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Time Scale 1 - Cosmic Origins
Events - 1
The Big Bang:
13.7 billion years ago
2
The first stars:
13.5 billion years ago
3
Supernovas & heavy elements:
13.4 billion years ago
4
The first galaxies:
13 billion years ago
5
The solar system & earth:
4.6 billion years ago
6
First rocks, seas & atmosphere:
4.5 billion years ago
7
The first life:
3.5 billion years ago
8
Cyanobacteria, oxygen, & iron:
3 billion years ago
9
The first ice ages:
2.2 billion years ago
10
The first animals & sex:
1 billion years ago
>

Event 7

“JUST ADD WATER”
THE ORIGINS OF LIFE
3.8 billion years ago

Three-dimensional DNA molecule
This is a three-dimensional view of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule.
Credit: Image by brian0918™/Wikipedia.

The most remarkable event in the history of our Solar System was the emergence of Life. How self-replicating organisms emerged from an inorganic world is one of the great mysteries of science. All known modern life forms (about 1.75 million species) reproduce, grow, eat, excrete, breathe, and usually move. We humans are just one of these species of life, all of which are carbon-based.

Most scientists agree that the following conditions had to exist for life to originate and spread:
1) The presence of liquid water (much of the surface of the early earth, once it cooled, consisted of oceanic waters, in part from icy comets);
2) The presence of certain elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen that are the building blocks of life. Carbon, in particular, is an element that easily bonds with other, and is the basis for all organic life on the earth. These elements would have combined to form more complex molecules in the earth’s early seas, a so-called “primordial soup”;
3) A permeable outer layer or membrane that encloses the organism and allows for some chemicals to come in and others to go out;
4) Complex chains of organic molecules (DNA and RNA) that allows for self-replication and codes for growth, development, and metabolic processes;
5) A source of energy (e.g. sunlight, chemical reactions, electricity, volcanoes or hydrothermal vents, radiation) that drives the metabolic processes of an organism

Amino acid basic structure
Amino acids are critical for life and are considered to be one of the building blocks of life.
Credit: Image byYassineMrabet/Wikipedia.

Rocks from Greenland dated to 3.8 billion years ago contain hydrocarbons rich in carbon-13 (a rarer isotope of carbon than the carbon-12 on earth, but more common in life forms) that may have been produced by single-celled bacteria; if so, this is our earliest prehistoric evidence for life. Fossil stromatolites, structures produced by primitive single-celled bacteria (called cyanobacteria or “blue-green algae”) that trap grains of sediment on their mat surfaces and grow in incremental layers have been identified in deposits dating to approximately 3.5 billion years ago. Microscopic fossils from western Australia from this same time show the structure of individual bacteria, remarkably similar in size and shape to cyanobacteria today (just a few thousands of a millimeter wide). These fossils record the first definite emergence of photosynthetic single-celled cyanobacteria that lived in the shallow, warm waters along the coasts of the ancient earth and produced stromatolite structures.

These early organisms must not have required oxygen as part of their respiration, since free oxygen was not yet present in large quantities in the sea (this oxygen-poor condition is called anaerobic).

The earliest self-replicating organisms in the history of the earth were single-celled bacteria without a nucleus called prokaryotes. The next major step in organic evolution was the development of larger single-celled organisms with a nucleus (eukaryotes), which will be our next event.

 


HOW DO WE KNOW?

Scientists have never been able to create life in the laboratory, although experiments have shown that many of the building blocks of life, such as many amino acids, can be produced by natural processes. In the 1950’s, scientists filled a glass container with gases thought to be present in the early atmosphere of the earth (methane, ammonia, hydrogen, and water vapor) and caused electrical sparks to be produced in the mixture to simulate lightning; all twenty of the most common amino acids found in modern life forms were produced in just a few days. It is now known that many amino acids have also formed naturally in space and are present in primitive meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites. So the building blocks for life could have come from terrestrial and/or extraterrestrial sources.

The fossil record shows the first good evidence of life in the form of microscopic bacteria and stromatolite structures dated by radiometric methods to 3.5 billion years ago.

WHY SHOULD I CARE?

