Our planet is currently going through an environmental and climate disaster, to the extent that many scientists now believe that Earth is experiencing a sixth mass extinction event, caused by human activity — what we call anthropogenic impacts. A mass extinction event is one where there is a widespread and rapid decrease in biodiversity.
If this is the sixth mass extinction, when were the previous five? That’s what we are going to talk about.
We have to go very far into Earth’s history to start, when a lot was happening on the planet, with plate tectonics, volcanoes and asteroid strikes. For the first three billion years of life unicellular microorganisms — something like bacteria or archaea ruled it. There were no insects, or birds or mammals. The earliest direct fossil evidence of this is from around 3.4 billion years ago in Australia. There is also evidence suggesting that life may have begun 4.2 billion years ago, soon after the formation of our planet, when oceans had just started forming, because oceans are where everything lived then, as far as we know. These early lifeforms were not using oxygen to make food however; there wasn’t enough of it then. They were using methane or carbon dioxide and their waste product — oxygen — starting filling up in the atmosphere leading to oxygen-using organisms. …
Our feature this week is on Mother Goddesses throughout the ages and across the globe.
The obligatory blog on Covid19 and the Conspiracy Theorists
Also check out the blog on the difference between Comets, Asteroids and Meteors
And finally, here is a post on the medieval witchtrials across Europe and Salem, Massachusetts.