A Recap of Cosmic and Biological Evolution

Visual representation of the history of life on Earth as a spiral.

Our universe is 13.8 billion years old; our solar system is 8 billion years old; and the earth is 4.5 billion years old. A timeline on earth from that point on reads like this (and what a testimony to scientific achievement this list is):

  • billion years of simple cells (prokaryotes),
  • 3 billion years of photosynthesis,
  • 2 billion years of complex cells (eukaryotes),
  • 1 billion years of multi-cellular life,
  • 600 million years of simple animals,
  • 550 million years of complex animals,
  • 500 million years of fish and proto-amphibians,
  • 475 million years of land plants,
  • 400 million years of insects and seeds,
  • 360 million years of amphibians,
  • 300 million years of reptiles,
  • 200 million years of mammals,
  • 150 million years of birds,
  • 130 million years of flowers,
  • 65 million years since the dinosaurs died out
  • 40 million years of butterflies and moths
  • 20 million years of giraffes
  • 15 million years of hominids
  • 13 million years since orangutan-hominid split
  • 10 million years since gorilla-hominid split
  • 6 million years since chimpanzee-hominid split
  • 5 million years of Australopithecines
  • million years of Ardipithecus
  • million years of Australopithecus afarensis
  • 5 million years of Homo habilis
  • 8 million years of Homo erectus
  • 2 millions years of Homo antecessor
  • 600 thousand years of Homo heidelbergensis
  • 350 thousand years of Neanderthals
  • 200 thousand years of Anatomically modern humans
  • 160 thousand years of Homo sapiens
  • 50 thousand years since migration to South Asia
  • 40 thousand years since migration to Australia and Europe
  • 15-40 thousand years since migration to Americas
  • 12 thousand years since evolution of light skin in Europeans

Is something happening here? Is there anything we can infer from all this?

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