Evolutionary Time Line

Dr. Robert Coenraads, a long time student of  The Urantia Book is a Doctor of Geology and presented this educational comparison of the evolutionary time line of modern day science with that of the Urantia teachings.


The timeline of our planet’s history is indeed a long one. Four thousand six hundred million (4,600,000,000) years from its birth as a firey ball coalescing from a wildly spinning solar disk during a time aptly known as the Hadean Aeon to the present day is an impossibly long time for anyone to imagine. Particularly for a human being who may, if they are lucky, just reach 100 years, but more likely only the average of four score and ten.

The top bar on the next page depicts this time, however to be able to visualise this sort of number we need to take a different approach:

“Take the biggest roll of toilet paper you can find,” we tell our first-year geology students, asking them roll it out across the floor, which they eagerly do, until the thin white ribbon stretches out of the laboratory door, all the way along the corridor, and half way across campus. “This roll (920 sheets) represents the age of the Earth,” we announce dramatically, holding up just one square of toilet paper. “Every single sheet on this roll represents 5 million years of Earth’s time—an immense amount of time in its own right. In this single sheet of time a volcano can erupt from the ocean floor, grow into a giant island the size of Hawaii, complete with its own unique island ecosystem, then erode away, disappearing completely beneath the waves.”

The students then start at the very beginning, counting off 5 million years sheets along the long white ribbon and marking off the significant events such as formation of the first ocean, appearance of the earliest single celled life, the first fishes, the emergence of life on land, as instructed.

At only 13 sheets from the end of the roll (65 million years ago) they mark the end of the great period of the dinosaurs, and then with just two more short steps they stand at the very last sheet in the roll, still clutching a large number of marker cards to place on the ribbon including, the birth of Hawaii (1,000,000 years ago), appearance of the first modern humans in Africa (200,000 years ago), the great human migration across the Bering Straits into the Americas (10,000 years ago), the earliest great Bronze age civilizations at the end of Neolithic times (3,300 BC).

“So modern-looking humans only in the final 200,000 years out of the last 5 million year sheet,” One of the cleverer ones usually pipes up, calculating quickly. “That’s only one 25th from the end! The first modern-looking humans only evolved about half a centimetre from the very end of the very last sheet of the roll,” they exclaim.

“And, on this scale,” we add, “all of written human history is measured in the tangle of fibres, in the torn perforations at the very end of the very last sheet.”

Click here or on the image to download the PDF of the full fascinating presentation.