|Looking back at Earth' beginnings – no fossils yet embedded in those stones|
|Looking at Earth' Old Age – life exploding about one third down from the opposite rim|
|Looking from afar at Earth' Middle and New Ages|
|The "Grand Staircase" of the Colorado Plateau" Source: Blakey & Ranney|
|Looking at the Age of Mighty Dinosaurs|
The rosy pink colors of dawn are greeting us in the uppermost layers of those distant mountains. This is also fitting, since they indicate the emergence of modern times, with Tertiary and Quarternary stone layers adorning the lofty heights of Cedar Breaks and Bryce Canyon, reigning almost 3000 meters above sea level. These layers are especially colorful when the morning or evening sun is flattering their flanks. Let me begin to show this with a picture of Cedar Breaks National Monument in the early morning hours. The Pink Cliffs clearly visible now show stone strata formed about 60 million years ago, at the bottom of a prehistoric sea.
|Looking at the Age of Mammals|
Opposite to this South-Western flank of this mountain range lies Bryce Canyon National Park, which is much larger and has a far greater collection of intricate sculptures in pink to show for it. Thus, the mountain – which really is a volcanic stone covered table land, called the Pansaugunt Plateau – is being attacked by erosive forces from two flanks, hastening the pace of its demise. But this is to our pleasure, since few places on Earth have such a collection of delicate stone statues, painted in delicate ink, to show for them.
|Mankind appearing at the uppermost border of this layer|
Having digested all this heavy information, you may well ask yourself this: how is it possible that there are still people, in this huge country, where Earth' history can be read like an open book, that believe – and schools that teach – that Earth was created some 5000 years ago and actually shaped within a period of six days? I would strongly recommend persons holding such a view to take a trip to the Four Corner Region and follow the "Angels". Why not start by taking the Bright Angel Trail down Grand Canyon and Back Up, identifying each rock stratum as you pass it by, and counting the billion years it took to shape them. Why not continue by ascending Angels Landing in Zion, to ponder the fate of our great predecessors on Earth, the mighty Dinosaurs. Why not complete the journey by hiking down the Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon, to consider the emergence of our forefathers, the first mammals, and their development over millions of years until present time?
Would such a journey into the past lead a true believer astray from his firm belief in a higher being and creator? Not necessarily! Who is to say that the days of God are counted in the same manner as we are counting the days? What about the first day, when out of darkness came the command "Fiat Lux!"? Has this God's day not a duration that, in an infinite sequence, is tending towards infinitesimal length, indicating the very moment at which a first event, called the "Big Bang" by us humble men, was initiated? Man has come far in his consideration of space, time and evolution. But we are still not able to reach as far back as to that infinitesimal moment, not to speak of the why and how of its occurrence. So who could disprove a firm belief that this event was caused by a higher being, for reasons forever hidden from us humble humans? Thus, for a firm believer, belief in a higher being can always be reconcilable with the facts written in stone; that the Earth is more than 4.5 billion years old!
I see that I am getting into matters far too serious. Let's stop the bickering here and finish this post in a lighter mode. Why not have a last look at a narrow canyon slot, actually a leaning together of two Hoodoos, as experienced by my late wife Alice, when we were treading the Navajo Loop Trail, so many years ago.
|Alice pondering the meeting of two hoodoos|