Sunday, January 20, 2008

Interesting geological time scale.


Greybishop said...

I think that the concept of billions of years is tough for most people to grasp.

A generational or epochal model is a little less mindboggling, in scope if not in scale.

Carl Sagan's "Calendar" model of time gives a good idea of that mindboggling scale.

If we use a calendar to represent all time from the initiation of the universe (a horribly mis-termed "big bang" - I hate that term as it implies an explosion. There was NO explosion. The "Great Expansion" would be more accurate.) to now, ALL of human history occurs in the last few minutes before midnight on December 31. For the entire YEAR of the calendar, humanity doesn't even exist, with our earliest simian ancestors arising sometime on December 29 or 30th.

THAT's mindboggling.

I love the picture, by the way.

Ah, science.

Sawsee said...

Thanks GB! I had heard about this description but did not know it was Sagan's.

Bill Bryson's "A short History of nearly everything" had an interesting explanation of the universe beginning with a proton:

Mind boggling! I wonder if black holes are the beginning of the reversal of the 'big bang'?