands, millions, and billions of years.

57:1 

The Andronover Nebula

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57:1.1 (651.3) Urantia is of origin in your sun, and your sun is one of the multifarious offspring of the Andronover nebula, which was onetime organized as a component part of the physical power and material matter of the local universe of Nebadon. And this great nebula itself took origin in the universal force-charge of space in the super-universe of Orvonton, long, long ago.
57:1.2 (651.4) At the time of the beginning of this recital, the Primary Master Force Organizers of Paradise had long been in full control of the space-energies which were later organized as the Andronover nebula.
57:1.3 (651.5) 987,000,000,000 years ago associate force organizer and then acting inspector number 811,307 of the Orvonton series, traveling out from Uversa, reported to the Ancients of Days that space conditions were favorable for the initiation of materialization phenomena in a certain sector of the, then, easterly segment of Orvonton.
57:1.4 (651.6) 900,000,000,000 years ago, the Uversa archives testify, there was recorded a permit issued by the Uversa Council of Equilibrium to the super-universe government authorizing the dispatch of a force organizer and staff to the region previously designated by inspector number 811,307. The Orvonton authorities commissioned the original discoverer of this potential universe to execute the mandate of the Ancients of Days calling for the organization of a new material creation. 
57:1.5 (652.1) The recording of this permit signifies that the force organizer and staff had already departed from Uversa on the long journey to that easterly space sector where they were subsequently to engage in those protracted activities which would terminate in the emergence of a new physical creation in Orvonton.
57:1.6 (652.2) 875,000,000,000 years ago the enormous Andronover nebula number 876,926 was duly initiated. Only the presence of the force organizer and the liaison staff was required to inaugurate the energy whirl which eventually grew into this vast cyclone of space. Subsequent to the initiation of such nebular revolutions, the living force organizers simply withdraw at right angles to the plane of the revolutionary disk, and from that time forward, the inherent qualities of energy insure the progressive and orderly evolution of such a new physical system. 
57:1.7 (652.3) At about this time the narrative shifts to the functioning of the personalities of the super-universe. In reality the story has its proper beginning at this point — at just about the time the Paradise force organizers are preparing to withdraw, having made the space-energy conditions ready for the action of the power directors and physical controllers of the super-universe of Orvonton.

57:2. 

The Primary Nebular Stage

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57:2.1 (652.4) All evolutionary material creations are born of circular and gaseous nebulae, and all such primary nebulae are circular throughout the early part of their gaseous existence. As they grow older, they usually become spiral, and when their function of sun formation has run its course, they often terminate as clusters of stars or as enormous suns surrounded by a varying number of planets, satellites, and smaller groups of matter in many ways resembling your own diminutive solar system.
57:2.2 (652.5) 800,000,000,000 years ago the Andronover creation was well established as one of the magnificent primary nebulae of Orvonton. As the astronomers of near-by universes looked out upon this phenomenon of space, they saw very little to attract their attention. Gravity estimates made in adjacent creations indicated that space materialization's were taking place in the Andronover regions, but that was all.
57:2.3 (652.6) 700,000,000,000 years ago the Andronover system was assuming gigantic proportions, and additional physical controllers were dispatched to nine surrounding material creations to afford support and supply cooperation to the power centers of this new material system which was so rapidly evolving. At this distant date all of the material bequeathed to the subsequent creations was held within the confines of this gigantic space wheel, which continued ever to whirl and, after reaching its maximum of diameter, to whirl faster and faster as it continued to condense and contract.
57:2.4 (652.7) 600,000,000,000 years ago the height of the Andronover energy-mobilization period was attained; the nebula had acquired its maximum of mass. At this time it was a gigantic circular gas cloud in shape somewhat like a flattened spheroid. This was the early period of differential mass formation and varying revolutionary velocity. Gravity and other influences were about to begin their work of converting space gases into organized matter.

57:3 

The Secondary Nebular Stage

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57:3.1 (653.1) The enormous nebula now began gradually to assume the spiral form and to become clearly visible to the astronomers of even distant universes. This is the natural history of most nebulae; before they begin to throw off suns and start upon the work of universe building, these secondary space nebulae are usually observed as spiral phenomena.
57:3.2 (653.2) The near-by star students of that faraway era, as they observed this metamorphosis of the Andronover nebula, saw exactly what twentieth-century astronomers see when they turn their telescopes spaceward and view the present-age spiral nebulae of adjacent outer space.
57:3.3 (653.3) About the time of the attainment of the maximum of mass, the gravity control of the gaseous content commenced to weaken, and there ensued the stage of gas escapement, the gas streaming forth as two gigantic and distinct arms, which took origin on opposite sides of the mother mass. The rapid revolutions of this enormous central core soon imparted a spiral appearance to these two projecting gas streams. The cooling and subsequent condensation of portions of these protruding arms eventually produced their knotted appearance. These denser portions were vast systems and subsystems of physical matter whirling through space in the midst of the gaseous cloud of the nebula while being held securely within the gravity grasp of the mother wheel.
57:3.4 (653.4) But the nebula had begun to contract, and the increase in the rate of revolution further lessened gravity control; and erelong, the outer gaseous regions began actually to escape from the immediate embrace of the nebular nucleus, passing out into space on circuits of irregular outline, returning to the nuclear regions to complete their circuits, and so on. But this was only a temporary stage of nebular progression. The ever-increasing rate of whirling was soon to throw enormous suns off into space on independent circuits.
57:3.5 (653.5) And this is what happened in Andronover ages upon ages ago. The energy wheel grew and grew until it attained its maximum of expansion, and then, when contraction set in, it whirled on faster and faster until, eventually, the critical centrifugal stage was reached and the great breakup began.
57:3.6 (653.6) 500,000,000,000 years ago the first Andronover sun was born. This blazing streak broke away from the mother gravity grasp and tore out into space on an independent adventure in the cosmos of creation. Its orbit was determined by its path of escape. Such young suns quickly become spherical and start out on their long and eventful careers as the stars of space. Excepting terminal nebular nucleus's, the vast majority of Orvonton suns have had an analogous birth. These escaping suns pass through varied periods of evolution and subsequent universe service.
57:3.7 (653.7) 400,000,000,000 years ago began the recaptive period of the Andronover nebula. Many of the near-by and smaller suns were recaptured as a result of the gradual enlargement and further condensation of the mother nucleus. Very soon there was inaugurated the terminal phase of nebular condensation, the period which always precedes the final segregation of these immense space aggregations of energy and matter.
57:3.8 (654.1) It was scarcely a million years subsequent to this epoch that Michael of Nebadon, a Creator Son of Paradise, selected this disintegrating nebula as the site of his adventure in universe building. Almost immediately the architectural worlds of Salvington and the one hundred constellation headquarters groups of planets were begun. It required almost one million years to complete these clusters of specially created worlds. The local system headquarters planets were constructed over a period extending from that time to about five billion years ago.
57:3.9 (654.2) 300,000,000,000 years ago the Andronover solar circuits were well established, and the nebular system was passing through a transient period of relative physical stability. About this time the staff of Michael arrived on Salvington, and the Uversa government of Orvonton extended physical recognition to the local universe of Nebadon.
57:3.10 (654.3) 200,000,000,000 years ago witnessed the progression of contraction and condensation with enormous heat generation in the Andronover central cluster, or nuclear mass. Relative space appeared even in the regions near the central mother-sun wheel. The outer regions were becoming more stabilized and better organized; some planets revolving around the newborn suns had cooled sufficiently to be suitable for life implantation. The oldest inhabited planets of Nebadon date from these times.
57:3.11 (654.4) Now the completed universe mechanism of Nebadon first begins to function, and Michael’s creation is registered on Uversa as a universe of in-habitation and progressive mortal ascension.
57:3.12 (654.5) 100,000,000,000 years ago the nebular apex of condensation tension was reached; the point of maximum heat tension was attained. This critical stage of gravity-heat contention sometimes lasts for ages, but sooner or later, heat wins the struggle with gravity, and the spectacular period of sun dispersion begins. And this marks the end of the secondary career of a space nebula.

