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          * * *

The Empathy Imperative

   A bold, philosophical novel

           by Max T. Furr





If the Bible were the inerrant

word of an inerrant god,

then who really introduced

evil into the world and why?

If the Earth is only six to ten

thousand years old, then

why is there such

overwhelming and logically

indisputable evidence of


Was Descartes wrong? God

was a deceiver, after all?


See the Trailer



SPECIAL NOTE: Time periods will vary a few million years from science site to science site. All such divisions are estimates based on accumulated evidence of significant geological and biological evolutionary events.


LET ME HEAR FROM YOU: Please feel free to question any fact and note any errors in the timeline. Send your questions, corrections and suggestions to max10ties@gmail.com

If earth's history were compressed into one calendar year, earth forms, cools and develops an atmosphere during January. Late January into February sees global volcanic activity as oceans fill the great basins. Life begins somewhere in March. All of human history occurs in the last 7 minutes of December 31, and Columbus "discovers" America only 3 seconds before the clock strikes midnight (midnight = today)

Timeline updated March 28, 2012 (links restored)                                     *MYA = Million Years Ago


Period - Epoch

Time (MYA*)

Archean) era

Rocks, oceans and continental plates form. Simplest, oxygen producing life forms appear (Prokaryotic cells having free floating DNA and no nucleus). Bacteria and Archaeans appear. Early atmosphere is poisonous to present-day life.

4500 - 1500


Oxygen builds up in the atmosphere, causing many species of bacteria to disappear and leading to an extraordinary explosion of Eucaryotic organisms (having cells with nucleus and “organelles”). Organelles are structures within cells that perform specific functions necessary for the evolution of fungi, protists, plants, and animals.

1500 - 545

Cambrian period: This was a time of great geological upheaval, and may have contributed to the Cambrian Explosion, i.e., the rise of most major groups of animals having “hard parts,” such as skeletons, leading to a dramatic diversification of species. Also in this period came the formation of the Burgess Shale which preserved many fossils of animals having "soft-bodies."


Ordovician period: Proliferation of graptolites, trilobites, primitive fish, coral, etc. Fungi and primitive plants appear on land. Gondwanaland, later to become the southern part of the super continent, Pangaea, drifts over the South Pole, triggering a great Ice Age.


Silurian period: Atmosphere stabilizes. Large scale glacial melting causes a significant rise in sea level. First jawed fish and coral reefs appear. Vascular plants evolved and proliferated.


Devonian period: Ferns and seed plants, including trees, appear. Vertebrates (animals having backbones), wingless insects and arachnids (spiders) evolve. Appearance of Ventastega curonica, the earliest known tetrapod (heralding the beginning of the evolution of sea animals, to land animals).


Carboniferous (coal bearing) period: Spreading of great swamps from which we get our present day coal.


Permian period: First mammal-like animals appear. Closing of the continents formed one super continent, Pangaea. Earth's greatest known extinction occurs at the end of the Permian, destroying 95% of all species on the planet. The cause of this extinction is thought to have been either multiple impact events or massive volcanism.


Triassic period: Following the great Permian extinction, the Triassic saw an explosion of new species and the disappearance of earth's polar ice caps. It was the beginning of the age of dinosaurs. First appearance of Theropod dinosaurs such as Coelophysis (See-lo-fi-sis), and marine reptiles such as Plesiosaurus. Birds are thought to have evolved from Theropods. The Triassic ends with a minor extinction and Pangaea begins to break up.


Jurassic period: Atmosphere hot and dry, no polar ice. Appearance of Appearance of the Sauropod (lizard footed) dinosaurs such as Diplodocus and Apatosaurus, and carnivores such as Allosaurus flourish. Also the first protobirds appear such as Archaeopteryx


Cretaceous period: Appearance of ceratopsian (SER-a-tops-e-an: horned face) dinosaurs such as Triceratops. Ceratopsians were ornithischians, or bird-hipped dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex appears. First primates appear. Birds, closely related to modern birds, appear as evidenced by the recent discovery in China's Gansu Province Gansus yumenensis.

Evidence is growing that the Cretaceous ended with the impact of several large objects from space, one being the Chicxulub impact (Gulf of Mexico off Yucatan) that measured about 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter. There also is evidence of an even larger impact in the Arabian Sea off the coast of India near Bombay, dating to the same period. Dubbed the "Shiva Crater," this impact was apparently formed by a meteoroid or asteroid possibly 40 Kilometers (25 miles) in diameter. Other possible impacts at this same period were the Boltysh crater in Ukraine and the Silverpit Crater off the east coast of the United Kingdom, deep in the North Sea. The great dinosaurs, as well as most other species on land and in the sea, vanished from the face of the earth.


(Recent Life)
Tertiary period Paleocene epoch: Cooler climate. Polar ice caps form. In the absence of predator dinosaurs and other large carnivores, small, early mammals diversify and radiate across the continents.


Eocene epoch: Oldest known fossils of most modern mammals appear. All were small, including the ungulates (hoofed animals).


Oligocene epoch: Appearance of the first elephants with trunks, early horses, and many grasses.


Miocene epoch: Warmer climate and the rapid evolution of hoofed animals and larger primates. Controversy surrounds Sahelanthropus tchadensis as to its status as an early hominid ancester to the Australopithecines. Critics point to the fact that the position of its foramen magnum (the hole at the base of the skull which allows the spinal cord to exit) is positioned farther to the rear than is common in the bipedal hominids. Some suggest that S. tchadensis may be an early ape. In any case, as evolution would predict, such a transitional feature, i.e., the position of the foramen magnum, would certainly move, over time, from rear to center as a creature evolves from quadrupedal (walking on four legs) to bipedal (walking on two legs) locomotion.


Pliocene epoch: Ape and human lines diverge as Sahelanthropus tchadensis  and Orrorin tugenensis appear, triggering the age of the Australopithecines (Southern apes).


Quaternary period Pleistocene epoch: Most recent Ice Age. Cool, dry climate caused deforestation and extensive spread of grasslands and savannas. Homo habalis flourishes and is associated with the earliest crude stone tools, marking the beginning of technology. Probably evolving from Homo habalis, Homo erectus appears at 1.6 MYA, and discovers how to make fire. Appearance of Homo sapiens neanderthalensis (Neanderthal man) roughly 1.25 MYA and is associated with the Mousterian industry (crude flake tools).


Lower Paleolithic: Crude stone tools associated with Homo erectus. Acheulian industry (uniquely chipped hand ax) begins. Sahara Desert experiences a "pluvial" (long period of steady and seasonal rain). Pluvials appear to have a direct correlation with ice ages.


Middle Paleolithic (Neolithic): Saharan pluvial ends. This is the age of the Neanderthal.


Upper Paleolithic: Last Ice Age occurs. Cro Magnon appears in Southern France about 35,000 years ago. Neanderthal disappears, and is replaced by (or evolves into) Homo sapiens sapiens (modern man). Animal domestication (dog) begins around 12,000 years ago.


Holocene epoch (completely recent): Last Ice Age has ended as we enter the present interglacial period (between Ice Ages). Homo floresiensis (may have been a dwarf form of Homo erectus) flourished on the Indonesian island of Flores from possibly 95,000 to 13,000 BCE. Modern humans domesticate plants (agriculture begins). Modern global civilization and technology evolves.


Triassic Legacy


Updated March 28, 2012