Not too long ago, we hung out with Aristotle’s Little River Creatures to get some perspective on the brevity of life.
Recall: “Aristotle says that there are little animals by the river Hypanis that live only a day. The one that dies at eight o’clock in the morning dies in its youth; the one that dies at five in the afternoon dies in its decrepitude. Which of us does not laugh to see this moment of duration considered in terms of happiness or unhappiness? The length or shortness of our duration, if we compare it with eternity, or yet with the duration of mountains, rivers, stars, trees, and even of some animals, is no less ridiculous.”
Not too long before that, we hung out with a fly.
Recall that our beautiful little house fly gets about 28 days. 28 times longer than Aristotle’s little river creature but still not a whole lot of time, eh?
All that got me thinking.
1 day for the river creature.
28 days for the fly.
How many days do we get?
Enter: Google Sheet.
For the sake of a round number of 28,000 days, let’s assume we live to 76.71232877.
Considerably better than the river critter and the fly but still not a ton, eh?
Continuing my little calculations on the Sheet now entitled “Perspective Builder,” I added some data for how long the Universe has been around. And, how long physicists think it’ll endure.
(Note: God bless the folks who do that kind of math! 🤓 🚀)
Science says that our Universe has been around for about 13.7 billion years.
Not accounting for leap years 😉, that’s 5,000,500,000,000 days.
Looking forward, scientists tell us we’ve got about 5 billion good years left in the Universe.
Once again, not accounting for leap years 😉, that’s another 1,825,000,000,000 days.
So, all in, from start to finish, our Universe will exist for about 6,825,500,000,000 days.
On that COSMIC scale, let’s compare how long that river critter gets vis-a-vis the fly vis-a-vis you and me.
That river critter that lives for a day? Well, he (or is it she?) gets to live for a span of about 0.000000000015% the total span of the Universe’s existence.
The fly? 0.00000000041%
The human? 0.00000041%
On a cosmic scale, our time here is kinda brief.
So, let’s make the most of it.