A Special Time

Image:  USGS by way of Wikipedia.

Image: USGS by way of Wikipedia.

So, this week I was catching up on Dino 101 at Coursera, and they talked about the slow, lumbering dance of the continents during the age of dinosaurs.

It turns out that the age of the dinosaurs is closer to us than it is to our planet’s formation and early history.

This means, that if we went back to, say, the Jurassic, we would see the same blue sky, weather and geologic features (land, oceans, rivers, mountains, desert, etc) we now know, and it would feel like home…until we met the wildlife and plant life.

Earth is that old and its basic processes that unchanging. We are just a momentary flicker of light in comparison – but what a light it is!

Modern avian dinosaur (Image:  shutter41)

Avian dinosaur a/k/a pigeon – not impressed by us at all. (Image: shutter41)

If the non-avian dinos could come to our times, and if they happened to be anthropomorphic, they would be amazed, I think, by our lights and machines, our names for and uses of things, our silly pride in our insubstantial constructs.

“Oh, wow,” they’d say, if they could see the video below as we can see it, “this is the world as we know it, but look at that – a car! It feels smooth, and has a pretty color – no, T. rex, you can’t eat it – and it looks like it’s moving even when it’s standing still.

“Look at the electric lights in the wilderness that shine while the stars pass overhead!

“Stars. Huh. See, those things in the sky have names – I always felt they should. They’re moving, too! Just like some of the electric lights on Earth are moving – wow!

“Hey, Yosemite – yes, that’s quite pretty the way humans see it. Who would have ever thought to get up on a ridge and look at the whole thing… .”

Those dinosaurs would think our own time is a very special one, because it has us in it.

I thought of all that and then stumbled across this video online and had to share it. (Click on full screen to see it better or on “Vimeo” for the full effect as well as more information on the film makers.)

Categories: Random thoughts, Science

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