Too brief to worry
Here’s a few ruminative words (from this interesting book I’m reading) on the history of our existence.
To be here now, alive in the twenty-first century and smart enough to know it, you had to be the beneficiary of an extraordinary string of biological good fortune. Survival on Earth is a surprisingly tricky business. Of the billions and billions of species of living thing that have existed since the dawn of time, most—99.99 percent—are no longer around. Life on Earth, you see, is not only brief but dismayingly tenuous. It is a curious feature of our existence that we come from a planet that is very good at promoting life but even better at extinguishing it.
The average species on Earth lasts for only about four million years, so if you wish to be around for billions of years, you must be as fickle as the atoms that made you. At various periods over the last 3.8 billion years you have...
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