Origins

Second Week in December

Our perspective of the universe is inseparable from our understanding of it. We simply cannot attain an objective comprehension of the universe in which we live.

Let’s, then, consider the universe with an awareness of our perspective. If we measured time, years, based on the age of the universe instead of the age of Jesus, our year (AD) 2000 (CE) would have been the approximate year 13.7 billion. Edwin Hubble, whose observation of outer space showed that our universe was expanding, was born in the year 13,699,999,889 (13 billion, 699 million, 999 thousand, 889). The Hubble Space Telescope, which has given us unprecedented visual data about the universe and, indeed, helped determine its age, was launched in 13,699,999,990 (13 billion, 699 million, 999 thousand, 990).

This way of tracking the years may seem too cumbersome to adapt, even if it is a more significant way of marking the age. But, we have to assume that humans of the future will live at least another 100,00 years before evolving into another species. If we take that conservative estimate, then the humans of the future could mark their letterhead as January 10th, 102,000.

You can begin to see that there is a lot of time that has been unaccounted for in our culture. The time between the Big Bang at year 0 and the evolution of homo sapiens at year 13,699,900,000 (13 billion, 699 million, 900 thousand) is filled with truly amazing events. Here is a timeline of a few highlights:

Year 0- the Big Bang.

Year 400,000,000 (400 million)- Hydrogen and helium come together because of gravity to make stars.

Year 1,000,000,000 (1 billion)- The death of stars occurring over the past 600,000,000 years, in concert with time and gravity result in the coming together of all the non-manmade elements, which begins to form our galaxy.

Year 9,600,000,000 (9 billion, 600 million)- Our solar system and Earth form.

Year 9,900,000,000 (9 billion, 900 million)- Earth’s oceans form.

Year 10,100,000,000 (10 billion, 100 million)- Life on Earth forms.

Year 10,200,000,000 (10 billion, 200 million)- Earth’s third and current atmosphere forms.

Our knowledge of the cosmos is increasing every year and our data collection, research, and modeling of the universe is happening constantly in order to increase our knowledge. Understanding the age of the universe helps us understand where we are in its life. It is estimated that the Sun will begin to die in year 20,000,000,000 (20 billion). This gives us proper perspective.

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