The Long Black Strip

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30 meters of ribbon:

  • 29.999 m. in black
  • 0.001 m. in white
  • 1 centimeter = 1,000,000 years
  • 10 meters represent 1,000,000,000 years
  • 30 meters represents 3,000,000,000 years, the average accepted length of earth's history (in 1939). Now we know it is approximately 4.6 billion years.



  1. Remember the Dance of the Elements in our Creation Story?
  2. That was such a long, long time ago.
  3. Begin unrolling strip.
  4. In the beginning we said that everything was dark, there were whirling gasses which gradually cooled and how long this process took.
  5. It took thousands of years.
  6. And then the rains came and filled in the hollows, the air was cleared up and the seas were formed.
  7. Now the Earth was like a shriveled up apple.
  8. There was no life on Earth.
  9. At sometime, somewhere, a long long time ago, life began.
  10. It began to fill the seas and after thousands of years, it began to climb out of the water onto the land.
  11. Keep looking at how long it was, referring back to the strip.
  12. Insects developed and large dinosaurs.
  13. The insects have made a contract with the flowers and the earth is covered with grass.
  14. There are flowers in her hair... and pure water is crystal clear...
  15. Watch what is coming! How long it has taken!
  16. What is it? A white line. What does it mean?
  17. This is humanity - all humans.
  18. Hold it in your hands... this is all of history: cave people, Egyptians, Greeks... all here.
  19. How long it took for the earth to prepare itself.
  20. A long time passed, while the animals developed and the plants prepared for Humans to come to this Earth.!!

Control Of Error

Points Of Interest

  1. Don't give the child the measurement of the strip. The demonstration is meant to be impressionistic and to pique an emotional response.
  2. The colors should be opposing.
  3. The white dates form the first real appearance of civilization on the Indus River.