You are so much more than you believe
I’m not one for inspirational speeches but I did want to share something that’s been rolling around in my head.
YOU (yes, you) are amazing in so many ways, so extraordinary, with origins in the hearts of the stars themselves. Celestial beings.
A long long time ago (I won’t say how long because this is intended for every human being on the planet, no matter what your beliefs) there existed almost Nothing.
No material, no light, no space, not even Time, as we know it. Almost.
What did exist was a singularity… a point, infinitesimally small. It lit nothing, as there was nothing to illuminate. It took up no space, as there was no space to occupy.
If you have ever crumbled paper into a ball and gotten to the point where it feels impossible to compress it farther, imagine if you could. How would you say how small it was when it’s size could only be speculated at a given moment? In our crumbled paper thought experiment, the ability to compress that paper is limitless, so at what point do you measure it? You don’t. You can’t.
Here’s where Science and Faith co-mingle, though neither side likes admitting it: The Singularity came into Existence. The Singularity was not possessed of consciousness or sentience, it was merely super-compressed materials (which is oversimplifying, but it gets the point across). Now, Faith says it must have been created by God, Allah, Ganesha, Intelligent Design, what have you. Science says they don’t know, possibly the contact of two different dimensional membranes (m-theory) but that’s not much different that saying “Maybe God did it” honestly. We’re taking on Faith that this teeny tiny little point existed. Sure we’ve got scientific data that makes it a more likely scenario than, say, it was just always here, but no one can even begin to speculate on how or why without some form of Faith and some form of Science.
(I’ll take it one step further and say that “God created the Universe,” and “Everything that exists was once a super tiny speck” both sound either equally acceptable or equally absurd.)
Okay I wanted to get that out of the way as the genesis of that singularity is irrelevant to what comes next.
One day, the singularity could not stay compressed any longer. It is the nature of our Universe that compression requires force. The more compression, the more force. Think of a can of compressed air. It jets out because it is under pressure, enough pressure to cause the desired jet of air. Compress it enough, in a strong enough container, and that jet of air could cut steel. Therefore while compression requires force, and the more compression, the more force needed, then it follows that the more something is compressed the more energy is released by it’s decompression… or in other words the bigger the bang.
This bang was big. Everything that currently exists packed into it and compressed infinitely smaller than a grain of sand… all of the energy and material that would ever exist burst forth in that moment, not as we would recognize today… atoms were not yet formed into molecules not formed yet into elements not yet formed into compounds, but a soup of sub-atomic particles as the Universe expanded to accommodate this indescribably beautiful organization of pure chaos into the very order that all existence depends on. That is Creation, whether by the hand of God or accident of Nature. It is Everything.
Eventually the expanding grew large enough to allow these subatomic particles space to organize into atoms, then molecules. The first of all Elements was then born when two hydrogen molecules saw each other across the dance floor and fell madly in love, overcome with the need to touch.
At this point the entire Universe consists of Space (room), Time (progression), and Hydrogen (material/energy). That’s all. A gas, room for that gas to move around in, and a past/present/future for change.
(To be more accurate, also now in existence are the four great forces or our universe, but I’l leave that to you to investigate, it’s fascinating!)
Okay, so I hope you kept reading past that because amazing things are going to happen that result in you!
This hydrogen gas, through the interaction of it’s chaotic birth and dispersal and those fundamental forces, collects in some dense areas. Since Gravity acts on Matter, and atoms are Matter, when enough of them existed in a dense area, the gravitation forces began to have a noticeable effect. The clumps of gas drew closer and closer to each other, pressed inwards by gravity, much as gravity keeps the Earth pressed into a ball.
Like our crumpled paper ball earlier, at some point matter will resist compression. Once the force of gravity pushing “in” and the resistance of the molecules being compressed, pushing “out” become equal to each other, a Star is being born. Stellar ignition happens next.