57:4 

Tertiary and Quartan Stages

57:4.1 (654.6) The primary stage of a nebula is circular; the secondary, spiral; the tertiary stage is that of the first sun dispersion, while the quartan embraces the second and last cycle of sun dispersion, with the mother nucleus ending either as a globular cluster or as a solitary sun functioning as the center of a terminal solar system.
57:4.2 (654.7) 75,000,000,000 years ago this nebula had attained the height of its sun-family stage. This was the apex of the first period of sun losses. The majority of these suns have since possessed themselves of extensive systems of planets, satellites, dark islands, comets, meteors, and cosmic dust clouds.
57:4.3 (654.8) 50,000,000,000 years ago this first period of sun dispersion was completed; the nebula was fast finishing its tertiary cycle of existence, during which it gave origin to 876,926 sun systems.
57:4.4 (654.9) 25,000,000,000 years ago witnessed the completion of the tertiary cycle of nebular life and brought about the organization and relative stabilization of the far-flung starry systems derived from this parent nebula. But the process of physical contraction and increased heat production continued in the central mass of the nebular remnant.
57:4.5 (655.1) 10,000,000,000 years ago the quartan cycle of Andronover began. The maximum of nuclear-mass temperature had been attained; the critical point of condensation was approaching. The original mother nucleus was convulsing under the combined pressure of its own internal-heat condensation tension and the increasing gravity-tidal pull of the surrounding swarm of liberated sun systems. The nuclear eruptions which were to inaugurate the second nebular sun cycle were imminent. The quartan cycle of nebular existence was about to begin.
57:4.6 (655.2) 8,000,000,000 years ago the terrific terminal eruption began. Only the outer systems are safe at the time of such a cosmic upheaval. And this was the beginning of the end of the nebula. This final sun disgorgement extended over a period of almost two billion years.
57:4.7 (655.3) 7,000,000,000 years ago witnessed the height of the Andronover terminal breakup. This was the period of the birth of the larger terminal suns and the apex of the local physical disturbances.
57:4.8 (655.4) 6,000,000,000 years ago marks the end of the terminal breakup and the birth of your sun, the fifty-sixth from the last of the Andronover second solar family. This final eruption of the nebular nucleus gave birth to 136,702 suns, most of them solitary orbs. The total number of suns and sun systems having origin in the Andronover nebula was 1,013,628. The number of the solar system sun is 1,013,572.
57:4.9 (655.5) And now the great Andronover nebula is no more, but it lives on in the many suns and their planetary families which originated in this mother cloud of space. The final nuclear remnant of this magnificent nebula still burns with a reddish glow and continues to give forth moderate light and heat to its remnant planetary family of one hundred and sixty-five worlds, which now revolve about this venerable mother of two mighty generations of the monarchs of light.

