|Credit: Col. Jeffrey N. Williams, International Space Station 13 Crew, NASA|
What an amazing world we live in, and what an amazing world it once was! Fossils indicate that the earth has been covered with a wondrous array of environments in the past.To read the entire article, click on "Five Mass Extinctions or One Cataclysmic Event?" There is an audio version available for download, too.
Then something happened. The earth’s rocks indicate that past catastrophes struck on a scale unlike anything we see today. The earth’s crust split open, belching toxic fumes into the sky and sending rivers of lava that swallowed up forests and everything else in their path.
The original continent also broke apart. The land rose and fell as the broken landmasses slid around and bashed into each other. A deluge of floodwaters battered the shallow seas and coasts, and then moved inland. Terrified animals roared and screamed, seeking safety but finding none.
Meanwhile, meteorites slammed into the earth, incinerating everything in their local area, leaving death and craters in their wake.
What caused these catastrophes? When did they occur, and how did life on earth survive?