In geologists’ own lives, the least effect of time is that they think in two languages, function on two different scales. “You care less about civilization. Half of me gets upset with civilization. The other half does not get upset. I shrug and think, So let the cockroaches take over.” “Mammalian species last, typically, two million years. We’ve about used up ours. Every time zakelijke energie Leakey finds something older, I say, ‘Oh! We’re overdue.’ We will be handing the dominant-species-onearth position to some other group. We’ll have to be clever not to.” “A sense of geologic time is the most important thing to suggest to the nongeologist: the slow rate of geologic processes, centimetres per year, with huge effects, if continued for enough years.” “A million years is a short time-the shortest worth messing with for most problems. You begin tuning your mind to a time scale that is the planet’s time scale. For me, it is almost unconscious now and is a kind of companionship with the earth.”
“It didn’t take very long for those mountains to come up, to be deroofed, and to be thrust eastward. Then the motion stopped. That happened in maybe ten million years, and to a geologist that’s really fast.” “If you free yourself from the conventional reaction to a quantity like a million years, you zakelijke energie vergelijken free yourself a bit from the boundaries of human time. And then in a way you do not live at all, but in another way you live forever.”
One is tempted to condense time, somewhat glibly-to say, for example, that the faulting which lifted up the mountains of the Basin and Range began “only” eight million years ago. The late Miocene was “a mere” eight million years ago. That the Rocky Mountains were building seventy million years ago and the Appalachians were folding four hundred million years ago does not impose brevity on eight million years. What is to be avoided is an abridgment of deep time in a manner that tends to veil its already obscure dimensions. The periods are so long-the eighty million years of the Cretaceous, the forty-six million years of the Devonian-that each has acquired its own internal time scale, intricately constructed and elaborately named. I will not attempt to reproduce this amazing list but only to suggest its profusion.