57:5 

Origin of Monmatia 

The Urantia Solar System

57:5.1 (655.6) 5,000,000,000 years ago your sun was a comparatively isolated blazing orb, having gathered to itself most of the near-by circulating matter of space, remnants of the recent upheaval which attended its own birth.
57:5.2 (655.7) Today, your sun has achieved relative stability, but its eleven and one-half year sunspot cycles betray that it was a variable star in its youth. In the early days of your sun the continued contraction and consequent gradual increase of temperature initiated tremendous convulsions on its surface. These titanic heaves required three and one-half days to complete a cycle of varying brightness. This variable state, this periodic pulsation, rendered your sun highly responsive to certain outside influences which were to be shortly encountered.
57:5.3 (655.8) Thus was the stage of local space set for the unique origin of Monmatia, that being the name of your sun’s planetary family, the solar system to which your world belongs. Less than one per cent of the planetary systems of Orvonton have had a similar origin.
57:5.4 (655.9) 4,500,000,000 years ago the enormous Angona system began its approach to the neighborhood of this solitary sun. The center of this great system was a dark giant of space, solid, highly charged, and possessing tremendous gravity pull.
57:5.5 (656.1) As Angona more closely approached the sun, at moments of maximum expansion during solar pulsations, streams of gaseous material were shot out into space as gigantic solar tongues. At first these flaming gas tongues would invariably fall back into the sun, but as Angona drew nearer and nearer, the gravity pull of the gigantic visitor became so great that these tongues of gas would break off at certain points, the roots falling back into the sun while the outer sections would become detached to form independent bodies of matter, solar meteorites, which immediately started to revolve about the sun in elliptical orbits of their own.
57:5.6 (656.2) As the Angona system drew nearer, the solar extrusions grew larger and larger; more and more matter was drawn from the sun to become independent circulating bodies in surrounding space. This situation developed for about five hundred thousand years until Angona made its closest approach to the sun; whereupon the sun, in conjunction with one of its periodic internal convulsions, experienced a partial disruption; from opposite sides and simultaneously, enormous volumes of matter were disgorged. From the Angona side there was drawn out a vast column of solar gases, rather pointed at both ends and markedly bulging at the center, which became permanently detached from the immediate gravity control of the sun.
57:5.7 (656.3) This great column of solar gases which was thus separated from the sun subsequently evolved into the twelve planets of the solar system. The repercussional ejection of gas from the opposite side of the sun in tidal sympathy with the extrusion of this gigantic solar system ancestor, has since condensed into the meteors and space dust of the solar system, although much, very much, of this matter was subsequently recaptured by solar gravity as the Angona system receded into remote space.
57:5.8 (656.4) Although Angona succeeded in drawing away the ancestral material of the solar system planets and the enormous volume of matter now circulating about the sun as asteroids and meteors, it did not secure for itself any of this solar matter. The visiting system did not come quite close enough to actually steal any of the sun’s substance, but it did swing sufficiently close to draw off into the intervening space all of the material comprising the present-day solar system.
57:5.9 (656.5) The five inner and five outer planets soon formed in miniature from the cooling and condensing nucleuses in the less massive and tapering ends of the gigantic gravity bulge which Angona had succeeded in detaching from the sun, while Saturn and Jupiter were formed from the more massive and bulging central portions. The powerful gravity pull of Jupiter and Saturn early captured most of the material stolen from Angona as the retrograde motion of certain of their satellites bears witness.
57:5.10 (656.6) Jupiter and Saturn, being derived from the very center of the enormous column of superheated solar gases, contained so much highly heated sun material that they shone with a brilliant light and emitted enormous volumes of heat; they were in reality secondary suns for a short period after their formation as separate space bodies. These two largest of the solar system planets have remained largely gaseous to this day, not even yet having cooled off to the point of complete condensation or solidification.
57:5.11 (656.7) The gas-contraction nucleuses of the other ten planets soon reached the stage of solidification and so began to draw to themselves increasing quantities of the meteoric matter circulating in near-by space. The worlds of the solar system thus had a double origin: nucleuses of gas condensation later on augmented by the capture of enormous quantities of meteors. Indeed they still continue to capture meteors, but in greatly lessened numbers.
57:5.12 (657.1) The planets do not swing around the sun in the equatorial plane of their solar mother, which they would do if they had been thrown off by solar revolution. Rather, they travel in the plane of the Angona solar extrusion, which existed at a considerable angle to the plane of the sun’s equator.
57:5.13 (657.2) While Angona was unable to capture any of the solar mass, your sun did add to its metamorphosing planetary family some of the circulating space material of the visiting system. Due to the intense gravity field of Angona, its tributary planetary family pursued orbits of considerable distance from the dark giant; and shortly after the extrusion of the solar system ancestral mass and while Angona was yet in the vicinity of the sun, three of the major planets of the Angona system swung so near to the massive solar system ancestor that its gravitational pull, augmented by that of the sun, was sufficient to overbalance the gravity grasp of Angona and to permanently detach these three tributaries of the celestial wanderer.
57:5.14 (657.3) All of the solar system material derived from the sun was originally endowed with a homogeneous direction of orbital swing, and had it not been for the intrusion of these three foreign space bodies, all solar system material would still maintain the same direction of orbital movement. As it was, the impact of the three Angona tributaries injected new and foreign directional forces into the emerging solar system with the resultant appearance of retrograde motion. Retrograde motion in any astronomic system is always accidental and always appears as a result of the collisional impact of foreign space bodies. Such collisions may not always produce retrograde motion, but no retrograde ever appears except in a system containing masses which have diverse origins.

57:6 

The Solar System Stage  

The Planet-Forming Era

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57:6.1 (657.4) Subsequent to the birth of the solar system a period of diminishing solar disgorgement ensued. Decreasingly, for another five hundred thousand years, the sun continued to pour forth diminishing volumes of matter into surrounding space. But during these early times of erratic orbits, when the surrounding bodies made their nearest approach to the sun, the solar parent was able to recapture a large portion of this meteoric material.
57:6.2 (657.5) The planets nearest the sun were the first to have their revolutions slowed down by tidal friction. Such gravitational influences also contribute to the stabilization of planetary orbits while acting as a brake on the rate of planetary-axial revolution, causing a planet to revolve ever slower until axial revolution ceases, leaving one hemisphere of the planet always turned toward the sun or larger body, as is illustrated by the planet Mercury and by the moon, which always turns the same face toward Urantia.
57:6.3 (657.6) When the tidal frictions of the moon and the earth become equalized, the earth will always turn the same hemisphere toward the moon, and the day and month will be analogous — in length about forty-seven days. When such stability of orbits is attained, tidal frictions will go into reverse action, no longer driving the moon farther away from the earth but gradually drawing the satellite toward the planet. And then, in that far-distant future when the moon approaches to within about eleven thousand miles of the earth, the gravity action of the latter will cause the moon to disrupt, and this tidal-gravity explosion will shatter the moon into small particles, which may assemble about the world as rings of matter resembling those of Saturn or may be gradually drawn into the earth as meteors.
57:6.4 (658.1) If space bodies are similar in size and density, collisions may occur. But if two space bodies of similar density are relatively unequal in size, then, if the smaller progressively approaches the larger, the disruption of the smaller body will occur when the radius of its orbit becomes less than two and one-half times the radius of the larger body. Collisions among the giants of space are rare indeed, but these gravity-tidal explosions of lesser bodies are quite common.
57:6.5 (658.2) Shooting stars occur in swarms because they are the fragments of larger bodies of matter which have been disrupted by tidal gravity exerted by near-by and still larger space bodies. Saturn’s rings are the fragments of a disrupted satellite. One of the moons of Jupiter is now approaching dangerously near the critical zone of tidal disruption and, within a few million years, will either be claimed by the planet or will undergo gravity-tidal disruption. The fifth planet of the solar system of long, long ago traversed an irregular orbit, periodically making closer and closer approach to Jupiter until it entered the critical zone of gravity-tidal disruption, was swiftly fragmentized, and became the present-day cluster of asteroids.
57:6.6 (658.3) 4,000,000,000 years ago witnessed the organization of the Jupiter and Saturn systems much as observed today except for their moons, which continued to increase in size for several billions of years. In fact, all of the planets and satellites of the solar system are still growing as the result of continued meteoric captures.
57:6.7 (658.4) 3,500,000,000 years ago the condensation nucleus's of the other ten planets were well formed, and the cores of most of the moons were intact, though some of the smaller satellites later united to make the present-day larger moons. This age may be regarded as the era of planetary assembly.
57:6.8 (658.5) 3,000,000,000 years ago the solar system was functioning much as it does today. Its members continued to grow in size as space meteors continued to pour in upon the planets and their satellites at a prodigious rate.
57:6.9 (658.6) About this time your solar system was placed on the physical registry of Nebadon and given its name, Monmatia.
57:6.10 (658.7) 2,500,000,000 years ago the planets had grown immensely in size. Urantia was a well-developed sphere about one tenth its present mass and was still growing rapidly by meteoric accretion.
57:6.11 (658.8) All of this tremendous activity is a normal part of the making of an evolutionary world on the order of Urantia and constitutes the astronomic preliminaries to the setting of the stage for the beginning of the physical evolution of such worlds of space in preparation for the life adventures of time.

