Part II - Geology

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Science in The Urantia Book




Introduction - The Local Universe Creation
Sec. 1. Early Ages of Urantia
Sec. 2. The Geologic Scheme (Primordial Life)
Sec. 3. Early Geologic History of Urantia
Sec. 4. The Life-dawn Era - the Proterozoic
Sec. 5. The Marine-life Era - the Paleozoic
Sec. 6. The Early Land-life Era - the Mesozoic
Sec. 7. The Mammalian Era - the Cenozoic


I. The origin and early experience of the Creative Spirit consort of a Michael Creator Son.

“At the time the creatorship charge is administered to a Michael Son by the Eternal Son, the Master Spirit who directs the superuniverse to which this new Creator Son is destined gives expression to the ‘prayer of identification’ in the presence of the Infinite Spirit; and for the first time, the entity of the subsequent Creative Spirit appears as differentiated from the person of the Infinite Spirit. And proceeding directly to the person of the petitioning Master Spirit, this entity is immediately lost to our recognition, becoming apparently a part of the person of this Master Spirit. The newly identified Creative Spirit remains with the Master Spirit until the moment of the departure of the Creator Son for the adventure of space; whereupon the Master Spirit commits the new Spirit consort to the keeping of the Creator Son, at the same time administering to the Spirit consort the charge of eternal fidelity and unending loyalty. And then occurs one of the most profoundly touching episodes which ever take place on Paradise. The Universal Father speaks in acknowledgment of the eternal union of the Creator Son and the Creative Spirit and in confirmation of the bestowal of certain joint powers of administration by the Master Spirit of superuniverse jurisdiction.” (204.1) 17:6.5


II. The association of the Father-united Creator Son and the Creative Spirit.

“The Father-united Creator Son and Creative Spirit then go forth on their adventure of universe creation. And they work together in this form of association throughout the long and arduous period of the material organization of their universe.” (204.2) 17:6.6



I. The Early Geologic Experience of Different Types of Planets

“The physical aspects of the individual worlds are largely determined by mode of origin, astronomical situation, and physical environment. Age, size, rate of revolution, and velocity through space are also determining factors. Both the gas-contraction and the solid-accretion worlds are characterized by mountains and, during their earlier life, when not too small, by water and air. The molten-split and collisional worlds are sometimes without extensive mountain ranges.

“During the earlier ages of all these new worlds, earthquakes are frequent, and they are all characterized by great physical disturbances; especially is this true of the gas-contraction spheres, the worlds born of the immense nebular rings which are left behind in the wake of the early condensation and contraction of certain individual suns. Planets having a dual origin like Urantia pass through a less violent and stormy youthful career. Even so, your world experienced an early phase of mighty upheavals, characterized by volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, and terrific storms.” (466.2) 41:10.3


II. Geologic Prehistory of Urantia

A. 2,500,000,000 years ago.

1. Urantia at about the time of the registry of the solar system.

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.

“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.” (658.7) 57:6.10


B. 2,000,000,000 years ago.

1. The size and condition of Urantia.

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.” (659.1) 57:7.2

2. The radium clock.

“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.” (659.2) 57:7.3


C. 1,500,000,000 years ago.

1. Size of the earth and moon.

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.” (659.3) 57:7.4

2. The volcanic age on Urantia.

“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.” (659.4) 57:7.5

3. Primitive atmosphere. (659.5) 57:7.6

The atmosphere now contains water vapor, carbon monoxide, and hydrogen chloride, but little free oxygen or nitrogen. Meteoric combustion keeps exhausting the oxygen supply.

Presently the atmosphere becomes sufficiently cool to cause condensation of the water vapor and precipitation of rain upon the hot rocks. For many years the sun did not penetrate the hot blanket of steam that enveloped the planet. Oxygen did not appear in significant quantities until it was later generated by vegetation. The oxygen-deficient atmosphere was little protection against the impact of meteors.



I. The Prelife Era - the Archeozoic (Formerly Called Azoic—Lifeless) (672.2) 59:0.2

450,000,000 years’ duration, from 1,000,000,000 to 550,000,000 years ago.

II. The Life-dawn Era - the Proterozoic (Beginning of Life) (672.3) 59:0.3

150,000,000 years’ duration, from 550,000,000 to 400,000,000 years ago.

III. The Marine-life Era - the Paleozoic (Ancient Life) (672.4) 59:0.4

250,000,000 years’ duration, from 400,000,000 to 150,000,000 years ago.

A. The Trilobite Age - the Cambrian Period. (674.6) 59:1.20

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 400,000,000 to 350,000,000 years ago.

B. The Invertebrate-animal Age - the Ordovician Period. (676.4) 59:2.13

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 350,000,000 to 300,000,000 years ago.

C. The Brachiopod Age - the Silurian Period. (678.1) 59:3.12

25,000,000 years’ duration, from 300,000,000 to 275,000,000 years ago.

D. The Age of Fishes - the Devonian Period. (680.2) 59:4.18

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 275,000,000 to 225,000,000 years ago.

E. The Age of Frogs - the Carboniferous Period. (681.6) 59:5.14

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 225,000,000 to 175,000,000 years ago.

F. The Age of Biologic Tribulation - the Permian Period. (684.1) 59:6.11

25,000,000 years’ duration, from 175,000,000 to 150,000,000 years ago.



IV. The Early Land-life Era - the Mesozoic (Middle Life) (672.5) 59:0.5

100,000,000 years’ duration, from 150,000,000 to 50,000,000 years ago.

A. The Early Reptilian Age - the Triassic Period. (685.3) 60:1.1

25,000,000 years’ duration, from 150,000,000 to 125,000,000 years ago.

B. The Later Reptilian Age - the Jurassic Period. (687.2) 60:2.1

25,000,000 years’ duration, from 125,000,000 to 100,000,000 years ago.

C. The Final Age of Reptiles, the Age of Birds, the Flowering-plant Period - the Cretaceous Age. (688.8) 60:3.1

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 100,000,000 to 50,000,000 years ago.



V. The Mammalian Era - the Cenozoic Age (Recent Life) (693.2) 61:0.2

50,000,000 years’ duration, from 50,000,000 years ago to about the present.

A. The New Continental Land Stage, the Age of Early Mammals - the Eocene Period. (693.4) 61:1.1

15,000,000 years’ duration, from 50,000,000 to 35,000,000 years ago.

B. The Recent Flood Stage, the Age of Advanced Mammals - the Oligocene Period. (694.7) 61:2.1

10,000,000 years’ duration, from 35,000,000 to 25,000,000 years ago.

C. The Modern Mountain Stage, the Age of the Elephant and the Horse - the Miocene Period. (696.5) 61:3.1

15,000,000 years’ duration, from 25,000,000 to 10,000,000 years ago.

D. The Recent Continental-elevation Stage, the Last Great Mammalian Migration - the Pliocene Period. (698.3) 61:4.1

About 8,000,000 years’ duration, from 10,000,000 to about 2,000,000 years ago.

E. The Ice Age - the Pleistocene Period. (699.2) 61:5.1

About 2,000,000 years’ duration, from about 2,000,000 to 35,000 years ago.





I. Crustal Stabilization

A. 1,000,000,000 years ago.

1. Conditions at the time of the Nebadon registry of Urantia.

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.

“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.” (660.3) 57:8.1

2. The hydrosphere.

The geologic history of Urantia begins when the crust becomes sufficiently cool to permit the formation of the first ocean. The earth was covered with salt-free water to an average depth of one mile. Later lava flows depressed the Pacific Ocean and forced up the first continental land mass. (662.7) 57:8.20


B. 950,000,000 to 900,000,000 years ago.

1. Conditions at the time Urantia was assigned to Satania.

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.” (660.7) 57:8.5

2. Selection of Urantia as the sixtieth Satania experimental planet. (661.1) 57:8.7

After a painstaking survey a commission of twenty-four recommended Urantia as a life experiment planet. It was soon registered in the minor and major sectors and on Uversa.

