The Story of Life on Earth

"There were formerly horizons within which people lived and thought and mythologized. There are now no more horizons. ... It is an inevitable, altogether natural thing that when [peoples] that have never met before come into collision -- each bearing its own pride -- there should be a turbulence. That is just what we are experiencing; and we are riding it ... to a totally new condition of Mankind -- to which no one anywhere alive today can say that he has the key, the answer, the prophecy, to its dawn."
-- Joseph Campbell

Katherine Raupp
Prime Minister of New Amsterdam, Tau Ceti
2471 Solar Common Era

Since the settling of the city of New Amsterdam by the UWSC, 237 years have passed (178 Earth years.) Yet despite the vast gulf of space and time that separates us, we are still inextricably connected to our homeland. Nine years ago, a retrofitted settlement ship from Tau Ceti was scheduled to arrive at Earth. We are eager to receive that ship's transmissions two years from now and learn the fate of life on Earth. We are naturally inclined to speculate. What better way is there to speculate than by observing the revolutions of the past? Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose.

Years in this chronology are Earth Solar years instead of Tau Cetian.

5.5 billion years ago the Solar planets formed around a third generation star
4.5 billion y.a. Single celled organisms appeared
600 million y.a. The Cambrian Explosion - sexual reproduction revolutionized life on Earth and led to the development of multicellular life
4 million y.a. Early manlike hominids appeared on the continent of Africa
100,000 y.a. Modern Homo Sapiens appeared
15,000 -
  2,000 BC
The end of an Ice Age disrupted Homo Sapiens' traditional ways and provided the stimulus to develop new skills; melting glaciers and continental rebound changed coastlines by as much as 300 meters in some places
10,000 BC Mankind established permanent cities and domesticated animals and non-native crops on the Mesopotamian steppes
3400 BC The Dawn of History - the first written languages were developed along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
3000 BC The Bronze Age - bronze tools and weapons gave cultures a powerful advantage over those with only stone and wood
2091 BC The Patriarch Abraham left his home in the Tigris and Euphrates river basin and traveled to Canaan, a land promised to him by God
1450 BC Moses led the Jews (who traced their ancestry from Israel, the grandson of Abraham) from slavery in Egypt to Canaan; Jerusalem became their capital
1200 BC The Iron Age - iron tools and weapons gave cultures a powerful advantage over those with bronze only
587-539 BC The Babylonian Jewish Exile - king Nebuchadnezzar razed Jerusalem, destroyed their temple and relocated the Jews to Babylon; The Persian king Cyrus conquered Babylonia and repatriated the exiled Jews; the Jews rebuilt their temple
479-323 BC The Golden Age of Greece - western art, literature, science, philosophy and politics were developed and refined
49 BC Julius Caesar, a popular Senator, Governor and General in the Roman Republic was given a choice by his jealous peers: retire, or become an enemy of the State; Caesar chose to invade the Capitol with his legions and plunged Rome into a civil war; from the ashes emerged the Roman Empire which would rule all of the Mediterranean world more or less peacefully for nearly 500 years in what became known as the Pax Romana
1 Jesus Christ was born
70-135 A Jewish rebellion challenged Roman rule; the second Jewish temple was destroyed; further rebellions provoked an exile that lasted nearly two millennia
313 Roman Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity; Constantine was baptized on his death bed and his descendants were raised as Christians; Christianity soon replaced paganism as the official religion of the Empire
395 Roman Emperor Theodosius I split his empire into a western Empire with its capital in Rome, and an eastern Empire with its capital in Constantinople; at first an administrative decision, religious differences caused the Empire to permanently split between Catholic Christians in the west and Orthodox Christians in the east; average global climate reached it's warmest post-glacial zenith
476 Indolent and beset by barbarians (most of whom were already Christian or soon baptized) the western Roman Empire collapsed; the Catholic Church gave form to the civil administrations of the conquering kings; the eastern Empire continued to exist for another 1,000 years
476-1400 The European Dark Ages - knowledge that didn't agree with the authority of the Catholic Church was forgotten
500 World population approximately 200 million
622 Mohammed founded Islam in the Arabian Peninsula, a region that had retained its independence largely due to geographical inaccessibility; Arabs traced their ancestry from Esau, Israel's brother; the Persians to the north and the Romans to the west had been weakened by wars and were ripe for conquest; over the next century, the Caliphs (descended from the family and companions of Mohammed) and their armies conquered all of north Africa, Spain, the mideast and Jerusalem - a city holy to Muslims, Jews and Christians; citizens that did not convert to Islam were permitted to pay a tribute for religious freedom; the Romans retreated to Constantinople and withstood many sieges