As far as we know, life on earth happened only once (although it may have originated earlier only to go extinct from massive catastrophic extraterrestrial impacts and then developed again.) All life today, be it bacteria, fungus, tree, animal, or human, appears to have descended from some primordial, single-celled replicating creature some three-and-a half billion years ago. All life carries the same type of DNA that codes for reproduction, growth and development, and metabolism. Incredibly, we can analyze similarities and differences between the DNA of any two species in order to understand how closely related they are, and postulate how long ago they last shared a common ancestor.

Whether carbon-based life is present anywhere else in the solar system or the universe is still unknown, but many scientists believe that if other planetary bodies contain liquid water, the likelihood is high that life might arise, given hundreds of millions of years.




WEB RESOURCES

NASA’s web site for their Astrobiology Program, concerned with “the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe”:
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/

The NASA-sponsored online popular magazine, Astrobiology, devoted to studies of life in the universe:
http://www.astrobio.net/

A short video clip from the Science Channel describing the experiment of young Ph.D. student, Stanley Miller, in 1953 to recreate the conditions for early life in the laboratory:
http://science.discovery.com/videos/100-greatest-discoveries-shorts-origin-of-life.html

NOVA’s brief history of life gives an interactive slide show of easy-to-understand information from the beginnings of life to the present day:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/beta/evolution/brief-history-life.html

A web site for the National Science Foundation-funded Exploring Origins Project, focusing on origins of life:
http://exploringorigins.org/index.html

Wikipedia entry on the conditions, models, and hypotheses for the origins of life on earth:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abiogenesis

A Duke University web site exploring conditions for life, not only on earth but also in outer space (“exobiology”), in easy-to-understand terms:
http://www.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/Exobiology/


Web resources organized by the Astrobiology Web (“Your online guide to the living universe”) focused on life’s place in the universe:
http://www.astrobiology.com/exobiology.html

The line-up of presentations at a symposium at Harvard in March of 2008, "Origins of Life: The Earth, the Solar System, and Beyond," with streaming videos available of each presentation to play on your computer (free download of Realplayer is necessary). Co-sponsored by the Origins of Life Initiative of Harvard University):
http://www.radcliffe.edu/events/calendar_2008origins.aspx


BOOKS ON THE ORIGINS OF LIFE

Cockell, Charles et al. (Editors). An Introduction to the Earth-Life System. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2008.

Hazen, Robert M. Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origin. Washington, D.C.: George Henry Press. 2005.

Knoll, Andrew H. Life on a Young Planet: The First Three Billion Years of Evolution on Earth. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2003.

Schopf, J. William. Cradle of Life: The Discovery of Earth’s Earliest Fossils. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1999.

Schopf, J. William. Life’s Origin: The Beginnings of Biological Evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2002.

Stinchcomb, Bruce L. World’s Oldest Fossils. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Press. 2007.

SELECTED GENERAL BOOKS ON THE EVOLUTION OF LIFE

Cohen, Richard. History of Life. Malden, Maine: Blackwell. 2005.

Dawkins, Richard. The Ancestor’s Tale: A Pilgrimage to the Dawn of Evolution. New York: Mariner Books. 2005.

Fortey, Richard. Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth. New York: Vintage Books. 1997.

Gould, Stephen J. The Book of Life: An Illustrated History of the Evolution of Life on Earth. New York: Norton. 2001.

Guerrero, Angeles et al. (Editors). Prehistoric Life: The Definitive Visual History of Life on Earth. London: DK Books. 2009.

Haines, Tim and Paul Chambers. The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life. Buffalo: Firefly Books. 2006.

Lecointre, Guillaume and Hervé Le Guyader. The Tree of Life: A Phylogenetic Classification. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press. 2006.

Norman, David. Prehistoric Life: The Rise of the Vertebrates. London: Boxtree Ltd. 1994.

Palmer, Douglas. Evolution: The Story of Life. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2009.

Palmer, Douglas. Prehistoric Past Revealed: The Four Billion Year History of Life on Earth. Berkeley: University of California Press. 2007.

Palmer, Douglas (Editor). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Prehistoric World. Edison, New Jersey: Chartwell Books. 2006.

