>Science and Time

>The Birmingham News arrived today only after a call letting them know I had not received it. I guess I am going to keep calling them out on this until they get it right, or until I see an explanation and apology in print. Judging from emails and comments a lot of people are affected by this.

I’m finding it hard to concentrate on writing a blog post today. I watched these shows on the Science Channel about time, yesterday, and am not sure I can find the time to do this.

For those who believe, as I do, that time has no beginning and no end, it makes sense to realize that this moment, regardless of when the moment occurs is equidistant from the earliest time and the most distant future time.

Coincidentally, the earth is about midway through its life, having been formed about 4.6 billion years ago (using the descriptive “about” seems kind of odd when estimating in the billions, doesn’t it) and depending on a sun that has only 5 billion years left in it.

To underscore how insignificant we are, Michio Kaku assigned one year to one millimeter. His birth, therefore, was 5.8 cm from the present. Watch here. (The link may not work, but you can also find the video from the Science Channel link above.) Travelling back in time this way, our “AD” time was a little less than the length of his dining room table, and recorded history was still within his New York City apartment. Then he drove about 2500 miles, to San Francisco. That distance, at 1 mm per year, approximated the 4.6 billion years that our earth has existed.

Earth sat lifeless for a billion years, and then the first signs of life appeared. These simple life forms did nothing but reproduce for 2.5 billion years, then about 570 million years ago an “explosion” of life forms began in the oceans.

5 million years ago the first man like apes appeared, and since then we developed into this warring, greedy species that we are now.

Watch a segment of Kaku’s series on Time.

When I get to thinking about science at this level, it’s hard to come back to the present and focus on world events, state legislatures and politics. I mean, science is more interesting, it doesn’t have an agenda (people have agendas, science does not) and there is always more to learn.

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