3. The age of violent storms.

“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.” (661.5) 57:8.11

4. Remnants of preocean age around Hudson Bay.

“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, up-crumpled, and again and again have they passed through these distorting metamorphic experiences.” (661.6) 57:8.12

5. Deposition of fossil-free stone.

“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.” (661.7) 57:8.13


C. 850,000,000 to 800,000,000 years ago.

1. Crustal stabilization.

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.” (662.3) 57:8.16

2. The first great land epoch.

800,000,000 years ago witnessed the inauguration of the first great land epoch, the age of increased continental emergence.

“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.” (662.7) 57:8.20

3. The first climatic difference. (662.9) 57:8.22

The upthrust of land continued until almost one third of the earth’s surface consisted of land, all in one continental body, reaching a height of almost nine miles. The ice age was delayed because of the lack of sufficient moisture at these heights.


D. 750,000,000 to 650,000,000 years ago.

1. The first great land-mass crackings.

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.” (663.1) 57:8.23

2. Continental land drift.

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.” (663.2) 57:8.24

3. Increase of saltiness of the seas.

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. (663.3) 57:8.25

“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.


II. The Continental Drift

A. 600,000,000 to 550,000,000 years ago. (664.6) 58:1.5

1. Period of evolution toward conditions suitable to marine life. Since a sodium chloride pattern of life had been projected for Urantia, life could not be planted until the ocean waters had become sufficiently briny. During this period the further breakup of land masses, providing more sheltered bays, and an increase in the saltiness of the ocean, brought about conditions favorable for the support of life.


I. Life Implantation and Development (667.5) 58:4.1

Three life implantations, the central or Eurasian, the eastern or Australasian, and the western, the Americas, were made as these areas continued to drift apart.


II. Description of the Earth’s Composition

A. The continental drift.

1. The earth’s internal heat and pressure increased and the continental drift continued.

“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.”
(668.3) 58:5.1

2. Outer one thousand miles of the earth is chiefly rock—the heavy metals are mostly deep in the interior.

“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.” (668.4) 58:5.2

3. Underneath the forty-mile-thick outer crust of the earth there existed a molten mobile basalt layer.

“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.” 
(668.5) 58:5.3

4. Even today the continents are still floating on this molten basalt.

“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.” (668.6) 58:5.4

5. Relative density of granite and basalt as concerns continental stability.

“The lava layers of the earth’s crust, when cooled, form granite. The average density of Urantia is a little more than five and onehalf 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.

“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.” (668.7) 58:5.5

6. Factors causing the continents to flow towards the ocean beds.

“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.” (668.9) 58:5.7

7. Factors concerned in the differential behavior of the eastern and western land masses.

“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.” (669.1) 58:5.8


B. The transition period.

The metamorphosis from vegetable to animal life came about in tropical shallow waters gradually, about 450,000,000 years ago. (669.2) 58:6.1


C. The geologic history book.

1. Little of the Proterozoic era rock is now found on the surface of the earth.

“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.” (670.3) 58:7.1

2. This era yields fossils of algae, corallike, Protozoa, and spongelike organisms.

“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.” (670.4) 58:7.2

3. Thickness and extent of transition rocks at or near the earth’s surface.

“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.” (670.5) 58:7.3

4. The Proterozoic stone layer. (670.7) 58:7.5

The Proterozoic stone layer comes to the surface in various regions on the North American continent, but can best be interpreted in the Lake Superior region and in the Grand Canyon. This stone layer has been greatly folded and twisted, and has many lava flows interspersed between the strata.

5. The mineral deposits of this period.

“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.” (671.3) 58:7.10

6. “The dust we tread upon was once alive.”

“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.’” (671.5) 58:7.12



I. The Cambrian Period - the Trilobite Age

By the dawn of this period of relative quiet on the earth’s surface, life is confined to the seas. Single cell animals are well established. (673.1) 59:1.1


A. 400,000,000 years ago. (673.2) 59:1.2

Vegetable and animal life is distributed over the world. Vegetation crawls out upon the land, and suddenly multicellular animals appear. The trilobites have evolved. The land remains elevated.


B. 380,000,000 years ago.

1. When Arctic, Atlantic, and Gulf waters were connected. The Alp-like Appalachians.

380,000,000 years ago Asia was subsiding, and all other continents were experiencing a short-lived emergence. But as this epoch progressed, the newly appearing Atlantic Ocean made extensive inroads on all adjacent coast lines. The northern Atlantic or Arctic seas were then connected with the southern Gulf waters. When this southern sea entered the Appalachian trough, its waves broke upon the east against mountains as high as the Alps, but in general the continents were uninteresting lowlands, utterly devoid of scenic beauty.” (673.8) 59:1.8

2. The Cambrian sedimentary deposits.

“The sedimentary deposits of these ages are of four sorts:

“1. Conglomerates—matter deposited near the shore lines.

“2. Sandstones—deposits made in shallow water but where the waves were sufficient to prevent mud settling.

“3. Shales—deposits made in the deeper and more quiet water.

“4. Limestone—including the deposits of trilobite shells in deep water.” (673.9) 59:1.9

3. Trilobite fossils and the three different life groups.

“The trilobite fossils of these times present certain basic uniformities coupled with certain well-marked variations. The early animals developing from the three original life implantations were characteristic; those appearing in the Western Hemisphere were slightly different from those of the Eurasian group and from the Australasian or Australian-Antarctic type.” (673.14) 59:1.14


C. 370,000,000 years ago.

1. North and South America together with Africa and Australia are submerged.

370,000,000 years ago the great and almost total submergence of North and South America occurred, followed by the sinking of Africa and Australia. Only certain parts of North America remained above these shallow Cambrian seas. Five million years later the seas were retreating before the rising land. And all of these phenomena of land sinking and land rising were undramatic, taking place slowly over millions of years.” (674.1) 59:1.15

2. Manifold geologic changes during this epoch.

“The trilobite fossil-bearing strata of this epoch outcrop here and there throughout all the continents except in central Asia. In many regions these rocks are horizontal, but in the mountains they are tilted and distorted because of pressure and folding. And such pressure has, in many places, changed the original character of these deposits. Sandstone has been turned into quartz, shale has been changed to slate, while limestone has been converted into marble.” (674.2) 59:1.16


D. 360,000,000 years ago.

1. The continents emerge and Greenland is a tropic Paradise.

“360,000,000 years ago the land was still rising. North and South America were well up. Western Europe and the British Isles were emerging, except parts of Wales, which were deeply submerged. There were no great ice sheets during these ages. The supposed glacial deposits appearing in connection with these strata in Europe, Africa, China, and Australia are due to isolated mountain glaciers or to the displacement of glacial debris of later origin. The world climate was oceanic, not continental. The southern seas were warmer then than now, and they extended northward over North America up to the polar regions. The Gulf Stream coursed over the central portion of North America, being deflected eastward to bathe and warm the shores of Greenland, making that now ice-mantled continent a veritable tropic Paradise.” (674.3) 59:1.17

2. This is the geologic picture of the long fifty-million-year Cambrian period.

“This was the biogeologic picture of Urantia at the end of that long period of the world’s history, embracing fifty million years, designated by your geologists as the Cambrian.” (674.6) 59:1.20


II. The Ordovician Period - the First Continental Flood Stage - the Invertebrate-animal Age

“The periodic phenomena of land elevation and land sinking characteristic of these times were all gradual and nonspectacular, being accompanied by little or no volcanic action. Throughout all of these successive land elevations and depressions the Asiatic mother continent did not fully share the history of the other land bodies. It experienced many inundations, dipping first in one direction and then another, more particularly in its earlier history, but it does not present the uniform rock deposits which may be discovered on the other continents. In recent ages Asia has been the most stable of all the land masses.” (674.7) 59:2.1


A. 350,000,000 years ago - the first great flood period.

1. Three great land submergences characterized this period.

350,000,000 years ago saw the beginning of the great flood period of all the continents except central Asia. The land masses were repeatedly covered with water; only the coastal highlands remained above these shallow but widespread oscillatory inland seas. Three major inundations characterized this period, but before it ended, the continents again arose, the total land emergence being fifteen per cent greater than now exists. The Caribbean region was highly elevated. This period is not well marked off in Europe because the land fluctuations were less, while the volcanic action was more persistent.” (675.1) 59:2.2


B. 340,000,000 years and 330,000,000 years ago - the second land sinking and rising.

1. The great limestone age.

340,000,000 years ago there occurred another extensive land sinking except in Asia and Australia. The waters of the world’s oceans were generally commingled. This was a great limestone age, much of its stone being laid down by lime-secreting algae.

