There are many different theories of how the world first began. Some scientists have tried to create a picture of the beginning of the world.

Like creation stories of old, their story is in pictures language. As no one was around to record how it was formed, any description can only be imagined.

There is one major difference between this picture of creation and those others we looked at. In the scientists account there are no gods, no voices that speak, no commands, thoughts or minds that bring things into existence.

This account only tries to describe HOW things happened not WHY things came into being.

The earth first formed about 4600 million years ago from tiny dust particles and drops of water coming together in space. They formed larger particles that became blocks of minerals and frozen gasses and splinters of ice.

The different particles became more and more crushed together. As this happened the centre of the earth began to grow and become hotter and hotter. The heavy particles sank to the centre of the earth and the lighter particles rose to the top to form a crust.

Water inside the crust escaped as steam and formed the atmosphere. As the steam cooled it fell as rain. Eventually the hollows and the cracks in the earth filled with water to form the rivers and seas and oceans.

Life on earth started in the waters. Plant life began first, and then simple single cell life grew. Over millions of years the simple organisms developed and grew into different creatures.

Some or the creatures adapted to live both on land and in the waters. Others grew legs and crawled on to the land to find food. These were the first reptiles. Others developed wings and became the first birds. Insects flourished and the birds increased in numbers. Gradually some of the animals developed fur instead of scales. Finally over 1 million years ago, ape-like creatures developed. They began to walk upright on their hind legs. As they became free to use front legs as hands they began to make tools and weapons to help them to survive. This according to scientists was the beginning of the human race.

Answer the following questions in full sentences. Write the answers into your books.

  1. In what ways is the scientific creation story like those of old?
  2. What is the major difference between this account of creation and the creation accounts of old?
  3. How did the earth begin to take form according to the scientist?
  4. Where did life on earth first form?
  5. What were the first mammals like?
  6. Why were the first humans able to survive so well?
  7. The following diagram shows how life on earth developed in different stages. This idea of gradual development is sometimes called The Theory of Evolution. Draw the stages of life on earth and write a sentence explaining each stage.