Twenty-four hours that define the human species

Future alien archaeologists who discover Earth and try to figure out the civilization that once roamed it will have a thankless job.

How can you explain the species based only on the just-completed 24 hours, let alone centuries of existence?


It marshaled the intelligence and talent to build a spacecraft, sending it on a five-year mission to a distant planet, and then got it to orbit in the name of science and knowledge.

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, Pool

It blew up a city in the name of religion. Then bombed two other cities for good measure, killing hundreds of innocent people.

Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images)

It celebrated someone eating 70 hotdogs in 10 minutes.

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer