200,000 Years: Let’s Reflect on How Far We’ve Come!

Posted on February 17, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Have you ever wondered what the history of humanity really looks like?

Also, what is human history? When does it start? Is it one story?

Image: Scientist staring at an early human skull
Source: Wikimedia Commons

If we are to put our current place into perspective, our “modern” history would make up 0.001% of our species’s time here on Earth.

That’s a lot of ground to cover, and a lot of questions about our origins to be explored!

Sometimes, we need a little perspective to remind us where we came from so we can remember how far the future can take us!

Here’s a great exploration of our history from early ancestors to modern technologies from Kurzgesagt.

After watching this video a few times, there are so many factoids that give me better perspective on where we fall in the greater scheme of things.

I am floored by the fact that Homo Erectus lived on this planet for 2 million years, that’s 10 times longer than modern humans have been around! We are, comparatively, a blip in the planet’s history.

And yes, 12,000 years is a long time, but to have gone from the early stages of agriculture to exploring the depths of space in that time is an incredible feat!

When I put our time on this planet into perspective it reminds me that we are only in the early stages of what our species is capable of. Like our ancestors, we are still learning, still evolving. We are evolving our language, our governments, our religions, our cultures. And up until very recently, it was impossible to do that on a large scale.

Now, as we fully enter a period of history in which we truly are interconnected as a species across the globe, our evolution will have a new trajectory.

For as bleak as things may sometimes seem, we don’t have a great road map of what lies ahead in our connected future. So, we are bound to make mistakes, but we are also capable of making great leaps forward!

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!


Looking for more perspective?

We have some great articles I highly recommend to give you a better look at our place in the planet’s history. First, check out Laying out Earth’s History on a Football Field. Then, take a look at another Kurzgesagt video we featured in an article called Happy 12017! Let’s Celebrate an Extra 10,000 Years of History!