Earth’s Life In One Day
Evolutionary history can numb to tears,
Comprehending time utterly vast,
Earth’s age, four point six billion years,
Boggles mind to grasp eons passed.
A time envelope that so dwarfs our year
Our minds around it won’t wrap,
Perhaps more focus we get to appear
With a unit our minds can trap.
Four billion years of life, this earth,
To a single day its time compressed,
A single second of that day is worth
Fifty thousand years in this test.
Bodies are jostled from gravity’s force,
Evolution patiently waits in the wings,
Atomic structures find random course,
And chance format, a molecule brings.
Had it not found the harmony existent,
Would have found it later in the day,
For earth had all elements present,
To build life from the churning fray.
More and more, precise ecologic niches,
Survivors replicate, others fold.
Evolution began sewing tiny stitches,
With earth less than six hours old.
Sea animals landed, almost ten at night,
Most extinct ‘fore next hour was nigh,
Then dinosaurs showed awesome might,
Lived forty-five minutes ‘fore they’d die.
At twenty-three fifty-eight forty-five
Primates — small-brained apey ones,
A minute later, early man would arrive —
But not ‘til last second, homo sapiens.
A human generation in years is twenty,
But sped up there are twenty six sixty two
In every second of the day and that’s plenty,
Homo sapiens from hominids to accrue.
And if we think that’s fast for changes,
Just look at chances for bacterial drift,
In the sixty million per second range,
We see bug’s DNA shape shift.
Phenomenal, evolution’s steady toil,
One cell to symbiotic billions, neat trick,
Chance and niche select, failures foil,
As we fast-forward this feature flick.
Yes, evolution’s magic unwinds free,
Generations fly by, we can now observe,
Sped up, morphing is plain to see,
Darwin’s ideas get credit they deserve.
It was only two point eight milliseconds ago
That Charles Darwin would reach his prime,
Wrote Origin of Species so we’d know,
And humans became adult at that time.
We’ve expanded tech to encompass it all,
Computers, genetic tweaking, nanotech …
Great potential in both large and small,
But unbridled — humanity could wreck!
Midnight — of life we only had a tic,
Coming day, we’ll perish or flower,
Will we long endure, or burn out quick,
Blip gone? Or earth’s finest hour?
Humanity surely has little chance
To see the sun on that second day,
But if our native wisdom we enhance,
We could make the wee hours pay.
Twenty-four Hour Compressed Time (CT) Model
Scientists say that the earth’s life cycle will take about nine billion years. It formed about 4.6 billion years ago, so it is now at mid-life. Suppose we compressed that 4.6 billion years, earth’s entire life up to now, into one of our normal twenty-four hour days. I calculated a timeline of what that might be like — down to the second. Now, bear with me. There’s obviously not that level of accuracy throughout the model. It’s just that recent event times are so relatively short compared to 4.6 billion years that they have to be expressed in seconds and milliseconds, so I used the hours:minutes:seconds format.
Earth Rotations per minute = 1.17 billion+, Rotations per day = 1679 billion
Years (rotations about the sun) per minute = 3,205,479
+ obviously, centrifugal force would disintegrate earth well before it achieved anything like this speed
CT units expressed as normal earth years
1 day = 4,599,936,000 (4.6 Billion years)
1 hour = 191,664,000 years
1 minute = 3,194,400 years
1 second = 53,240 years
113 milliseconds = 6000 years
2.81 milliseconds = 150 years
Generations per Compressed Time second
(As the generations speed by, with every one an opportunity for evolutionary change, it is evident that evolution has ample opportunity to effect its small changes in a big way.)
Human generations (20 years) = 2,662 per second
Dog generations (2 years) = 26,620 per second
Bacterial generations (20 minutes*) = 63,888,000 per second
*fast-growing bacterial variety under optimal conditions
CT Timeline (24 hour clock):
00:00:01 a.m. planets condensed (4.6 billion years ago)
05:44:20 a.m. life appeared (3.5 billion years ago)
10:26:02 a.m. primitive cells incorporated a nucleus (2.6 billion years ago)
11:13:42 a.m. multiple-celled life appeared in seas (2.4 billion years ago)
21:54:36 p.m. animals moved to land (400 million years ago)
22:49:12 p.m. Pangea formed, mass extinction (225 million years ago)
22:57:36 p.m. dinosaurs appeared (200 million years ago)
23:42:18 p.m. dinosaurs disappeared (65 million years ago)
23:58:45 p.m. apes appeared (4 million years ago)
23:59:24 earliest man appeared (2 million years ago)
23:59:59 modern man appeared (50,000 years ago)
24:00:00 current time (midnight)
00:00:01 a new day begins