Sunday, June 2, 2013

Cosmic Calendar Perspective

 Carl Sagan's Cosmic Calendar. If the history of the universe as we know it began on January 1, and each day of the year represented 40 million of the 15 billion years on the calendar, the history of every person we've ever heard of fits into the last seconds of the last minute of 31 December.

May: formation of the Milky Way galaxy
September: Sun and Earth appear
31 December 10:30 pm: debut of humans
11:59:20 pm: domestication of plants and animals
11:59:35 pm: first cities appear

No matter what you believe about Creation or how long we've been around, no one can dispute that "A son of man is like the grass in its days and like a flower of the field so he springs up. For when the wind has blown upon it, it is not, neither is his place known..." and
"To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more..."

Love this little pictorial perspective. And since I can't pass up a moment for a nice apt C.S. Lewis quotation (this from The Magician's Nephew), here goes:

“Then two wonders happened at the same moment. One was that the voice was suddenly joined by other voices; more voices than you could possibly count. They were in harmony with it, but far higher up the scale: cold, tingling, silvery voices. The second wonder was that the blackness overhead, all at once, was blazing with stars. They didn’t come out gently one by one, as they do on a summer evening. One moment there had been nothing but darkness; next moment a thousand, thousand points of light leaped out – single stars, constellations, and planets, brighter and bigger than any in our world. There were no clouds. The new stars and the new voices began at exactly the same time. If you had seen and heard it, as Digory did, you would have felt quite certain that it was the stars themselves which were singing, and that it was the First Voice, the deep one, which had made them appear and made them sing.”

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