“A few million years later large portions of the American continents and Europe began to emerge from the water. In the Western Hemisphere only an arm of the Pacific Ocean remained over Mexico and the present Rocky Mountain regions; but near the close of this epoch the Atlantic and Pacific coasts again began to sink.” (675.2) 59:2.3

2. A long period of comparative quiet except for the Kentucky volcano.

330,000,000 years ago marks the beginning of a time sector of comparative quiet all over the world, with much land again above water. The only exception to this reign of terrestrial quiet was the eruption of the great North American volcano of eastern Kentucky, one of the greatest single volcanic activities the world has ever known. The ashes of this volcano covered five hundred square miles to a depth of from fifteen to twenty feet.” (675.4) 59:2.5


C. 320,000,000 and 310,000,000 years ago - the third cycle of land submergence and rising.

1. The third great flood of this period occurs.

320,000,000 years ago the third major flood of this period occurred. The waters of this inundation covered all the land submerged by the preceding deluge, while extending farther in many directions all over the Americas and Europe. Eastern North America and western Europe were from 10,000 to 15,000 feet under water.” (675.5) 59:2.6

2. The land masses emerge and world is quiet and peaceful.

310,000,000 years ago the land masses of the world were again well up excepting the southern parts of North America. Mexico emerged, thus creating the Gulf Sea, which has ever since maintained its identity.

“The life of this period continues to evolve. The world is once again quiet and relatively peaceful; the climate remains mild and equable; the land plants are migrating farther and farther from the seashores. The life patterns are well developed, although few plant fossils of these times are to be found.” (675.6) 59:2.7


III. The Silurian Period - the Second Great Flood Stage - the Coral Period - the Brachiopod Age

A. 300,000,000 and 290,000,000 years ago - the first Silurian land submergence and emergence.

1. The first great Silurian inundation.

300,000,000 years ago another great period of land submergence began. The southward and northward encroachment of the ancient Silurian seas made ready to engulf most of Europe and North America. The land was not elevated far above the sea so that not much deposition occurred about the shore lines. The seas teemed with lime-shelled life, and the falling of these shells to the sea bottom gradually built up very thick layers of limestone. This is the first widespread limestone deposit, and it covers practically all of Europe and North America but only appears at the earth’s surface in a few places. The thickness of this ancient rock layer averages about one thousand feet, but many of these deposits have since been greatly deformed by tilting, upheavals, and faulting, and many have been changed to quartz, shale, and marble.

“No fire rocks or lava are found in the stone layers of this period except those of the great volcanoes of southern Europe and eastern Maine and the lava flows of Quebec. Volcanic action was largely past. This was the height of great water deposition; there was little or no mountain building.” (676.5) 59:3.1

2. Birth of the Caledonian Mountains.

290,000,000 years ago the sea had largely withdrawn from the continents, and the bottoms of the surrounding oceans were sinking. The land masses were little changed until they were again submerged. The early mountain movements of all the continents were beginning, and the greatest of these crustal upheavals were the Himalayas of Asia and the great Caledonian Mountains, extending from Ireland through Scotland and on to Spitzbergen.” (676.7) 59:3.3

3. Deposits of this period.

“It is in the deposits of this age that much of the gas, oil, zinc, and lead are found, the gas and oil being derived from the enormous collections of vegetable and animal matter carried down at the time of the previous land submergence, while the mineral deposits represent the sedimentation of sluggish bodies of water. Many of the rock salt deposits belong to this period.” (677.1) 59:3.4

4. Other characteristics of the period. (677.2) 59:3.5

Trilobites declined, yielding to larger mollusks or cephalopods. Great volcanic action took place in Europe. The climate remained mild and uniform.


B. 280,000,000 years ago - conditions following the second flood and emergence.

1. Emergence from the second Silurian flood.

280,000,000 years ago the continents had largely emerged from the second Silurian inundation. The rock deposits of this submergence are known in North America as Niagara limestone because this is the stratum of rock over which Niagara mountains to the Mississippi valley region but not farther west except to the south. Several layers extend over Canada, portions of South America, Australia, and most of Europe, the average thickness of this Niagara series being about six hundred feet. Immediately overlying the Niagara deposit, in many regions may be found a collection of conglomerate, shale, and rock salt. This is the accumulation of secondary subsidences. This salt settled in great lagoons which were alternately opened up to the sea and then cut off so that evaporation occurred with deposition of salt along with other matter held in solution. In some regions these rock salt beds are seventy feet thick.” (677.6) 59:3.9

2. Climate and animal developments. (677.7) 59:3.10

The climate remains even and mild. The sea becomes excessively salt so that marine life declines. Mollusks continue as monarchs of the seas, but suddenly scorpions—air breathers—appear.


IV. The Devonian Period - the Great Land-emergence Stage - Vegetative Land-life Period - the Age of Fishes

“In the agelong struggle between land and water, for long periods the sea has been comparatively victorious, but times of land victory are just ahead. And the continental drifts have not proceeded so far but that, at times, practically all of the land of the world is connected by slender isthmuses and narrow land bridges.

“As the land emerges from the last Silurian inundation, an important period in world development and life evolution comes to an end. It is the dawn of a new age on earth. The naked and unattractive landscape of former times is becoming clothed with luxuriant verdure, and the first magnificent forests will soon appear.” (678.2) 59:4.1


A. 270,000,000 and 260,000,000 years ago - the great Devonian land-emergence and land-depression epoch.

1. The greatest of all land eras—more land above water.

“270,000,000 years ago the continents were all above water. In millions upon millions of years not so much land had been above water at one time; it was one of the greatest land-emergence epochs in all world history.

“Five million years later the land areas of North and South America, Europe, Africa, northern Asia, and Australia were briefly inundated, in North America the submergence at one time or another being almost complete; and the resulting limestone layers run from 500 to 5,000 feet in thickness. These various Devonian seas extended first in one direction and then in another so that the immense arctic North American inland sea found an outlet to the Pacific Ocean through northern California.” (678.5) 59:4.4

2. The first Devonian flood—coral deposits near Louisville, Kentucky.

“260,000,000 years ago, toward the end of this land-depression epoch, North America was partially overspread by seas having simultaneous connection with the Pacific, Atlantic, Arctic, and Gulf waters. The deposits of these later stages of the first Devonian flood average about one thousand feet in thickness. The coral reefs characterizing these times indicate that the inland seas were clear and shallow. Such coral deposits are exposed in the banks of the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky, and are about one hundred feet thick, embracing more than two hundred varieties. These coral formations extend through Canada and northern Europe to the arctic regions.” (678.7) 59:4.6

“Following these submergences, many of the shore lines were considerably elevated so that the earlier deposits were covered by mud or shale. There is also a red sandstone stratum which characterizes one of the Devonian sedimentations, and this red layer extends over much of the earth’s surface, being found in North and South America, Europe, Russia, China, Africa, and Australia. Such red deposits are suggestive of arid or semiarid conditions, but the climate of this epoch was still mild and even.

