The Universe is nearly fourteen billion years old according to some scientists. Their concept of time as linear makes no sense to me if by “The Universe” they mean everything. My puzzlement is, what was there before? Why isn’t that part of “everything”? Even if they only mean all matter and the space between it, the “matter” had to come from or be something before the Big Bang, if there was a Big Bang. Perhaps the scientists are as the gods, “Their ways are higher than my ways and their thoughts are higher than my thoughts.” I can live with that.
Our tiny blue speck of The Universe is about four and one-half billion years old say these experts. I am okay with that estimate as it has a beginning about half way through the “beginning” of The Universe. In other words, the earth came from something; “Star Stuff” says astronomer and philosopher Carl Sagan.
Africa, our home of origin say these wise men, started breaking from the super-continent Pangea about a quarter of a billion years ago. Humans came along maybe three to four million years ago in Africa and we Homo sapiens evolved around two hundred thousand years ago. We named ourselves Homo sapiens, which means “wise men” or “wise humans” in Latin. It is probably only a coincidence that Latin is a dead language.
North America likely was first inhabited by these wise creatures around fourteen thousand years ago. The original Americans, the Native Americans one might say, lived more or less undisturbed for around thirteen thousand years until a few Norse men showed up and stayed a short while. Then the people we all nod and wink at as the “discoverers” of America arrived in 1492 and the immigrant gates slowly opened.
Two hundred eighty four years later we revolted against Great Britain. It took another 145 years before we completely subjugated the Natives and started to unsubjugate women. African Americans had to wait for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. We are still stumbling toward total acceptance of some other groups.
Some might complain that fourteen billion years should be long enough. However, as we contemplate the significance of July 04, 1776, others might be enheartened and invigorated to complete, “the great task remaining before us”. I guess it depends on who evolves.