Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 08/16/2021
The Stegosaurus died out about 150 million years ago. The Tyrannosaurus died in the great extinction about 65 million years ago.
That means that the Tyrannosaurus lived closer to our time than to the time of the Stegosaurus. Think about that.
The reign of the dinosaurs was about 180 million years in total. Homo sapiens have been here about 300,000 years. To this point, the dinosaurs were here 600 times longer than we’ve been here.
And they’re not here now because of a piece of space junk, not because of a failure to adapt. (Of course, their distant descendants, birds, are all around us.)
We need to abandon our hubris.
There are forms of life that live in sulfur, hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 36,000 feet deep, about two miles deeper than Mt. Everest is high. There are fish found at 8,000 feet deep. The coelacanth fish was thought to have disappeared with the Tyrannosaurus 65 million years ago—until they were found quite healthy and unchanged in 1938 in the Indian Ocean, where they still reside today. No one told them they had become extinct.
Life has evolved and adapted. Even after the asteroid hit the Yucatan, life survived. It’s believed by most scientists that cockroaches would survive a nuclear winter and continue to thrive. Japanese scientists have revived microbes that are over 100 million years old. No one is quite sure how old or how big lobsters can grow, and there is a kind of clam called a Quahog where individuals have been found to be at least 500 years old and doing quite well.
Life goes on. If we stop acting as if we’re masters of the universe and just understand that we’re a small part of it, maybe we’ll all figure out how to survive. If not for the asteroid, we’d all be reptiles today.
Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception. —Carl Sagan
There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning. —Thorton Wilder
Survival was my only hope, success my only revenge. —Patricia Cornwell
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