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A star shall fall from Heaven.
558 The Bible According to Einstein
million megatons.313 And
when the asteroid struck the ocean floor, crust
melted into molten rock, and an upheaval of magma,
vapor, rock debris and water
followed. Eight-kilometer-tall waves sped out. And
the ground shook so violently in proto-North-America
and South America that trees were uprooted and plants
were tossed into the air. And dinosaurs, reptiles and
large land creatures lost their footing and fell
over. And small animals flew through the air
and landed on their backs.
Now at the impact, a cloud of water vapor, dust and ash shot up. And some of it sped out beyond the upper atmosphere and into outer space. The rest remained and made a giant cloud. Shocked quartz was sprayed all over the Americas. And little basaltic balls like bullets rained down on Earth. And below the cloud and rain of pellets, lava flowed lavishly over parts of proto-Mexico.
A crater two-hundred-kilometers in diameter had been created in the crust underneath the sea and in the Gulf of Mexico.
And no living organism, no microbe within five-hundred kilometers of the impact was alive -- all life within this region had been instantly incinerated by the blast. The flesh of all the animals had turned to crisp and ash -- this was Nature's holocaust.
And shock waves travelled through the mantle of the Earth and bounced off the outer and the inner core. Earthquakes occurred around the globe. And the Deccan Traps on the other side of Earth ignited and they spit out flames.
The wrath of Nature was upon the face of Earth.
And red ashes
and bits of glowing rock rained down on
proto-Mexico. They ignited plants and
trees. And angry fires raged in proto-Mexico. And
vegetation fueled the flames which
flickered like unto huge red tongues reaching
for the heavens. And one-million-square kilometers
of plains and forests burned. Then the fires spread to
proto-Texas, proto-Belize and proto-Guatemala. Behind
the flames were charred wood, charred leaves and charcoal.
And there was panic among Earth's creatures in the region. The slower animals were overrun by flames and instantly cremated. The fastest creatures fled the flames, but found themselves surrounded soon by fire and by heat. And air was full of smoke. And all animals, small and large, slow and fast, which did not die by burning, choked. The animals fell over, struggled on the ground for several minutes and then were motionless.
And several kilometer-sized waves travelled seven times around the globe. And for seven days, the oceans rose and fell. And continents were flooded and were drained. And ocean life was tossed about like unto salad in a bowl. And many shellfish, marine reptiles, sponges,
313This is equivalent to ten-thousand times the explosive power of the world's stockpile of nuclear warheads at the time of the 1980's.
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plankton, algae, fish and ocean organisms
found themselves on land and died.
And magma spurted from the Deccan Traps in India. And a cloud of ash and gas two-thousand kilometers in size did hover there. And lava flowed on top of lava. And lava ignited forests to the north and east. And as in proto-Central-America, a ring of fire ranged outward, burning vegetation in its path. And flames spread rapidly as if transported by horses and by chariots. And heat incinerated creatures living on the continent of India. The flames raised their heads and hands to heaven and quivered with the fear of hell.
Now the air in southern proto-North-America and in northern South America was black and full of particles. Visibility was half a meter. And as living creatures breathed in soot, they coughed and choked, and their lungs filled up with dirt and smoke. They toppled to the ground and died.
And ants and other insects had a feast feeding on the dead.
And clouds of dust, meteorite debris, water vapor, smoke and ash spread around the globe. And asteroid dust and ash relatively rich in iridium settled on the Earth. And the atmosphere was full of particles and soot. And all around the world, the largest creatures suffocated so.
And Earth's environment was ruined. And as for creatures, being big was suddenly a big big disadvantage.
And large pieces of atmospheric fallout rubbed against the molecules of air, became incandescent and caught fire. It was as if fireworks were everywhere around the globe. And incandescent pieces landed in the trees, setting them ablaze. And half the forests of the world were trees of flames. And hell was upon the face of Earth. And smoke added to the black of an already black black atmosphere.
And soon the Sun was no longer visible from anywhere on Earth -- a curtain of darkness had descended on thy Earth.
And during the next day, it was night. And during night, it was also night. And during the day after, it was still night. Indeed, for the next nine months, it would be night.
And being robbed of light, plants no longer photosynthesized. And many plants thus died. And bacteria and microorganisms multiplied profusely in decaying bio-matter.
On the surface of the oceans and the seas, algae succumbed and formed a scum. Oceans stank. And inland, swamps and marshes turned green, then brown. And they too gave off a putrid stink. And plankton-feeding fish and water-life feasted on the dead remains. But for many, it was but their last supper.
And the surviving small herbivores on land ate decaying plants and trees. And these creatures feasted as if without a worry.
And nitrous oxide in the atmosphere mixed with water and made nitric acid. Then clouds let loose their rain. And it rained an acid rain. And although the rain washed away some smoke and soot, when it landed on the leaves of plants and trees, the acid ate into organic matter. And leaves of plants and trees had holes. And when rain landed on
560 The Bible According to Einstein
the shellfish on the sandy beaches, the shells
dissolved and disappeared. And the worm-like
creatures living in the shells were exposed to
Nature's elements and to hungry seashore birds.
And a month went by. And still darkness reigned on Earth. And weed-like plants turned yellow. And withered were the leaves of trees. And plants grew weak and stems bent over, as if to pray.
In the tropics, the temperature went down. And in the polar regions, the temperature went up somewhat. But overall, the Earth began to cool.
