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Previous Page The Evolution of the Universe, Life, Technology, and Christianity Next Page

14 meter string - knots every meter
10 meter string - knots every meter
1 meter ruler
Labels of events

Tape labels to string at appropriate places.

km - kilometer
m - meter
cm - centimeter
mm - millimeter

You can tailor this to emphasis may different activities. It could be used for:

The following is based on popular theories, research, observations, archaeological and historical evidence.

Using the 14-meter string.

Years Ago Distance Event
14,000,000,000 14m Big Bang, the universe was created
14,000,000,000-2 minutes 14m The first atoms (Helium and Hydrogen) were formed
13,700,000,000 14m The first stars and galaxies formed
5,000,000,000 5m Our solar system was formed
4,000,000,000 4m First solid rocks on Earth
3,900,000,000 3.9m Asteroids hit Earth creating more than 22,000 craters 20 kilometers across.
3,800,000,000 3.8m First liquid water on Earth
3,500,000,000 3.5m First microbes
570,000,000 57cm Start of Cambrian Period (trilobites)
505,000,000 51cm Start of Ordovician Period (vertebrate fish)
438,000,000 44cm Start of Silurian Period (first land plants)
408,000,000 41cm Start of Devonian Period (first land animals, seed plants)
362,000,000 36cm Start of Carboniferous Period (salamander, snakes, sharks, reptiles)
290,000,000 29cm Permian Period (Crocodiles, early mammals)
248,000,000 25cm Start of Triassic Period (Dinosaurs, pterosaurs, crinoids extinct)
208,000,000 21cm Start of Jurassic Period (Age of Reptiles), first mammals
144,000,000 14cm Start of Cretaceous Period (birds, flowering plants)
65,000,000 7cm Tertiary Period (mammals and primates)
65,000,000 7cm Chicxulub impact crater near Merida, Yucatan, Mexico wiped out 75% of plant and animal species, caused mass extinction of dinosaurs ending Cretaceous Period and starting mammal diversification
45,000,000 5cm First grasses
35,000,000 5cm First monkeys and apes
4,000,000 4mm Australopithecus Afarensis - walked upright, freeing the hands for other tasks
3,000,000 3mm Start using fire and tools
2,000,000 2mm Start of Stone Age, makes tools - Technology starts
1,500,000 1mm Homo erectus

Now we are going to expand or magnify the scale by 10,000 times. The last millimeter on the 14-meter string is now 10-meters long and represents 1,000,000 years. The original 14-meter string is now 140 kilometers or 87 miles long (pick a familiar city about this distance).

Using the 10 meter string.

