This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
The earth has a long life history of 4 billion years, in such a long time, there have been countless kinds of creatures. The survival of life is inseparable from the ecological environment. If the ecological environment changes greatly, a large number of organisms will be extinct.
The earth’s ecological environment is not immutable, but every 150 million years or so there will be a major change, so there will be mass extinction. This is the normal law of the earth’s ecological evolution, but before this great change in nature, because some accidents will also cause dramatic changes in the earth’s ecology, leading to a mass extinction.
The representative of this is the 65 million year extinction of dinosaurs. I believe many friends know that before the birth of human beings, there was a glorious age of dinosaurs on the earth. At that time, more than 80% of the species on the earth belonged to dinosaurs, which were the real overlord of the earth, and dinosaurs dominated the earth for 160 million years.
However, such a glorious age of dinosaurs died out due to an accident. 65 million years ago, an asteroid with a diameter of more than 10 kilometers accidentally hit the earth. This unexpected impact has brought a major blow to the earth’s ecology and triggered the fifth mass extinction. Dinosaurs died out in this catastrophe and the age of dinosaurs ended.
For the extinction of dinosaurs, many people feel sorry and often think: if dinosaurs can continue to the present, it would be good, we can see this huge creature. But if we think about it carefully, you will understand, if dinosaurs continue to the present, can humans still appear?
Some friends once asked this question: if dinosaurs did not die out, would humans still exist? Perhaps many people think that the evolution of human ancestors to wisdom is a natural law, which is irresistible and has nothing to do with whether dinosaurs are extinct or not. Is that really the case? Now let’s do some simple analysis and thinking.
First of all, we need to understand a basic natural law of biological survival: things compete with nature, and the fittest survive. No matter what kind of creatures are, they need to follow this basic natural law. Human beings are mammals, and mammals were born very early, about in the Triassic era. In this period, dinosaurs already existed, and they were the overlord of the earth. In other words, the ancestors of mammals actually lived at the same time as dinosaurs.
In the age of dinosaurs, more than 80% of the species on the earth belonged to dinosaurs, and the proportion of mammals was very small at that time. If mammals have more powerful body power than dinosaurs, even if the number is very small, they can compete with dinosaurs for the supremacy of the earth. Unfortunately, most mammals are smaller, and even a few larger mammals are far from the size of Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Therefore, mammals at that time were at the bottom of the biological chain. They either hibernated in caves or lived underground. Some of them were still living in trees. Our ancient ancestors were mammals living in trees.
In this era of dinosaurs dominating the earth, mammals dare not easily come out to activity. How can they rise and evolve rapidly? It’s obviously impossible. Dinosaurs have dominated the earth for 160 million years, and mammals have no chance to rise, let alone evolve towards wisdom.
If there had been no asteroid impact, dinosaurs would not have died out 65 million years ago and would have survived for a longer time. Maybe someone will ask? Is it possible that dinosaurs would not be extinct without asteroid impact? Of course not. As we said earlier, the earth’s ecology will change greatly every 150 million years or so. The most obvious change is the arrival of the great ice age.
The ice age has a great impact on the survival of organisms, especially the great ice age, which lasts for a long time, and the earth’s temperature drops very seriously. Once the temperature drops sharply, the plants will be the first to be affected. The plants will be extinct in a large area, and the herbivorous dinosaurs will be extinct.
The herbivorous dinosaurs are extinct, and the carnivorous dinosaurs will also continue to die out without food. We should know that the larger the organisms are, the more they need food and the less they can adapt to the environment. Therefore, once the great ice age comes, dinosaurs will probably die out, ending the age of dinosaurs.
So without asteroids hitting the earth, when will the 150 million year ice age come? This time is about millions of years ago, and according to the geological research of scientists, tens of millions of years after the extinction of dinosaurs, the earth really ushered in the great ice age again.
It can be seen that even if no asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago and dinosaurs did not die out, the birth of human beings on the earth may also become a reality. But if so, the time of human emergence may last for a very long time, not 2 million years ago. It is possible that humans are still in the ape state, competing with other mammals for food, and have not evolved wisdom.
It will be millions of years before human beings can initially evolve into wisdom, and then gradually develop into civilization and the present era of science and technology. In other words, if no asteroid hit the earth to destroy dinosaurs, the earth might still be in the primitive age. Without intelligent creatures, it would be millions of years before today’s brilliant human civilization.
In fact, even if the great ice age comes, it may not be able to wipe out all the dinosaurs. The power of the great ice age is still less than the disaster caused by an asteroid with a diameter of more than 10 kilometers hitting the earth. Therefore, the small dinosaurs in the dinosaur family may survive the ice age.
If so, after the ice age, there will still be small dinosaurs on the earth. Although they can not suppress the rise of mammals, they can delay the evolution of mammals. Before the birth of wisdom, human ancestors need to face the challenge of dinosaurs, which will undoubtedly add many variables to the birth of human beings.
A more serious consequence is that small dinosaurs, which have survived the ice age, may compete with humans for the road of intelligent evolution because they have more survival advantages. We need to know that the birth of human beings is not inevitable, but a relatively lucky accident. If there was a species like dinosaurs in the biological system at that time besides mammals, then this kind of accidental luck might also come to dinosaurs, so that dinosaurs gave birth to wisdom and evolved into dinosaur civilization step by step.
If dinosaurs gave birth to wisdom and civilization, then human beings may completely lose the chance to give birth to wisdom. Even in the end, human beings also gave birth to wisdom and formed civilization, but before it developed into scientific and technological civilization, the strength of the body was the foundation of survival. Dinosaurs have inherent advantages. When they become intelligent life, they may be much stronger than humans in physical strength.
If both dinosaurs and humans evolve into intelligent civilization, there is a high probability that the war of civilization will break out in the end, and the possibility of human winning will be very small. Through the above analysis, we can see how important the asteroid hit the Earth 65 million years ago is for the emergence of human beings.
Although we don’t welcome asteroids to the earth now, we should be very grateful to the asteroids that came to the earth unexpectedly 65 million years ago. Without it, there might be no present human civilization.