Field of Science

Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away!

Yesterday the poor old botanist was trying to impress you with the fact that horsetails are 150 million years old. And that's pretty old all right, but astronomers have a way of humbling (or is that Hubbling?) us biologists in terms of time and distance. Want to see something 13.2 billion years old? Hubble obliges. And it's pretty amazing because the whole universe is estimated to be only 13.7 billion years old. Sort of makes you feel small doesn't it. And you wonder if somewhere in all those galaxies some other sentient organism has gotten technologically advanced enough to look at a similar view and wonder the same thing. Or is it that while life is common enough given the bio-friendly chemistry of this universe, most inhabited worlds stall at about the cyanobacterial stage, which is where Earth was for the vast majority of its meager 4.3 billion year history. To even begin to grasp such a thing is a true intellectual achievement, and in stead we have people who think some religious cluck who predicts the end of the Earth based on a book is important. Maybe we aren't so far out of the slime after all.

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