By Joe Campbell
February 12th, 2009
Seed Magazine has a great feature it describes as “an experiment in scale” which condenses “4.6 billion years of history into a minute.” Though they call it the evolution of life – there is no life for a significant portion of the video – so I’m calling it the history of the earth.
It reminds me of the opening of The Story of Mankind, the first book to win the Newbery Award in 1922, describing “a single day of eternity”:
High up in the North in the land called Svithjod, there stands a rock. It is a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide. Once every thousand years a little bird comes to this rock to sharpen its beak.
When the rock has thus been worn away, then a single day of eternity will have gone by.
Of course, the concept of a measure of eternity is meaningless – but by attempting to measure it in such a way, we realize to some degree what the concept is.
Seed takes the opposite approach by condensing billions of years of history into 60 seconds.