mind, and perhaps the only hope for the conscious mind to attain a deep- time footprint of its own.
The Bottom Line: The story of life is a deep-time story, as is the story of humans. We barely perceive the deep past and perceive the deep future not at all. But maybe we can.
Our Family Tree
Summary: Earth’s life has been evolving for nearly four billion years, from the small and simple to the large and complex, and everything in between. During the last several hundred million years, our planet’s tree of life has ascended myriad wonderful and fascinating trunks, branches and twigs. From the phantasmagorical denizens living near the bottom of the ocean to cooperative mole rats in the arctic, from the perhaps 80,000 plant species in the Amazon 9 to the carnivorous Venus fly trap, scientists have catalogued that we share this planet with uncounted other species of creatures – the newest estimate being 8.7 million. 10 (Since so many are small creatures in the soil and in the oceans, some scientists estimate Earth holds as many as 100 million unique species, and it would take us 1000+ years to catalogue them all.) Humans share DNA ancestry with every one of these living organisms on Earth – almost 99% with our close cousins the chimpanzees and bonobos, some 90% with cows, 80% with cats, 70% with mice, 60% with
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