691 Muslims built the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa mosque on the temple mount in Jerusalem where the Jewish temple had stood
1095-1291 The Crusades - an eastern Orthodox patriarch was kidnapped and ransomed by bandits in Jerusalem; a hermit, by the name of Peter, sought to avenge the injustice by seeking aid in Constantinople; finding none, Peter traveled to Rome where his impassioned tales inflamed the fanaticism of the European peasants, monarchs and Pope Urban II; armies of varying discipline and skill migrated eastward, often causing mischief in the Baltics and Constantinople; the crusaders established Frankish states which ruled Jerusalem for a short time but they were ultimately defeated
1390 Manuel Chrysoloras, in an embassy from Constantinople sent to implore western Europe's help against the surrounding Turks, was asked to stay as a professor in Florence; interest in ancient Greek literature was reestablished in Italy
1403-1433 In China, the Ming dynasty established trade colonies as distant as west Africa and were heading into Europe; after the Emperor's death, the court eunuchs recalled the colonies to eliminate what they saw as a waste of resources
1420 Prince Henry the Navigator gathered cartographers, navigators and shipbuilders in Portugal to discuss navigation technologies that could reach India and China
1450 The European Renaissance (Rebirth) - the invention of the printing press made books plentiful and inexpensive; scientific inquiry increased in Europe despite protestations from the Church
1453 The Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople and renamed it Istanbul
1492 European kingdoms colonized the Americas
1517 The Protestant Reformation - in the critical climate of change fostered by the renaissance, dissenters started their own protestant churches; the Church responded by condemning many protestants to death
1543 Nicolaus Copernicus, a Catholic cleric in Poland, published his first and last book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, in which he proposed that the Earth revolved around the sun; the Church, which taught that the Earth was the center of the universe, had branded this helio-centricism a heresy and put to death those who supported it; hoping to save his life and good name, Copernicus apologized to Pope Paul III in the preface claiming that he didn't really believe in it himself, but that by acting as if it were true the math required to calculate the position of the planets would be greatly simplified, but illness took his life just as it was published thus placing him beyond the jurisdiction of the Church
1564-1850 The Little Ice Age - a time of wildly varying climate; extraordinarily cold winters were followed in subsequent years by exceptionally hot summers; in the northern hemisphere, glaciers grew and formed where there hadn't been any for thousands of years; cyclones commonly touched land throughout Europe; powerful storms in the North Sea killed hundreds of thousands; lower temperatures and shorter growing seasons destroyed crops and forced farmers to try new crops; millions were killed by famine, diseases, molds and pests; colonies in Iceland were abandoned; drought in Turkey desiccated the Andalusian plain
1600 World population 500 million
1620 English protestants, seeking religious freedom, landed in America and founded the English colonies
1633 Galileo Galilei invented the telescope and made the first detailed observations of Luna and the planets of the Solar system; his findings supported the idea that the Earth moved around the sun; an Inquisition in Rome made Galileo swear, under threat of torture, that he, "cursed, and detested the error and heresy that the sun is fixed and the Earth moves," and he would no longer support it in any way; condemned to spend the rest of his life under house arrest, Galileo's health quickly declined, he lost his eyesight, his daughter, and died in imprisonment
1683 The unsuccessful siege of Vienna marked the zenith of Islamic expansion; after years of further defeat, the Ottoman Empire ceded territory to Europe and Russia for peace; the Turks sent embassies to Europe to learn the ways of the 'Franks'
1760 The Industrial Revolution - steam generated by burning carbon revolutionized industries that had once relied on manpower
1774 Mohammed ibn Abd al-Wahhab founded a sect of Islam that accused Muslims that revered Mohammed, his companions and the buildings that marked the passage of their lives and deaths, of being unbelievers and declared a jihad against those who disagreed with them; al-Wahhab aligned himself with a young noble called Saud who later founded the Saudi Royal family
1776 The American Revolution - English colonies in America fought for and won their independence from England and became the United States (US)
1837 World naval powers began to replace their wooden ships with steam powered ships
1839 The Greeks fought for and won their independence from the Turks; the Sultan issued the Ottoman Reform Edict to encourage the printing of European books
1850 World population 1 billion
1859 Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species in which he proposed that evolution could be responsible for the diversity of life on Earth
1859 Oil was pumped from the ground and refined for the first time
1865 The British formed an important alliance with the Saudi family as western nations became more politically interested in the mideast