57:7 

The Meteoric Era — The Volcanic Age
The Primitive Planetary Atmosphere

57:7.1 (658.9) Throughout these early times the space regions of the solar system were swarming with small disruptive and condensation bodies, and in the absence of a protective combustion atmosphere such space bodies crashed directly on the surface of Urantia. These incessant impacts kept the surface of the planet more or less heated, and this, together with the increased action of gravity as the sphere grew larger, began to set in operation those influences which gradually caused the heavier elements, such as iron, to settle more and more toward the center of the planet.
57:7.2 (659.1) 2,000,000,000 years ago the earth began decidedly to gain on the moon. Always had the planet been larger than its satellite, but there was not so much difference in size until about this time, when enormous space bodies were captured by the earth. Urantia was then about one fifth its present size and had become large enough to hold the primitive atmosphere which had begun to appear as a result of the internal elemental contest between the heated interior and the cooling crust.
57:7.3 (659.2) Definite volcanic action dates from these times. The internal heat of the earth continued to be augmented by the deeper and deeper burial of the radioactive or heavier elements brought in from space by the meteors. The study of these radioactive elements will reveal that Urantia is more than one billion years old on its surface. The radium clock is your most reliable timepiece for making scientific estimates of the age of the planet, but all such estimates are too short because the radioactive materials open to your scrutiny are all derived from the earth’s surface and hence represent Urantia’s comparatively recent acquirement's of these elements.
57:7.4 (659.3) 1,500,000,000 years ago the earth was two thirds its present size, while the moon was nearing its present mass. Earth’s rapid gain over the moon in size enabled it to begin the slow robbery of the little atmosphere which its satellite originally had.
57:7.5 (659.4) Volcanic action is now at its height. The whole earth is a veritable fiery inferno, the surface resembling its earlier molten state before the heavier metals gravitated toward the center. This is the volcanic age. Nevertheless, a crust, consisting chiefly of the comparatively lighter granite, is gradually forming. The stage is being set for a planet which can someday support life.
57:7.6 (659.5) The primitive planetary atmosphere is slowly evolving, now containing some water vapor, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen chloride, but there is little or no free nitrogen or free oxygen. The atmosphere of a world in the volcanic age presents a queer spectacle. In addition to the gases enumerated it is heavily charged with numerous volcanic gases and, as the air belt matures, with the combustion products of the heavy meteoric showers which are constantly hurtling in upon the planetary surface. Such meteoric combustion keeps the atmospheric oxygen very nearly exhausted, and the rate of meteoric bombardment is still tremendous.
57:7.7 (659.6) Presently, the atmosphere became more settled and cooled sufficiently to start precipitation of rain on the hot rocky surface of the planet. For thousands of years Urantia was enveloped in one vast and continuous blanket of steam. And during these ages the sun never shone upon the earth’s surface.
57:7.8 (659.7) Much of the carbon of the atmosphere was abstracted to form the carbonates of the various metals which abounded in the superficial layers of the planet. Later on, much greater quantities of these carbon gases were consumed by the early and prolific plant life.
57:7.9 (660.1) Even in the later periods the continuing lava flows and the incoming meteors kept the oxygen of the air almost completely used up. Even the early deposits of the soon appearing primitive ocean contain no colored stones or shales. And for a long time after this ocean appeared, there was virtually no free oxygen in the atmosphere; and it did not appear in significant quantities until it was later generated by the seaweeds and other forms of vegetable life.
57:7.10 (660.2) The primitive planetary atmosphere of the volcanic age affords little protection against the collisional impacts of the meteoric swarms. Millions upon millions of meteors are able to penetrate such an air belt to smash against the planetary crust as solid bodies. But as time passes, fewer and fewer prove large enough to resist the ever-stronger friction shield of the oxygen-enriching atmosphere of the later eras.

