You may remember Cosmos, the 1980 PBS series by Carl Sagan. Maybe you also recall Sagan’s “Cosmic Calendar” from the series, where in order to put the immensely vast history of the universe into a comprehensible scale, he mapped it onto a calendar year. In other words, if the entire history of the universe were one year, with the big bang in the first second of midnight on January first, and the present day on the last second of December 31st, New Year’s Eve. A project of mine this year has been to note the major events in the Cosmic Calendar, on the real calendar, on this blog!
September 25th on the Cosmic Calendar: Life evolves on Earth. But it’s all just asexual microbes until cosmic November.
Imagining the big bang as January first of this year (and I sincerely hope your hangover was not that bad) — it’s only now — September 25th, that there is any life at all in the universe, as far as we yet know. And it’s only humble microbes dividing into more microbes, maybe building a lump of stromatolite if they’re feeling ambitious.
Yeah they call it the ‘oldest profession’ but none of these microbes are going to be hooking up for about another cosmic month and a half. That’s over a billion years. So as work goes, eating and avoiding being eaten is much older. As is cell division. But then I just like smashing over-blown metaphors. It’s one of my hobbies.