So where were we? Well science is not my strong point, I’m more about the philosophy of things using science as backup. That being said if you catch any scientific inaccuracies in here don’t be all too surprised. The general idea should be close enough for Jazz however.
Generally speaking the further away from a star you are the larger you are. I’m not entirely sure why but I’ve read a few times that it has to do with the lower temperatures. As planets are forming there was probably an issue with certain matter being burned away from inner planets (like say Ice) which didn’t burn off on the outer planets. This would give them much more mass to pull in even more matter until they hit whatever limit (that is before they’d start hitting those uncomfortably large star sizes).
While there are other planets in our Solar System and I’m sure with a good drink and a weekend you could get to know any of them and find them to be quite friendly folks. However there is one that is substantially more important at the moment. That would be Earth, which in the beginning like all other matter was in a fairly hot state. This molten sphere was spinning quite merrily, getting belted by frozen comets and meteor rocks and probably a unicorn or two (okay likely not the latter).
According to a report I read (and subsequently watched on FORA.tv, again you all should check it out), the Moon was formed from a rather large impact during the early days of the Earth. A massive object smashed into the Earth launching a fairly large, dare I say moon sized, chunk of rock into the atmosphere. Interestingly as the video notes the composition of the moon fits quite nicely with this theory and frankly I see little reason not to believe it, I imagine otherwise it would be quite hard for something the size of the moon to be flying by and get stuck in our orbit.
About 4 billion years ago, which frankly isn’t all that long when thinking about non-living things, the first life sprouted up. The presence of water on Earth is not exactly all that surprising. I’d be willing to bet that any planet in the relative range that we are from our star (that is further if their star is larger or closer if their star is smaller) would find quite a lot of water on them. Comets which were, amongst other things, pretty icy were pummeling anything they could get attracted to. Those planets too close to stars would have it subsequently evaporate and those further would have it freeze (special exceptions aside). However for your average planet in this area like that of ours found themselves covered in water. This is helpful because, generally speaking, you are going to be hard pressed to find water and not find life in it. Even extremely toxic, extremely hot, or extremely cold (see ice) water can have life either living merrily or at least being in stasis within them.
I personally wonder if Virus’s were not the first ‘life’ on the Earth. An in-between stage moving from the many non-living (see incapable or acting on own) things to the living. They have very simple processes and a very simple goal. Simply to sustain their existence through whatever means possible. There is and likely never will be any evidence of this and it is merely a thought. However what I can say is that once the acidity of the Oceans (volcanic activity is hell on a PH balance) were friendly enough the bacteria that sprung forth was quite happy to do so.
It seems almost silly to imagine hundreds of millions of years, in which every fraction of a second there is a reaction of chemicals and elements across an almost unfathomably large space would not return some sort of unusual side effect. It’s a very good side effect because without it we wouldn’t have chicken…oh or us. I keep forgetting you need to exist before you eat chicken.
The fact that life is so happy in water makes much sense. Ultraviolet light and other radiations that do well to destroy the genetic makeup that comprises life have relative difficulty permeating water as easily as other substances (exceptions like Lead aside). Unlike Lead and rock, Water is also easy to move through which is a very helpful addition. Though even without water I’m sure that some sort of extreme bacteria would live quite happily in a mercury rich cave dining on the walls.
At some point it became apparent that there was a massive orb blasting endless levels of ultraviolet light onto the planet. Organisms began converting this matter for energy creating a seemingly endless supply of food. They began to convert the CO2 flowing through the air (and wherever else it could squeeze its deadly butt into) into Oxygen. This process would help bolster the atmosphere and probably for a bit was actually quite extreme. Anything that wasn’t prepared to process Oxygen would have found the result quite fatal.
But whenever a massive supply of new food arises something arises to consume it. At some point in here there was surely something that noticed everything around it could produce energy if consumed. Carnivores likely arose at this point. Indeed on thinking back carnivores probably popped up before even the photosynthesis, I just get ahead of myself.
We now had carnivores, herbivores, water, and copious levels of oxygen. However all things included in this conversation are still so small that unless there is an absolutely grotesquely large collection of them we couldn’t see them with the naked eye. Stuff that would make plankton squint…well maybe not but it would sure as hell be hard for us to see.
Tomorrow we’ll move onto the first plants and hope that I don’t butcher too much while trying to make my various points. Who knows in a few decades I might have a nice solid little lecture out of this thing (I redo it yearly).