57:8 

Crustal Stabilization

The Age of Earthquakes

The World Ocean and 

the First Continent

57:8.1 (660.3) 1,000,000,000 years ago is the date of the actual beginning of Urantia history. The planet had attained approximately its present size. And about this time it was placed upon the physical registries of Nebadon and given its name, Urantia.
57:8.2 (660.4) The atmosphere, together with incessant moisture precipitation, facilitated the cooling of the earth’s crust. Volcanic action early equalized internal-heat pressure and crustal contraction; and as volcanoes rapidly decreased, earthquakes made their appearance as this epoch of crustal cooling and adjustment progressed.
57:8.3 (660.5) The real geologic history of Urantia begins with the cooling of the earth’s crust sufficiently to cause the formation of the first ocean. Water-vapor condensation on the cooling surface of the earth, once begun, continued until it was virtually complete. By the end of this period the ocean was world-wide, covering the entire planet to an average depth of over one mile. The tides were then in play much as they are now observed, but this primitive ocean was not salty; it was practically a fresh-water covering for the world. In those days, most of the chlorine was combined with various metals, but there was enough, in union with hydrogen, to render this water faintly acid.
57:8.4 (660.6) At the opening of this faraway era, Urantia should be envisaged as a water-bound planet. Later on, deeper and hence denser lava flows came out upon the bottom of the present Pacific Ocean, and this part of the water-covered surface became considerably depressed. The first continental land mass emerged from the world ocean in compensatory adjustment of the equilibrium of the gradually thickening earth’s crust.
57:8.5 (660.7) 950,000,000 years ago Urantia presents the picture of one great continent of land and one large body of water, the Pacific Ocean. Volcanoes are still widespread and earthquakes are both frequent and severe. Meteors continue to bombard the earth, but they are diminishing in both frequency and size. The atmosphere is clearing up, but the amount of carbon dioxide continues large. The earth’s crust is gradually stabilizing.
57:8.6 (660.8) It was at about this time that Urantia was assigned to the system of Satania for planetary administration and was placed on the life registry of Norlatiadek. Then began the administrative recognition of the small and insignificant sphere which was destined to be the planet whereon Michael would subsequently engage in the stupendous undertaking of mortal bestowal, would participate in those experiences which have since caused Urantia to become locally known as the “world of the cross.”
57:8.7 (661.1) 900,000,000 years ago witnessed the arrival on Urantia of the first Satania scouting party sent out from Jerusem to examine the planet and make a report on its adaptation for a life-experiment station. This commission consisted of twenty-four members, embracing Life Carriers, Lanonandek Sons, Melchizedeks, seraphim, and other orders of celestial life having to do with the early days of planetary organization and administration.
57:8.8 (661.2) After making a painstaking survey of the planet, this commission returned to Jerusem and reported favorably to the System Sovereign, recommending that Urantia be placed on the life-experiment registry. Your world was accordingly registered on Jerusem as a decimal planet, and the Life Carriers were notified that they would be granted permission to institute new patterns of mechanical, chemical, and electrical mobilization at the time of their subsequent arrival with life transplantation and implantation mandates.
57:8.9 (661.3) In due course arrangements for the planetary occupation were completed by the mixed commission of twelve on Jerusem and approved by the planetary commission of seventy on Edentia. These plans, proposed by the advisory counselors of the Life Carriers, were finally accepted on Salvington. Soon thereafter the Nebadon broadcasts carried the announcement that Urantia would become the stage whereon the Life Carriers would execute their sixtieth Satania experiment designed to amplify and improve the Satania type of the Nebadon life patterns.
57:8.10 (661.4) Shortly after Urantia was first recognized on the universe broadcasts to all Nebadon, it was accorded full universe status. Soon thereafter it was registered in the records of the minor and the major sector headquarters planets of the superuniverse; and before this age was over, Urantia had found entry on the planetary-life registry of Uversa.
57:8.11 (661.5) This entire age was characterized by frequent and violent storms. The early crust of the earth was in a state of continual flux. Surface cooling alternated with immense lava flows. Nowhere can there be found on the surface of the world anything of this original planetary crust. It has all been mixed up too many times with extruding lavas of deep origins and admixed with subsequent deposits of the early world-wide ocean.
57:8.12 (661.6) Nowhere on the surface of the world will there be found more of the modified remnants of these ancient preocean rocks than in northeastern Canada around Hudson Bay. This extensive granite elevation is composed of stone belonging to the preoceanic ages. These rock layers have been heated, bent, twisted, upcrumpled, and again and again have they passed through these distorting metamorphic experiences.
57:8.13 (661.7) Throughout the oceanic ages, enormous layers of fossil-free stratified stone were deposited on this ancient ocean bottom. (Limestone can form as a result of chemical precipitation; not all of the older limestone was produced by marine-life deposition.) In none of these ancient rock formations will there be found evidences of life; they contain no fossils unless, by some chance, later deposits of the water ages have become mixed with these older prelife layers.
57:8.14 (662.1) The earth’s early crust was highly unstable, but mountains were not in process of formation. The planet contracted under gravity pressure as it formed. Mountains are not the result of the collapse of the cooling crust of a contracting sphere; they appear later on as a result of the action of rain, gravity, and erosion.
57:8.15 (662.2) The continental land mass of this era increased until it covered almost ten per cent of the earth’s surface. Severe earthquakes did not begin until the continental mass of land emerged well above the water. When they once began, they increased in frequency and severity for ages. For millions upon millions of years earthquakes have diminished, but Urantia still has an average of fifteen daily.
57:8.16 (662.3) 850,000,000 years ago the first real epoch of the stabilization of the earth’s crust began. Most of the heavier metals had settled down toward the center of the globe; the cooling crust had ceased to cave in on such an extensive scale as in former ages. There was established a better balance between the land extrusion and the heavier ocean bed. The flow of the sub-crustal lava bed became well-nigh world-wide, and this compensated and stabilized the fluctuations due to cooling, contracting, and superficial shifting.
57:8.17 (662.4) Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes continued to diminish in frequency and severity. The atmosphere was clearing of volcanic gases and water vapor, but the percentage of carbon dioxide was still high.
57:8.18 (662.5) Electric disturbances in the air and in the earth were also decreasing. The lava flows had brought to the surface a mixture of elements which diversified the crust and better insulated the planet from certain space-energies. And all of this did much to facilitate the control of terrestrial energy and to regulate its flow, as is disclosed by the functioning of the magnetic poles.
57:8.19 (662.6) 800,000,000 years ago witnessed the inauguration of the first great land epoch, the age of increased continental emergence.
57:8.20 (662.7) Since the condensation of the earth’s hydrosphere, first into the world ocean and subsequently into the Pacific Ocean, this latter body of water should be visualized as then covering nine tenths of the earth’s surface. Meteors falling into the sea accumulated on the ocean bottom, and meteors are, generally speaking, composed of heavy materials. Those falling on the land were largely oxidized, subsequently worn down by erosion, and washed into the ocean basins. Thus the ocean bottom grew increasingly heavy, and added to this was the weight of a body of water at some places ten miles deep.
57:8.21 (662.8) The increasing downthrust of the Pacific Ocean operated further to upthrust the continental land mass. Europe and Africa began to rise out of the Pacific depths along with those masses now called Australia, North and South America, and the continent of Antarctica, while the bed of the Pacific Ocean engaged in a further compensatory sinking adjustment. By the end of this period almost one third of the earth’s surface consisted of land, all in one continental body.
57:8.22 (662.9) With this increase in land elevation the first climatic differences of the planet appeared. Land elevation, cosmic clouds, and oceanic influences are the chief factors in climatic fluctuation. The backbone of the Asiatic land mass reached a height of almost nine miles at the time of the maximum land emergence. Had there been much moisture in the air hovering over these highly elevated regions, enormous ice blankets would have formed; the ice age would have arrived long before it did. It was several hundred millions of years before so much land again appeared above water.
57:8.23 (663.1) 750,000,000 years ago the first breaks in the continental land mass began as the great north-and-south cracking, which later admitted the ocean waters and prepared the way for the westward drift of the continents of North and South America, including Greenland. The long east-and-west cleavage separated Africa from Europe and severed the land masses of Australia, the Pacific Islands, and Antarctica from the Asiatic continent.
57:8.24 (663.2) 700,000,000 years ago Urantia was approaching the ripening of conditions suitable for the support of life. The continental land drift continued; increasingly the ocean penetrated the land as long finger like seas providing those shallow waters and sheltered bays which are so suitable as a habitat for marine life.
57:8.25 (663.3) 650,000,000 years ago witnessed the further separation of the land masses and, in consequence, a further extension of the continental seas. And these waters were rapidly attaining that degree of saltiness which was essential to Urantia life.
57:8.26 (663.4) It was these seas and their successors that laid down the life records of Urantia, as subsequently discovered in well-preserved stone pages, volume upon volume, as era succeeded era and age grew upon age. These inland seas of olden times were truly the cradle of evolution.
57:8.27 (663.5) [Presented by a Life Carrier, a member of the original Urantia Corps and now a resident observer.]

Paper 58

Life Establishment on Urantia

58:0.1 (664.1) IN ALL Satania there are only sixty-one worlds similar to Urantia, life-modification planets. The majority of inhabited worlds are peopled in accordance with established techniques; on such spheres the Life Carriers are afforded little leeway in their plans for life implantation. But about one world in ten is designated as a decimal planet and assigned to the special registry of the Life Carriers; and on such planets we are permitted to undertake certain life experiments in an effort to modify or possibly improve the standard universe types of living beings.

