No one alive will likely ever know when the universe was created. Or where it starts or ends, which of course it likely doesn’t have either. However, scientists have estimated the Earth itself began forming about 4.5 billion years ago.
Life formed about another billion years later and the first humans about 1.4 to 2.4 million years ago. What’s a million years, give or take?
Dinosaurs first appeared about 240 million years ago — way, way before man was even a thought. Movies have men and dinosaurs hanging out together, but that never happened. The dinosaurs were in charge for about 175 million years before going bye bye some 66 million years ago to graciously begin their decomposition process to allow modern society to advance. You really can’t get much more natural and organic than that.
The numbers are staggering and almost beyond human comprehension when most of our focus and history usually involves just a few thousand years or so — or for most of us, a couple hundred years, not even measurable in the overall scheme of things as to when life first began.
So what’s the point? In those early days billions of years ago, the Earth was smoking hot. It’s guesstimated there was 10 to 200 times the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere than today. So we obviously did a lot of cooling and cleaning up the air since then.
And we didn’t have too many cars to cause any kind of climate change. Though maybe all those huge dinosaurs were doing their share to add “greenhouse” gas to the atmosphere. But my point isn’t about climate change. Though I may use the above facts to further that dialogue in the future.
This column is about mankind in general.
It took millions of years for humans to evolve into creatures who have learned how to use the Earth’s natural wonders to advance our civilization to the level it is today. Millions! Not just a few hundred.
As history shows, there was and is a huge learning curve in how humans got along. Way before bombs and guns and planes, humans were killing each other by the hundreds of thousands with knives, spears and arrows. And rocks before that. We’ve been a violent planet from the very beginning. Mostly caused by power hungry humans who wanted to control other humans, take over their lives and tell them what to do and how to do it.
Which brings me to today. The same insanity continues. Millions of millions of years later, dictators control their populations.
The same ancient thinking continues in a world where you can use a small hand device to speak with someone 3,000 miles away, and yet, you are still being told what religion you can practice, if any; where you’re going to live. You are being told: Follow these rules or you’ll die. It sounds so archaic, and it is. Humans still live in caves, and women in many places are still treated like property.
And so, on perhaps a lesser violent scale, America is reverting back toward a dictatorship of sorts in a 21st-century version. A certain class of American dictators have appointed themselves as the more intelligent species and have decided to establish a new set of rules to follow. These rules are not enforced with guns, knives or arrows, but rather with words. The old saying we used as children, “Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me,” has now become a falsehood. Words have become more powerful and more dangerous than an arrow through the chest.
Today a single word can be enough to completely destroy you. You may not die or get killed over it, but you’ll feel like it because the world you knew yesterday is gone today.
In a matter of seconds, your words will travel around the world and out to space and back, and your life will forever be changed. The new totalitarians of America will make certain to shut your voice down and almost make certain you’ll never be heard from again. Not in the literal sense. Your opinion, if contrary to theirs, will be padlocked. You are not entitled to express your thoughts and most certainly never allowed to spread your differences via the many platforms that control who is permitted and who isn’t to express their point of view.
We’ve come a long way in 2.4 million years where flipping a switch brightens a room or hopping in a large metal tube and flying at 500 mph at 35,000 feet in the air is normal. But when it comes to how we behave as a society, we’re going backward. The Napoleons, Atilla the Hun, the Holy Wars, the Persians, the Stalins and the Hitlers still exist. Only this modern version is trying to control the world through manipulating the masses via the use and/or the exclusion of words.
I guess if you think about it, nothing has really changed in millions of years, except the air is much cleaner, and it’s not so darn hot.
The author lives in Solvang.