I emphasize what I said yesterday, that if the earth were speeded up seventeen times as fast as it is turning at present, every drop of water now upon it or in it-—for the amount of water upon the surface is not to be compared to the stupendous amount that has soaked it over the millennia—would fly back into the heavens and we would have a visual demonstration of that which primordial man experienced.
You go down to the seashore now and look at the mighty panorama which is called the Great Circle, or the horizon, and its line is so smooth and unbroken that we might almost take it to be a crust. Suppose, however, that what you were witnessing were only a shell, that underneath it were a great air-space seventeen thousand miles deep, and in the heart of that air-space a planet were in existence revolving as its core and keeping it suspended. Suppose the sunshine now falling upon the waters had to penetrate not only its density, but thereafter travel 17,000 miles more before striking that planet’s crust. Furthermore, suppose that instead of the reasonably static ocean which your eye beholds thrown before you as you stand on the seashore, that the whole mighty body were traveling at a speed representing the square of the distance that it hung suspended above the earth’s crust. Then, and then only, do you begin to get an idea of what existed above our heads through the untold millennia of the planet’s early stages of development.
Comparing this state of affairs with that which exists today, you demand: “What slowed down that mighty suspended ocean so that it fell to the planetary core?” Your answer would be: “The same thing that is continuing to slow the planet down at the present time: the influence of other planets, notably the moon, acting upon its enormously increased area of surface.” In other words, the earth must have slowed faster, in those adolescent stages, than it is slowing at present, because a wheel slows quicker when a brake is clamped against its rim than when it is clamped against its hub.
Around the earth was this great body of water, and under it were rings and belts of materials whose specific gravity and density were heavier. The heavier materials naturally fell first, such as the carbons and silicates and metals. Geologists in our orthodox academies can tell you exactly the order in which the various substances composing the earth’s crust were laid down, but they have not as yet grasped the fact that the specific gravity of each of those substances was the specific gravity that once held them in the skies so that they could be precipitated in the proper order in which geologists now find them.
There was also another factor in this suspension which we should by no means ignore: The matter of heat. The temperature of that infant planet must have been terrific. We have no known instruments to measure what it must have been, just as we have difficulty in measuring the present heat of the sun. But heat would have had a tendency to lift the lighter substances the highest, just as hot air in a room will lift toward the ceiling and remain there over the colder air about the floor.
As this molten telluric mass sped about its fiery core, with an aerial ocean uppermost, or swirling on the top, the pull of the moon was undoubtedly the greatest deterrent factor, acting on that upper ocean like the brake-band on a wheel, and pulling down the earth’s speed much more effectively than it does at present. So one by one those rings slurred out northward and southward and fell, and as they fell they divided into different classes of material which we know today in the fallen state as strata. The classes of material eased off and away from the central equatorial mass and dropped lower and lower toward the north or south. Finally, when they found a location over the earth’s surface where centrifugal force and repellent heat was not sufficient to sustain them, they plunged to earth.
Now heat acts on different substances with different degrees of repellent power. That accounts for the fact that this telluric material did not plunge down in a continuous stream, like a celestial water-fall. Finding a spot, so to speak, where the heat was not sufficiently repellent, the precipitation occurred. But then again, another process in physics was set going. This precipitation, striking the earth’s molten crust, made weight on that which it buried. This weight in turn increased the strata temperature, just as it does today in volcanic regions. When a sufficient degree of heat was thus manufactured, expansion occurred and vomited the whole fiery mass again into the heavens. Thus was this whole planetary nucleus a mass of seething, burning, smoking material.
We rarely think of the new planets which we see forming through our telescopes as smoking. We cannot observe smoke through space as we observe incandescence. We know that if we go outdoors here in Asheville in the winter or on a murky day, a volume of smoke hangs perpetually over this mountain plateau. On a foggy day, our city is covered with a1 garment of grime. Those of you, who may have been abroad, know what it means to be caught in a London fog. The carbon released into the air, stays there; it cannot form an affinity with the oxygen and nitrogen composing the air because it is enshrouded or insulated by such water. Watch a locomotive, as I said yesterday, pouring out tremendous volumes of coal smoke and note how that smoke gradually seems to dissolve and disappear at its edges. But if that unburned fuel which smoke essentially is, be enveloped in a water insulation, it will continue in existence as carbonaceous material.
Billions and billions of tons of such carbonaceous material were exploded thousands of miles into the heavens over long ages through the fissures and crevices that were once the infant earth’s crust-state. They reached the water-oceans suspended on high and impregnated them. They did not return to earth again till the water-belts, veering off gradually toward the equator, permitted them to do so. Around every planet in process of evolution there can be noted huge black bands. These undoubtedly indicate where the carbon suspension is thickest. We must not conclude, however, that such carbon is essentially pure; we would find it intermingled with many other materials of similar specific gravity.