.25 Sheets

My wife, Catherine, was reading your column this evening and said: “Nick has you in the Angry Poodle this week.” I perked up and paid attention. As she read on aloud I went from smiling to horror. “Oh no… that is awful… he got it wrong!” I said.

You take a 500-sheet roll of cheap toilet paper and each sheet = 10 million years. (You were good so far.) Then you rip off 40 sheets, which represent 400 million years. What you have left in your hand is a physical representation of the age of the earth, 4.6 billion years. Geologists measure time in Million Years Ago (Ma). Then as you roll back in time at just 6.5 sheets (65 Ma) the dinosaurs went extinct… 20 sheets (200 Ma) is when petrified wood was a real tree… about 23 sheets (230 Ma) dinosaurs started to evolve… and the land surface of the earth was one joined continent.

Hominids just came into being 2.3 Ma which is about 1/4 of a sheet. Dinosaurs were around for about 16 sheets (160 million years)!

Unless, you are one of those conservative Christians who back-times through the Bible, in which case the whole creation thing started a mere 7,000 years ago. I’ve been told that some very old Bibles actually have the years from the beginning noted on each page. Maybe they have one at the Book Den.

Sorry I didn’t communicate better!

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