According to a recent poll, 22% of Americans believe that the world will end during their lifetime. Now, we’re not talking about the end of civilization, or even the end of the human race–we’re talking about the end of the entire stinking world.
All of it.
In case you don’t know, the Earth is 4.5 billion years old. It has survived numerous impact events, ice ages, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, and a score of other disasters. Continents have shifted. Generations of beings have lived and died. Civilizations have come and gone. And through it all, the Earth has remained relatively unchanged.
I know that we might like to think otherwise, but the fact is, the Earth will continue long after we are gone. The world does not revolve around us. It does not begin with us. It will not end with us.
That is what science gives me, and it is beautiful.
“When we look back at the past, we see development and progress…as well as all our innumerable failings. But looking back doesn’t just show us our past– what we’ve accomplished and how we’ve failed. It shows us our future, and it helps us make it what we want it to be.” Little Jolene, 2006
I’m reading through all of my old livejournal posts, and I’ve discovered that Little Jolene was a bit naive. She wasn’t very good about checking sources if a story tugged on her emotions, and she was a bit too quick to jump to someone’s defense without hearing the whole tale.
But Little Jolene had convictions.
She didn’t always articulate them very well; she sometimes used evidence that was really just hearsay or half-truths; and Little Jolene frequently built up straw-men that she would then mercilessly knockdown. But, though weak and poorly understood, the convictions were there.