1869 Steam powered trains crossed the American continent; transportation between distant coasts became quick and inexpensive
1876 Telephones made the world even smaller
1878 The first settlers in the national movement for the return of the Jewish people to their homeland (later known as Zionism) settled in Jerusalem
1882 Britain conquered Egypt, the first of many regions of Africa and the mideast to be colonized by western nations; Egypt gained its independence in 1922
1903 The invention of powered flight made the world smaller still
1912 World naval powers began replacing their steam powered ships with oil powered ships
1914-1918 The First World War - a political conflict in Europe became a bloody, global war the scale of which the world had never seen; the remains of the Ottoman Empire were divided by the victors into Turkey, Syria, Trans-Jordan, Iraq and Palestine (Jerusalem); western allies reached the height of their colonial power, possessing 84% of Earth's land; the US proved itself as a world power
1917 England issued the Balfour Declaration which promised a 'national homeland' for the Jews in Palestine; violence between Arabs and Jews began a few years later
1923 Mustafa Kemal Ataturk established the Republic of Turkey; his methods of western modernization came to be known as Kemalism; religion was barred from public life; only secular schools were assisted; the religious authority (the Caliph) was deposed; the European calendar was adopted
1930 World population 2 billion
1932 Abdul Aziz al-Saud was proclaimed the king of Saudi Arabia
1939-1945 The Second World War - a second, bloodier war against Adolph Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Emperor Hirohito ended after the US detonated the first two atomic weapons in Japan; 6 million Jews were killed in extermination camps; Palestine was divided into Arab and Jewish (Israel) protectorates
1945 The United Nations (UN) was formed
1948 The Israeli War of Independence - British forces left Palestine; Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia declared war on Israel; Israel captured 50% more land than had originally been allotted to it; nearly 800,000 Palestinian refugees fled or were evicted from Jewish held areas; hours before a UN ceasefire was due to take effect, a final effort was made to capture the temple mount but the attempt failed
1953 Iran nationalized oil fields that were operated by British oil companies; CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt staged a coup that removed Iran's democratically elected Prime Minister and replaced him with the exiled Shah
1957 Sputnik I, a Russian satellite, was the first man made object to be launched into orbit around Earth; the US felt threatened by its lagging rocket technology and the first space-race began
1964 Border skirmishes with Arab neighbors became terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens
1967 The Six Day War - Jerusalem responded to what they perceived as an imminent threat by preemptively striking military targets in Egypt; Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered the conflict; on the last day of battle, Israeli soldiers captured the temple mount; the Israeli Army's chief Rabbi, Shlomo Goren, attempted to persuade General Uzi Narkiss to demolish the Dome of the Rock, but Narkiss refused; Israel retained control of the temple mount but allowed Muslims to administer the Al-Aqsa area
US astronauts landed on Luna
1973 The Yom Kippur War - Egypt and Syria captured the Suez Canal and the Golan Heights in a surprise attack during the Jewish day of atonement; Israel defeated Egypt and Syria with support from US weapons
1974 World population 4 billion
1979 The Iranian Revolution - Iranians deposed the Shah and established an independent Islamic theocracy
1991 US troops drove an Iraqi invasion force out of Kuwait and displayed America's military and technological superiority
1992 Galileo Galilei was cleared of any wrongdoing by the Catholic Church which admitted that the Earth might orbit the sun
1993 European nations formed a common government: the European Union
1994 The International Conference on Population and Development was boycotted by Catholic and Muslim clergy because, "The world's food resources theoretically could feed 40 billion people."
2000 World population 6 billion
2001 Terrorists destroyed a financial building in New York and attacked the US military headquarters in Washington; the US ousted the governments of Afghanistan and Iraq
2020 US Scientists created bacteria from scratch and programmed them to detect the presence of explosives, chemical and biological agents, neutralize harmful substances and perform other useful functions; these bacteria, and their inorganic descendents, were called nanobots
2025 A terrorist bomb dispersed radioactive material in Washington; the US forced the Sudanese government from power
2030 World population 8 billion
2035 Human genetic manipulation (geneering) became commonplace among parents in industrial nations; the most common applications provided immunities to specific diseases
2040 Gene Printing - a persons genetic code became an important tool in law enforcement; US courts established the right for employers and insurance companies to discriminate genetically
