Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Last and Future Men

Even the preceding and touch longer period between the first mammal and the first man, some twenty-five millions of terrestrial years, seems now inconsiderable.

The whole of it, together with the age of the First Men, may be said to lie halfway between the formation of the planets, two thousand million years earlier, and their final destruction, two thousand million years later,

Taking a still wider view, we see that this aeon of four thousand million years is itself no more than a moment in comparison with the sun's age. And before the birth of the sun the stuff of this galaxy had already endured for aeons as a nebula. Yet even those aeons look brief in relation to the passage of time before the myriad great nebula themselves, the future galaxies, condensed out of the all-pervading mist in the beginning.

Thus the whole duration of humanity, with its many sequent species and its incessant downpour of generations, is but a flash in the lifetime of the cosmos.

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