First of all I want to thank everybody for their questions and curiosity over the past several months of reading my blog series. I’m really excited to discuss all things time, space and the nature of reality but I noticed another trend in the feedback and questions.
The Forces of Nature Series went right back to the Big Bang to go that bit deeper into the very early Universe and how the cosmos as we know it formed. Throughout comment threads and feedback many people asked how life formed in the early Universe and solar system.
I planned on writing a piece within the Forces of Nature Series about the origin of life and found myself not being able to stay within the accepted word limit for a single post. The discussion of the origin of life definitely warrants a series in its’s own right.
Who are we? Where did we come from? Two questions that have plagued mankind for millennia. Understanding and evidence based science wasn’t very common or widespread in ancient times so different communities and cultures came up with their own origin stories.
Professor Stephen Hawking famously uses the creation belief held by the Boshongo people of central Africa in his lectures. In the beginning there was only darkness, water and the great God Bumba. One day Bumba, in pain from a stomach ache, vomited up the Sun. The Sun brought daylight and evaporated some of the water leaving land. Bumba’s vomiting didn’t stop here, he went on to vomit the moon, the stars and some animals. The Crocodile, Leopard, The Turtle and finally man.
This is just one example of creation stories that people adopted in order to put answers to the questions of who we are and where we came from.
The origin of life in the cosmos is a very broad topic and I will try to bring as much justice to it as I can. This includes, how the building blocks for life are created in the stars, how life began on Earth, the current accepted theories of life and evolution and even the future of species.
I would like to take another paragraph to explain to everyone what a THEORY is. A common negative response I receive in feedback is along the lines of “these things are just theories”. A THEORY is not a guess or a hunch. A theory is a widely accepted group of data which has survived the most rigorous of scientific testing and lived to tell the tale. A HYPOTHESIS is more like a guess in that it has not been subjected to the scientific testing to consider it a THEORY just yet. I am mainly hinting at Darwin’s Theory of Evolution of Species among others of course.
Some romantacists and dreamers including myself would quote the great Carl Sagan in that we are all made of stars. The truth is, we actually are! The elements that are the main ingredients for life are fused within the stars and scattered across the cosmos in a process called Stellar Nucleosynthethis which I can’t wait to tell you about next week.