2050 World oil production was maxed out, but demand kept growing; to keep the price of gasoline below four US dollars, the US eliminated federal regulations on oil production and opened national parks and wildlife reserves for drilling
2055 World population 10 billion
2060 Nanobots were invented that used a patient's gene print to eliminate cancer
2065 The Pakistani Revolution - an Islamist coup was suppressed by China, Russia, the US and the UN; Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was dismantled
2070 Cities in Argentina, Canada, Alaska, Scandinavia and the Russian Federation were abandoned due to intolerable radiation caused by diminishing amounts of stratospheric ozone which had been destroyed by the widespread use of aerosols, jet aircraft and rockets
2075 Robots became popular toys, personal assistants and pets, especially in regions so densely populated that ordinary pets were impractical or illegal; these early Autonomous Intelligences exhibited revolutionary decision making skills but their brains lacked complexity: their intelligence was comparable to that of an insect
2080 Geneering companies registered lucrative patents on plant, animal and novel genes for use in humans; life expectancy in industrial nations exceeded 100 years and genetically modified humans lived much longer
2085 The naturally unstable climate had been further provoked by human activity; industrial processes and the burning of fossil fuels had changed the composition of the atmosphere; thermal pollution in populated areas effected wind patterns; climate fluctuated wildly and different regions were effected differently; where land was managed poorly, desertification was promoted; in industrial nations where crops were monocultured (specialized to increase the yield at the cost of making them susceptible to changes in temperature, moisture and seasonal length), crops failed; the price of grains doubled many times over while the price of meat quintupled; famine and disease thrived; nations were troubled by the migration of large numbers of refugees from regions where the land could no longer support them; slavery became widespread
2090 Family planning organizations offered inexpensive cloning services
2095 World population 15 billion
2096 The pace of change in civilization disrupted cultural structures and traditions; uncertainty and disequilibrium resulted in chronic problems around the world; reactions to these trends were particularly extreme in the US where the fascist Reconstruction party began to flourish under the direction of Gary North; he sold a mythologized past, a simpler future and a philosophy of dominion theonomy: he believed that God's dominion applied to all men (Christian or otherwise) and civil institutions should reflect that dominion; Gary North's unsuccessful campaign for President splintered the Republican party
2100 Atlantis, the first of many suboceanic settlements, was built by the European Union for the purpose of agriculture; vast quantities of aquacultural food were exported around the world; hordes of nanobots turned desert soil into arable land suitable for crops and further alleviated famine
2105 Sagan, a 120 meter interferometric telescope, was built far out in space; it was built by the United Western Space Consortium, a private organization founded by wealthy industrialists and led by the US geneticist Roger Raupp; the goal of the UWSC was to advance space exploration beyond the plateau it had reached at the end of the first space-race; as suitable extra-Solar planets were discovered, the UWSC sent fleets of robot probes to each of them for more data
2110 Massive hurricanes hit the west coast of the US; insurance underwriters went out of business and the US government nationalized the insurance industry
2115 An outbreak of a mutated Hepatitis virus spread globally; nearly three billion people died before a vaccine was discovered
2119 The Oil Riots - worldwide oil reserves dried up; economies that had depended on oil for the transportation of people and goods saw their profits disappear; the incredible disparity in the US between a wealthy minority and the swelling ranks of working poor reached the boiling point and spilled violently into the streets
2120 Most Americans viewed the loss of oil as the end of their way of life and were desperate for reform; R. Rushdoony became the first Reconstruction President; Rushdoony promised America a 'New Dawn' that would reflect her 'glorious past'; the executive powers were expanded during Rushdoony's two terms; human geneering, cloning and abortions were outlawed; Congress passed the 30th amendment to the Constitution declaring the US to be a Christian nation, and the 31st requiring all federal office holders to pass a religious test
2122-2126 The Third World War - Taiwan declared independence from China and China responded by claiming control of the South China Sea; the US used its remaining strategic oil reserves to send naval ships to support Taiwan; US and Chinese losses were egregious, but the mutual threat of nuclear attack forced a standoff and negotiations began; meanwhile, India seized the opportunity offered by the concentration of Chinese troops in east Asia to occupy Kashmir; Arab nations sent troops to support Pakistan; Islamist movements (stimulated by Chinese successes against the US) brought down the remaining pro-western Arab governments with the exception of Turkey, whose thoroughly secular army successfully suppressed the insurrections; Turkey joined the western allies; the Saudi royal family fled into exile in Britain when Wahhabis took control of the country; newly Islamist nations invaded Israel; US President Rushdoony vowed to, "end the Islamic threat once and for all"; as Jerusalem was overrun, Israeli bombers dropped nuclear warheads on cities in Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Arabia (formerly Saudi Arabia)