Again, to keep this from becoming a novel (and more detailed information is everywhere on the internet) this is being super simplified:
The star begins to burn. The forces exerted on it are beyond the comprehension of most of us. Those hydrogen atoms, which are the only kind existing at this point, begin fusing together… not binding, as molecules, but actually slamming/crushing together. Like Fission, the breaking of an atom, releasing incredible amounts of energy (think nuclear weapons), Fusion likewise causes massive energy release.
Helium, a brand new element, is formed by the combination of atomic particles from hydrogen atoms being crashed together. Imagine that… one element’s atoms being slammed/crammed/shoved so hard into another that an entirely new material is formed!
Like hydrogen, helium can be used as fuel, though less efficiently. Once the hydrogen runs out (formed into helium) the nuclear fusion still continues, now slamming helium atoms into each other with enough force to, again, create an entirely new material, carbon.
This continues until the star has formed an iron core. Yes, you read that right. Atoms keep fusing and forming new elements, right up to iron. I find that absolutely astounding. Of course this takes it’s toll on the star, each newer heavier element being more difficult to use as fuel. The star now has an iron core and many “shells” of other elements around the core.
The equilibrium can no longer be sustained and the star collapses causing a supernova, one of the most luminescent and incredible events to occur in our universe. All of those elements are ejected billions upon billions of miles into surrounding space.
Like the initial hydrogen, these materials exist in more and less dense areas, and like the hydrogen before, those dense areas begin reacting to gravity and forming clumps. More stars are formed, this time with leftover materials swirling about them, close enough to be affected, but not close enough to be drawn into the forming star. These do their own tiny version of what the star did and begin to clump into planets.
In our solar system, most of the light gases near our forming Sun were drawn into it leaving the heavier pieces to clump together to form our inner planets. Starting with Jupiter, the gravitational pull was weak enough to leave gasses behind as well resulting in our gas giant outer planets.
Keep in mind here that every tiny speck forming those planets came from the heart of those original hydrogen stars which were formed from the hydrogen formed from the atoms dispersed from the Singularity. No new particles have been created and none have been destroyed. Those EXACT particles continue to exist in the new stars and planets. The Quark in that atom in the the ice in the ring of Saturn is the very same Quark ejected into the brand new universe by the Singularity.
Our planet earth, formed from the ejected material of supernovas, is made of the same materials that previously formed into a star, the same materials formerly contained within that singularity. New matter is not created or destroyed, ever (with some theoretical exceptions regarding black holes). It may change form, as in a stars fusion, but it’s the SAME particles.
Now, this is why you are amazing. Regardless of your beliefs in the creation or evolution of human beings, the fact is we are composed of cells. Cells are composed of cellular structures which are composed of molecules which are composed of atoms which are composed of subatomic particles which were released into our universe from that singularity, formed into stars, ejected into space to form planets…
Dirt is composed of solid materials composed of molecules composed of that exact material! Our dirt is star material, born out in the deepest reaches of space. Plants grow in that dirt. Tiny parts of that dirt are used to form the plant’s cellular structures. It may look and seem completely different, but that plant is COMPLETELY MADE from the particles it takes from the soil which are the same particles thrown off by a dying star, composed of the same fundamental particles present at the moment of creation.
Animals consume those plants. A baby starts out at around 7 lbs. You see a fully grown man weighing 200 lbs. Where did that other 193 lbs come from? It comes from absorbing those same particles and simply rearranging and re-purposing them to create more cells.
Look at your hands. They are formed from star dust. You are star dust. You are the unbroken chain of the most incredible of all celestial mechanics. You are a being formed from particles of that first greatest creation. You are older than the stars! You are the very expression of creation and infinitely capable of pondering and questioning that creation.
How can any of you believe you are unimportant? How can any of you believe someone else is unimportant?
The substance of our bodies once co-mingled. We once knew each other more intimately than lovers. We once had no separation of you and me. We were once the same. In many ways we still are.