"“One way to try to comprehend the awesome abyss of Deep Time is to envision the whole history of Earth as taking place over the course of a single, twenty-four hour day.

 

On this scale, nothing stirs until almost 6:00 A.M. - Earth is a dead place for nearly the first quarter of its existence.

 

The morning and the afternoon and most of the evening are primitive but eventful; simple, single-celled bacteria evolve into more complex, multi-cellular organisms.

 

Sexual reproduction brings still greater variety and diversification. Life partitions itself into the plant and animal kingdoms. Yet the day is all but gone before much of anything resembling modern life-forms develop.

 

Dinosaurs don’t show up until around 10:40 P.M.! Humans arrive on the scene after 11:58 P.M. Civilization, the whole great, passionate drama of recorded history, from pharaohs to the Internet, takes place in the last second before midnight."

 

~ William Sauder, A Plague of Frogs.