The History and Future of Everything — Time

The History and Future of Everything — Time


Time makes sense in small pieces. But when you look at huge
stretches of time, it’s almost impossible to wrap
your head around things. So let’s start small with minutes, hours, days. You probably spent the last 24 hours
mostly sleeping and working, with some coffee in there somewhere. Please watch less TV. Now let’s look at 2013:
relatively unnoticed, Hitler’s bodyguard died at the age of 96 while in June, Edward Snowden
started the NSA scandal. Moving back a bit, the 21st century is
still pretty young and largely shaped by the attacks on 9/11 that ultimately
led to the third Iraq war. Oh, and Facebook and smartphones
took over our lives. But we’re just getting started: Let’s back up further! The 20th century has seen its share
of conflicts too. After two devastating World Wars, the Cold War lasted for almost the
whole second half of it. An average human lifespan
covers most of this stuff as well as the birth of the internet
and the beginning of the information age. The oldest living person on Earth
is currently Misao Okawa, who was born in 1898, which means that
her birth was closer to Napoleon ruling Europe
than to the current day. The last 500 years of human history brought enormous changes
to our lifestyles: Industrialisation gave rise to new
ideas like communism, farmers became workers
and knowledge became easier to distribute. The theory of evolution changed how we
saw ourselves and the world we live in. All in a few hundred years! The 15th century was very eventful: Columbus’s “discovery” of America
and the fall of Constantinople mark the end of the Middle Ages. People in the Middle Ages where super into
war over territory and religion but the Black Plague was far
more efficient than war, killing every third European in six years. Arriving in the Common Era,
let’s take a look where we came from! Our current century is tiny,
and 2013 is barely visible. This is recorded human history. The pyramids were constructed
4,500 years ago, the peak of the Roman Empire was
2,000 years ago, so to the Romans the pyramids were as old
as the Romans are to us today. History starts with writing.
But what happened before that? About 12,000 years ago,
the agricultural revolution took place. Mankind began farming,
which gave rise to the existence of cities
and larger communities. The dominance of the human species over
planet Earth really started here. 90,000 years ago, neanderthals and
humans coexist in Europe. Fun fact: this is roughly the time
period a modern spacecraft would need to reach the nearest star. Homo sapiens, the modern human,
evolved 200,000 years ago. Looking at all of human history, what
we call AD seems pretty small, doesn’t it? 6,000,000 years ago, our ancestors and the modern chimpanzee shared
a common ancestor for the last time, and for 2,750,000 years, stone tools
were all the rage. A mere 65,000,000 years ago, the age of
the dinosaurs ended in an enormous explosion, which paved
the way for the rise of mammals. But the dinosaurs ruled the Earth
for an incredibly long time: over 165,000,000 years! That’s so long that it means a T. rex
that lived 65,000,000 years ago is closer to seeing a
live Miley Cirus concert than to seeing a live stegosaurus! Animal life on this planet
started 600,000,000 years ago: the earliest animals were fish and
other small simple sea creatures, then came insects, then reptiles, and finally, around 200,000,000 years ago, mammals join the party! Life itself began much further back: 3,600,000,000 years ago. Before any animals appeared,
there were 2,400,000,000 years when life consisted only of tiny microbes, countless single-cell bacteria. For 3,000,000,000 years, all life on Earth
was invisible to the naked eye. It’s hard to understand how
single-cell organisms could develop into complex
life forms like fish or sloths. The answer is time, a whole lot of time: 2,400,000,000 years is lot of
time to work with! 4,600,000,000 years ago, the Sun was born
from the remnants of a giant explosion, 60,000,000 years later, Earth formed. In those early years, frequent bombardment
by comets and asteroids supplied the Earth with large oceans
and a moon to send spaceships to. But as far as the whole universe goes,
our Solar system is pretty new. 13,750,000,000 years ago, the
universe was born, and 600,000,000 years later, our own galaxy
formed from billions of stars, but what was before the Big Bang? The truth is, we don’t know that yet,
and maybe we never will. But we gave it some colours so
at least we have that. And there you have it: the past. Now let’s take a look at what
we know about the future. In roughly 1,000,000,000 years, the Sun will be so hot that
life on Earth becomes impossible. The death of the Sun 4,000,000,000 years
later marks the end of the Solar system. OK, so no more Solar system. And what happens after that? A few trillions years from now,
star production will cease and one day the last star in the
universe will die. The universe will turn dark, inhabited only by black holes. Long after the last black hole
has evaporated, our universe reaches its
final stage, something called heat death. Nothing changes anymore, the universe is dead forever. Now you’re feeling some pretty
weird feelings right now, aren’t you? We are too. It’s only natural. The good news is: this is all far, far away. The only time that actually
matters is now! That cute girl you like, ask her out! Time is precious, make it count! Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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