LeBron asks about comparing Earth's history to a basketball game | Summary and Q&A

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September 4, 2012
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Khan Academy
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LeBron asks about comparing Earth's history to a basketball game

TL;DR

Humans have been on Earth for a fraction of a second in the "basketball game" timeline, while the extinction of the dinosaurs occurred with less than a minute left in the game.

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Key Insights

  • 👾 A basketball game can be used as an analogy to understand the relative timeline of events in Earth's history.
  • ❓ Humans have only been around for a fraction of a second compared to the entire duration of Earth's existence.
  • 😚 The extinction of the dinosaurs occurred relatively close to the end of Earth's history, with less than a minute left in the "basketball game."
  • 🤕 The vast age difference between humans and the Earth highlights the insignificance of our existence in the grand timeline of the universe.
  • 🤕 The comparison of timeframes can help us grasp the immense age of the Earth and appreciate the brevity of human existence.
  • 🦕 The Earth's history is characterized by significant events like the extinction of the dinosaurs, which happened relatively recently in the timeline.
  • 👾 Conceptualizing Earth's history in familiar terms, like a basketball game, can make it easier to comprehend and appreciate the vastness of geological time.

Transcript

LeBron: If the history of the earth was a basketball game, at what point in the game will the humans show up? Voiceover: Let's first think about how long a basketball game is in the NBA. We have 4 quarters that each lasts 12 minutes, so we're talking about 48 minutes. 48 minutes of regulation play. I'm not considering half time and the time outs an... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How long is an NBA basketball game in terms of regulation play?

An NBA basketball game consists of 48 minutes of regulation play, equivalent to 2,880 seconds.

Q: How old is the Earth and the estimated age of the solar system?

The Earth and the entire solar system are estimated to be 4.54 billion years old.

Q: How long have anatomically modern humans been on the surface of the Earth?

Anatomically modern humans have been on Earth for approximately 200,000 years.

Q: When did the extinction of the dinosaurs occur relative to the Earth's history?

The extinction of the dinosaurs, caused by an asteroid impact, occurred 65.5 million years ago, which is about 41 seconds before the end of the "basketball game" timeline.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The duration of an NBA basketball game is 48 minutes of regulation play, equivalent to 2,880 seconds.

  • The Earth is estimated to be 4.54 billion years old, while anatomically modern humans have been around for approximately 200,000 years.

  • The extinction of the dinosaurs due to an asteroid impact occurred 65.5 million years ago, which is about 41 seconds before the end of the "basketball game" timeline.

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