2123 Texaco Oil patented a means of converting hydrogen into energy; western allies quickly replaced their oil powered ships, land vehicles, and airplanes with hydrogen powered models
2124 The allies retook Jerusalem, but a terrible price had been paid: more than 18 million Jews, roughly 80% of Israel's population, had died
2126 The siege of Mecca ended the Third World War; a process of cultural engineering and democratization began in the occupied territories; Islamist governments, with the exception of the city-state of Mecca, were dismantled and efforts were made to provide a liberal education to all Arab children
2129 US public schools were replaced with publicly funded private schools; the funds allocated for each student were insufficient for the better private schools and increased demand forced tuitions increasingly higher; limited access to quality education further polarized social inequality; enrollment in religious schools flourished
2133 In Hong Kong, the first inorganic nanobot was constructed; it received instructions from a transmitter; it could build anything out of any material if the user had the proper authority; matter compilers required access to a central server so the Chinese government could protect template access; the US felt threatened by its lagging nanotechnology and spent enormous sums of money to catch up
2134 The Second Space-Race - China established a permanent base on Luna at Copernicus crater; the US made space exploration its' top priority
2136 The UWSC established a permanent base on the Martian moon Phobos
2139 US population 1 billion
2142 Chinese tychonauts completed a road from Copernicus to a new base at Tycho crater where useful water resources were frozen in the eternal shadow of polar craters; Lunar bases were tremendously expensive and never became economically profitable, although a wealth of knowledge was discovered due to the basic research done on Luna
2144 The US completed construction on the Elmore orbital station and shipyard and equipped it with a space elevator; constructed of diamondoid (a super strong nanoscale material), the skyhook was descended from the Elmore 100,000 kilometers above Earth; the end was retrieved and anchored to a platform in the Atlantic Ocean near the equator; a one way trip lasted 7.5 days and cost only a few dollars per kilogram
Scale image of Earth and skyhook height
2145 Chinese mining rockets returned to Earth from a near Earth asteroid; the asteroid's resources were valued at tens of quadrillions of US dollars; active mining began and the resources were used to construct Li Shimin station in Earth orbit; the Chinese installed a skyhook on Li Shimin and anchored it in the Pacific Ocean; dropping mineral prices strengthened Chinese manufacturers
2147 The US established a permanent Lunar base in the Sea of Crises at Picard crater and a telescope in the Mendeleev crater on the Lunar far side
Luna nearside Luna farside
2148 A new strain of plague killed over seven billion people before a vaccine was discovered
2149 The Martian Terraforming Project - icy asteroids, moved by UWSC spacecraft from near Mars orbit, collided with Mars and raised the planet's water, nitrogen, and carbon content; giant orbital mirrors warmed the surface; genetically engineered plants that were immune to radiation produced oxygen; as the atmosphere thickened, the radiation diminished; as the atmosphere changed, the genetically engineered plants died; bacterial nanobots broke down the soil and prepared it for cultivation; UWSC astronauts landed on Mars and established a base at Barsoom; Roger Raupp returned to Earth three years later and was arrested in the US; he was convicted in the UN World Court of environmental crimes; his sentence was commuted to time spent awaiting trial; no serious attempt was made to stop the Martian Terraforming Project
2151 US rockets returned to Earth from a near Earth asteroid; The American Mining Company was awarded an exclusive contract for US extraterrestrial mineral claims; the European Union and Russia developed their own near Earth mining projects using the US skyhook; Japan started a mining project using the Chinese skyhook; a UWSC mining project in near Earth orbit was delayed when US battleships blockaded a UWSC skyhook-anchor ship in Columbia; the UWSC made an agreement with China for transportation to Earth markets; The US began construction on a space battleship, the John Paul Jones and the Chinese began construction on the Sun Yat-sen
2155 Species extinction accelerated as human population and resource demands grew; less than 10% of the species alive during the 19th century were still around by the middle of the 22nd century; evolution, a process believed to produce new species only after thousands of generations, or after a cataclysmic event, was determined by US legislators (after only 12 human generations of research) to be, "devoid of scientific merit," and forbidden in US schools for religious reasons
