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Leland Waldrip

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Member Since: Aug, 2001

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Earth's Life In One Day
by Leland Waldrip

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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


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Reviewed by Willie Maartens
Excellent poem, Leland. I have seen these breakdowns since my childhood, but they never cease to give me joy.

I personally like to use ‎1 millimetre = 1 year. Then 1 metre = 1000 years, 1 kilometre = 1,000,000 ‎years, and 1000 kilometres = 1,000,000,000 years.‎

When my children were young we would drive down to Cape Town (1600 kilometres) from Pretoria, and together we would then go through the geological time zones as we travel.

Incidently, the rocks around Pretoria is about 2000 million years old.

South Africa has an incredible geological history crammed into a relatively small area - a good school for young geologists.

Thanks for giving a little time for sentimental ruminations.
Best wishes
Reviewed by OnepoetGem *the Poetic Rapper
great mathematics applied with a great message. thanks for the break down, interesting. G
Reviewed by Regis Auffray
Fascinating and thought-provoking, Leland. Thank you. Love and peace to you. Regis
Reviewed by Simon Thurlow (Reader)
Blimey Leland. You have far too much time on your hands LOL

Another excellent foray of exploration through scientific reasoning and mathematical fact. I saw a similar thing on one of Sir David Attenboroughs many TV programs on the evolution of life on earth. However, he did not put it into such a wondrous verse as did you.
Reviewed by M.Bennett Hooper (Mikii)
I'm in awe of most things mathmatical Leland , because I can't count. however,I do love the wax scientific reasoning here, and believe midnight is here only because man seeks to destroy what he cannot reverence>> mother earth. In other words I fear they unhuh will blow our azes up with their WMD'S. and my heart can't sustain the moon trip. Excellent write of course.
Reviewed by Debashish Haar (Reader)
GREAT composition, Leland! I like the way you travelled the time line!
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Assuming that we are near midnight is most pessimistic. Perhaps humans haven't long, but the earth comes from tougher stuff. I'd estimate that the sun won't threathen the earth for another 4.5 billion years. That would place us half way, with us approaching the 12th hour. Hard to wax poetic about heavy science, eh?
Reviewed by Lady Peg (Reader)
Excellent info and research this is an awesome poem Leland!
" More and more, precise ecologic niches,

Survivors replicate, others fold.

Evolution began sewing tiny stitches,

When earth was at least ten hours old.

Sea animals landed, almost ten at night,

Most extinct ‘fore next hour was nigh,

Then dinosaur clan showed awesome might,

Lived forty-five minutes ‘fore they’d die."


Reviewed by A Serviceable Villain
Ah, the importance of research - well done!
Reviewed by Katy Walsvik
Leland.. Leland...Leland.. Jaysus, that's as hard to type as it is to say 3 times fast! I'm dizzy (NO, not my usual state, though some would, of course, disagree.. grin.) Yikes! What have you gone and done now?! There are poets in AD who melt my heart, some who tickle my multiple funny bones, and many who happily baffle me... and then there's you, my dear.. you, beyond anyone, absolutely fascinate me... I cannot tell a lie, I couldn't stay with you entirely but you're just so very good at putting our language into cool verse that I read and reread. Oh, yes, the basic concept here is not without my grasp.. My major was English and I actively and passionately avoided all things math-related but you bring such lively thinking into your verse that, although I'm left wishing I understood more of it, I am always eager to come back for more. My son, Adam LOVES this stuff.. I've already assigned him at least 2 readings. Perhaps he will help his ungifted (mathematically speaking) mother to "get it".. just know that I applaud the variety of your themes and love your wonderfully poetic delivery. sigh.. katy xox.
Reviewed by Debby & Gordon Rosenberg
fabulous effort and research here Leland.
Reviewed by Tinka Boukes

Fascinating write Leland!!

Wow!! Again!!

Love Tinka
Reviewed by E T Waldron
Leland I can't believe I just met the Creator, and you did it in how many minutes!;-) This is fantastic a true tour de force! You are without a doubt a brilliant physicist! A real pleasutre to read!Thank you for sharing!
Reviewed by Christine Morell
This is fascinating Leland ...much too clever for me in some parts but it's gripped me and I'll read on :) You have crafted the whole poem superbly well.
Reviewed by Bonita Quesinberry
This truly is a fascinating write, Leland, very well crafted to encompass such a monumental span of time. It even flowed rapidly: excellent. Although, I believe in creationism as opposed to evolution: though the earth has been here far longer than 6000 years, it's only been occupied by any life at all for these 6000 years. ~~Bonnie Q
Reviewed by Floria Kelderhouse (Reader) let's see....are there any errors....let me see...hmmm....LOL...I dont even know what you are talking about LOL....ok just pulling your leg..this is quite intellectual...but it is difficult for me to believe that it was all just an accident..I just simply believe that God created all...this was so interesting Leland..Had to read over it twice and that last part...well ....I skipped that...LOL....Great write...floria
Reviewed by Andy Turner (Reader)
I see where you're coming from, but to believe we all came from a single cell from creeping out of the sea is laughable, but one point is missed that of life eternal, but a well thought out bright bit of thinking. I just live by the hour
Reviewed by Alexandra* OneLight*® Authors & Creations
A fascinating concept, Leland. Makes me think of the relativity of time, and, in a different sense, of the infinity of evolution within an infinite circle of cycles of life, in which each end touches a new beginning. Enjoyed this very much.
Reviewed by Kate Clifford
Fasinating thought wave you have played with.
Reviewed by Joyce Hale
What a write, Leland, and what calculations and thought went into it. It's fascinating! Mind-boggling! Bravo!
Reviewed by Mr. Ed
Extremely interesting write, Leland. If dinosaurs only lived 45 minutes, which equates to 135 million years; mankind's longevity can't be very long at all.