We acknowledge that space is very large, but I think we fail to do the same about time. I have a question for you. What is the definition of history? Until recently, I thought history simply referred to the time before the present, basically a synonym for the past. But that turns out to be way, way, way incorrect. The meaning of history, I learned, is the time before the present about which we have a written record. That amounts to some 5,000 years. Which rounds to 0% real fast when you compare it to the expanse of time that is the past.

The past, as most conservatively defined, is 13.8 billion years old. It’s been that long since the plus-sized Bang. So, history amounts to a mere 0.000036% of the past, and, inversely, the past is 2.76 million histories long. The observable universe, for reference, is 880k Milky Ways wide. I declare time bigger than space.

When you want to study the time before history, you get into paleontology, the study of fossilized records. When you want to go further back, you get into astronomy, the study of how objects formed and moved around through space. And when you want to go further back still, you enter the fields of physics and its dumb cousin chemistry from whom you can hope to infer when and how all these elements formed and coalesced. Finally, if you want to examine time before time itself, I regret that I have to refer you to the Department of Philosophy because we just don’t fucking know.

But what isn’t under question is that human history is an insanely minor, cosmically irrelevant blip of time. Human history follows a stupefyingly vast duration in which humans had no role and precedes a much longer expanse in which humans will again have no role.