Prothero, Donald R. Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. New York: Columbia University Press. 2007.

Shubin, Neil. Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body. New York: Vintage Books. 2008.

Silvertown, Jonathan. 99% Ape: How Evolution Adds Up. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 2008.

Southwood, Richard. The Story of Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003.


VIDEOS

Miracle Planet. Ambrose DVD. Five part series, includes: 1. The Violent Past; 2. Snowball Earth; 3. New Frontiers; 4. Extinction and Rebirth; 5. Survival of the Fittest. Narrated by Christopher Plummer. 2005.

The Shape of Life. Four part series includes: 1. Origins and Life on the Move; 2. The Conquerors and Survival Game; 3. The First Hunter and Explosion of Life; 4. Ultimate Animal and Bones, Brawn and Brains. Produced by Sea Studios Foundation for National Geographic Television and Film in association with PBS. Narrated by Peter Coyote. 2001.

 

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1

"From Nothing to Everything:
The Origins of the Universe,
the Solar System, Earth, and Life"
13.7 billion to 1 billion years ago

.

"From Nothing to Everything:
The Origins of the Universe, the Solar System, Earth, and Life"
13.7 billion to 1 billion years ago

View Time Scale >>

1

"The Big Bang"
The Origins of Matter, Energy, Space, and Time
13.7 billion years ago

"The Big Bang"
The Origins of Matter, Energy, Space, and Time
13.7 billion years ago

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2

"Great Balls of Fire"
The First Stars
13.5 billion years ago

"Great Balls of Fire"
The First Stars
13.5 billion years ago

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3

"Cosmic Alchemy"
The Creation of the Heavier Elements
13.4 billion years ago

"Cosmic Alchemy"
The Creation of the Heavier Elements
13.4 billion years ago

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4

"Spinning Wheels"
The First Galaxies
13 billion years ago

"Spinning Wheels"
The First Galaxies
13 billion years ago

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5

"Here Comes the Sun"
The Birth of the Solar System, Including the Earth
4.6 billion years ago

"Here Comes the Sun"
The Birth of the Solar System, Including the Earth
4.6 billion years ago

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6

"Earth, Wind and Fire"
The First Rocks, Oceans and Atmosphere
4.5 billion years ago

"Earth, Wind and Fire"
The First Rocks, Oceans and Atmosphere
4.5 billion years ago

View Event >>

7

"Just Add Water"
The Origins of Life
3.8 billion years ago

"Just Add Water"
The Origins of Life
3.8 billion years ago

View Event >>

8

"The Great Rust"
The Addition of Oxygen to the Atmosphere and Oceans
3 billion years ago

"The Great Rust"
The Addition of Oxygen to the Atmosphere and Oceans
3 billion years ago

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9

"Snowball Earth"
The First Ice Ages
2.2 billion years ago

"Snowball Earth"
The First Ice Ages
2.2 billion years ago

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10

"Kingdom of Beasts"
The Rise of Animals
1 billion years ago

"Kingdom of Beasts"
The Rise of Animals
1 billion years ago

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2

"All Creatures Great and Small:
The Cambrian Explosion of
Animal Life and its Aftershocks"
1 billion to 100 million years ago

.

"Animal House:
The Cambrian Explosion of Animal Life and its Aftershocks"
1 billion to 100 million years ago

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11

"Movers and Shakers"
The First Definite Multicellular Animals
600 million years ago

"Movers and Shakers"
The First Definite Multicellular Animals
600 million years ago

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12

"AnimalHouse"
The Cambrian Explosion
543 million years ago

"AnimalHouse"
The Cambrian Explosion
543 million years ago

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13

"In Search of the Lost Chordate"
Finding the Ancestor of Vertebrates (and Ourselves)
530 million years ago

"In Search of the Lost Chordate"
Finding the Ancestor of Vertebrates (and Ourselves)
530 million years ago