“Throughout all of this period the land southeast of the Cincinnati Island remained well above water. But very much of western Europe, including the British Isles, was submerged. In Wales, Germany, and other places in Europe the Devonian rocks are 20,000 feet thick.” (678.8) 59:4.7


B. 250,000,000 to 230,000,000 years ago - fishes, ferns, mountains.

1. “250,000,000 years ago witnessed the appearance of the fish family, the vertebrates, one of the most important steps in all prehuman evolution.” (679.2) 59:4.9

“Veritable bone beds of fish teeth and skeletons may be found in the deposits laid down toward the close of this period, and rich fossil beds are situated along the coast of California since many sheltered bays of the Pacific Ocean extended into the land of that region.” (679.5) 59:4.12

2. Suddenly the fern family appeared and quickly spread over the face of the rising land. These ferns had only rudimentary foliage. North America was connected with Europe by land bridges. (679.6) 59:4.13

3. The last of the Devonian floods—one of its monuments, the Catskill Mountains.

“240,000,000 years ago the land over parts of both Europe and North and South America began to sink. This subsidence marked the appearance of the last and least extensive of the Devonian floods. The arctic seas again moved southward over much of North America, the Atlantic inundated a large part of Europe and western Asia, while the southern Pacific covered most of India. This inundation was slow in appearing and equally slow in retreating. The Catskill Mountains along the west bank of the Hudson River are one of the largest geologic monuments of this epoch to be found on the surface of North America.” (679.8) 59:4.15

4. The land emerges. The Susquehanna River reveals the strata of this period.

“230,000,000 years ago the seas were continuing their retreat. Much of North America was above water, and great volcanic activity occurred in the St. Lawrence region. Mount Royal, at Montreal, is the eroded neck of one of these volcanoes. The deposits of this entire epoch are well shown in the Appalachian Mountains of North America where the Susquehanna River has cut a valley exposing these successive layers, which attained a thickness of over 13,000 feet.” (679.9) 59:4.16


V. The Carboniferous Period - Crustal Shifting Stage - the Age of Frogs

“The appearance of fish during the preceding period marks the apex of marine-life evolution. From this point onward the evolution of land life becomes increasingly important. And this period opens with the stage almost ideally set for the appearance of the first land animals.” (680.3) 59:5.1


A. 220,000,000 and 210,000,000 years ago - ferns and frogs.

1. The age of ferns—the land is up and overrun with vegetation.

“220,000,000 years ago many of the continental land areas, including most of North America, were above water. The land was overrun by luxurious vegetation; this was indeed the age of ferns. Carbon dioxide was still present in the atmosphere but in lessening degree.” (680.4) 59:5.2

2. Atlantic and Pacific waters unite across North America.

“Shortly thereafter the central portion of North America was inundated, creating two great inland seas. Both the Atlantic and Pacific coastal highlands were situated just beyond the present shore lines. These two seas presently united, commingling their different forms of life, and the union of these marine fauna marked the beginning of the rapid and world-wide decline in marine life and the opening of the subsequent land-life period.” (680.5) 59:5.3

3. Now comes the sudden development of land animals.

“210,000,000 years ago the warm-water arctic seas covered most of North America and Europe. The south polar waters inundated South America and Australia, while both Africa and Asia were highly elevated.

“When the seas were at their height, a new evolutionary development suddenly occurred. Abruptly, the first of the land animals appeared. There were numerous species of these animals that were able to live on land or in water. These air-breathing amphibians developed from the arthropods, whose swim bladders had evolved into lungs.” 
(680.6) 59:5.4


B. 200,000,000 to 180,000,000 years ago - the coal-deposition period.

1. The active stages of the Carboniferous period—twenty-five million years of coal-making.

“200,000,000 years ago the really active stages of the Carboniferous period began. For twenty million years prior to this time the earlier coal deposits were being laid down, but now the more extensive coal-formation activities were in process. The length of the actual coal-deposition epoch was a little over twenty-five million years.

“The land was periodically going up and down due to the shifting sea level occasioned by activities on the ocean bottoms. This crustal uneasiness—the settling and rising of the land—in connection with the prolific vegetation of the coastal swamps, contributed to the production of extensive coal deposits, which have caused this period to be known as the Carboniferous. And the climate was still mild the world over.

“The coal layers alternate with shale, stone, and conglomerate. These coal beds over central and eastern United States vary in thickness from forty to fifty feet. But many of these deposits were washed away during subsequent land elevations. In some parts of North America and Europe the coal-bearing strata are 18,000 feet in thickness.” 
(681.5) 59:5.13

2. The carbonizing process.

“The presence of roots of trees as they grew in the clay underlying the present coal beds demonstrates that coal was formed exactly where it is now found. Coal is the water-preserved and pressure-modified remains of the rank vegetation growing in the bogs and on the swamp shores of this faraway age. Coal layers often hold both gas and oil. Peat beds, the remains of past vegetable growth, would be converted into a type of coal if subjected to proper pressure and heat. Anthracite has been subjected to more pressure and heat than other coal.” (681.8) 59:5.16

3. The coal layers vary from ten to seventy-five.

“In North America the layers of coal in the various beds, which indicate the number of times the land fell and rose, vary from ten in Illinois, twenty in Pennsylvania, thirty-five in Alabama, to seventy-five in Canada. Both fresh- and salt-water fossils are found in the coal beds.” (681.9) 59:5.17

4. Continued coal deposition.

“190,000,000 years ago witnessed a westward extension of the North American Carboniferous sea over the present Rocky Mountain region, with an outlet to the Pacific Ocean through northern California. Coal continued to be laid down throughout the Americas and Europe, layer upon layer, as the coastlands rose and fell during these ages of seashore oscillations.” (682.2) 59:5.19

5. The close of the Carboniferous period.

“180,000,000 years ago brought the close of the Carboniferous period, during which coal had been formed all over the world—in Europe, India, China, North Africa, and the Americas. At the close of the coal-formation period North America east of the Mississippi valley rose, and most of this section has ever since remained above the sea. This land-elevation period marks the beginning of the modern mountains of North America, both in the Appalachian regions and in the west. Volcanoes were active in Alaska and California and in the mountain-forming regions of Europe and Asia. Eastern America and western Europe were connected by the continent of Greenland.” (682.3) 59:5.20

6. The development of variable climate.

“Land elevation began to modify the marine climate of the preceding ages and to substitute therefor the beginnings of the less mild and more variable continental climate.” (682.4) 59:5.21


VI. The Permian Period - the Climatic Transition Stage - Seed-plant Period - the Age of Biologic Tribulation

The increasing elevation of land masses caused a harsher climate and the consequent disappearance of over ninety-nine percent of the living species. (682.7) 59:6.1


A. 170,000,000 years ago—climatic changes.

1. Land is rising, mountains develop, glaciation and aridity appear.

“170,000,000 years ago great evolutionary changes and adjustments were taking place over the entire face of the earth. Land was rising all over the world as the ocean beds were sinking. Isolated mountain ridges appeared. The eastern part of North America was high above the sea; the west was slowly rising. The continents were covered by great and small salt lakes and numerous inland seas which were connected with the oceans by narrow straits. The strata of this transition period vary in thickness from 1,000 to 7,000 feet.

“The earth’s crust folded extensively during these land elevations. This was a time of continental emergence except for the disappearance of certain land bridges, including the continents which had so long connected South America with Africa and North America with Europe.

“Gradually the inland lakes and seas were drying up all over the world. Isolated mountain and regional glaciers began to appear, especially over the Southern Hemisphere, and in many regions the glacial deposit of these local ice formations may be found even among some of the upper and later coal deposits. Two new climatic factors appeared—glaciation and aridity. Many of the earth’s higher regions had become arid and barren.” (683.1) 59:6.4

2. Variations in plants and animals.

Seed plants appeared. A resting stage for insects evolved. New animal species with better survival qualities deveIoped.
(683.4) 59:6.7


B. 160,000,000 years ago - conclusion of the Permian period of the Paleozoic era.

1. “The vast oceanic nursery of life on Urantia has served its purpose. During the long ages when the land was unsuited to support life, before the atmosphere contained sufficient oxygen to sustain the higher land animals, the sea mothered and nurtured the early life of the realm. Now the biologic importance of the sea progressively diminishes as the second stage of evolution begins to unfold on the land.” (684.2) 59:6.12

2. “The era of exclusive marine life has ended. Land elevation, cooling crust and cooling oceans, sea restriction and consequent deepening, together with a great increase of land in northern latitudes, all conspired greatly to change the world’s climate in all regions far removed from the equatorial zone.

