Birth of the Planet

Birth of the Planet

2008, Science  -   24 Comments
Ratings: 8.30/10 from 61 users.

In this first episode of Catastrophe series, host Tony Robinson speaks with planetary experts, archaeologists and paleontologists to understand one of our solar system's first great disasters and its most notable outcome: the emergence of our Moon and oceans and their roles in enabling life on Earth.

In the early stages of our solar system's development, Earth had a twin planet that shared its orbit around the sun. According to Planetary Scientist William K. Hartman when this planet, Thea, ultimately collided with Earth it destroyed itself and created a ring of debris around its sister planet. This ring of debris eventually settled, leaving behind the lunar body we now know as our Moon. Astrophysicist Robin Canup speaks in support of this theory, providing evidence in the form of computer models, which show how a planetary impact very likely created the Moon. It was also around this time the developing Earth's surface was struck by icy comets, in turn creating the world's first oceans.

Paleontologist Judith Nagel-Myers presents fossilized corals found in Ithaca, NY, which indicate the moon was once ten times closer to the Earth's surface. The strength of its gravitational pull resulted in massive tides that spread water across the planet, pulling in a combination of minerals and nutrients that created a "primordial soup" and gave way to the proteins and amino acids necessary for the emergence of life. An Earth-Moon "waltz" was set into motion, with the Moon continuing to influence tides as it slowly spins away from Earth even to this day. As cyanobacteria began to develop in the Earth's waters photosynthesis developed, introducing oxygen to the oceans and atmosphere and eventually giving way to the evolution of complex life forms.

As one subject notes, "A catastrophe is always, in some respect, a beginning." The sheer scope of chance that was at play in our creation is presented here with a sense of awe and great respect. Catastrophe: Birth of the Planet is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in this documentary series concerning the arbitrary and brutal events that paved the way for modern life.

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3 years ago

I thought the primordial soup was in the trash bin as the complexity of life of the first bacteria was proposed in the Black Box, to accept this primordial soup you have to forget so may other critical developments that it just seems as a lucky shot.

5 years ago

Very interesting. I would doubt that luck is the correct concept as we exist because we exist. Also, is there any truly random events.

Ramadan Ahmed
8 years ago

I cannot imagine that such a magnificent work of art and design that transcends human imagination is just an accident!! It does not make sense at all. We simply say it is work of Almighty God. Modern scientists are shy to attribute the creation of nature and the world to God, because of their reductionist perception of God. When we think of God, certain images of fairy tales come to our minds. God is too great to be perceived by a human mind. The best way to know how great God is, is when you study His creation. This will lead you to a conclusion that this world did not come to being by chance, but rather it is an intentional act of an omnipresent, almighty, superior, transcendent being.

Fabien L'Amour
8 years ago

Decent doc even though there are a few language mistakes like that brakes slow tires or bacterias learned to do photosynthesis. The theory sure makes more sense than it was created by God, that it was built by humans of the future, that it's a hologram, a camouflaged spaceship or is full of cheese :)

Nicolas Pilot
8 years ago

This video is propoganda BS - read the book 'Who Built The Moon' !!

8 years ago

" In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth........."