2160 Earth population 20 billion
2165 The US prison system was dismantled; prison sentences were still an option but most convictions resulted in corporal or capital punishments; adultery, fornication and homosexuality were outlawed
2170 Roger Raupp was convicted in the US of geneering the birth of his first and only child; he spent the rest of his life under house arrest
2175 Evangelist Christians and messianic Jews met on the Mount of Olives overlooking the temple mount in Jerusalem to sacrifice an unblemished red heifer and reclaim the Jewish temple; right wing Jewish militias attempted to enter Al-Aqsa but were stopped by Israeli soldiers and angry Muslims; civil unrest and terrorist attacks intensified in the mideast; foreign teachers, merchants and missionaries were murdered
2180 Chinese tychonauts landed on Mars on the Moon Plateau and established a settlement
2185 US astronauts and gunships landed on Mars; the US froze UWSC assets and nationalized Sagan and the settlements at Barsoom and Phobos; the US established an Air Force Base at Phobos and constructed a skyhook to Lake Eos; Americans settled on the Sinai Plateau; a nuclear standoff between the John Paul Jones and the Sun Yat-sen marked the zenith of tensions between America and China
2188 The US and China offered incentives such as land and agricultural robots to hundreds of their citizens who were willing to relocate to Mars; US applicants were required to pass the same religious tests required of public officials
2195 Global climate continued to fluctuate; glaciers advanced and new ones formed in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, the US and Italy; roads, communication and sanitation infrastructure were damaged or destroyed; agriculture was further destabilized; the remaining temperate fir and oak forests died off and were replaced by boreal pines and birches; more northern and southern cities were abandoned because of radiation from lack of ozone in the stratosphere; A UN project seeded the stratosphere with nanobot scrubbers and replaced a large portion of the damaged ozone
2200 Amidst numerous concessions, the United Earth Confederation (UEC) replaced the UN
2205 Another plague killed ten billion people before a cure was discovered
2210 A terrorist nerve gas attack killed thousands in Los Angeles; in an attempt to increase security, US residents were required to carry a national ID card
2212 The UEC executive committee required all citizens to carry UEC issued ID cards; the US refused to submit and withdrew from the UEC
2215 Under the leadership of Katherine Raupp, the daughter of Roger Raupp, the UWSC moved its' headquarters to the European Union; the UWSC constructed a settlement and spaceyard on Pluto's moon, Charon; the costly operation was supported by mining minerals from the Plutonian ice and helium-3 from Uranus
2219 Unfamiliar conditions on Mars and the illegality of human geneering forced American settlers to visit geneticists in New Beijing to make life on Mars more comfortable for their children; the US colonial Governor instituted draconian measures to prevent human geneering; in the US, the privatization of education had had a devastating effect on the economy: most schools emphasized reading, arithmetic, and religion at the expense, or outright vilification, of empiricism and the pursuit of free scientific inquiry; new generations were largely unprepared for the new professions created by emerging technologies developed in nations where a higher priority was placed on basic research; US lawmakers sought to blame the loss of technical jobs on a convenient scapegoat: ID cards were required to state whether the bearer was a pure or genetically modified human; employers were forbidden from hiring GMH's; the average life expectancy in the 23rd century among industrial nations was 150 and GMH's often lived well into their 200's
2220 A process of thawing life forms frozen in cryostasis was invented; the psychological and physiological concerns of extended voyages were eliminated
2223 Earth population 25 billion
2224 Transmissions from UWSC probes launched back in 2142 arrived from Tau Ceti; the planet there was not only colonizable, it was teeming with life; "The absence of intelligent life on Tau Ceti," said US President Gary DeMar, "proves that man is unique in the universe, and underscores our obligation to God to hold dominion over all things."
2225 The Pekul, with a crew comprised of citizens from many nations, left Charon destined for Tau Ceti; 6 similar UWSC ships left for Tau Ceti; Katherine Raupp was the Captain of the last ship, the Tsiolkovskii, in 2310; in 2231 the Pilgrim left Elmore station for Tau Ceti with a crew of several hundred Americans led by Pastor Paul Raymond; in the next few decades, 3 additional US ships left for Tau Ceti; China launched the first of 3 settlement ships to Tau Ceti in 2245; Japan launched one settlement ship in 2250
2235 A 1.2-megaton blast eleven kilometers above Edmonton, Canada killed thousands and burnt an area several kilometers in diameter; a dirty brown mushroom cloud could be seen from many US cities; it was soon discovered that the blast was caused by a 15,000 metric-ton asteroid; acid rain caused by the blast fell in Calgary; the US established the Spaceguard Project at Mendeleev Center on Luna to catalog and monitor near Earth objects
