Remember the Epic


Mnemotic Device to Remember the Epic of Evolution

Do you need an easier way to remember what happened when in the Epic of Evolution? David Bryson, MD, suggests the following mnemotic device as an easy framework for remembering what happened when. Although these times are not exact, they are in the ballpark.

5×10^9 ,8 ,7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0

5×10^9 – (about 5 billion years ago) the birth of the earth
5×10^8 – (about 500 million years ago) the first fish
5×10^7 – (about 50 million years ago) the first monkeys
5×10^6 – (about 5 million years ago) the first humans
5×10^5 – (about 500 thousand years ago) the first babies with brains getting much bigger after birth
5×10^4 – (about 50 thousand years ago) the first language
5×10^3 – (about 5000 years ago) the first writing, the first cities, the first armies
5×10^2 – (about 500 years ago) the first printed books, the hemispheres merge
5×10^1 – (about 50 years ago)the first commercial computers, technology escalates
5×10^0 – (the first 5 years of the 21st century) detection of human-caused global climate change.

This first appeared at

For more information, contact David Bryson at