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14

"Get a Backbone"
The Rise of the Vertebrates
525 million years ago

"Get a Backbone"
The Rise of the Vertebrates
525 million years ago

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15

"Get out of the Pool"
Early Amphibians
360 million years ago

"Get out of the Pool"
Early Amphibians
360 million years ago

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16

"Landlubbers"
The First Reptiles
315 million years ago

"Landlubbers"
The First Reptiles
315 million years ago

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17

"The Great Dying"
The Permian Extinction
250 million years ago

"The Great Dying"
The Permian Extinction
250 million years ago

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18

"Got Milk?"
Early Mammals and Dinosaurs
220 - 200 million years ago

"Got Milk?"
Early Mammals and Dinosaurs
220 - 200 million years ago

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19

"Up, Up, and Away"
The Earliest Birds
145 million years ago

"Up, Up, and Away"
The Earliest Birds
145 million years ago

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20

"Flower Power"
The First Flowering Plants
125 million years ago

"Flower Power"
The First Flowering Plants
125 million years ago

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3

"The Meek Inheritors: the Dinosaur Extinction
and the Rise of Mammals"
100 million to 10 million years ago

.

"The Meek Inheritors: the Dinosaur Extinction and the Rise of Mammals"
100 million to 10 million years ago

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21

"Cretaceous Park"
The Later Dinosaurs
95-65 million years ago

"Cretaceous Park"
The Later Dinosaurs
95-65 million years ago

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22

"One Extraterrestial Impact Can Ruin your Whole Day":
The Dinosaur Extinction
65 million years ago

"One Extraterrestial Impact Can Ruin your Whole Day":
The Dinosaur Extinction
65 million years ago

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23

"A Warm and Fuzzy Feeling"
The Mammalian Radiation
60 million years ago

"A Warm and Fuzzy Feeling"
The Mammalian Radiation
60 million years ago

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24

"Orogenous Zone"
The Rise of the Himalayas
55 million years ago

"Orogenous Zone"
The Rise of the Himalayas
55 million years ago

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25

"Of the First Order"
The Radiation of the Primates
55 million years ago

"Of the First Order"
The Radiation of the Primates
55 million years ago

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26

"The Land Down Under"
The Origin of Australia and its Animals
40 million years ago

"The Land Down Under"
The Origin of Australia and its Animals
40 million years ago

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27

"Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys"
The Rise of Monkeys
35 million years ago

"Hey, Hey, We're the Monkeys"
The Rise of Monkeys
35 million years ago

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28

"Grazing in the Grass"
The Spread of Grasslands and Grazing Animals
Beginning 25 million years ago

"Grazing in the Grass"
The Spread of Grasslands and Grazing Animals
Beginning 25 million years ago

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29

"The Sultans of Swing"
The Rise of Apes
23 million years ago

"The Sultans of Swing"
The Rise of Apes
23 million years ago

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30

"Father of Kong"
The Earliest Gorilla-like Forms
10 million years ago

"Father of Kong"
The Earliest Gorilla-like Forms
10 million years ago

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4

"Upstanding Apes:
The Rise of Hominids,
the Role of Rock,
and Food for Thought"
10 million to 1 million years ago

.

"Upstanding Apes:
The Rise of Hominids, the Role of Rock, and Food for Thought"
10 million to 1 million years ago

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31

"Branching Out"
The Last Shared Ancestor of Apes and Humans
7 million years ago

"Branching Out"
The Last Shared Ancestor of Apes and Humans
7 million years ago

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32

"Upstanding Apes"
The Earliest Bipedal Hominins
6 to 4 million years ago

"Upstanding Apes"
The Earliest Bipedal Hominins
6 to 4 million years ago

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33

"I am an Ape-Man"
The Earlier Australopithecine
4.0-2.5 million years ago

"I am an Ape-Man"
The Earlier Australopithecine
4.0-2.5 million years ago

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34

"The Big Chill"
The Beginning of Climatic Cooling
3 to 2 million years ago

"The Big Chill"
The Beginning of Climatic Cooling
3 to 2 million years ago

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35

"Our Poor Cousins"
The Later Australopithecine and their Extinction
2.6-1.0 million yeas ago

"Our Poor Cousins"
The Later Australopithecine and their Extinction
2.6-1.0 million yeas ago