Years Ago Distance Event
200,000 2m First Homo sapiens
15,000 15cm Man migrates into North America
7,000 7cm Agriculture started
6,000 6cm Invention of the Plow
5,000 5cm Writing invented
4,950 5cm First stone buildings
4,800 5cm Invention of calendar (2800 BC)
4,800 5cm First pyramids built (2800 BC) - 150 years after first stone building
4,100 4cm Abraham (2166-1991BC) founder of the Hebrew nation. Maintained that there was only one true God. Almost offered son Isaac as a sacriface to God. An outstanding example of faith.
4,000 4cm Start of Bronze Age
4,000 4cm Jacob also known as Israel (2000BC) his sons became the 12 tribes of Israel.
3,600 4cm Moses (1526-1406BC). God spoke to him from a burning bush telling him to rescue the Israelites from Egypt. Parted the Red Sea so Israelites could pass, but the Egyptian army drowned. God gave him the Ten Commandments.
3,000 3cm King David, the sheperd who slew the giant Goliath. Became king of Israel. Made Jerusalem capital and prepared to build a temple there. Many psalms are attributed to him.
2,960 3cm King Solomon (known for his wisdom) built the temple in Jerusalem. The Wailing Wall still stands today.
2,900 3cm Elijah the prophet. Arranged a showdown between King Ahab's god Baal and Elijah's God. God sent down fire to consume a sacrifice and win the showdown. Taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.
2,800 3cm Isaiah greatest Old Testament prophet. Spoke out against idolatry, religious hypocrisy, and rich ignoring poor. Spoke out for righteous living, social justice, and Israel must depend on God alone.
2,605 3cm Daniel had the gift of interpreting dreams and visions. Thrown into lion's den, but saved by God. Known for courage and faith in the midst of persecution. Made prophecies concerning the future.
2,550 3cm Invention of coins (Lydia)
2,500 3cm Esther, Jewish feast of Purim remembers how she helped the Jews wipe out their Persian enemmies.
2,500 3cm Start of Iron Age
2,400 2cm Invention of the abacus (400 BC)
2,350 2cm Aristotle Greek philosopher (384-322BC) proposed Geocentric Universe
2,280 2cm Arisarchus of Samos (310-230BC) proposed Earth revolves around Sun
Aristotle was more popular
2,134 2cm Hipporchus calculated distance to moon corectly at 240,000 miles
2046 2cm Julius Caesar reformed the calendar and added leap days, know as the Julian calendar. (46 BC)
2010 2cm The Birth of Jesus Christ (8 BC). Preached love one another, no more sacrafices.
2008 2cm Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt to avoid King Herod's intent to murder the newborn King - Jesus (6 BC)
2006 2cm The Holy Family returns from Egypt (4 BC)
1996 2cm Jesus is presented in the temple of Jerusalem (age 12, 6 AD)
1974 2cm John the Baptist begins his ministry (28 AD)
1973 2cm Christ is baptized by John the Baptist and begins his public ministry (29 AD)
1969 2cm The Crucifixion (April 3, 33 AD)
1969 2cm Christ raises Himself from the dead Easter Sunday (April 5, 33 AD)
1969 2cm Christ ascends into heaven (body and soul)
1969 2cm The Holy Spirit descends on the apostles and disciples of Christ giving them His twelve gifts and the church begins to expand and grow within the Jewish community and throughout the known world.
1969-1691 2cm Persecution of the Church. Many died horrible deaths as martyrs rather than deny Jesus Christ. Common deaths were stoning, crucifixion, burning at the stake, feeding to animals, gladiator practice, and boiling in oil. Many were beaten, raped, and tortured severely before they died. Many (most) practiced their religion in secret as is evidenced in the catacombs. (33-311 AD)
1968 2cm The martyrdom of St. Stephen and the conversion of Saul (St. Paul) (34 AD)
1968 2cm The missionary work and journeys of St. Paul (34-67 AD)
1958 2cm St. James martyred by orders of King Herod Agrippa in Judah (44 AD)
1951 2cm St. Peter presides over Council of Jerusalem. (51 AD)
1937 2cm Mark writes the first gospel (65 AD)
1936-1932 2cm Titus destroys Jerusalem and its temple. Church's capital moves to Rome (the center of the known world) (66-70 AD)
1935 2cm Martyrdom of Saints Peter and Paul in Rome (67 AD)
1,900 2cm Invention of the book (100 AD)
1,860 2cm Ptolemy improved on Geocentric model - lasted 13 centuries
1741 2cm Emperor Gallienus orders religious tolerance; Christians build public churches (261 AD)
1732 2cm Anthony gives away his possessions and begins life as a hermit, a key event in the development of Christian monasticism (270 AD)
