Realm Of Randomness

June 18, 2007

Humbled

Filed under: Evolution,Philosophy,Science — Randomizer @ 5:52 am

There are a few moments in life when you feel that whoever you are and whatever you will ever be are so insignificant in the bigger scheme of things that you just ought to give up and stop trying! I had a moment like that this weekend when a long-time dream of mine finally came to life – not in flesh and blood, but bone.

T-Rex

It was the Tyrannosaurus Rex. Staring down at us with all its glory, towering over us as we admired its sharp claws and sturdy frame, not daring to imagine how it must have been when alive and breathing. The Houston Museum of Natural Sciences was a mind blowing experience indeed. Apart from having this lizard monster staring down at you, one gets to see fossils of dozens of other dinosaurs, each one creepier than the next. Woolly mammoths, Triceratops skulls, a pre-historic ancestor of the horse, a feathered dinosaur, the list went on.

But what really gave me the ‘shock’ moment was the fact that one of these dinosaur skeletons was actually retrieved from an excavation site just a few miles away from where I stood. ( The Dairy Ashford area, for those of you familiar with Houston ) .

Whenever we read about dinosaurs, we picture them in the distant past, in an age so different that we believe it was an alternate world in itself. But how many of us actually, actually appreciate the fact that these massive monsters lived, roamed, ate and died in exactly the spot we are standing on right now ?

When this monster of a million years ago stared down at me on Saturday, everything I held dear and important vanished in the blink of an eye, and I was humbled, stripped down to the bone, much like the Rex, struggling to balance my sense of self-importance with the fact that my ‘lifetime’ will not even be as significant as a speck of dust when compared to the trillions of lifetimes the Earth has and will continue to serve host to.

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2 Comments »

  1. Wow, I bet it was an awesome experience. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
    I have reflected on this in the past, but I guess it must be something different when you actually see it towering over you.. another equally entertaining realisation is of the fact that every person who ever lived did so on this same planet, the planet that keeps getting passed along from generation to generation, and is currently in our hands.
    The problem is, with all the fruits of archaeology and the deciphering of ancient manuscripts, with all the History we studied and grew up with, we believe that the Past still exists. We can see it clearly. The Egyptians are building the pyramids. Columbus sets sail to the end of the world. The Atom bomb speeds downwards towards Hiroshima. Well, what if we flattened out Time, compressed all of History into this one instant of time, the Present… that’s when you realise, both how insignficant you really are, and how Privileged we must be.

    Comment by eyw — June 19, 2007 @ 6:43 am | Reply

  2. Heh, yeah even all the stuff in the History books about the wars and the civilization actually happened right here where we are standing. I guess it takes a visit to a museum to really appreciate how many generations have fought or died in that spot.

    I guess it is so HARD to imagine life in any different age, that it ends up just becoming a ‘fantasy’ in our minds, perhaps in a similar place as Harry potter, Jurassic park or Lord of the rings. It doesn’t register in the ‘Real’ section of our brains at all.

    Also, we really feel that the 50’s and the 60’s were black and white, or hazy or somehow ‘old’ and grainy … Its funny that back then, the world was exactly as colorful as it is right now, the places were almost always exactly the way they are today, and just because photographic media wasn’t developed enough, we feel that age was ‘distant’ and ‘old’ and ‘ancient’ and ‘grainy’ :)

    Comment by Randomizer — June 20, 2007 @ 2:59 pm | Reply


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