Life on Earth

“Our planet is four and a half billion years old.  There has been life on this planet for nearly that long.  Three point eight billion years.  The first bacteria.  And, later, the first multicellular animals, then the first complex creatures, in the sea, on the land.  Then the great sweeping ages of animals — the amphibians, the dinosaurs, the mammals, each lasting millions upon millions of years.  Great dynasties of creatures arising, flourishing, dying away.  All this happening against a background of continuous and violent upheaval, mountain ranges thrust up and eroded away, cometary impacts, volcanic eruptions, oceans rising and falling, whole continents moving…  Endless constant and violent change…  Even today, the greatest geographic feature on the planet comes from two great continents colliding, buckling to make the Himalyan mountain range over millions of years.  The planet has survived everything, in its time.  It will certainly survive us.”

— Ian Malcolm

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