58:1 

Physical-Life Prerequisites

58:1.1 (664.2) 600,000,000 years ago the commission of Life Carriers sent out from Jerusem arrived on Urantia and began the study of physical conditions preparatory to launching life on world number 606 of the Satania system. This was to be our six hundred and sixth experience with the initiation of the Nebadon life patterns in Satania and our sixtieth opportunity to make changes and institute modifications in the basic and standard life designs of the local universe.
58:1.2 (664.3) It should be made clear that Life Carriers cannot initiate life until a sphere is ripe for the inauguration of the evolutionary cycle. Neither can we provide for a more rapid life development than can be supported and accommodated by the physical progress of the planet.
58:1.3 (664.4) The Satania Life Carriers had projected a sodium chloride pattern of life; therefore no steps could be taken toward planting it until the ocean waters had become sufficiently briny. The Urantia type of protoplasm can function only in a suitable salt solution. All ancestral life — vegetable and animal — evolved in a salt-solution habitat. And even the more highly organized land animals could not continue to live did not this same essential salt solution circulate throughout their bodies in the blood stream which freely bathes, literally submerses, every tiny living cell in this “briny deep.”
58:1.4 (664.5) Your primitive ancestors freely circulated about in the salty ocean; today, this same oceanlike salty solution freely circulates about in your bodies, bathing each individual cell with a chemical liquid in all essentials comparable to the salt water which stimulated the first protoplasmic reactions of the first living cells to function on the planet.
58:1.5 (664.6) But as this era opens, Urantia is in every way evolving toward a state favorable for the support of the initial forms of marine life. Slowly but surely physical developments on earth and in adjacent space regions are preparing the stage for the later attempts to establish such life forms as we had decided would be best adapted to the unfolding physical environment — both terrestrial and spatial.
58:1.6 (665.1) Subsequently the Satania commission of Life Carriers returned to Jerusem, preferring to await the further breakup of the continental land mass, which would afford still more inland seas and sheltered bays, before actually beginning life implantation.
58:1.7 (665.2) On a planet where life has a marine origin, the ideal conditions for life implantation are provided by a large number of inland seas, by an extensive shore line of shallow waters and sheltered bays; and just such a distribution of the earth’s waters was rapidly developing. These ancient inland seas were seldom over five or six hundred feet deep, and sunlight can penetrate ocean water for more than six hundred feet. 
58:1.8 (665.3) And it was from such seashores of the mild and equable climes of a later age that primitive plant life found its way onto the land. There the high degree of carbon in the atmosphere afforded the new land varieties of life opportunity for speedy and luxuriant growth. Though this atmosphere was then ideal for plant growth, it contained such a high degree of carbon dioxide that no animal, much less man, could have lived on the face of the earth.

58:2 

The Urantia Atmosphere

58:2.1 (665.4) The planetary atmosphere filters through to the earth about one two-billionth of the sun’s total light emanation. If the light falling upon North America were paid for at the rate of two cents per kilowatt-hour, the annual light bill would be upward of 800 quadrillion dollars. Chicago’s bill for sunshine would amount to considerably over 100 million dollars a day. And it should be remembered that you receive from the sun other forms of energy — light is not the only solar contribution reaching your atmosphere. Vast solar energies pour in upon Urantia embracing wave lengths ranging both above and below the recognition range of human vision. 
58:2.2 (665.5) The earth’s atmosphere is all but opaque to much of the solar radiation at the extreme ultraviolet end of the spectrum. Most of these short wave lengths are absorbed by a layer of ozone which exists throughout a level about ten miles above the surface of the earth, and which extends spaceward for another ten miles. The ozone permeating this region, at conditions prevailing on the earth’s surface, would make a layer only one tenth of an inch thick; nevertheless, this relatively small and apparently insignificant amount of ozone protects Urantia inhabitants from the excess of these dangerous and destructive ultraviolet radiations present in sunlight. But were this ozone layer just a trifle thicker, you would be deprived of the highly important and health-giving ultraviolet rays which now reach the earth’s surface, and which are ancestral to one of the most essential of your vitamins.
58:2.3 (665.6) And yet some of the less imaginative of your mortal mechanists insist on viewing material creation and human evolution as an accident. The Urantia midwayers have assembled over fifty thousand facts of physics and chemistry which they deem to be incompatible with the laws of accidental chance, and which they contend unmistakably demonstrate the presence of intelligent purpose in the material creation. And all of this takes no account of their catalog of more than one hundred thousand findings outside the domain of physics and chemistry which they maintain prove the presence of mind in the planning, creation, and maintenance of the material cosmos.
58:2.4 (666.1) Your sun pours forth a veritable flood of death-dealing rays, and your pleasant life on Urantia is due to the “fortuitous” influence of more than two-score apparently accidental protective operations similar to the action of this unique ozone layer.
58:2.5 (666.2) Were it not for the “blanketing” effect of the atmosphere at night, heat would be lost by radiation so rapidly that life would be impossible of maintenance except by artificial provision.
58:2.6 (666.3) The lower five or six miles of the earth’s atmosphere is the troposphere; this is the region of winds and air currents which provide weather phenomena. Above this region is the inner ionosphere and next above is the stratosphere. Ascending from the surface of the earth, the temperature steadily falls for six or eight miles, at which height it registers around 70 degrees below zero F. This temperature range of from 65 to 70 degrees below zero F. is unchanged in the further ascent for forty miles; this realm of constant temperature is the stratosphere. At a height of forty-five or fifty miles, the temperature begins to rise, and this increase continues until, at the level of the auroral displays, a temperature of 1200° F. is attained, and it is this intense heat that ionizes the oxygen. But temperature in such a rarefied atmosphere is hardly comparable with heat reckoning at the surface of the earth. Bear in mind that one half of all your atmosphere is to be found in the first three miles. The height of the earth’s atmosphere is indicated by the highest auroral streamers — about four hundred miles.
58:2.7 (666.4) Auroral phenomena are directly related to sunspots, those solar cyclones which whirl in opposite directions above and below the solar equator, even as do the terrestrial tropical hurricanes. Such atmospheric disturbances whirl in opposite directions when occurring above or below the equator.
58:2.8 (666.5) The power of sunspots to alter light frequencies shows that these solar storm centers function as enormous magnets. Such magnetic fields are able to hurl charged particles from the sunspot craters out through space to the earth’s outer atmosphere, where their ionizing influence produces such spectacular auroral displays. Therefore do you have the greatest auroral phenomena when sunspots are at their height — or soon thereafter — at which time the spots are more generally equatorially situated.
58:2.9 (666.6) Even the compass needle is responsive to this solar influence since it turns slightly to the east as the sun rises and slightly to the west as the sun nears setting. This happens every day, but during the height of sunspot cycles this variation of the compass is twice as great. These diurnal wanderings of the compass are in response to the increased ionization of the upper atmosphere, which is produced by the sunlight.
58:2.10 (666.7) It is the presence of two different levels of electrified conducting regions in the superstratosphere that accounts for the long-distance transmission of your long- and short-wave radiobroadcasts. Your broadcasting is sometimes disturbed by the terrific storms which occasionally rage in the realms of these outer ionospheres.