“The closing epochs of the preceding era were indeed the age of frogs, but these ancestors of the land vertebrates were no longer dominant, having survived in greatly reduced numbers. Very few types outlived the rigorous trials of the preceding period of biologic tribulation. Even the spore-bearing plants were nearly extinct.” (685.1) 60:0.1



I. The Triassic Period. The Early Reptilian Age.

A. The deposits of the Triassic Period.

1. Much of the latter part of this period was arid—indicated by red layer deposits.

“The erosion deposits of this period were mostly conglomerates, shale, and sandstone. The gypsum and red layers throughout these sedimentations over both America and Europe indicate that the climate of these continents was arid. These arid districts were subjected to great erosion from the violent and periodic cloudbursts on the surrounding highlands.” (685.3) 60:1.1

2. Few fossils are to be found in the extensive deposits of this period.

“Few fossils are to be found in these layers, but numerous sandstone footprints of the land reptiles may be observed. In many regions the one thousand feet of red sandstone deposit of this period contains no fossils. The life of land animals was continuous only in certain parts of Africa.” (685.4) 60:1.2

3. The Palisades of the Hudson River, New Red Sandstone in England, dolomite formations in the Alps, and Carrara marble were produced in this period.

“These deposits vary in thickness from 3,000 to 10,000 feet, even being 18,000 on the Pacific coast. Lava was later forced in between many of these layers. The Palisades of the Hudson River were formed by the extrusion of basalt lava between these Triassic strata. Volcanic action was extensive in different parts of the world.

“Over Europe, especially Germany and Russia, may be found deposits of this period. In England the New Red Sandstone belongs to this epoch. Limestone was laid down in the southern Alps as the result of a sea invasion and may now be seen as the peculiar dolomite limestone walls, peaks, and pillars of those regions. This layer is to be found all over Africa and Australia. The Carrara marble comes from such modified limestone. Nothing of this period will be found in the southern regions of South America as that part of the continent remained down and hence presents only a water or marine deposit continuous with the preceding and succeeding epochs.” (685.5) 60:1.3


B. 150,000,000 years ago.

1. The land is above water. North American troughs formed and

“As this era opens, the eastern and central parts of North America, the northern half of South America, most of Europe, and all of Asia are well above water. North America for the first time is geographically isolated, but not for long as the Bering Strait land bridge soon again emerges, connecting the continent with Asia.

“Great troughs developed in North America, paralleling the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The great eastern-Connecticut fault appeared, one side eventually sinking two miles. Many of these North American troughs were later filled with erosion deposits, as also were many of the basins of the fresh- and salt-water lakes of the mountain regions. Later on, these filled land depressions were greatly elevated by lava flows which occurred underground. The petrified forests of many regions belong to this epoch.” (686.2) 60:1.6

2. The Pacific coast went down and deposits rich in marine fossils were formed.

“The Pacific coast, usually above water during the continental submergences, went down excepting the southern part of California and a large island which then existed in what is now the Pacific Ocean. This ancient California sea was rich in marine life and extended eastward to connect with the old sea basin of the mid-western region.” (686.4) 60:1.8


C. 140,000,000 years ago.

Reptiles appeared and rapidly evolved into the dinosaurs. Marine life was meager, but improved rapidly, and fossil beds are to be found in Europe and Asia. (686.5) 60:1.9


D. 130,000,000 years ago.

This was a period of rich and changing marine life. North America and Asia were connected by a land bridge.

“130,000,000 years ago the seas had changed very little. Siberia and North America were connected by the Bering Strait land bridge. A rich and unique marine life appeared on the Californian Pacific coast, where over one thousand species of ammonites developed from the higher types of cephalopods. The life changes of this period were indeed revolutionary notwithstanding that they were transitional and gradual.

“This period extended over twenty-five million years and is known as the Triassic.” (686.9) 60:1.13


II. The Jurassic Period. The Later Reptilian Age.

A. 120,000,000 years ago.

Dinosaurs evolved and declined, ultimately becoming extinct. North America was invaded by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and the northern sea up to the Dakota Black Hills. There were also many fresh-water lakes and consequent fresh-water fossils. All of South America but the Andes Mountains was covered, as well as China, Russia, and especially Europe. The lithographic stone of southern Germany, which contained unusual fossils, was deposited. The climate became even and mild. (687.2) 60:2.1


B. 110,000,000 years ago.

1. Dinosaurs continued to decline, and evolution from this time forth followed the growth of brains rather than physical bulk. (688.6) 60:2.14

2. “This period, embracing the height and the beginning decline of the reptiles, extended nearly twenty-five million years and is known as the Jurassic.” (688.6) 60:2.15

III. The Cretaceous Stage. The Flowering-plant Period. The Age of Birds.

“The great Cretaceous period derives its name from the predominance of the prolific chalk-making foraminifers in the seas. This period brings Urantia to near the end of the long reptilian dominance and witnesses the appearance of flowering plants and bird life on land. These are also the times of the termination of the westward and southward drift of the continents, accompanied by tremendous crustal deformations and concomitant widespread lava flows and great volcanic activities.

“Near the close of the preceding geologic period much of the continental land was up above water, although as yet there were no mountain peaks. But as the continental land drift continued, it met with the first great obstruction on the deep floor of the Pacific. This contention of geologic forces gave impetus to the formation of the whole vast north and south mountain range extending from Alaska down through Mexico to Cape Horn.

“This period thus becomes the modern mountain-building stage of geologic history. Prior to this time there were few mountain peaks, merely elevated land ridges of great width. Now the Pacific coast range was beginning to elevate, but it was located seven hundred miles west of the present shore line. The Sierras were beginning to form, their gold-bearing quartz strata being the product of lava flows of this epoch. In the eastern part of North America, Atlantic sea pressure was also working to cause land elevation.” (688.8) 60:3.1


A. 100,000,000 years ago.

1. Land elevation and mountain development.

“100,000,000 years ago the North American continent and a part of Europe were well above water. The warping of the American continents continued, resulting in the metamorphosing of the South American Andes and in the gradual elevation of the western plains of North America. Most of Mexico sank beneath the sea, and the southern Atlantic encroached on the eastern coast of South America, eventually reaching the present shore line. The Atlantic and Indian Oceans were then about as they are today.” 
(689.3) 60:3.4


B. 95,000,000 years ago.

1. Land submergence and volcanic action.

“95,000,000 years ago the American and European land masses again began to sink. The southern seas commenced the invasion of North America and gradually extended northward to connect with the Arctic Ocean, constituting the second greatest submergence of the continent. When this sea finally withdrew, it left the continent about as it now is. Before this great submergence began, the eastern Appalachian highlands had been almost completely worn down to the water’s level. The many colored layers of pure clay now used for the manufacture of earthenware were laid down over the Atlantic coast regions during this age, their average thickness being about 2,000 feet.” (689.4) 60:3.5

“Great volcanic actions occurred south of the Alps and along the line of the present California coast-range mountains. The greatest crustal deformations in millions upon millions of years took place in Mexico. Great changes also occurred in Europe, Russia, Japan, and southern South America. The climate became increasingly diversified.” 
(689.5) 60:3.6


C. 85,000,000 years ago.

1. Bering Strait closed. Chalk was deposited.

“85,000,000 years ago Bering Strait closed, shutting off the cooling waters of the northern seas. Theretofore the marine life of the Atlantic-Gulf waters and that of the Pacific Ocean had differed greatly, owing to the temperature variations of these two bodies of water, which now became uniform.

“The deposits of chalk and greensand marl give name to this period. The sedimentations of these times are variegated, consisting of chalk, shale, sandstone, and small amounts of limestone, together with inferior coal or lignite, and in many regions they contain oil. These layers vary in thickness from 200 feet in some places to 10,000 feet in western North America and numerous European localities. Along the eastern borders of the Rocky Mountains these deposits may be observed in the uptilted foothills.

