Have you ever wondered how the universe initially produced life –leading to our human existence? It is said that we are the product of stars. How could that be true? After considerable study over many complex scientific writings, I shall attempt to convey a layman’s very imperfect and brief summary of how we are indeed “products of the stars”.
If you wish to gain a more accurate and complete report on this subject, may I refer you to at least two outstanding books:
“Big Bang” – The Origin of the Universe by Simon Singh and “The Stardust Revolution” – The Story of Our Origin in the Stars by Jacob Berkowitz. These and many other books are marvelous outlines written by super scientists far more qualified than I am to report this prehistoric history.
Most students begin their inquiries by asking: “What existed before the Big Bang”? The answer is – only God – for there was no universe before the Big Bang. Second, many young students of science question the origin of the basic scientific building blocks of the universe:
- Electro- magnetism
- The Strong Nuclear force
- The Weak Nuclear force
From what I know, God created and mobilized these basic forces in the universe at the time of the Big Bang. They are the initial products of God’s physics and chemistry plan. We must just accept these facts and move on in our discovery of how the universe evolved and produced life as we know it.
I shall assume you are prepared to accept that the universe started when God released the “Big Bang”! If you do not accept this scientific conclusion, supported by the vast majority of scientists all over the world, then you will have trouble understanding and believing in the facts regarding the role stars play in the creation of life.
The scientific community unanimously accepts that the universe has been and continues to expand – thanks to the knowledge gained from the development of large, powerful telescopes and the discoveries of Edwin Hubble. Scientists measuring the rate of universal expansion are able to trace back (in reverse) the cosmos to its beginning at a specific point in time. It is generally accepted that the beginning occurred about 14.7 billion years ago as mind boggling quantities of heat and energy erupted to initiate the universe. Believe it or not, our best scientific minds understand initial conditions within seconds after the Big Bang event and have traced it backward and then forward to our present day. There’s not enough space or time to explain how astro-scientists are able to measure the sizes, contents, temperatures and distances of stars and planets in the early universe – but they can!
The enormous heat and pressures associated with the early cosmos released from stars humungous amounts of hydrogen and helium into the expanding atmosphere. This continued for millions of years until atmospheric temperatures began to gradually decline. The universe was initially a mass of clouds, gases and dust particles that spewed wildly across the expanding universe. As temperatures continued to drop slowly over millions of years, dust particles, feeling the forces of gravity and electromagnetism began to accumulate into globs of atomic elements gaining mass as they grew larger.
A billion or more years pass as clouds of elementary dusts bond together creating the first stars. Gravity continues to pull masses closer together creating nuclear forces and raising star temperatures to boiling levels. Simultaneously, stars begin to move and form magnetic fields, collide and breakup forming second generation stars.
Different stars, under varying conditions of heat and gravitational pressures, created tremendously hot nuclear furnaces that over long periods of time chemically change helium and hydrogen into other elements – including metals.
Thus, the cosmos first dust probably appeared as these stars burned and exploded as supernova ejecting vast quantities of all the chemical elements into the early atmosphere thus forming the first solids that became our rocky planets.
At some point, several billion years ago, our most famous star – the Sun was formed as vast quantities of nuclear materials bonded together creating our Solar System. Fortunately, our Sun still contains vast quantities of burning hydrogen that will last several billion years more.
Other masses of cosmic materials containing solid metallic cores are pulled by gravity to rotate around our very hot but stable Sun. One of these rotating planets, having accumulated rich deposits of organic dust (and water) settled into orbiting about our Sun and became our one and only Earth about 3.5 billion years ago. Over millions of additional years the earth grew in size by acting as a dust collector plus bonding with meteorites during numerous collisions. Now our modern knowledge of geology becomes joined together with the stars. We read that the universe contains about 75% hydrogen, and 23% helium leaving but 2% for the hundred or more remaining elements.
However, our human bodies are made up of four key elements:
- Oxygen 65%
- Carbon 18.5%
- Hydrogen 9.5%
- Nitrogen 3.2%
- All other elements 3.8%
Totaling = 100%
The origin of organic material on earth, appears to have been molecular dust transported to us from outer space. The stars are our direct ancestors. The very substances of our bodies were formed from chemical elements contributed from stars – first as earth materials and later as building blocks in the formation of living organisms. Remember that our Holy Bible in the book of Genesis allegorically creates human kind from symbolic earthen dust.
One must pause and reflect on the missing link. Within the complex processes of evolution, God, at some point in our history, through the power of the Holy Spirit, breathed life into multiple living creatures and finally into organic bodies of hominids.
It was no causal accident. God, through the deliberate Big Bang event, brought the building blocks of life, chemical elements, to us from billions of stars – leading to the creation of planet earth.
Praise be to God for the magnificent role stars play in the building of life on earth.
By W.F. Peck