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36

"The Role of Rock"
The Earliest Stone Tools
2.6 million years ago

"The Role of Rock"
The Earliest Stone Tools
2.6 million years ago

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37

"I'm Your Handy Man"
The Emergence of the Genus Homo and Brain Expansion
1.9-1.5 million years ago

"I'm Your Handy Man"
The Emergence of the Genus Homo and Brain Expansion
1.9-1.5 million years ago

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38

"Bigger and Badder"
The Emergence of Homo Erectus
1.8 million years ago

"Bigger and Badder"
The Emergence of Homo Erectus
1.8 million years ago

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39

"Out of Africa"
The Earliest Eurasians
1.8 million years ago

"Out of Africa"
The Earliest Eurasians
1.8 million years ago

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40

"Axes of Power"
The Invention of the Handaxe
1.76 million years ago

"Axes of Power"
The Invention of the Handaxe
1.76 million years ago

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5

"Becoming Human (or Just About):
The Rise of Homo Sapiens
and Our Neanderthal Cousins"
1 million to 100,000 years ago

.

"Becoming Human (or Just About):
The Rise of Homo Sapiens and Our Neanderthal Cousins"
1 million to 100,000 years ago

View Time Scale >>

41

"Big Brains, Big Faces"
Homo heidelbergensis and Probably Language
500,000 to 250,000 years ago

"Big Brains, Big Faces"
Homo heidelbergensis and Probably Language
500,000 to 250,000 years ago

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42

"Fearful Symmetry"
Later Refined Handaxes
500,000 to 250,000 years ago

"Fearful Symmetry"
Later Refined Handaxes
500,000 to 250,000 years ago

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43

"Bring Out Your Dead"
The Origins of Ritual Behavior
400,000 years ago

"Bring Out Your Dead"
The Origins of Ritual Behavior
400,000 years ago

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44

"Get the Point?"
The First Spears
400,000 years ago

"Get the Point?"
The First Spears
400,000 years ago

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45

"Chips Off the Old Block"
Prepared Core Technologies
300,000 years ago

"Chips Off the Old Block"
Prepared Core Technologies
300,000 years ago

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46

"Light My Fire"
The Controlled Use of Fire
300,000 years ago

"Light My Fire"
The Controlled Use of Fire
300,000 years ago

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47

"Almost Human"
Neandertals and Nearly Modern Humans
Beginning 250,000 years ago

"Almost Human"
Neandertals and Nearly Modern Humans
Beginning 250,000 years ago

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48

"Welcome to Middle Earth"
The Middle Palaeolithic
Beginning 250,000 years ago

"Welcome to Middle Earth"
The Middle Palaeolithic
Beginning 250,000 years ago

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49

"Seashells by the Seashore"
Intensive Exploitation of Seafoods
165,000 years ago

"Seashells by the Seashore"
Intensive Exploitation of Seafoods
165,000 years ago

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50

"A Modern Stone Age Family"
The Emergence of Homo Sapiens
160,000 years ago

"A Modern Stone Age Family"
The Emergence of Homo Sapiens
160,000 years ago

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6

"The Creative Explosion:
The Rise of Symbolism, Language,
Religion, Art, and Music"
100,000 to 10,000 years ago

.

"The Creative Explosion:
The Rise of Symbolism, Language, Religion, Art, and Music"
100,000 to 10,000 years ago

View Time Scale >>

51

"Points of Conflict"
The Earliest Compound Tools & Points
100,000 years ago

"Points of Conflict"
The Earliest Compound Tools & Points
100,000 years ago

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52

"Rest in Peace"
The First Burials
90,000 years ago

"Rest in Peace"
The First Burials
90,000 years ago

View Event >>

53

"Bling-Bling"
The First Personal Decoration
80,000 years ago

"Bling-Bling"
The First Personal Decoration
80,000 years ago

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54

"A Roof Over Your Head"
The First Architecture
42,000 years ago

"A Roof Over Your Head"
The First Architecture
42,000 years ago

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55

"Blade Runners"
Upper Palaeolithic Blade Technologies
40,000 years ago

"Blade Runners"
Upper Palaeolithic Blade Technologies
40,000 years ago

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56

"Brave New Worlds"
The Peopling of Australia and the Americas
40,000 to 12,000 years ago