“All over the world these strata are permeated with chalk, and these layers of porous semirock pick up water at upturned outcrops and convey it downward to furnish the water supply of much of the earth’s present arid regions.” (689.7) 60:3.8


D. 80,000,000 and 75,000,000 years ago.

1. As the continental drift came to a standstill, the enormous energy of the momentum caused great upheavals and the crumpling of the Pacific shore line of the Americas with repercussional changes along the Pacific shores of Asia. (690.2) 60:3.11

2. The Pacific Coast mountain ranges were completed—from Alaska to Cape Horn.

“75,000,000 years ago marks the end of the continental drift. From Alaska to Cape Horn the long Pacific coast mountain ranges were completed, but there were as yet few peaks.

“The backthrust of the halted continental drift continued the elevation of the western plains of North America, while in the east the worn-down Appalachian Mountains of the Atlantic coast region were projected straight up, with little or no tilting.” (690.3) 60:3.12


E. 70,000,000 to 55,000,000 years ago.

1. The Rocky Mountains attain their maximum elevation.

“70,000,000 years ago the crustal distortions connected with the maximum elevation of the Rocky Mountain region took place. A large segment of rock was overthrust fifteen miles at the surface in British Columbia; here the Cambrian rocks are obliquely thrust out over the Cretaceous layers. On the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains, near the Canadian border, there was another spectacular overthrust; here may be found the prelife stone layers shoved out over the then recent Cretaceous deposits. (690.5) 60:3.14

2. Volcanic activity over all the world.

“This was an age of volcanic activity all over the world, giving rise to numerous small isolated volcanic cones. Submarine volcanoes broke out in the submerged Himalayan region. Much of the rest of Asia, including Siberia, was also still under water.”
(690.6) 60:3.15

3. The great lava flows.

“65,000,000 years ago there occurred one of the greatest lava flows of all time. The deposition layers of these and preceding lava flows are to be found all over the Americas, North and South Africa, Australia, and parts of Europe.” (690.7) 60:3.16

4. Biologic developments.

The climate remained warm and uniform. Land animals were little changed. Great plant-life evolution took place, many present-day trees first appearing. Suddenly the flowering plants mutated and suddenly true birds appeared. (690.9) 60:3.18


F. Summation.

1. The sea invasions.

“The great Cretaceous period was drawing to a close, and its termination marks the end of the great sea invasions of the continents. Particularly is this true of North America, where there had been just twenty-four great inundations. And though there were subsequent minor submergences, none of these can be compared with the extensive and lengthy marine invasions of this and previous ages. These alternate periods of land and sea dominance have occurred in million-year cycles. There has been an agelong rhythm associated with this rise and fall of ocean floor and continental land levels. And these same rhythmical crustal movements will continue from this time on throughout the earth’s history but with diminishing frequency and extent.” (691.4) 60:4.1

2. The causes of mountain building.

“This period also witnesses the end of the continental drift and the building of the modern mountains of Urantia. But the pressure of the continental masses and the thwarted momentum of their age-long drift are not the exclusive influences in mountain building. The chief and underlying factor in determining the location of a mountain range is the pre-existent lowland, or trough, which has become filled up with the comparatively lighter deposits of the land erosion and marine drifts of the preceding ages. These lighter areas of land are sometimes 15,000 to 20,000 feet thick; therefore, when the crust is subjected to pressure from any cause, these lighter areas are the first to crumple up, fold, and rise upward to afford compensatory adjustment for the contending and conflicting forces and pressures at work in the earth’s crust or underneath the crust. Sometimes these upthrusts of land occur without folding. But in connection with the rise of the Rocky Mountains, great folding and tilting occurred, coupled with enormous overthrusts of the various layers, both underground and at the surface.” (691.5) 60:4.2

3. The age of mountains.

“The oldest mountains of the world are located in Asia, Greenland, and northern Europe among those of the older east-west systems. The mid-age mountains are in the circumpacific group and in the second European east-west system, which was born at about the same time. This gigantic uprising is almost ten thousand miles long, extending from Europe over into the West Indies land elevations. The youngest mountains are in the Rocky Mountain system, where, for ages, land elevations had occurred only to be successively covered by the sea, though some of the higher lands remained as islands. Subsequent to the formation of the mid-age mountains, a real mountain highland was elevated which was destined, subsequently, to be carved into the present Rocky Mountains by the combined artistry of nature’s elements.

“The present North American Rocky Mountain region is not the original elevation of land; that elevation had been long since leveled by erosion and then re-elevated. The present front range of mountains is what is left of the remains of the original range which was re-elevated. Pikes Peak and Longs Peak are outstanding examples of this mountain activity, extending over two or more generations of mountain lives. These two peaks held their heads above water during several of the preceding inundations.” (692.1) 60:4.3

4. Conclusion.

“And thus ends a long era of world evolution, extending from the early appearance of land life down to the more recent times of the immediate ancestors of the human species and its collateral branches. This, the Cretaceous age, covers fifty million years and brings to a close the premammalian era of land life, which extends over a period of one hundred million years and is known as the Mesozoic.”(692.4) 60:4.6



“During this Cenozoic age the world’s landscape presented an attractive appearance—rolling hills, broad valleys, wide rivers, and great forests. Twice during this sector of time the Panama Isthmus went up and down; three times Bering Strait land bridge did the same. The animal types were both many and varied. The trees swarmed with birds, and the whole world was an animal paradise, notwithstanding the incessant struggle of the evolving animal species for supremacy.” (693.2) 61:0.2


I. The Eocene Period. The New Continental Land Stage. The Age of Early Mammals.

A. 50,000,000 years ago.

Land areas were generally above water. Suddenly placental mammals with their immense survival advantages appeared.
(693.4) 61:1.1


B. 40,000,000 years ago.

1. Land began to elevate. The Isthmus of Panama, the Bering Strait land bridge, and the bridge across Greenland and Ireland were up. Only Europe was submerged, the Arctic Ocean being connected with the Mediterranean. Considerable limestone was deposited in Europe and Asia. (694.4) 61:1.12

2. “Throughout this so-called Eocene period the evolution of mammalian and other related forms of life continued with little or no interruption. North America was then connected by land with every continent except Australia, and the world was gradually overrun by primitive mammalian fauna of various types.” (694.6) 61:1.14

II. The Oligocene Period. The Recent Flood Stage. The Age of Advanced Mammals.

A. 35,000,000 years ago.

1. The world climate remained mild because of the enormous size of the tropic seas and because the land was not elevated sufficiently to produce glaciers. Many present day marine species and insects developed, as well as rodents and dogs, some hoofed grazing species, and most modern birds. (695.1) 61:2.3

2. “By the close of this Oligocene period, covering ten million years, the plant life, together with the marine life and the land animals, had very largely evolved and was present on earth much as today. Considerable specialization has subsequently appeared, but the ancestral forms of most living things were then alive.” (696.4) 61:2.13

III. The Miocene Period. The Modern Mountain Stages. Age of the Elephant and the Horse.

“Land elevation and sea segregation were slowly changing the world’s weather, gradually cooling it, but the climate was still mild. Sequoias and magnolias grew in Greenland, but the subtropical plants were beginning to migrate southward. By the end of this period these warm-climate plants and trees had largely disappeared from the northern latitudes, their places being taken by more hardy plants and the deciduous trees.” (696.5) 61:3.1


A. 25,000,000 to 15,000,000 years ago.

1. Western North American land elevation and lowering.

“25,000,000 years ago there was a slight land submergence following the long epoch of land elevation. The Rocky Mountain region remained highly elevated so that the deposition of erosion material continued throughout the lowlands to the east. The Sierras were well re-elevated; in fact, they have been rising ever since. The great four-mile vertical fault in the California region dates from this time.” (696.7) 61:3.3

2. The golden age of mammals.

“20,000,000 years ago was indeed the golden age of mammals. Bering Strait land bridge was up, and many groups of animals migrated to North America from Asia, including the four-tusked mastodons, short-legged rhinoceroses, and many varieties of the cat family.” (696.8) 61:3.4

3. Eurasian mountains rise, the Straits of Gibraltar close, the Iceland land bridge is submerged. Ocean currents functioned, affecting the climate as they do today.

