Paper 59

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Paper 59 is the first of three papers in a block of The Urantia Book detailing the evolution of life on Earth. It is about the Paleozoic era, the marine-life era.

Notes by Brad

(based on Perfecting Horizons Institude Friday night study group)

  • We enter this paper having recently experienced the first suddenly of life: single-celled eukaryoktic organisms.
  • Suddenly's are phase changes in the system, in response to a rather constant influence on the system.
  • Immediately after a suddenly (a vertical ascent in evolution), there is the horizontal expansion.
  • The primary associators built prokaryotic life machines and the life carriers energized them.
    • They were the only life around in the archeozoic.
    • They did not naturally evolve into the eukaryotes, the eukaryotes were constructed and began the Proterozoic.
    • All bacteria are prokaryotes. The mitochondria in our cells are repurposes prokaryotes
  • Why is the archeozoic "cataclysmic?" It was a time with large upheavals and did not follow uniformitarianism, but instead was catastrophism.
    • Eukaryotic life won't be implanted on a planet when it is still in a cataclysmic age.
    • The radioactive decay rate was also about 4x over baseline in the archeozoic. Today it's about 1.4x.
  • No plate tectonic were around in the Paleozoic. The crust was not yet rigid enough. It was more aptly known as continental drift.
    • Hence why they clarify there weren't mountains... only high elevations of land. You can only have mountains with plate tectonics.
  • Intriguing pattern: 6 eras of life (azoic, archeozoic, preoterozoic, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, Cenozoic), and 6 periods within the Paleozoic (Cambian, Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian, Carboniferous, Permian)
  • Shells appeared on organisms before they were "needed" because of predators. It's because life was designed by designers who can see the beginning to the end.
  • David Thomas Ansted wrote a book in 1862 called "The Great Stone Book." The authors are hinting at this being a touchstone for them.
  • An adjutana mind-spirit can engage life in an individual modality and collective modality. In the late Proterozoic this was the difference between the ameba and the volvox.
    • But the volvox is only a colony of individual cells No specialization/differentiation.
  • "Vegetation crawls" isn't a cute anthropomorphic phrase. All life's purpose is to produce bipedal will creatures. Even if in fact plants don't crawl onto the land, in truth they do. In truth these early plants were the "humans" in truth of their era.
  • It's all one evolutionary system.
  • Trilobite: tri-lobe-ite, three segments to the body. Arthropod: arthro-pod (jointed feet). This is a basic pattern to life that persists to this day in humans.
  • Why did some brachiopods persist to today, but unchanged? This suggests they are some kind of foundation of the life-support system on Earth.


  • "veritable topic Paradise" was converted to lowercase--inappropriately--in later printings. The capital P gets you thinking about that synonym we have for the Garden of Eden: "Paradise." This topic area was, they desire, to get us thinking about the equable climate of the Garden of Eden. Don't be so robotic and factual when presuming to "correct" the text, conservators!
  • "their later appearing enemies" tells us that this is a purposed system. They had an ability even when they had no apparent need for it. This is contrary to Neo-Darwinism.
  • Note how the authors consistently write in continental-drift terminology, not plate tectonic terminology.
  • Lime-secreting algae seem like a fine precursor to coral.
  • 320 million years ago parts of North America were 15,000 feet under water. That's ridiculously, abyssal-plain deep. Having continental crust sink that far is not at all like today.
    • This also helps remind us that the Earth undergoes massive changes. It's narrow to imagine that ocean levels cannot change even a centimeter. The question, for us, is how do we react to a change in ocean level? We must use our human minds to adapt to a changing planet.
  • Start with the truth of geology, then proceed to the facts. See a brachiopod in its wholeness.