The Urantia Book
The History of Urantia
THE ORIGIN OF URANTIA
Presented by a Life Carrier, a member of the original Urantia
Corps and now a resident observer.
57:0.1 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
57:0.2 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.
1. THE ANDRONOVER NEBULA
57:1.1 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 superuniverse of
Orvonton, long, long ago.
57:1.2 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.
57:1.3 987,000,000,000 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.
57:1.4 900,000,000,000 years ago the
Uversa archives testify, there was recorded a permit issued by
the Uversa Council of Equilibrium to the superuniverse
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
57:1.5 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.
57:1.6 875,000,000,000 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 At about this time the narrative shifts
to the functioning of the personalities of the superuniverse. 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 superuniverse of Orvonton.
2. THE PRIMARY NEBULAR STAGE
57:2.1 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.
57:2.2 800,000,000,000 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 materializations
were taking place in the Andronover regions, but that was all.
57:2.3 700,000,000,000 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
co-operation 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.
57:2.4 600,000,000,000 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.
3. THE SECONDARY NEBULAR STAGE
57:3.1 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 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 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 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
57:3.5 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
57:3.6 500,000,000,000 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 nucleuses, the
vast majority of Orvonton suns have had an analogous birth.
These escaping suns pass through varied periods of evolution and
subsequent universe service.
57:3.7 400,000,000,000 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
57:3.8 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.
57:3.9 300,000,000,000 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.
57:3.10 200,000,000,000 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 Now the completed universe mechanism
of Nebadon first begins to function, and Michael's creation is
registered on Uversa as a universe of inhabitation and
progressive mortal ascension.
57:3.12 100,000,000,000 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.
4. TERTIARY AND QUARTAN STAGES
57:4.1 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 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 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 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 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
57:4.6 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 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 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 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.
5. ORIGIN OF MONMATIA -- THE URANTIA SOLAR
57:5.1 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 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
57:5.3 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 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
57:5.5 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 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 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
57:5.8 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 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 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 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 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
57:5.13 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
57:5.14 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.
6. THE SOLAR SYSTEM STAGE -- THE
57:6.1 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 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 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 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 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 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 3,500,000,000 years ago the
condensation nucleuses 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
57:6.8 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 About this time your solar system was
placed on the physical registry of Nebadon and given its name,
57:6.10 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 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
7. THE METEORIC ERA -- THE VOLCANIC AGE
THE PRIMITIVE PLANETARY ATMOSPHERE
57:7.1 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 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 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 acquirements of these elements.
57:7.4 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 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 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 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
57:7.8 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 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 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.
8. CRUSTAL STABILIZATION
THE AGE OF EARTHQUAKES
THE WORLD OCEAN AND THE FIRST CONTINENT
57:8.1 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
57:8.2 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 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
57:8.4 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
57:8.5 950,000,000 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
57:8.6 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."
57:8.7 900,000,000 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 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 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
57:8.10 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
57:8.11 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
57:8.12 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 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 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 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.
57:8.16 850,000,000 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 subcrustal lava bed became well-nigh
world-wide, and this compensated and stabilized the fluctuations
due to cooling, contracting, and superficial shifting.
57:8.17 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 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.
57:8.19 800,000,000 years ago witnessed
the inauguration of the first great land epoch, the age of
increased continental emergence.
57:8.20 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
57:8.21 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 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.
57:8.23 750,000,000 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.
57:8.24 700,000,000 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 fingerlike
seas providing those shallow waters and sheltered bays which are
so suitable as a habitat for marine life.
57:8.25 650,000,000 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 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.
Presented by a Life Carrier, a member of the original Urantia
Corps and now a resident observer.