This is a pikaia. It is one of the earliest chordates to have existed, roughly 500 million years ago. Posessing a notochord (aw yeah, I still remember my grade 11 biology), it is a distant ancestor of humans, since we belong to the phylum Chordata as well.
Isn't that amazing? A long, long, incredibly long time ago, that was us. Just a dumb looking worm swimming about in the ocean. Personally, I find this incredibly beautiful. Not the worm, he's kind of gross, but the entire process. I love sitting back and thinking about the transition that life has made of all these millenia.It's exciting, especially to think of where everything will be going in the future.
I think that some people tend to feel belittled or insignificant in the face of such enormity, and choose to ignore it in favour of "grander" theories, like Creation. But how can all this progress not be grand?! How can people not see the beauty in this slow transformation that we all get to be a part of? I am constantly humbled, and then proud and puffed up. I worry that people don't value themselves the way they should sometimes, and the vastness of life before, life now and life to come makes them feel unimportant. It's a sad attitude to adopt. I know I have some very blunt attitudes myself towards things like this (we are just a speck in the universe, etc), but in more positive moods, I can recognize that we are all valuable stepping stones in life, in evolution.
My absolute favourite fact about the universe came to me through Neil deGrasse Tyson. It's a popular video, so you may have seen it before, but I can never get tired of watching it.
I just want people, all people, to be able to look at the world, at the universe, at life, and be able to feel what I feel whenever I think about these things. It's a great feeling.
Whoo! It's been a long time since I wrote here! I've just been so busy with school. In fact, I really should have been doing about three different things instead of writing this post, but this was more fun. More again soon! I have a bone to pick with philosophy, and you'll hear aaaall about it.