"Brave New Worlds"
The Peopling of Australia and the Americas
40,000 to 12,000 years ago

View Event >>

57

"Express Yourself"
The First Representational Art & Music
35,000 years ago

"Express Yourself"
The First Representational Art & Music
35,000 years ago

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58

"A Stitch in Time"
The First Needles and Sewing
25,000 years ago

"A Stitch in Time"
The First Needles and Sewing
25,000 years ago

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59

"Bend Me, Shape Me"
The First Pottery
16,000 years ago

"Bend Me, Shape Me"
The First Pottery
16,000 years ago

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60

"Draw Back Your Bow"
The First Bow and Arrow
11,000 years ago

"Draw Back Your Bow"
The First Bow and Arrow
11,000 years ago

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7

"From Farm to the City:
The Neolithic and Urban Revolutions
and their Consequences"
10,000 to 1,000 years ago

.

"From Farm to the City:
The Neolithic and Urban Revolutions and their Consequences"
10,000 to 1,000 years ago

View Time Scale >>

61

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
The First Boats
10,000 years ago

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat"
The First Boats
10,000 years ago

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62

"Down on the Farm"
The Neolithic Revolution
10,000 years ago

"Down on the Farm"
The Neolithic Revolution
10,000 years ago

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63

"Heavy Metal"
The Origins of Metallurgy
8,000 years ago

"Heavy Metal"
The Origins of Metallurgy
8,000 years ago

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64

"Easy Riders"
The Development of Ships and Mounted Horse Transportation
6,000 to 5,000 years ago

"Easy Riders"
The Development of Ships and Mounted Horse Transportation
6,000 to 5,000 years ago

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65

"We Built This City"
Cities and Complex Societies
5,500 years ago

"We Built This City"
Cities and Complex Societies
5,500 years ago

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66

"Write This Down"
The Origins of Writing and Notation
5,000 years ago

"Write This Down"
The Origins of Writing and Notation
5,000 years ago

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67

"Big Wheels Keep on Turnin"
Wheeled Vehicles
5,000 years ago

"Big Wheels Keep on Turnin"
Wheeled Vehicles
5,000 years ago

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68

"Iron Man"
The Iron Age
3,500 years ago (1500 BC)

"Iron Man"
The Iron Age
3,500 years ago (1500 BC)

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69

"Power to the People"
The First Democracy
2,560 years ago (550 BC)

"Power to the People"
The First Democracy
2,560 years ago (550 BC)

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70

"What's Your Plan?"
Large-scale Urban Planning
2,210 years ago (200 B.C.)

"What's Your Plan?"
Large-scale Urban Planning
2,210 years ago (200 B.C.)

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8

"Ages of Enlightenment:
From the Dark Ages of Superstition
to the Scientific Revolution"
1,000 to 100 years ago

.

"Ages of Enlightenment:
From the Dark Ages of Superstition to the Scientific Revolution"
1,000 to 100 years ago

