Paper 58 Life Establishment on Urantia Page 671
one hundred and twenty-seven successive lava flows on land with succeeding water submergence and consequent rock deposition. Although much of the upper rock sedimentation and intermittent lava flow is absent today, and though the bottom of this system is buried deep in the earth, nevertheless, about sixty-five or seventy of these stratified records of past ages are now exposed to view.
In these early ages when much land was near sea level, there occurred many successive submergences and emergences. The earth's crust was just entering upon its later period of comparative stabilization. The undulations, rises and dips, of the earlier continental drift contributed to the frequency of the periodic submergence of the great land masses.
During these times of primitive marine life, extensive areas of the continental shores sank beneath the seas from a few feet to half a mile. Much of the older sandstone and conglomerates represents the sedimentary accumulations of these ancient shores. The sedimentary rocks belonging to this early stratification rest directly upon those layers which date back far beyond the origin of life, back to the early appearance of the world-wide ocean.
Some of the upper layers of these transition rock deposits contain small amounts of shale or slate of dark colors, indicating the presence of organic carbon and testifying to the existence of the ancestors of those forms of plant life which overran the earth during the succeeding Carboniferous or coal age. Much of the copper in these rock layers results from water deposition. Some is found in the cracks of the older rocks and is the concentrate of the sluggish swamp water of some ancient sheltered shore line. The iron mines of North America and Europe are located in deposits and extrusions lying partly in the older unstratified rocks and partly in these later stratified rocks of the transition periods of life formation.
This era witnesses the spread of life throughout the waters of the world; marine life has become well established on Urantia. The bottoms of the shallow and extensive inland seas are being gradually overrun by a profuse and luxuriant growth of vegetation, while the shore-line waters are swarming with the simple forms of animal life.
All of this story is graphically told within the fossil pages of the vast “stone book” of world record. And the pages of this gigantic biogeologic record unfailingly tell the truth if you but acquire skill in their interpretation. Many of these ancient sea beds are now elevated high upon land, and their deposits of age upon age tell the story of the life struggles of those early days. It is literally true, as your poet has said, “The dust we tread upon was once alive.”
[Presented by a member of the Urantia Life Carrier Corps now resident on the planet.]