Humans have a hard time contemplating big numbers. Ask a person on the street the difference between 1 million and 1 billion, you you’ll get lots of answers, with most thinking they are both really big numbers. The real difference is that 1 billion is about 1 billion bigger than 1 million. (1 million is only 0.1% of 1 billion). Tell people that Cleopatra lived closer to man landing on the moon than she did to the building of the pyramids and they will just look at you like you are crazy.

Something happened 10,000 years ago? How do you process that, let alone the Jurassic period started about 200 million years ago?

I wonder if that is the reason religion has a hard time with science in general and evolution is particular because of the inability to handle the large numbers evolved. How do you process that Proxima Centauri, the closest star to our own, is 40,208,000,000,000 km away, or that the oldest human remains date to 315,000 years ago?

How mush easer it is to just assume the earth is 6000-10,000 years old, instead of the 4 billion years old it actually is? The numbers in the Bible are so much easier to digest than the number science give us.

How does one process that the church has over 100 billion dollars? Somebody has developed a web site that visualizes what $100,000,000,000 looks like. The average American person makes $2.7 million over their lifetime. How can that average person grasp that $100 billion is 37,000 times more that they will make in their whole life?

What has been your experience with big numbers? Do you work in a field that requires you to deal with them?