I should start off by saying that, considering what my interests are, I’m probably not the best person to answer this question. Of course we should care about the Cambrian Period, it’s cool! Uber-cool!
But in all honesty, if I were to walk up to the majority of people and ask them whether they thought the Cambrian period was relevant to their lives. Well, I’m sure you can imagine.
But in this post, I’m hoping to prove that actually, I’m not crazy for caring; they are for not caring. A tall order perhaps, but if you look at what does interest people these days (*cough* celebrities *cough*), methinks there is hope. So here we go, the top five reasons that everyone should care about the Cambrian period.
5. It’s Family
Lot’s of people are interested in Genealogy, right? It’s cool to know about your family, what nation, or nations, they came from, what they were like. Well, start looking back a lot further. A LOT further. Look so far back into your family’s past that your ancestors aren’t even human anymore. Somewhere, swimming in the seas of the Cambrian period, your family line was represented.
The kicker is, we’re not really sure what species your ancestor is. We think it may be Pikia gracilens, but we could be wrong. How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’re from? Take an interest in the Cambrian, it will help you in your quest for self-knowledge.
4. It’s Better Than Your Lame Job
Statistically, a majority of people in a majority of western countries are currently unhappy with their jobs. Since you aren’t finding satisfaction in your career, it’s time to look elsewhere. It’s time to look to the Cambrian. Sure, you may think your workday is unbearably long, but compared to the vastness of geological time, it is a drop in the ocean. You may have endured twenty years in the same dull job, but think of the trilobites. They endured hundreds of millions years of drudgery. Start appreciating the bigger picture, and the small annoyances seem more bearable.
And if nothing else, you can while away the long hours looking up the Cambrian period on Wikipedia. Better than cruising through that lame humor website that you always visit.
3. It’ll Make You Look Smart
Let’s explore this with a hypothetical situation. “Tiberius Octavius Imperiosus,” is interested in beer and monster trucks, but wishes to impress his well-educated friend. The conversation might go something like this:
Friend: “I just finished reading The Peasants of Languedoc, a wonderful work of the Annales school”
Tiberius Octavius Imperiosus: “Cambrian period… trilobites… anomalocarids…”
Friend: “Good God Tiberius, I had no idea you were so learned!”
There is no doubt about it, obscure knowledge makes you look smarter. Do yourself a favor and have a look at the Cambrian. Your friends will be amazed, and you will become the life of the party.
2. It’s Stranger Than Britney
Nobody can deny having a fascination with the bizarre antics of Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan. We thrive on oddities. This is probably why mainstream media has become such a freak show. Well, the Cambrian period had its freaks too. Lohan on crack? That’s nothing! Opabinia had fiveeyes. Five eyes! And I’m not even mentioning the trunk-like nose extension! That’s even better than a bearded lady, and certainly better than drug fueled celebrity hijinks.
And how about Wiwaxia? I don’t even know what to say. A living, double-mohawk-gone-wrong, thing. Many Cambrian organisms are so bizarre that scientists give up on trying the classify them at all, and invent new phyla for them. Dull, lifeless fossil formations? More like prehistoric traveling freak shows!
1. Use It, or Lose It
Calm down, I’m talking about your brain. You’ve all heard the inspiring metaphors about the brain being a muscle, which will atrophy if it isn’t exercised. It’s not a muscle, but don’t let that get in the way of the metaphor. You’re going to have to think about something to keep the mind alive. And since you have to think anyways, while not think about the Cambrian?
You could think about current events, but the state of the world today is too depressing to contemplate at length. You could think about the future, but that’s even worse. Since you’re forced to think about the past, why stop at only a few centuries? 500,000,000 is bigger than 100, and bigger is better, so the choice is really a no brainer. Cambrian hands down.
I think I’ve made my point. The Cambrian is fascinating, and should be beloved by all. The Cambrian is critical in your quest for self-knowledge. It helps you get through the workday, and makes you look brilliant in front of friends. The Cambrian isthe freakshow you’ve been searching for. But above all, the Cambrian keeps your mind alive. There is no excuse to not care about the Cambrian period.
But don’t take it from me. Boot up Wikipedia, or crack open Wonderful Life and find out for yourself.