Tuesday, February 10, 2009

the evolution on the wall

I miss our timeline.
I haven't mentioned it lately, so hardly any of you will even know what I'm talking about.

Those of us that reside in this house are scientists. Mostly our varied interests fall into the natural sciences category.
We are fascinated with evolution*.

Little Son perhaps began our investigations at the ripe old age of two, when he became first interested in dinosaurs. Somewhere around age five, probably, it extended to the environs. Volcanoes, fossils, asteroids....
No doubt he comes by it naturally, his Daddy is interested in all things geographic and biologic, and his Mama is a lover of the Earth, so....
And naturally we started going even deeper, into evolution. What a fascinating business that is. Seeing plants come to life, the earth's atmosphere changing over time...

We find so much satisfaction in learning about our world this way.

So. Our timeline.

We don't have a fold out piece of paper on our wall. Our timeline is the wall.

It's filled with things like
13.7 bya Big Bang: The Universe begins
4.567 bya Hadeon Eon Begins: The Sun and the Milky Way form
4.533 Earth and Theia collide
4.1 The surface of the earth cools enough to solidify. The atmosphere and oceans form.
4 bya Earliest life appears: Natural selection favors those molecules which are efficient at replication. DNA then takes over.
3.9-3.8 bya Archeon Eon: Organic life forms out of inorganic compounds
3 bya Oxygen is produced by Photosynthesizing Cyanobacteria
2.5 First organisms to utilize oxygen.
900 mya: The choanoflagellates develop. These protists are considered the ancestors of the entire animal kingdom.
750-580 mya Precambrian Varangian Ice Age: So severe that oceans freeze except in tropics. Last big freeze, after this, evolution accelerates.
475 mya The first primitive Plants move onto land - having evolved from green algae living along the edges of lakes. Accompanied by fungi, likely plants and fungi work symbiotically. Lichens exemplify this.
450 mya: Arthropods are the first animals to move onto land (exoskeleton prevents water loss). Among the first are millipedes and centipedes later followed by spiders and scorpions. Over the next 10 million years the Ordovician-Silurian extinction, constituting the second mass extinction.

Fascinating business, no?

Our work in progress has been a designated area all around the perimeters of our basement (not into the rooms, just the walls down and up the stairs and in the hallway). Which isn't a huge area, but it still makes for a pretty dang long line.
Plenty of room for Egyptians, Romans, Vikings, Babylonains, Sumerians, Mesopotamians, Leaders, Events, and personal favorites.
And Science.

Back to the point.
Maddie took the Sharpie to it.
So all work came to a screeching halt several months ago.
To paint, or not to paint? That is the question.
We're eager to work on it again. We're eager to search out pictures of different periods, print them, and hang them accordingly on our walls.
We're eager to place sharks before the dinosaurs. We're eager for pictures of first mammals (the poor homely giant-rat-looking things she tut-tuts in a sympathetic voice).
We're eager for The Wheel, Fire, automobiles, and Space Travel.

And I've decided.
We're painting
and we're starting over.

* We also believe in a God that is Everything (Absolute, if you will), and don't understand why The All couldn't have been the source behind evolution. For the record.


  1. What an awsome project. Nice to see there are others who draw on their walls. Our major interest at the moment is a giant map of the world covered with animals, both land and sea.

  2. I look foward to watching your wall unfold!! Evolution inspires great awe for us too.(My favorite reading material is evolutionary psychology, oh so interesting!)

  3. I love this! i can't wait to see what your cooking...-K

  4. this is awesome- one reason i would love to not be renting is so i can do cool stuff on the walls-

  5. Nettlejuice - there's one at Costco that I've been eying.
    But I think it's a bit too "cartoony" for us, as Trev would say.
    But a giant - 8x6 feet? - map with pictures of animals or dinosaurs stuck on it would be totally cool.
    I guess we'd need two of them. :)

    Shona Leah - I have never even considered evolutionary psychology! That would make for a fantastic read.
    I think my husband would love that subject - he loves The Clan of the Cave Bear series.

    K and Julie - I'm just hoping that the sharpie doesn't leak through the new paint!!!
    I hope to start it in the next couple of days.
    First I have to record everything that's on there now so I don't have to research it all again. :)


  6. Wonderful project. We are evolution junkies as well. When Nic was 4 his favorite game was imagining what he would evolve into next. :)

  7. We believe in a God that is everything too! Because God is just THAT great!

  8. i've just had a big catchup on your blog, you guys have been up to some fun stuff! Love your evolution on the walls! I've been pondering how we might make some sort of sense in what we read up on - don't have wall space unfortunately lol.

    Might need to get into some crystal making! Can you link me to where you started all this - did you have a homemade recipe or buy a kit?

  9. Wow! So much detail. I can see why you need to note it all down.
    Great idea to do it on the wall.

    And I'm another Clan of the Cave Bear fan.

    Can't wait to see the "new" timeline.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!