Welcome to Superoceras, a blog about science and natural history, slightly biased towards paleontology and zoology, but inclusive of all sciences. Started in October of 2009, my goal is to communicate scientific knowledge (and the occasional piece of nonsense) in an informative and entertaining manner. Feel free to contact me with questions, comments, concerns, or criticism at superoceras(at)gmail(dot)com, and follow me on Twitter @Superoceras for all that and more in 140 characters or less!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Things I Learned This Semester #31

I've been learning since the day I was born, and this semester was no exception.  In my lifetime I've managed to pick up a little bit about a lot of things.  But I'm certainly no expert when it comes to any of it.  And I kind of like that.  This world is a big place, and the vastness beyond it is incomprehensible.  It's hard to focus on any one thing when there is always so much left out there to focus on.  I'm eternally grateful for that.  Because it means that no matter what I learn, there will always be something out there left for me to discover.  We'll never have all of the answers to all of our questions about Life.  None of us can ever learn all there is to know about the Universe.  And when it comes to Everything, well, you can forget it.

But that's ok.  We don't have to know everything.  Being able to live and learn a little along the way is amazing in itself.  The fact that I'm here today to write this at all (or that you're here to read it for that matter) is a wonderful gift.  We're all here because some 3.8 billion years ago, Life began on this little blue sphere.  And we're all fortunate enough to be the end result.  Our ancestors, and the ancestors of every other living thing on Earth, managed to survive every mass extinction event in the history of the planet.  We all share a common ancestry, and have a very long history. Science, knowledge itself, is the vessel through which we can explore it together.

I promised 31 things I learned this semester for the 31 days in May.  May is long over, and as the Summer Solstice comes to an end, so does this series.  But never forget the most important thing you can ever learn: there is never a point at which we stop learning.  Every day is a unique experience, and there is always something you can take from it.  No matter how small any of us may seem in the grand scheme of things, it's important to realize that we get to be a part of it.  That the very fiber of the Universe runs through each and every one of us.  That we are all connected to each other, and everything else as well.  Our collective story is a phenomenal one. The next time you look up into the night sky, take a moment to realize we're all 13.75 billion years (give or take) in the making. This is not an original thought, and many minds more brilliant than mine have said it in many ways more elegant than this.  But it never hurts to reiterate.  So as the heat of summer approaches, keep learning, everyone.     I'm very eager to hear about what you discover along the way.

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