Culturing Science – biology as relevant to us earthly beings

Lazy Sunday Video: A tour de force through the history of life

Posting the lazy sunday video at 4pm: That means it’s an exceptionally lazy day!

But it’s also an exceptional video — one of my favorites that I’ve seen on the whole of the internet. (Gasp!) Piecing together clips from dozens of science documentaries and specials overlaid with stunning music, the youtube user UppruniTegundanna starts out tracing the history of humans, integrating technological and artistic development. Then it takes a turn to beautifully visualize the most severe mass extinctions on this planet before starting from the beginning — from the big bang, formation of the solar system and earth, the first molecules and the evolution of life as we know it.

It’s a lot of ground to cover and it’s so well done. Get ready for 12 straight minutes of butterflies and chills. I haven’t failed to get them each time I watch it, an unquantifiable number of times at this point.

In this video and his others, the artist seems to truly grasp the magnificence of the universe. At its heart, this video is about natural disasters, embracing extinction and death as key to how we got here. In a lovely blog post this week, Patrick Clarkin wrote:

Eugenie Scott, Director of the National Center for Science Education, has written that for many laypeople the notion that evolution is an unguided, mechanistic process implies that “life has no meaning.” However, contrast that view with how many scientists write about nature. The sense of awe and reverence that is exuded is palpable.

And this video exemplifies this — true awe at the fact that we exist at all.

Written by Hanner

May 15, 2011 at 3:24 pm

2 Responses

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  1. I had not seen that video before. Thanks for featuring it, and thanks for the kind words.

    Patrick Clarkin

    May 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

  2. What a marvelous video. Thanks for sharing. Because of the length, it took me awhile to sit down and watch, but I am glad I did. Puts life, Earth, and the galaxy into perspective.


    May 27, 2011 at 10:03 am

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