“15,000,000 years ago the mountain regions of Eurasia were rising, and there was some volcanic activity throughout these regions, but nothing comparable to the lava flows of the Western Hemisphere. These unsettled conditions prevailed all over the world.” (697.2) 61:3.7

“The Strait of Gibraltar closed, and Spain was connected with Africa by the old land bridge, but the Mediterranean flowed into the Atlantic through a narrow channel which extended across France, the mountain peaks and highlands appearing as islands above this ancient sea. Later on, these European seas began to withdraw. Still later, the Mediterranean was connected with the Indian Ocean, while at the close of this period the Suez region was elevated so that the Mediterranean became, for a time, an inland salt sea.” (697.3) 61:3.8

“The Iceland land bridge submerged, and the arctic waters commingled with those of the Atlantic Ocean. The Atlantic coast of North America rapidly cooled, but the Pacific coast remained warmer than at present. The great ocean currents were in function and affected climate much as they do today.” (697.4) 61:3.9


B. Biologic developments.

1. The elephant survived because its brain was sufficiently large and of superior quality. Enormous herds of horses joined the camels. The dog and cat families continued to increase, being represented by wolves and foxes, panthers and saber-toothed tigers. (697.5) 61:3.10

2. “The biologic developments of this period contributed much toward the setting of the stage for the subsequent appearance of man. In central Asia the true types of both the primitive monkey and the gorilla evolved, having a common ancestor, now extinct. But neither of these species is concerned in the line of living beings which were, later on, to become the ancestors of the human race.” (697.7) 61:3.12

C. Conclusion.

“Thus drew to a close a very eventful and interesting period of the world’s history. This age of the elephant and the horse is known as the Miocene.” (698.2) 61:3.15


IV. The Pliocene. The Recent Continental-Development Stage. The Last Great Mammalian Migration.

“This is the period of preglacial land elevation in North America, Europe, and Asia. The land was greatly altered in topography. Mountain ranges were born, streams changed their courses, and isolated volcanoes broke out all over the world.” (698.3) 61:4.1


A. 10,000,000 years ago.

1. The geologic situation just before the ice age.

“10,000,000 years ago began an age of widespread local land deposits on the lowlands of the continents, but most of these sedimentations were later removed. Much of Europe, at this time, was still under water, including parts of England, Belgium, and France, and the Mediterranean Sea covered much of northern Africa. In North America extensive depositions were made at the mountain bases, in lakes, and in the great land basins. These deposits average only about two hundred feet, are more or less colored, and fossils are rare. Two great fresh-water lakes existed in western North America. The Sierras were elevating; Shasta, Hood, and Rainier were beginning their mountain careers. But it was not until the subsequent ice age that North America began its creep toward the Atlantic depression.” (698.4) 61:4.2

2. Once again, all land is connected except Australia. There was a great interchange of animal life.

“For a short time all the land of the world was again joined excepting Australia, and the last great world-wide animal migration took place. North America was connected with both South America and Asia, and there was a free exchange of animal life. Asiatic sloths, armadillos, antelopes, and bears entered North America, while North American camels went to China. Rhinoceroses migrated over the whole world except Australia and South America, but they were extinct in the Western Hemisphere by the close of this period.”(698.5) 61:4.3


B. 5,000,000 years ago.

1. The climate was getting cooler. Plants and animals moved southward. The major land bridges were finally submerged. (698.8) 61:4.6

C. Conclusion.

“And thus does this period of almost ten million years’ duration draw to a close, and not yet has the ancestor of man appeared. This is the time usually designated as the Pliocene.” (699.1) 61:4.7


V. The Pleistocene. The Early Ice Age.

A. Development of the glaciers.

1. The northern lands of America and Europe were highly elevated.

“By the close of the preceding period the lands of the north-eastern part of North America and of northern Europe were highly elevated on an extensive scale, in North America vast areas rising up to 30,000 feet and more. Mild climates had formerly prevailed over these northern regions, and the arctic waters were all open to evaporation, and they continued to be ice-free until almost the close of the glacial period. (699.2) 61:5.1

2. Snow falls to a depth of twenty thousand feet on the cold northern highlands.

“Simultaneously with these land elevations the ocean currents shifted, and the seasonal winds changed their direction. These conditions eventually produced an almost constant precipitation of moisture from the movement of the heavily saturated atmosphere over the northern highlands. Snow began to fall on these elevated and therefore cool regions, and it continued to fall until it had attained a depth of 20,000 feet. The areas of the greatest depth of snow, together with altitude, determined the central points of subsequent glacial pressure flows. And the ice age persisted just as long as this excessive precipitation continued to cover these northern highlands with this enormous mantle of snow, which soon metamorphosed into solid but creeping ice.” (699.3) 61:5.2

3. Extent of the ice sheets.

“The great ice sheets of this period were all located on elevated highlands, not in mountainous regions where they are found today. One half of the glacial ice was in North America, one fourth in Eurasia, and one fourth elsewhere, chiefly in Antarctica. Africa was little affected by the ice, but Australia was almost covered with the antarctic ice blanket.” (699.4) 61:5.3

4. The six ice invasions.

“The northern regions of this world have experienced six separate and distinct ice invasions, although there were scores of advances and recessions associated with the activity of each individual ice sheet. The ice in North America collected in two and, later, three centers. Greenland was covered, and Iceland was completely buried beneath the ice flow. In Europe the ice at various times covered the British Isles excepting the coast of southern England, and it overspread western Europe down to France.” (699.5) 61:5.4


B. 2,000,000 years ago.

1. The first North American glacier.

“2,000,000 years ago the first North American glacier started its southern advance. The ice age was now in the making, and this glacier consumed nearly one million years in its advance from, and retreat back toward, the northern pressure centers. The central ice sheet extended south as far as Kansas; the eastern and western ice centers were not then so extensive.” (699.6) 61:5.5


C. 1,500,000 years ago.

1. The second ice invasion.

“1,500,000 years ago the first great glacier was retreating northward. In the meantime, enormous quantities of snow had been falling on Greenland and on the northeastern part of North America, and erelong this eastern ice mass began to flow southward. This was the second invasion of the ice.” (699.7) 61:5.6

2. Limits of the effect of the first two ice sheets.

The first two ice invasions were not extensive in Eurasia. Away from the ice the land and water were little changed and between invasions the climate was mild as at present. Glaciers, even though greatly spread out, are local phenomena. (699.8) 61:5.7


D. 1,000,000 years ago.

1. “The great event of this glacial period was the evolution of primitive man.” “1,000,000 years ago Urantia was registered as an inhabited planet.” “This event occurred at about the time of the beginning of the third glacial advance.” (700.2) 61:6.1

2. “Throughout the glacial period other activities were in progress, but the action of the ice overshadows all other phenomena in the northern latitudes. No other terrestrial activity leaves such characteristic evidence on the topography. The distinctive boulders and surface cleavages, such as potholes, lakes, displaced stone, and rock flour, are to be found in connection with no other phenomenon in nature. The ice is also responsible for those gentle swells, or surface undulations, known as drumlins. And a glacier, as it advances, displaces rivers and changes the whole face of the earth. Glaciers alone leave behind them those telltale drifts—the ground, lateral, and terminal moraines. These drifts, particularly the ground moraines, extend from the eastern seaboard north and westward in North America and are found in Europe and Siberia.” (700.6) 61:7.1

E. 750,000 and 700,000 years ago.

1. The fourth glacier was a union of the central and eastern ice fields.

“750,000 years ago the fourth ice sheet, a union of the North American central and eastern ice fields, was well on its way south; at its height it reached to southern Illinois, displacing the Mississippi River fifty miles to the west, and in the east it extended as far south as the Ohio River and central Pennsylvania.

“In Asia the Siberian ice sheet made its southernmost invasion, while in Europe the advancing ice stopped just short of the mountain barrier of the Alps.” (701.1) 61:7.2

2. The fourth glacier drove the Neanderthalers and other peoples southward.

“750,000 years ago the fourth ice sheet was well on its way south. With their improved implements the Neanderthalers made holes in the ice covering the northern rivers and thus were able to spear the fish which came up to these vents. Ever these tribes retreated before the advancing ice, which at this time made its most extensive invasion of Europe.