And several months went by. And trees in forests fell. And in Earth's seas, bacteria and microorganisms consumed the dead remains of photosynthetic plankton. And plankton-feeding fish and shellfish died. Dead fish floated on the surface of the oceans and the seas. And marine predators fed on the dead. And they feasted as if without a worry. But for many, it was but their last supper.
And some dead fish and shellfish washed up onto sandy shores. And small amphibians, reptiles and mammals, which had survived the first wave of Nature's holocaust, feasted on the dead.
And the living ate the dead until the dead were gone. And then the living starved. And some of them grew weak and passed away. And those that did survive ate those that had just died.
Thus the four elements -- fire, water, air and earth -- inflicted death upon the living of the Earth.
And summer came. But summer was without the Sun -- it was as cold as in December. And two years of winter would so follow.
And emissions from the Deccan Traps raged on and filled the air with sulfur compounds, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and other toxic gases. And the gases combined with water vapor in the atmosphere and formed sulfuric and carbonic acids. And when it rained, it rained an acid rain.
And several months went by. And the temperature in the tropics dropped. And on the continents, cold-blooded creatures such as insects, reptiles, worms, amphibians and other animals became lethargic, for their metabolism dropped. And beetles crawled more slowly. And worms barely budged in earth. And lizards, snakes, frogs and salamanders seemed asleep. But warm-blooded creatures, such as birds and mammals, were more active. And they ate slowly moving bugs and worms. Some placentals fed on small lethargic frogs and snakes. And on reptiles such as baby lizards, other mammals ate.
And from the heavens fell the acid rains and washed away some soot. And the rain collected in the ponds and lakes. And the waters of some pools became acidic. And the acid burned the skin of fish and other water life. And some fish bled. Some turned blue and red and white. And in small ponds, many fish were dead.
And darkness was upon the face of Earth. And the temperature of air declined. And water in the lakes in non-tropic regions turned to ice. And salamanders, small aquatic reptiles, frogs and fish froze in ice. And animals north of the tropic of Cancer and south of the tropic of
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Capricorn were cold. And both warm- and cold-blooded
creatures succumbed to cold and died.
At first, it had seemed as if the world were going to end in fire. Now it seemed as if the world would end in ice. And it was a nightmare for all life, as night lasted for nine months.
And rain fell steadily for another month, washing away the atmospheric particles and dust. And behold, in one cloud appeared a hole. Through it did sunbeams stream -- they looked like the light from heaven streaming through a window in a church.
Now the death toll was enormous -- four-fifths of the species of pre-existing plants and animals had gone extinct. And in a layer of earth, the dead were buried so.314
Another mass extinction
had come and gone so fast.
Another group of creatures had perished in the past.
And although all ammonoids
had died, a few nautiloids survived. And amphibians,
using both water and land to their advantage, faired
relatively well. And so did snakes and turtles. And
some fresh-water life in large lakes did
survive. And deep-sea ocean organisms
mostly were unscathed.
And the small did better than the big. And this was true from the giant reptiles to the tiny protozoa. And for example, the protozoa, which lived on, were one-tenth the size of Jurassic protozoa. And no land animal more than twenty-five kilograms survived.
Now most of bio-history
had been without catastrophes. In such
times, evolution had responded well to regular, continuous
and slowly changing situations. The creatures of the
world had played the game of life; they
had obeyed the rules of evolution; and
they had followed the laws of Nature. They
had been rewarded so. The rules had for
years been fixed, or so it seemed.
314The death list read as follows.
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at random instances in geo-history, the mighty force
of Nature's hand came pounding down on Earth. Roughly
every fifty-million years, a
catastrophe struck Earth -- an asteroid, a
sudden change in temperature, a burst of widespread
vulcanism, a sudden rise or drop in ocean level, or
a ruthless, selfish, cruel and dominating
creature. At such cataclysmic periods, the
game board was knocked off the table. And the pieces
were scattered on the floor. And Earth's creatures
had to play on, even without pieces, boards or
rules. And during such tormented times, the game
was not a game of strategy, action and reaction as
in chess -- the game became a game of
chance, like dice. And even rule-abiding creatures
with well-established niches went extinct. And it was
as if Evolution cast lots to decide who would live and
who would die and who would rule. So
catastrophes, though rare and random, had
a haphazard consequence for evolution.
And after such events, the pieces were picked up. New players were called in. The game began anew.
Can these bones live?
fascination with the dinosaurs would go beyond
In modern times, movies
would be made about dinosaurs.
A few parks with
bones and footprints would be set apart.
Museums of natural history would be filled with
all types of giant skeletons.
come and stare in awe.
Man in modern times would be fascinated by the dinosaur, a creature that dominated Earth for one-hundred-million years and more. In contrast, man to date has dominated Earth for just ten-thousand years. But man's search for understanding of the dinosaur goes beyond mere curiosity, for the story of the dinosaur raises important questions for mankind -- questions such as, Will the human race, like the dinosaurs, be erased? Will there be another collision with an asteroid that will wipe out all higher forms of life? Or will it be a new disease, climatic change or war? If not, will humans be successful like the dinosaur and live a hundred-million years or more?
In modern times, evolutionists and philosophers would come to realize that bigger was not always better. And most numerous was not necessarily best. So maybe smarter is not better either. And evolutionists and philosophers would question which biological assets have true lasting value. Will Nature's experiment in creatures with intelligence bear fruit? Or will it be that the human being is too intelligent for its well-being?
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