[ExI] Carl Sagan Cosmic Calendar

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Fri Sep 16 21:36:24 UTC 2022

...> On Behalf Of BillK via extropy-chat
Subject: [ExI] Carl Sagan Cosmic Calendar

The Universe in One Year was inspired by the late astronomer, Carl Sagan (1934-1996). Sagan was the first person to explain the history of the universe in one year-as a "Cosmic Calendar"-in his television series, Cosmos.


Our Milky Way galaxy doesn’t form until May, and our solar system only comes into being on the 9th of September. Life on Earth appears around September 25, and life doesn’t reach land until December 21. In the next week at this scale, we see amphibians, trees, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, and flowers. It’s not until the very last day of the year, at 10:30PM, that the first humans appear. And in the final minute, all human history whizzes by, from cave paintings and the invention of agriculture, to the moon landing.

On the time scale of the universe, humans are just the blink of an eye.



BillK, thanks for that.

I can tell you: Carl Sagan changed my life.  I owe that man everything.  Dragons of Eden was a total mind-blower.

Fun story: in 1980, video cassette recorders were the hot new thing.  The physics professor gave seminars every Tuesday night but I was a busy engineering student with a new girlfriend (the one I have been married to for 38 years) so I didn't go.  My previous girl, with whom I had parted on amicable terms, came up to us as we were walking across campus and said "Oh you need to come to the physics seminar Tuesday, big doings, way big.  Everyone there said we should bring you next week."

So, we went and she was right.  It answered all the questions I had been asking.  The seminar was Carl Sagan's Cosmos.  That caused my life to bounce off in another direction by about a radian.  Everything changed.  I came out of religious fundamentalism.  Life is good.  And that is what college is all about, Charlie Brown.


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