58:3 

Spatial Environment

58:3.1 (666.8) During the earlier times of universe materialization the space regions are interspersed with vast hydrogen clouds, just such astronomic dust clusters as now characterize many regions throughout remote space. Much of the organized matter which the blazing suns break down and disperse as radiant energy was originally built up in these early appearing hydrogen clouds of space. Under certain unusual conditions atom disruption also occurs at the nucleus of the larger hydrogen masses. And all of these phenomena of atom building and atom dissolution, as in the highly heated nebulae, are attended by the emergence of flood tides of short space rays of radiant energy. Accompanying these diverse radiations is a form of space-energy unknown on Urantia.
58:3.2 (667.1) This short-ray energy charge of universe space is four hundred times greater than all other forms of radiant energy existing in the organized space domains. The output of short space rays, whether coming from the blazing nebulae, tense electric fields, outer space, or the vast hydrogen dust clouds, is modified qualitatively and quantitatively by fluctuations of, and sudden tension changes in, temperature, gravity, and electronic pressures.
58:3.3 (667.2) These eventualities in the origin of the space rays are determined by many cosmic occurrences as well as by the orbits of circulating matter, which vary from modified circles to extreme ellipses. Physical conditions may also be greatly altered because the electron spin is sometimes in the opposite direction from that of the grosser matter behavior, even in the same physical zone.
58:3.4 (667.3) The vast hydrogen clouds are veritable cosmic chemical laboratories, harboring all phases of evolving energy and metamorphosing matter. Great energy actions also occur in the marginal gases of the great binary stars which so frequently overlap and hence extensively commingle. But none of these tremendous and far-flung energy activities of space exerts the least influence upon the phenomena of organized life — the germ plasm of living things and beings. These energy conditions of space are germane to the essential environment of life establishment, but they are not effective in the subsequent modification of the inheritance factors of the germ plasm as are some of the longer rays of radiant energy. The implanted life of the Life Carriers is fully resistant to all of this amazing flood of the short space rays of universe energy.
58:3.5 (667.4) All of these essential cosmic conditions had to evolve to a favorable status before the Life Carriers could actually begin the establishment of life on Urantia.

58:4 

The Life-Dawn Era

58:4.1 (667.5) That we are called Life Carriers should not confuse you. We can and do carry life to the planets, but we brought no life to Urantia. Urantia life is unique, original with the planet. This sphere is a life-modification world; all life appearing hereon was formulated by us right here on the planet; and there is no other world in all Satania, even in all Nebadon, that has a life existence just like that of Urantia.
58:4.2 (667.6) 550,000,000 years ago the Life Carrier corps returned to Urantia. In cooperation with spiritual powers and super-physical forces we organized and initiated the original life patterns of this world and planted them in the hospitable waters of the realm. All planetary life (aside from extra-planetary personalities) down to the days of Caligastia, the Planetary Prince, had its origin in our three original, identical, and simultaneous marine-life implantation's. These three life implantation's have been designated as: the central or Eurasian-African, the eastern or Australasian, and the western, embracing Greenland and the Americas.
58:4.3 (668.1) 500,000,000 years ago primitive marine vegetable life was well established on Urantia. Greenland and the arctic land mass, together with North and South America, were beginning their long and slow westward drift. Africa moved slightly south, creating an east and west trough, the Mediterranean basin, between itself and the mother body. Antarctica, Australia, and the land indicated by the islands of the Pacific broke away on the south and east and have drifted far away since that day.
58:4.4 (668.2) We had planted the primitive form of marine life in the sheltered tropic bays of the central seas of the east-west cleavage of the breaking-up continental land mass. Our purpose in making three marine-life implantations was to insure that each great land mass would carry this life with it, in its warm-water seas, as the land subsequently separated. We foresaw that in the later era of the emergence of land life large oceans of water would separate these drifting continental land masses.

58:5 

The Continental Drift

58:5.1 (668.3) The continental land drift continued. The earth’s core had become as dense and rigid as steel, being subjected to a pressure of almost 25,000 tons to the square inch, and owing to the enormous gravity pressure, it was and still is very hot in the deep interior. The temperature increases from the surface downward until at the center it is slightly above the surface temperature of the sun.
58:5.2 (668.4) The outer one thousand miles of the earth’s mass consists principally of different kinds of rock. Underneath are the denser and heavier metallic elements. Throughout the early and preatmospheric ages the world was so nearly fluid in its molten and highly heated state that the heavier metals sank deep into the interior. Those found near the surface today represent the exudate of ancient volcanoes, later and extensive lava flows, and the more recent meteoric deposits.
58:5.3 (668.5) The outer crust was about forty miles thick. This outer shell was supported by, and rested directly upon, a molten sea of basalt of varying thickness, a mobile layer of molten lava held under high pressure but always tending to flow hither and yon in equalization of shifting planetary pressures, thereby tending to stabilize the earth’s crust.
58:5.4 (668.6) Even today the continents continue to float upon this noncrystallized cushiony sea of molten basalt. Were it not for this protective condition, the more severe earthquakes would literally shake the world to pieces. Earthquakes are caused by sliding and shifting of the solid outer crust and not by volcanoes.
58:5.5 (668.7) The lava layers of the earth’s crust, when cooled, form granite. The average density of Urantia is a little more than five and one-half times that of water; the density of granite is less than three times that of water. The earth’s core is twelve times as dense as water.
58:5.6 (668.8) The sea bottoms are more dense than the land masses, and this is what keeps the continents above water. When the sea bottoms are extruded above the sea level, they are found to consist largely of basalt, a form of lava considerably heavier than the granite of the land masses. Again, if the continents were not lighter than the ocean beds, gravity would draw the edges of the oceans up onto the land, but such phenomena are not observable.
58:5.7 (668.9) The weight of the oceans is also a factor in the increase of pressure on the sea beds. The lower but comparatively heavier ocean beds, plus the weight of the overlying water, approximate the weight of the higher but much lighter continents. But all continents tend to creep into the oceans. The continental pressure at ocean-bottom levels is about 20,000 pounds to the square inch. That is, this would be the pressure of a continental mass standing 15,000 feet above the ocean floor. The ocean-floor water pressure is only about 5,000 pounds to the square inch. These differential pressures tend to cause the continents to slide toward the ocean beds.
58:5.8 (669.1) Depression of the ocean bottom during the prelife ages had upthrust a solitary continental land mass to such a height that its lateral pressure tended to cause the eastern, western, and southern fringes to slide downhill, over the underlying semiviscous lava beds, into the waters of the surrounding Pacific Ocean. This so fully compensated the continental pressure that a wide break did not occur on the eastern shore of this ancient Asiatic continent, but ever since has that eastern coast line hovered over the precipice of its adjoining oceanic depths, threatening to slide into a watery grave.

