Universe born ‘some’ time ago

A PBS show called Journey of the Universe was on recently. The blurb for it went like this: “The story of the cosmos, Earth and the emergence of humans is related by evolutionary philosopher Thomas Swimme. (89 min.)” 


I didn’t watch Journey of the Universe. Don’t remember why. Something more thought-provoking must have been on. Pawn Stars, perhaps. But even so, I am impressed that the story of the cosmos could lend itself to an interpretation in 89 minutes. Mind you, that would be without commercials.


The universe, scientists tell us, began with a bang 13.798 billion years ago, give or take 39 million years.


Guess they must be taking leap years into account. Not everyone accepts this number, however. Some insist the world was created just a few thousand years ago. 


If that’s what they want to believe, far be it from me to try to dissuade them. Carbon dating would suggest otherwise, but carbon dating could be a grand illusion of the military-industrial complex.


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If you think about it, it makes sense that the story of the cosmos, Earth and the emergence of humans can be explained in a mere 89 minutes. 


If we can lose 20 pounds in 20 days, if our teeth can be turned from yellow niblets into white pearls in a couple of weeks, if the four-minute mile is now the three minute and 43 second mile, if fish can play chess, then it shouldn’t be all that difficult to explain the universe to PBS viewers in less than 90 minutes.


Confession: When I say fish can play chess, I am referring to people who evolved from fish, flopping onto dry land a few million years ago, eventually walking upright and inventing the can opener, et cetera. 


Conspiracy theorists, feel free to substitute “a few hundred years” for “a few million.”

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Michael Gillgannon is the former news editor of The Western Producer and managing editor of Western People. Contact: humour@producer.com