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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Deep Time

The Big Idea for Sunday, January 26, 2014

We often think of museums as places that collect the dust of the past, not the guide to the future. Kirk Johnson, director of the National Museum of Natural History, sees museums much differently. The current exhibition at the National Museum of Natural History called "Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code" aims to enhance our understanding of the full diversity of life on this planet.

The story of our planet, the deep time of the planet - which goes back 4.567 billion years - represents an incredible narrative about how we came to be and how our world works today, Johnson says. 

Since our knowledge about what is happening to the planet right now is evolving rapidly, Johnson says that the concept of deep time "becomes surprisingly relevant to what I call the deep future. Many of the understandings of how we’ll deal with the next hundred years are embedded in the deep time of our planet’s history."

Perspectives

  1. 1 Evolution is Not an Obvious or Intuitive Concept
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 The History of Life on Earth in Three Minutes
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  3. 3 Which Came First, Life or Earth?
    Kas Thomas Devil in the Data
  4. 4 Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Deny Evolution
    Bill Nye
 

Deep Time

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