We were sitting in class when the first shockwave hit. The media would report later that the meteor passed overhead was about the size of a bus. The shockwave knocked out windows and set off car alarms. Many were injured. What seemed like a fluke was only the beginning of what was to come.
Scientists with advanced instruments and amateur astronomers had been monitoring the heavens for decades for astroids that might be on a collision course with Earth. To date, many astroids had been found, but nothing of any great size posed any danger to Earth. Some astroids were threats to satellites, and these too were monitored closely.
Something changed, though, with the meteor that came over our heads that day I was in my classroom. This one, no one saw coming. What they did see was one a little larger that missed the planet by about 17,000 miles. What no one knew was that this was only the beginning.
A massive group of asteroids was on the way. As the group edged closer, new theories of how the planet operated came into view, and the newest theories were frightening.
One scientist in particular postulated that snowball Earth events were caused by giant asteroids striking the planet, and the planet otherwise was always on a warming trend. Other sources of cooling of the planet included super volcanoes. The "Goldilocks Zone", that area where earth-like planets could exist, had as much to do with the distance from the sun as it had to do with the makeup of the planet, and the makeup of the planet came from astroids colliding with other asteroids. Planets were nothing more than a conglomeration of compounds thrown together. What those individual astroids were composed of made up the planet. When the conglomeration of spinning and heated compounds on a planetary scale was struck by a comet, large amounts of water were thrown into the mix.
It was thought that life arose from chemical reactions. Scientists also concluded that what was known as the living cell was a fractal reflection of the way our planet was created. If the right conditions were in place, then, just like the atmosphere formed protecting the planet, so too could a cell wall form on a smaller level.
Thanks to the discovery of extremophiles, organisms that survive in extreme conditions, humans knew life could survive in existences that humans could not. Perhaps we could evolve again, maybe something far better than us could. Then again, maybe we could build something even more resilient than evolutionary biology alone.
It was presumptuous on our part to assume because we think we have consciousness that we are above other forms of biological beings. To think that we create, as opposed to being part of something that is, as a whole, creating. Scientific evidence has been accumulating for some time that our bodies are here to serve life, not the other way around. Someday it might be proven that the over 50 trillion interacting cells that make up the adult human body give us the perceived sense of consciousness. The truth then might be that we are nothing more than a limb of life that is successful because of all the environmental factors that came into existence at this particular point in time to allow us to be at the top of the food chain. During snowball events, other organisms such as extremophiles survive where we cannot. Are they then conscious as well?
The closer the new wave of massive astroids came to our planet, the faster the new wave of genius theories developed. Who did what to whom was no longer the central theme on the television news. The central theme in our lives became about survival and how we could pass on what we had learned thus far, should some form of life survive the pending catastrophe.
Massive leaps were made to store information into self-replicating biology, so that some day, should any of the organisms survive, hopefully they would look within for the answers as to where they came from, and where we, at one time, were headed.