1704 2cm Persecution under Galerius ordered that all must offer sacrifice those who refused were to be punished and the ultimate punishment was death. Galerium ordered the deaths of anyone who would not sacrifice. He also ordered the confiscation of religious sites and scriptures. It was not until 311 AD that Galerius was forced to proclaim a protocol of toleration which restored the rights of Christians to meet in public and worship throughout the east. (298 AD)
1700-1600 2cm Bishops John Chrysostom, Basil the Great, Ambrose give lectures explaining biblical flat-Earth cosmology, denounce pagan philosophers spherical Earth. Ambrose, Arnobius of Sicca also ridicule philosopher's theory that matter is made up of atoms. (300-400 AD)
1690-1688 2cm Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity after seeing vision of the cross (first Catholic emperor). He becomes a defender and advocate of the oppressed Christians and makes Christianity the official state religion. Introduced the seven-day week. (312-324 AD)
1677 2cm Council of Nicea (325 AD). Established belief in the Trinity.
1597 2cm Jerome completes the Latin "Vulgate" version of the bible that becomes the standard for the next one thousand years. (405 AD)
1592 2cm Fall of Rome to the Goths (410 AD)
1570 2cm Patrick goes as a missionary to Ireland (he was taken there as a teenager as a slave). He led multitudes of Irish people to the Christian faith. (432 AD)
1551 2cm Council of Chalcedon confirms orthodox teaching that Jesus was truly God and truly Man and existed in one person. (451 AD)
1506 2cm Pope Gelasium I proclaimed that the Pope was the ruler of the spiritual sphere while the Emperor was the ruler of the Temporal Sphere a clear statement that popes would not accept imperial interference on spiritual matters.(496 AD)
1477 1cm A monk named Dionysius Exiguus invented the year numbering system. (525 AD)
1412-948 1cm The Church, not the State, administered the conversion of Europe Education and social services. Because of this as civilization spread, the church set up new monasteries, which provided a hospital, refuge for the poor and travelers and the sick. They also set up schools to educate the masses. As pagan nations were converted the system was expanded to them also. (590-1054 AD)
1270 1cm Muslims pushed their way from Asia Minor and Africa into France and Spain. Islam overran Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa intent on conquering the world and prepared to fight to achieve their aims. (732 AD)
1,250 1cm Invention of paper (China)
1221 1cm Charlemagne orders the Roman rites in Latin to be used throughout his lands in the hope that all of his subjects might speak the same language. (781 AD)
907 1cm Pope Urban II calls for a Holy War (1095 AD). The First Crusade was launched in 1096 AD with the cry "God wills it!". Several crusades occured between 1095 and 1517 AD with many tragic resutls.
903 1cm Jerusalem was captured by Crusaders (1099 AD)
852 1cm Universities of Paris and Oxford founded and become incubators for renaissance and reformation and precursors for modern educational patterns. (1150 AD)
815 1cm Jerusalem was recaptured by Muslims
798 1cm 4th Crusade did not make it to Jerusalem but instead sacked Constantinople causing an even wider rift in Eastern and Western Catholicism. In 2001 Pope John Paul II asked the people of the eastern rites to forgive sins of the western Rite for the oppression and sacking of Constantinople. The fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth crusades accomplished nothing at all. (1204 AD)
796 1cm Francis of Assisi (1181-1226 AD) renounces wealth and goes on to lead a band of poor friars preaching the simple life. (1206 AD)
787 1cm Pope Innocent III directed bishops to provide good preachers in their dioceses since the food of the word of God was deemed necessary for salvation. (1215 AD)
776 1cm St. Dominic founded the Dominicans as an order of preachers to teach the people to stamp out heresy. (1226 AD)
732 7mm Invention of the compass (1269)
723 7mm Invention of the clock (1288)
700 7mm Invention of gun powder (China ~1300)
675 7mm Invention of the gun (1325)
654 1cm Black Death in Europe blamed on Jews - many massacred (1348 AD)
560 6mm Invention of the Gutenberg Press (1441)
546 1cm Johann Gutenberg produces the first printed Bible, and his press becomes a means for disseminating new ideas, catalyzing changes in politics and theology. (1456 AD)
510 1cm Christopher Columbus discovers the New World (1492 AD)
500 5mm Nicholas Copernicus (1473-1543) Proved Heliocentric model of universe
490 1cm Michelangelo complete the painting of the Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome. (1512 AD)
489-481 1cm Pope Leo X supported the selling of indulgences to finance the church and it's Renaissance construction projects. (1513-1521 AD)