58:6 

The Transition Period

58:6.1 (669.2) 450,000,000 years ago the transition from vegetable to animal life occurred. This metamorphosis took place in the shallow waters of the sheltered tropic bays and lagoons of the extensive shore lines of the separating continents. And this development, all of which was inherent in the original life patterns, came about gradually. There were many transitional stages between the early primitive vegetable forms of life and the later well-defined animal organisms. Even today the transition slime molds persist, and they can hardly be classified either as plants or as animals.
58:6.2 (669.3) Although the evolution of vegetable life can be traced into animal life, and though there have been found graduated series of plants and animals which progressively lead up from the most simple to the most complex and advanced organisms, you will not be able to find such connecting links between the great divisions of the animal kingdom nor between the highest of the prehuman animal types and the dawn men of the human races. These so-called “missing links” will forever remain missing, for the simple reason that they never existed.
58:6.3 (669.4) From era to era radically new species of animal life arise. They do not evolve as the result of the gradual accumulation of small variations; they appear as full-fledged and new orders of life, and they appear suddenly.
58:6.4 (669.5) The sudden appearance of new species and diversified orders of living organisms is wholly biologic, strictly natural. There is nothing supernatural connected with these genetic mutations.
58:6.5 (669.6) At the proper degree of saltiness in the oceans animal life evolved, and it was comparatively simple to allow the briny waters to circulate through the animal bodies of marine life. But when the oceans were contracted and the percentage of salt was greatly increased, these same animals evolved the ability to reduce the saltiness of their body fluids just as those organisms which learned to live in fresh water acquired the ability to maintain the proper degree of sodium chloride in their body fluids by ingenious techniques of salt conservation.
58:6.6 (669.7) Study of the rock-embraced fossils of marine life reveals the early adjustment struggles of these primitive organisms. Plants and animals never cease to make these adjustment experiments. Ever the environment is changing, and always are living organisms striving to accommodate themselves to these never-ending fluctuations.
58:6.7 (670.1) The physiologic equipment and the anatomic structure of all new orders of life are in response to the action of physical law, but the subsequent endowment of mind is a bestowal of the adjutant mind-spirits in accordance with innate brain capacity. Mind, while not a physical evolution, is wholly dependent on the brain capacity afforded by purely physical and evolutionary developments.
58:6.8 (670.2) Through almost endless cycles of gains and losses, adjustments and readjustments, all living organisms swing back and forth from age to age. Those that attain cosmic unity persist, while those that fall short of this goal cease to exist.

58:7 

The Geologic History Book

58:7.1 (670.3) The vast group of rock systems which constituted the outer crust of the world during the life-dawn or Proterozoic era does not now appear at many points on the earth’s surface. And when it does emerge from below all the accumulations of subsequent ages, there will be found only the fossil remains of vegetable and early primitive animal life. Some of these older water-deposited rocks are commingled with subsequent layers, and sometimes they yield fossil remains of some of the earlier forms of vegetable life, while on the topmost layers occasionally may be found some of the more primitive forms of the early marine-animal organisms. In many places these oldest stratified rock layers, bearing the fossils of the early marine life, both animal and vegetable, may be found directly on top of the older undifferentiated stone.
58:7.2 (670.4) Fossils of this era yield algae, corallike plants, primitive Protozoa, and spongelike transition organisms. But the absence of such fossils in the early rock layers does not necessarily prove that living things were not elsewhere in existence at the time of their deposition. Life was sparse throughout these early times and only slowly made its way over the face of the earth.
58:7.3 (670.5) The rocks of this olden age are now at the earth’s surface, or very near the surface, over about one eighth of the present land area. The average thickness of this transition stone, the oldest stratified rock layers, is about one and one-half miles. At some points these ancient rock systems are as much as four miles thick, but many of the layers which have been ascribed to this era belong to later periods.
58:7.4 (670.6) In North America this ancient and primitive fossil-bearing stone layer comes to the surface over the eastern, central, and northern regions of Canada. There is also an intermittent east-west ridge of this rock which extends from Pennsylvania and the ancient Adirondack Mountains on west through Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. Other ridges run from Newfoundland to Alabama and from Alaska to Mexico.
58:7.5 (670.7) The rocks of this era are exposed here and there all over the world, but none are so easy of interpretation as those about Lake Superior and in the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, where these primitive fossil-bearing rocks, existing in several layers, testify to the upheavals and surface fluctuations of those faraway times.
58:7.6 (670.8) This stone layer, the oldest fossil-bearing stratum in the crust of the earth, has been crumpled, folded, and grotesquely twisted as a result of the upheavals of earthquakes and the early volcanoes. The lava flows of this age brought much iron, copper, and lead up near the planetary surface.
58:7.7 (670.9) There are few places on the earth where such activities are more graphically shown than in the St. Croix valley of Wisconsin. In this region there occurred one hundred and twenty-seven successive lava flows on land with succeeding water submergence and consequent rock deposition. Although much of the upper rock sedimentation and intermittent lava flow is absent today, and though the bottom of this system is buried deep in the earth, nevertheless, about sixty-five or seventy of these stratified records of past ages are now exposed to view.
58:7.8 (671.1) In these early ages when much land was near sea level, there occurred many successive submergences and emergences. The earth’s crust was just entering upon its later period of comparative stabilization. The undulations, rises and dips, of the earlier continental drift contributed to the frequency of the periodic submergence of the great land masses.
58:7.9 (671.2) During these times of primitive marine life, extensive areas of the continental shores sank beneath the seas from a few feet to half a mile. Much of the older sandstone and conglomerates represents the sedimentary accumulations of these ancient shores. The sedimentary rocks belonging to this early stratification rest directly upon those layers which date back far beyond the origin of life, back to the early appearance of the world-wide ocean.
58:7.10 (671.3) Some of the upper layers of these transition rock deposits contain small amounts of shale or slate of dark colors, indicating the presence of organic carbon and testifying to the existence of the ancestors of those forms of plant life which overran the earth during the succeeding Carboniferous or coal age. Much of the copper in these rock layers results from water deposition. Some is found in the cracks of the older rocks and is the concentrate of the sluggish swamp water of some ancient sheltered shore line. The iron mines of North America and Europe are located in deposits and extrusions lying partly in the older unstratified rocks and partly in these later stratified rocks of the transition periods of life formation.
58:7.11 (671.4) This era witnesses the spread of life throughout the waters of the world; marine life has become well established on Urantia. The bottoms of the shallow and extensive inland seas are being gradually overrun by a profuse and luxuriant growth of vegetation, while the shore-line waters are swarming with the simple forms of animal life.
58:7.12 (671.5) All of this story is graphically told within the fossil pages of the vast “stone book” of world record. And the pages of this gigantic biogeologic record unfailingly tell the truth if you but acquire skill in their interpretation. Many of these ancient sea beds are now elevated high upon land, and their deposits of age upon age tell the story of the life struggles of those early days. It is literally true, as your poet has said, “The dust we tread upon was once alive.”
58:7.13 (671.6) [Presented by a member of the Urantia Life Carrier Corps now resident on the planet.]