View Time Scale >>

71

"Fire and Brimstone"
The Rise of Firearms
Beginning 1300 AD

"Fire and Brimstone"
The Rise of Firearms
Beginning 1300 AD

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72

"A Reawakening"
The Renaissance in the Western World
Beginning 1400 AD

"A Reawakening"
The Renaissance in the Western World
Beginning 1400 AD

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73

"Land Ho!"
Age of Exploration & Exploitation
Beginning 1400 AD

"Land Ho!"
Age of Exploration & Exploitation
Beginning 1400 AD

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74

"Hot off the Presses"
The Printing Press and Movable Type
Beginning 1455 AD

"Hot off the Presses"
The Printing Press and Movable Type
Beginning 1455 AD

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75

"From Superstition to Science"
The Scientific Revolution
Beginning 1543 AD

"From Superstition to Science"
The Scientific Revolution
Beginning 1543 AD

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76

"All Fired Up"
The Industrial Revolution
Beginning 1760 AD

"All Fired Up"
The Industrial Revolution
Beginning 1760 AD

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77

"Start Me Up"
Powered Modern Transport
Beginning 1802 AD

"Start Me Up"
Powered Modern Transport
Beginning 1802 AD

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78

"You Oughta Be in Pictures"
Photography and Cinematography
Beginning 1826 AD

"You Oughta Be in Pictures"
Photography and Cinematography
Beginning 1826 AD

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79

"From a Distance"
Long-Distance Communications
Beginning 1830 AD

"From a Distance"
Long-Distance Communications
Beginning 1830 AD

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80

"Bright Lights, Big City"
Electric Light and Power
Beginning 1879 AD

"Bright Lights, Big City"
Electric Light and Power
Beginning 1879 AD

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9

"Modern Times: The Last Century,
Laying the Foundations of
the World We Live In"
100 to 10 years ago

.

"Modern Times: The Last Century, Laying the Foundations of the World We Live In"
100 to 10 years ago

View Time Scale >>

81

"It's All Relative"
Relativity and Quantum Theory
Late 1800s, early 1900s

"It's All Relative"
Relativity and Quantum Theory
Late 1800s, early 1900s

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82

"Rocket Man"
Rockets, Satellites, and Lunar Landings
Beginning 1926 AD

"Rocket Man"
Rockets, Satellites, and Lunar Landings
Beginning 1926 AD

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83

"You're On the Air"
Television
Beginning 1935 AD

"You're On the Air"
Television
Beginning 1935 AD

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84

"Bits and Bytes"
Computers, Transistors, Silicon Chips
Beginning 1937 AD

"Bits and Bytes"
Computers, Transistors, Silicon Chips
Beginning 1937 AD

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85

"When You're a Jet"
Jet Aircraft
1939 AD

"When You're a Jet"
Jet Aircraft
1939 AD

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86

"Miracle Drugs & Medical Devices"
Penicillin and Other Medical Advances
Beginning 1941 AD

"Miracle Drugs & Medical Devices"
Penicillin and Other Medical Advances
Beginning 1941 AD

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87

"The Genie Has Left the Bottle"
Dawn of the Atomic Age
Beginning 1942 AD

"The Genie Has Left the Bottle"
Dawn of the Atomic Age
Beginning 1942 AD

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88

"Cracking the Code"
DNA Structure & Genetic Engineering
Beginning 1953 AD

"Cracking the Code"
DNA Structure & Genetic Engineering
Beginning 1953 AD

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89

"Can You Hear Me Now?"
Advanced Telecommunications
Beginning 1973 AD

"Can You Hear Me Now?"
Advanced Telecommunications
Beginning 1973 AD

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90

"Surf's Up!"
The World Wide Web
Beginning 1989 AD

"Surf's Up!"
The World Wide Web
Beginning 1989 AD

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10

"The Age of Connections:
The Past Decade of Innovations
and Their Implications"
The last 10 years

.

"The Age of Connections:
The Past Decade of Innovations and Their Implications"
The last 10 years

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91

"Where the Heck Are We?"
Widespread Use of GPS & Satellite Imaging

"Where the Heck Are We?"
Widespread Use of GPS & Satellite Imaging

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92

"Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, that Make the Strain..."
Overpopulation & Climate Change

"Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes, that Make the Strain..."
Overpopulation & Climate Change

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93

"Green Machines"
Alternative Energy

"Green Machines"
Alternative Energy

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94

"Who Are You?"
The Human Genome Project

"Who Are You?"
The Human Genome Project

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95

"Closer Encounters"
Recent Advances in Astronomy

"Closer Encounters"
Recent Advances in Astronomy

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96

"Cellmates"
Stem Cell & Related Research

"Cellmates"
Stem Cell & Related Research

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97

"Keep Searchin"
Widespread Use of Search Engines

"Keep Searchin"
Widespread Use of Search Engines

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98

"Say Hello to My Little Friends"
The Rise of Nanotechnology

"Say Hello to My Little Friends"
The Rise of Nanotechnology

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99

"Here, There, and Everywhere..."
Instantaneous Communication & World-Wide Connections

"Here, There, and Everywhere..."
Instantaneous Communication & World-Wide Connections

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100

"Living for the Future"
The Idea of Sustainability

"Living for the Future"
The Idea of Sustainability

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