However the events in the previous page work out, there is only a finite fraction of geotime left. On a 24-hour clock in reference to the age of our solar system, it is:
- Late afternoon for the projected existence of earth's biosphere as we know it,
- Evening for the 24-hour day itself (each day will lengthen very slowly until it gradually matches the lunar month, and becomes locked in).
- By late evening, the seas will boil away, effectively extinguishing life in all its many forms on earth. The sun is by then burning helium for fuel and occupies most of the sky.
- After midnight, eternity awaits a white dwarf of a sun and its remnant system of proud planets, reduced to six in number.
A nuclear holocaust will not reset the clock. Rather it will use up most or all of what time we have left to re-evolve. As Einstein said, surviving fish in the sea will once again evolve to create more advanced life forms.
We can hope all that is a long way off. Meanwhile, if the fish get to do it all over again for that reason, let us hope they do it in a more rational way in creating genera equivalent to Homo. And we can also hope that any future intelligent species can read what is left of us in the geologic record and understand what extinguished our species. Let us hope they can avoid a repeat of our foolhardiness.
Link to: Natural History
Posted by RoadToPeace on Thursday, March 06, 2008.