2240 Earth population 30 billion
2242 A Chinese biologist discovered indigenous, single-celled life on Mars still living deep in the planet's crust
2247 The weight of runaway inflation overwhelmed the US; badly needed tax revenues from asteroid claims were not available to the government because the American Mining Company had been operated offshore by arrangement with the previous administration of President Kenneth W. Gentry; AMC CEO David Barton emigrated to Mars where he founded a settlement at the base of Mount Olympus; to end weeks of rioting unrestrained by unpaid law enforcement officers, the US Congress voted to seek remediation from the World Bank and rejoin the UEC; AMC properties were nationalized and sold to repay US debt; many developing nations purchased claims, rockets and mining equipment; global standards of living skyrocketed; the Reconstruction party was soundly defeated in the following election and never regained power; many US institutions were resecularized
2249 The UWSC regained control of Sagan; the US had used Sagan for intelligence gathering; the UWSC redirected her away from the Solar system and began to find more Earth-like planets; a second wave of interstellar probes was soon launched from Charon to scout recently discovered Earth-like worlds; none of their communications were ever received
2252 US population 2 billion
2253 A new federal constitution was ratified and the United Earth Federation (UEF) replaced the UEC; national armies were subordinated to the UEF; these were times of economic hardship as the economies of the world changed: massive cuts in redundant military expenditures cost hundreds of millions of jobs but new markets and the expansion of asteroid mining caused widespread growth; by UEF mandate, the Sun Yat-sen was converted into a settlement ship and departed for Tau Ceti; the John Paul Jones became a 'ferry' to the asteroid belt in a stable three year orbit around the sun
2257 Transmissions from first wave UWSC probes arrived from 70 Ophiuchi; it was a candidate for immediate colonization and also teeming with life; the UWSC launched the first of 4 settlement ships to Ophiuchi in 2258; China launched the first of 2 settlement ships to Ophiuchi in 2265
2260 Businessmen in Turkey and Singapore formed the Arab World Bank and built its headquarters in Istanbul; In the same year, the Arab World Bank restructured Iran's debt when that nation experienced runaway inflation; the Arab world turned to the AWB, Turkey and Singapore for leadership
2262 Chinese engineers constructed nanobots capable of transmitting images and sound; eavesdropping nanobots were invisible, could go almost anywhere and were used in the UEF's effort to prevent terrorism; industries that produced devices to detect the presence of eavesdropping bots were outlawed; nano capable nations centralized their industries to keep strict control over the use of their hardware and software
2265 Limestone caverns on Mars, emptied by decades of warmer temperatures, collapsed beneath the Moon Plateau; thousands died and New Beijing had to be abandoned
2270 David Chilton was an evangelist Christian from Texas; he was convinced the end of the world was near; he smuggled a bomb into the Dome of the Rock and blew himself up; the Dome was destroyed; violent civil disturbances led the UEF to impose martial law in many parts of the Islamic world
2277 Charon Spaceyards began constructing the Warden, the largest settlement ship ever built and the first to contain a self-sustaining environment so colonists did not have to be frozen during the journey
2281 Transmissions from UWSC probes arrived from 82 Eridani; it was a candidate for immediate colonization and teeming with life; the first of 3 UWSC settlement ships left for Eridani in 2284; China launched one settlement ship in 2301
2288 Construction on the Warden was completed
2289 Work began at Charon on a second giant settlement ship, the Morden
2290 The Warden left the Solar system with 1.55 million colonists and crew
2293 The Pekul arrived safely in orbit around Tau Ceti after traveling 11.4 light years at an average speed of 95,000 kilometers a second; the first extra-Solar human settlement was founded; native foods were edible and plentiful; Year 1 in the Tau Cetian terrestrial calendar
2296 Another plague killed between 15 and 25 billion people; a cure was never discovered
2300 Terrorists released a deossifying nanovirus in London: millions died as their bones turned to jelly; the UEF had their own nano response: nanobots that could neutralize the enemy, completely eliminating their will to fight; many terrorist strongholds were peacefully dismantled
2301 US population 3 billion
2308 The Event Horizon was an experimental dimension-warp spacecraft that might have allowed faster than light travel; it was destroyed before testing, but the cause was never discovered; Elmore station and the Atlantic skyhook were also destroyed in the incident; the Earth and Luna were pummeled with radiation and irradiated diamondoid; cities were abandoned
2309 An angry mob, displaced by fallout from the Event Horizon, burned Oxford University to the ground after several nights of rioting; Paul Jaquays, a science professor at Oxford, was said to have held back the mob by giving an eloquent speech in which he said, "In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar," before being crushed to death; over the next decade, similar incidents occurred around the world at universities, news media offices, geneering facilities and civil institutions - sparked by rumors of manmade Plagues, scientists withholding a cure and a general sense that governments and science were to blame for the growing crises
