A grandfather tells a story to his little grandchild to explain how brief, yet destructive, was man’s presence in the world. In the story, 4.6 billion years of the Earth’s history are reduced to the six days of the Genesis – each day standing for 770 million years.
Day after day we go through the origin of life, its evolution, the appearance and extinction of dinosaurs. And only on Saturday at 11.57 p.m., three minutes before midnight on the last day, does man appear. He is still a primitive being, but his hands can grasp tools that he built himself. The human being soon stands out among all living beings, dominates the natural elements, and starts a quick evolution, no longer paced by days and hours, but rather by fractions of seconds.
One-fortieth of second before midnight the industrial revolution starts. It is a moment, a blink, but one that changed the face of the Earth bringing destruction and disorders. The newborn human being looks around frightened by the price the whole Earth had to pay for his progress. He seems to have parted from the natural pace of the planet’s evolution, from the slow flow of nature.
It is midnight. And we keep going on, confident that what we did for one-fortieth of second can go on forever.