Friday, July 13, 2007

The Big Bang

I picked up a book today humbly titled "Rock and Gem" and it's worth every penny of the six dollars that it cost me. Fittingly, it opens with a description of the formation of the universe:

"It is hard for us to imagine a time ... even before there were chemical elements, the building blocks from which rocks and minerals [and us, too, I might add!] are made. Yet between 13 billion and 15 billion years ago, the entire universe consisted of one tiny dot of primordial energy. Then, in an instant, the Big Bang set in motion a chain of events that resulted in the creation of atoms and, over millions of years, the formation of galaxies and stars."

It is in these metaphysical scientific theories that science and religion seem to share a certain common ground, I think. The same skepticism that torments me when I try to make my head believe what my heart wants to believe, about a loving God somewhere out there and a life beyond -- this skepticism crops up when someone tells me that our vast universe was once a tiny speck of energy, etc., etc. It is so utterly fantastic.

The scientist will note, however, that E. Hubble famously first observed the expansion of galaxies -- proved that the universe is expanding, something that any human being can now see for themselves with the proper telescope or other equipment.

And the nature of expansion is that the matter in question had to change from an initial, unexpanded state.

5 comments:

...amarpreet said...

Remarkable isn't it! All those years ago to what the universe has become now...and what it still could become! No one has the capacity to even imagine what may be possible!

eastcoastdweller said...

Beyond remarkable. To even contemplate the sheer, astounding size of our Sun -- and then to realize that in the scope of the known universe, it is but a glowing cinder. To contemplate the distance from here to Alpha Centauri!

And then to turn the focus the other direction and consider nanoscience and the structure of an atom, to ponder what makes up an electron, and what makes up what makes an electron ...

eastcoastdweller said...

And if the Big Bang is true, then every precious molecule that makes up You, and also me, and every other being, and Manila, and paperclips and the Pope, were once absolutely, intimately one.

...amarpreet said...

Now that's just it - when you start getting into the science of it all it just becomes so mind-boggling. Scientists have devoted their lives to figuring it all out and really how can anyone explain the phenomenon that is our universe.

Lance said...

you may find it interesting to know that the static you see on a frequency of tv at which nobody is broadcasting is almost the same everywhere in the universe -- the remnants of heat spread across the universe almost uniformly from the big bang.