485 1cm Martin Luther posts 95 theses on church in Wittenberg, Germany challenging papal authority and starting the reformation (Oct. 31, 1517). Meant to be a simple invitation for scholarly debate.
485-354 1cm The Reformation (1517-1648 AD)
482-439 Catholic Reformation (1520-1563 AD)
481 1cm Council of Worms - Trial of Martin Luther before Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire. Charles refused to burn Luther at the stake as a heretic. Initially Luther did not intend to start a new church but after his conviction at Worms and his excommunication by the Pope for refusing to submit to the Pope the peasant class rose up and embraced Luther's convictions - the Lutheran church was formed. (1521 AD)
479 5mm Ferdinand Magellan sailed around the world (1519-1522)
466 1cm William Tyndale executed for his Bible translation (basis of King James Version) (1536 AD)
460-457 1cm First Council of Trent. Addresses abuses and serves the Catholic Counter Reformation. Reaffirmed the Nicene Creed and the seven sacraments. (1542-1545 AD)
455 1cm Calvinistic Knox founder of Presbyterianism (1547 AD)
440-439 1cm Second Counsel of Trent. Seminaries were founded to train priests, a catechism was printed, popular devotions were revised. Bishops were directed to undertake reform in their dioceses and the pope proclaimed those canons to emphasize that Rome is the center of the Catholic Church and the focus of Catholics. St. Tereas of Avila, St. Charles Borrome, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis Xavier were all canonized. (1562-1563 AD)
420 1cm Pope Gregory XIII revised the calendar leap-year rule (no leap years in centesimal years except those divisible by 400) know as the Gregorian calendar (1582).
411 1cm Eufame Macalyane burned in Scotland for seeking pain relief during childbirth, violating God's command in Gen. 3:16 (1591 AD)
402 .4cm Giordano Bruno burned in Rome, partly for supporting Copernicus' theory (1600 AD)
394 John Smith, Anglican preacher turned Separatist, baptizes the first "Baptists". (1608 AD)
392 4mm Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego near Mexico City (1610 AD). This was a catalist in the conversion of native Mexicans.
391 4mm Galileo Galilei (1610) Made the first telescope and observed the moons of Jupiter
391 4mm Johannes Kepler discovered laws of planetary motion
391 .4cm King James version published - 54 scholars worked for 4 years (1611 AD)
386 .4cm Church condemns Copernicus heliocentric theory (1616 AD)
382-332 .4cm Spread of Protestantism to the New World (1620-1670 AD)
370 .4cm Galileo accused of heresy for defending heliocentric theory, tortured, forced to recant (1632 AD)
346 3mm Discovery of the cell (Robert Hooke 1655)
335 3cm Isaac Newton (1642-1727) described gravity and developed the laws of motion
317 .4cm Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel born. (1685 AD)
264 .3cm John Wesley's conversion eventually leads to the founding of a branch of the Methodist Church although he had no intention of forming a separate denomination. (1738 AD)
249 2mm Discovery of electricity (Benjamin Franklin 1752)
222 .3cm Robert Raikes, newspaperman, begins Sunday schools to reach poor and uneducated children of England. (1780 AD)
215 .3cm Christians try, but fail to halt ratification of "godless" U.S. Constitution, making U.S. an atheist nation. (1787 AD)
208 2mm Invention of cotton gin (Eli Whitney 1793)
201 2mm Invention of the battery (Volta 1800)
180 .2cm Inquisition ends ban on teaching Copernicus' heliocentric theory (September 1822)
178 2mm Invention of waterproof clothes (Macintosh 1823)
164 2mm Invention of telegraph (Samuel FB Morse 1837)
151 2mm Invention of air conditioning (1850)
143 1mm Darwin's theory of evolution (1858)
137 .2cm William Booth founds the Salvation Army to bring the gospel to the most desperate and needy. (1865 AD)
132 .2cm First Vatican Counsel, Pope Pius IX proclaims the doctrine of Papal Infallibility regarding issues of faith and morals. (1870 AD)
132 1mm Invention of refrigerator (1869)
132 1mm Invention of bicycle (1869)
125 1mm Invention of telephone (Alexander Graham Bell 1876)
125 1mm Invention of 4-stroke gas engine (Otto 1876)
124 1mm Invention of the phonograph (Thomas Edison 1877)
120 1mm Invention of the light bulb (Thomas Edison 1881)
117-101 .1cm Pope Leo XIII issued three encyclicals that explained the Christian doctrine of the state, the relations between spiritual and temporal powers, the rights and duties of citizens and the Christian concept of democracy. These have served as a basis of all of the church's extensive social action since. (1885-1901 AD)
110 1mm Invention of the automobile (German Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach 1889)
107 1mm Invention of radio (Marconi 1894)

