Frans Lanting

23:59 Fri 27 Apr 2007. Updated: 03:10 28 Apr 2007
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I went to see a Long Now Foundation essay this evening with Lev, and it was really good. The talk was given by Frans Lanting, a photographer, and was called “Life’s Journey Through Time”.

Frans Lanting is a nature photographer who has recently completed a project about tracing the past of the earth by taking photographs of various species that resemble their much older antecedents. As he does this, he uses the photographs to tell a story about how life has evolved over time, and about the history of life on this planet. And he makes it very compelling.

It certainly helped me to take a longer view of history. Human history really is an eye blink in comparison, and other species have reigned over the earth for millions or billions of years. Stromatilites are an example, having had the planet to themselves for hundreds of millions of years. In addition, they were apparently largely responsible for the shift to an oxygen-rich atmosphere here.

It unquestionably makes me want to learn more about the history of the earth, which is partly the point. There’s a website, which is supposed to be quite good, but I haven’t tried that out yet. I suspect I will.

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