2309-2322 The Shadow Years - an era characterized by riots, violence and diminishing civil liberties; Earth population 40 billion
2313 Transmissions from first wave UWSC probes arrived from Beta Hydri; a planet there was terraformable; no settlement ships left for Beta Hydri
2315 Terrorists used stolen neutralizing weapons to slaughter hundreds in Jerusalem
2319 Terrorists calling themselves the Post-Human Autarchy hijacked the Morden and transmitted their manifesto proclaiming that the next epoch in human evolution had begun; an Autonomous Intelligence was loaded into the Morden's cybernetic installation; after two days of hostage negotiation, the Morden killed the hijackers and expelled an active fusion core which destroyed the settlement on Charon
2320 Fragmentary transmissions from the Warden were received: the ship had apparently entered a radiation cloud and the crew was lost
2322 April The Apocalypse - erratic asteroids on a collision course with Earth were spotted by Solar observatories; asteroid movers were dispatched, but nuclear explosions were detected in the vicinity of their destination and the ships were not heard from again; the first asteroid left a crater of unknown size near Buffalo, New York on April 17th at 07:36 local time; communications with Earth were disrupted; telescopes on Luna, Li Shimin station, Mars and numerous asteroids and spacecraft observed debris from the New York crater leaving the atmosphere with insufficient speed to escape Earth's gravity; debris was scattered around the globe; at least two other asteroids left significant craters: one in Luxembourg and another in Manchuria; dark clouds of soot completely obscured the surface; remote observers detected toxic pyrochemicals, nitrous oxide and dinitrogen tetroxide in the atmosphere that could cause lung disease, skin disease and cancer as well as being mutagens and defoliants; nitrogen oxides in the stratosphere wiped out the ozone layer; carbon and sulfur dioxides in the atmosphere (probably caused by the vaporization of tens of thousands of cubic kilometers of rock and vegetation) would have likely created highly acidic rain; freezing temperatures and darkness would have likely killed a great number of plants and animals; rescue missions departed from Luna, Li Shimin, Mars and the asteroids
2322 May Mars was struck by an asteroid; the Martian orbital mirrors failed; the Li Shimin detached from the skyhook, moved into a higher orbit and ended transmissions; many Martian settlers returned to Earth in cryostasis and programmed their ships to revive them after Earth's atmosphere returned to normal; other survivors stayed but the Martian environment became less hospitable as the warmth disappeared; they managed to survive beneath the city of Barsoom in hydroponic chambers until at least 2327 when their last transmission was sent
2330 Earth's atmosphere gradually became transparent to visible light; the few messages transmitted from Earth were weak and encrypted
2333 The last settlers on Luna and the asteroids returned to Earth; Lunar and asteroid residents were unaccustomed to life away from Earth for more than a few years: they required supplies that only Earth could provide such as certain foods and nano-compiled goods that were restricted by their nation of origin; their transmissions ceased after they reentered Earth's atmosphere
2334 Microwave transmissions of the events of 2322 reached Tau Ceti
2352 Transmissions from the settlements around Eridani confirmed the events of 2322; they also had been unable to make further contact with Earth
2374 Transmissions from the settlements around Ophiuchi confirmed the observations of Eridani and Tau Ceti
2394 A scout ship from Tau Ceti, the Prometheus, departed for Earth
2462 The Prometheus was scheduled to arrive; its first transmissions are expected to arrive in 2472
2471 The present

Written by Paul Madison

The Warden and Morden are based on Metamorphosis Alpha by James Ward.

These 'historical' heroes are actually artists that have created artwork for role-playing games:

Roger Raupp - Larry Elmore - Darlene Pekul - Paul Jaquays

These 'historical' villains are ideologues of dominion theonomy, or Christian Reconstructionism. Their beliefs and goals are on display at The Institute for Theonomic Reformation:

Gary North - Rousas John Rushdoony - Gary DeMar - David Chilton - David Barton - Kenneth W. Gentry - Paul Raymond

Real historical figures:

Li Shimin - (aka Taizong 'Supreme Ancestor') Emperor of the Tang dynasty who ruled China from 626 to 649 in a era of peace and prosperity.
John Paul Jones - Founder of the US Navy and the only American to invade Britain during the American Revolution.
Sun Yat-sen - Father of the Chinese Revolution, founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and first provisional president of China after the Manchu dynasty collapsed in 1911.
Tsiolkovskii - Father of space flight and an early proponent of space colonization.



Other speculative histories:

"In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar"
-- Richard Feynman (1918-1988)