Extinction Spirals

Every 27 Million years, according to this research, life on this planet gets kind of wiped out.

Between 10 percent to over 60 percent of all species’ population goes extinct on what looks like a regular basis. Just think on it. Makes our local space-and-time rages against the Machine look sort of pathetic, eh?

Well, not really. I’m used to thinking in terms of huge numbers of years as well as great distance – I’ve been thinking as an astronomer since I was about six years old, I reckon – but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to fight for Life right here and right now, as well. Maybe it’s what we are supposed to be doing, in this spatio-temporal knot.

But apart from the sheer gall of it, I was awestruck by the number attached to this periodicity. 27 Million years. If we deal in base 10, then a Million is a significant and handy chunk of time. But 27? That’s 3 to the third power, or three to the power of itself. A canny and holy number all by itself.

As to what’s causing this – hel, how should I know? Perhaps it’s in the nature of time itself, to form a spiral of repeating spatio-temporal events, acausal. Perhaps that’s just, in other words, what time does.

We have about 16 Million years, it appears, to work it out. This time around, at any rate.


4 responses to “Extinction Spirals

  1. No, we DON'T have 16 million years. We don't even have ONE. This will be an artificial, un-natural, intelligence (or lack of it) driven event that has nothing to do with natural cycles or Nemesis passing through the asteroid belt. The dinosaurs were actually a roaring (no pun intended) success until that rock came out of space and smacked them down.One favorite scenario of science fiction is terra-forming hostile planets in order to make them more hospital for human habitation. Isn't it ironic that instead we are terra-DEforming our own ecosystem in such a way as to kill most if not all life within it.27 is probably just an average of a cycle that is easily explained, such as meteor strikes and extreme sun cycles. This particular extinction event began with the industrial revolution and may have even been inevitable once we turned from hunter/gatherer to agricultural society. We COULD avoid this, only the hallmark of this species is suicidal behavior…….


  2. From my research on this what drives the extinctions is the dominant species overpopulating the planet. The dinosaurs had several extinctions, only one caused by the big rock from outer space. The others were driven by climate change caused by increased greenhouse gases — i.e. methane farts, yo . . . all our cows are driving the greenhouse effect more than all our cars. yes, there are other factors, including solar flares, magnetic fields, earth axis flips and etc. We are actually overdue for an axis flip and solar flares. but aside from those things, it is undeniable that humans and their domesticated animals have overpopulated the planet to the tipping point.One last item, the graph shows a fractal pattern similar to the Elliott Wave theory of stock market cycles. Fractal patterns are Nature's patterns. Everything on this Earth is ordered in a fractal way — even our thoughts.


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