“In these times the Siberian glacier was making its southernmost march, compelling early man to move southward, back toward the lands of his origin. But the human species had so differentiated that the danger of further mingling with its non progressive simian relatives was greatly lessened.” (721.2) 64:4.4

3. As the fourth glacier retreats, mammalian animal life has been but little changed.

“700,000 years ago the fourth glacier, the greatest of all in Europe, was in recession; men and animals were returning north. The climate was cool and moist, and primitive man again thrived in Europe and western Asia. Gradually the forests spread north over land which had been so recently covered by the glacier.

“Mammalian life had been little changed by the great glacier. These animals persisted in that narrow belt of land lying between the ice and the Alps and, upon the retreat of the glacier, again rapidly spread out over all Europe. There arrived from Africa, over the Sicilian land bridge, straight-tusked elephants, broad-nosed rhinoceroses, hyenas, and African lions, and these new animals virtually exterminated the saber-toothed tigers and the hippopotamuses.” (721.4) 64:4.6


F. 650,000 and 600,000 years ago.

1. As the glacier retreated the climate was mild.

“650,000 years ago witnessed the continuation of the mild climate. By the middle of the interglacial period it had become so warm that the Alps were almost denuded of ice and snow.” (721.6) 64:4.8

2. The interglacial period.

“600,000 years ago the ice had reached its then northernmost point of retreat and, after a pause of a few thousand years, started south again on its fifth excursion. But there was little modification of climate for fifty thousand years. Man and the animals of Europe were little changed. The slight aridity of the former period lessened, and the alpine glaciers descended far down the river valleys.” (721.7) 64:4.9


G. 550,000 and 500,000 years ago.

1. During the fourth and fifth glaciers there was little improvement in human culture.

“550,000 years ago the advancing glacier again pushed man and the animals south. But this time man had plenty of room in the wide belt of land stretching northeast into Asia and lying between the ice sheet and the then greatly expanded Black Sea extension of the Mediterranean.

“These times of the fourth and fifth glaciers witnessed the further spread of the crude culture of the Neanderthal races. But there was so little progress that it truly appeared as though the attempt to produce a new and modified type of intelligent life on Urantia was about to fail. For almost a quarter of a million years these primitive peoples drifted on, hunting and fighting, by spells improving in certain directions, but, on the whole, steadily retrogressing as compared with their superior Andonic ancestors.” (721.8) 64:4.10

2. During the fifth glacier the Sangik colored races appeared and the Planetary Prince arrived.

“500,000 years ago, during the fifth advance of the ice, a new development accelerated the course of human evolution. Suddenly and in one generation the six colored races mutated from the aboriginal human stock. This is a doubly important date since it also marks the arrival of the Planetary Prince.” (701.3) 61:7.4

“In North America the advancing fifth glacier consisted of a combined invasion by all three ice centers. The eastern lobe, however, extended only a short distance below the St. Lawrence valley, and the western ice sheet made little southern advance. But the central lobe reached south to cover most of the State of Iowa. In Europe this invasion of the ice was not so extensive as the preceding one.”(701.4) 61:7.5


H. 250,000 to 150,000 years ago.

1. The sixth and last glacier. Three great ice sheets coalesced into one. This was the largest ice invasion in North America.

“250,000 years ago the sixth and last glaciation began. And despite the fact that the northern highlands had begun to sink slightly, this was the period of greatest snow deposition on the northern ice fields.

“In this invasion the three great ice sheets coalesced into one vast ice mass, and all of the western mountains participated in this glacial activity. This was the largest of all ice invasions in North America; the ice moved south over fifteen hundred miles from its pressure centers, and North America experienced its lowest temperatures.” (701.5) 61:7.6

2. The Lucifer rebellion.

“200,000 years ago, during the advance of the last glacier, there occurred an episode which had much to do with the march of events on Urantia—the Lucifer rebellion.” (701.7) 61:7.8

3. Extent of the sixth glacier.

“150,000 years ago the sixth and last glacier reached its farthest points of southern extension, the western ice sheet crossing just over the Canadian border; the central coming down into Kansas, Missouri, and Illinois; the eastern sheet advancing south and covering the greater portion of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

“This is the glacier that sent forth the many tongues, or ice lobes, which carved out the present-day lakes, great and small. During its retreat the North American system of Great Lakes was produced. And Urantian geologists have very accurately deduced the various stages of this development and have correctly surmised that these bodies of water did, at different times, empty first into the Mississippi valley, then eastward into the Hudson valley, and finally by a northern route into the St. Lawrence. It is thirty-seven thousand years since the connected Great Lakes system began to empty out over the present Niagara route.” (701.8) 61:7.9


I. 100,000 years ago.

1. Retreat of the last glacier and the formation of the polar ice sheets.

“100,000 years ago, during the retreat of the last glacier, the vast polar ice sheets began to form, and the center of ice accumulation moved considerably northward. And as long as the possible for another glacial age to occur, regardless of future land elevations or modification of ocean currents.

“This last glacier was one hundred thousand years advancing, and it required a like span of time to complete its northern retreat. The temperate regions have been free from the ice for a little over fifty thousand years.” (702.1) 61:7.11

2. Effect of glaciers upon biologic species.

“The rigorous glacial period destroyed many species and radically changed numerous others. Many were sorely sifted by the to-and-fro migration which was made necessary by the advancing and retreating ice. Those animals which followed the glaciers back and forth over the land were the bear, bison, reindeer, musk ox, mammoth, and mastodon.” (702.1) 61:7.13

“The enforced migration of life before the advancing ice led to an extraordinary commingling of plants and of animals, and with the retreat of the final ice invasion, many arctic species of both plants and animals were left stranded high upon certain mountain peaks, whither they had journeyed to escape destruction by the glacier. And so, today, these dislocated plants and animals may be found high up on the Alps of Europe and even on the Appalachian Mountains of North America.” (702.1) 61:7.16

3. End of the ice age.

“The ice age is the last completed geologic period, the so-called Pleistocene, over two million years in length.” (702.1) 61:7.17


VI. Recent times.

A. End of the Cenozoic.

1. “This narrative, extending from the rise of mammalian life to the retreat of the ice and on down to historic times, covers a span of almost fifty million years. This is the last—the current—geologic period and is known to your researchers as the Cenozoic or recent-times era.”
(702.1) 61:7.19

B. The post-glacial or Holocene Period.

1. The Ice Age terminated about the time Adam and Eve arrived on Urantia.

“35,000 years ago marks the termination of the great ice age excepting in the polar regions of the planet. This date is also significant in that it approximates the arrival of a Material Son and Daughter and the beginning of the Adamic dispensation, roughly corresponding to the beginning of the Holocene or post-glacial period.” (702.1) 61:7.18

2. The retreat of the glacier turned the Sahara into a desert.

“The early expansion of the violet race into Europe was cut short by certain rather sudden climatic and geologic changes. With the retreat of the northern ice fields the water-laden winds from the west shifted to the north, gradually turning the great open pasture regions of Sahara into a barren desert. This drought dispersed the smaller-statured brunets, dark-eyed but long-headed dwellers of the great Sahara plateau.” (890.5) 80:2.1

3. England separates from the continent, Denmark arises from the sea, the Mediterranean connects with the Atlantic Ocean.

“About the time of these climatic changes in Africa, England separated from the continent, and Denmark arose from the sea, while the isthmus of Gibraltar, protecting the western basin of the Mediterranean, gave way as the result of an earthquake, quickly raising this inland lake to the level of the Atlantic Ocean. Presently the Sicilian land bridge submerged, creating one sea of the Mediterranean and connecting it with the Atlantic Ocean. This cataclysm of nature flooded scores of human settlements and occasioned the greatest loss of life by flood in all the world’s history.”(890.8) 80:2.4



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. (671.5) 58:7.12


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