Life as star dust

We are all star dust. If you accept our current scientific understanding about the origin of the universe, then you accept the concept of the Big Bang, that event that took place some 13 plus billion years ago in an enormous creative explosion that began the universe. During the approximately first 9 billion years, during the great expansion of the universe, some of the matter that was created began to coalesce into stars that burned and whose gravity attracted more matter and more matter so that in some cases, these stars became so big they exploded in great super nova propelling throughout their region of space not just hydrogen and helium, but heavier metals like carbon, nitrogen, iron, and all the other elements. As these were constrained by gravity, they too began to coalesce into asteroids and planets and be captured by other stars. In some cases, as stars coalesced together, they became great “attractors” of other stars whose vectors placed them in great spiral orbits about a central point which became a black hole that did not explode.

The energy that made all this possible in addition to the creative process itself was based on fusion within the stars that created cosmic radiation. Too close to the central black hole and the radiation was very powerful. All stars and their planets were bathed with this intense radiation. Further out, planets that orbited stars were not bombarded by this heavy radiation from the center of the galaxy, but they might be from the star or double star they orbited. But, if they were the right distance from their star and the galaxy center, the radiation was acceptable and the planet was warmed so that hydrogen and oxygen could combine into a liquid form, water.

In this just right place, the earth was formed about 4 billion years ago. As it cooled and the oceans formed, another mysterious event took place. Some of the chemical elements formed together and over time, they acquired a structure that supported a replication of the structure. Eventually, these replicating chemical structures took on a form we call “life” and eventually “human life” as we understand it today.

This is the chain as we understand it today from the birth of the universe to the evolution of life as we know it on this particular collection of star dust floating just the right distance from a star we call our sun which is just at the right distance from the galaxy center.

So here we are, particles of star dust originally particles from the big bang, products of the creative forces that began with the Big Bang. From dust we came and back to dust we will go.

So where is “God” in all this? Next I will address how I have come to understand what that means to me.


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Life as Star Dust – Part 1 of 2 (by Cecil Denney, a teacher/leader in our Biocommons Course)
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One thought on “Life as Star Dust – Part 1 of 2 (by Cecil Denney, a teacher/leader in our Biocommons Course)

  • February 27, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Love this, Cecil. Since last Friday’s Biocommon’s class I’ve been looking at just about everything and thinking, “star dust!” It really is incredible. Thanks for the great articulation of this story.


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