Now we are going to expand or magnify the scale by 1,000 times. The last millimeter of the 10-meter string is now 1 meter long and represents 100 years. The original 14-meter string is now 140,000 kilometers or 87,000 miles (that's 3.5 times around the equator of the Earth).

Using the 1 meter stick.

Years Ago Distance Event
99 99cm Invention of the airplane (Wright Brothers December 17, 1903)
97 97cm Pope St. Pius X lowered the age at which children could receive their First Communion to the age of reason (generally seven). (1905 AD)
96 96cm Asuza Street revival launches Pentecostalism and paves the way for the development of modern charismatic movement. (1906 AD)
92 92cm Founding of the Boy Scouts of America
89 89cm Invention of assembly line (Henry Ford 1913)
88-84 88-84cm World War I. From the beginning Pope Benedict XV protested against the inhumanity of warfare. (1914-1918 AD)
86 86cm Albert Einstein published the General theory of Relativity
85 85cm Communist revolution. Thousands of bishops and priests were executed for practicing their religion. Hundreds of Monasteries were destroyed and much of the church's treasures and property were seized. The practice of religion was banned and it became a criminal offense to teach religion to anyone upon eighteen years of age. (1917 AD)
74 74cm Discovery of penicillin (1928)
73 73cm Invention of TV (Zworykin 1929)
72 72cm Invention of the jet turbine engine (1930)
67 66cm Invention of nylon; invention of radar (Watson Watt) (1935)
63-57 63-57cm World War II. Pope Pius XII, personal determination assisted in making Rome a free city. During the German occupation of Rome, diplomatic immunity was used to give sanctuary for one reason or another were in fear of their lives, including a large number of Jews, along with Chief Rabbi Zolli, who was baptized after the war. At Castle Gandolfo (Pope's summer residence) no fewer than 15,000 people were given sanctuary. (1939-1945 AD)
57 57cm Invention of microwave (Raytheon's Spencer 1945)
56 56cm Invention of the first computer (ENIAC 1946)
55 55cm Invention of the transistor (Bell Lab 1947)
49 49cm Discovery of DNA's double helix structure (Watson & Crick 1953)
48 48cm Pope Pius XII canonized St. Pope Pius X and defined the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. (1954 AD)
45 45cm First satellite in space (Sputnik, October 4, 1957)
44 44cm Invention of laser (1958)
44 44cm Invention of the integrated circuit (9/12/1958)
44 44cm John XXIII elected Pope. (1958 AD)
41 41cm First man in space (Yuri Gargarin 1961)
40-38 40-38cm Second Vatican Council begins. It will promote new attitudes and practices in Catholicism. Its aim was unity of Christians. Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestants were all invited to attend - many did. (1962-1964 AD)
39 39cm Pope Paul VI is elected and pledges to continue the Second Vatican Council and fulfill the intentions of Pope John XXIII. The mass and the liturgy were now said in the language of the country in which they were being said. New dialogs were started with other Christian denominations, Protestants, and Eastern Rite Catholics. The communist leadership in Russia helped to ease tensions and reduced the persecutions of Christians in the Soviet Union. Mass was said facing the people. (1963 AD)
39 39cm Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, leads a march on Washington espousing the teachings of Jesus in a civil rights movement that affects all Americans. (1963 AD)
35 35cm Invention of the portable electronic calculator (Texas Instruments 1967)
33 33cm First men on the moon (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin 7/20/1969) - 12 years after first satellite, 8 years after first man in space.
33 33cm Invention of the Internet (ARPAnet 1969)
24-0 24cm First non-Italian pope since the sixteenth century. Born in Poland, witnessed the evils of the Holocaust first hand. An educated man of many languages who has traveled more than all of his predecessors put together, reaching out to Catholics and non-Catholics alike - but who never gives an inch on Orthodox Church teachings. A man who has canonized more saints than anyone else in many years. He has also recognized the Holiness John XXIII and Mother Theresa. (1978-present)
21 21cm Invention of the Personal Computer (IBM 8/12/1981)
11 11cm Start of the World Wide Web (1991)
10 10cm Pope John Paul II grudgingly admits Galileo was right, church was wrong. (1992 AD)
2 2cm Human genome mapped (2000)

Now on the original scale (remember the 14 meter string?) your life of say 100 years would be a ten millionth of a meter long - about the size of an atom. Pretty insignificant when compared to the age of the universe. But what you do WILL be significant. Use your talents to make the world a better place.

What if someone told you that if you were absolute good for one minute that you would have peace and joy for the rest of your life. Would you do it? Of course you would! And that is all God is asking us to do. Love God and your neighbor for the short time you are on Earth, then spend the rest of eternity in heaven with him. God asks so little of us for the short time we are on Earth. What you do and how you live your life in the next say 100 years will determine if you spend the rest of eternity with peace and joy in heaven or burning with torment in hell. How do you want to spend the rest of your life?

A good neckerchief slide for this (You knew that I'd work in a neckerchief slide somehow!) is a round piece of white craft foam. Glue a single piece of gold glitter to it with white glue. Attach a "D" ring.

The symbolism here is that the white circle represents eternity, a circle has no beginning and has no end. You are a small speck compared to the age and size of the universe. But that speck is a glitter of gold because you are important and precious to God. It also reminds you to let your talents show, don't hide them under a basket, but reveal them to others.

Interesting aside, things that spur discoveries and inventions include: accident, climate change, genius, craftsmanship, careful observation, ambition, greed, war, religious belief, deceit.

A slide for the evolution of life might be some fossils attached to a background.

A slide for the evolution of technology might be a computer chip on a background of an old punch card or circuit card.

I have done a lot of research on the Internet and encyclopedias to come up with the information in the tables above. If you have a correction or addition, please let me know by emailing .

Reference: Bible Almanac by Anna Trimiew
Some Highlights of Christian History by William Sierichs, Jr.

For other activities, see the Activities Chapter.

Copyright © 2002 Vincent Hale