Thursday, January 29, 2009

Man's place in the Cosmos

The universe is between 13-15 billion years old, there are an estimated 125 billion galaxies in the universe, and there are over 200 billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy. Our planet revolves around the Sun, which is only one star in this Milky Way galaxy.

The earth is 4.5 Billion years old, mankind--homo sapiens--have been around for about 200,000 years. Neanderthals--also from the Homo genus--began to originate around 350,000 years ago and their proper characteristics appeared by about 130,000 years ago although they eventually went extinct 30,000 years ago. Homo sapiens survived and began to dominate the world beginning in 10,000BCE, and 12,000 years later have evolved and developed extensively on this planet.

We have changed and modified this world more than any other species. We have starved, killed, and brutalized everything we've come across. We've voraciously consumed the world's resources and are just beginning to feel the blowback. Mankind has infinite potential, but seems doomed to go the way of the dinosaurs. The major difference, of course, being that the dinosaurs lived for close to 165 million years and were wiped out by a meteor. Relatively civilized society has barely survived 12,000 years on this planet and we seem hell bent on finally pushing ourselves over the cliff. That which we reap, so shall we sow...

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