Life on Earth is strange, and I don’t just mean physically. It’s odd how life goes on here.
In terms of time, we are so out of sync with our planet!
First, look at our natural surroundings — steady as a rock (most of the time, anyway).
And usually very, very old.
Then look at humans, or at cats — each born helpless; struggling to reach maturity; struggling more to survive and reproduce; and then aging and passing away.
It all happens quickly, too (at least to an outside observer: parts of our own lives seem to take forever).
In the wild, cats don’t live long, maybe five to ten years, or a little more if they’re tough and lucky.
Exceptionally elderly people might live for a hundred years, but even this is short compared to the social fabric that they are wrapped in. While often resembling a patchwork quilt, its history goes back many centuries.
The current British monarch, for example, is in her mid-90s. That isn’t very old, considering how long her royal house has been around, and it’s positively youthful compared to the age of her kingdom.
Still, what do centuries and millennia mean to a multimillion-year-old rock?
Nothing, of course. It’s inert, although there may be something living underneath it or even inside. The rock’s components — silica, oxygen, and various other elements — are just chemistry, facts for nerds to ponder.
Biology is where it’s at, and we’re at the top of the heap!
This delusion is so powerful that most of us need a strong reason to ask the really interesting question — what does that multimillion-year-old rock mean to us?