In the beginning.
An all encompassing phrase that precedes every great story. And our story is a great one indeed. The story of Life that led to us humans.
Since before the time of written history humans lived in groups or tribes and different tribes were in competition for food and thus territory with each other, so they fought one another and when they didn`t fought they traded goods. But trading evolved much later on with the beginning of Neolithic societies. Tribes scattered around the globe in the everlasting quest of humans to explore and travel. These earliest groups of some couple of hundreds individuals each, settled and grew in numbers and laid the beginnings of different nations worldwide. They all began their journey as a separated part of one oldest ethnic tribe – the black people from the heart of Africa some 60 thousand years ago, the people from the Red Earth “Adamah”. While they traveled and further separated into more and more groups which took different routes to the East and to the North in the span of tens of thousands of years those ancient travelers slowly changed beyond their notice. And this was the magical hand of evolution that shapes the biological design so that it perfectly fits the environment that surrounds it for a very practical reason – its best survival.
But before the time of Homo Sapiens, the story of Life was already going for hundreds of millions of years. And let`s begin our story even earlier, before the birth of our Solar System and just before the birth of our parent star the Sun that laid the beginning of all.
People from the oldest times have wondered about their beginnings, their purpose, pondered the nature of reality and the meaning of it all and today, like never before, we are able to connect, understand and comprehend the big picture of Creation.
We know that the Universe began its journey into existence from a state of nonexistence in the form of packed with infinitely dense potential Singularity. We do not know the cause that led to the birth of our Universe in the first place, even though there are these very fashionable theories of Multiversal Branes that randomly collide with each other and create Big Bangs in a totally mechanistic way and utterly deprived of meaning. Theories that are the intellectual fruit of very complex and quite abstract mathematics that have little to nothing to do with reality as Einstein have put it into a quote once. But we shall discuss the birth of the Universe, cosmology and quantum physics theories about it in another lecture.
The process of star formation is not very well understood yet and as far as Hubble observations show us, after the Dark Age of the young Universe suddenly in the “next frame” all galaxies and stars that make them appear fully formed and kicking. There are computer simulations trying to come up with an answer of how this first generation of stars formed when the Universe was filled with only the three basic atoms of mostly Hydrogen, some Helium and a minute amount of Deuterium. These simulations show that the first objects in the cosmos to form were extremely massive stars that soon after exploded spreading newly formed heavier elements into space that were to become the material for next generations of stars.
Stars today are born in molecular clouds composed of all the elements they need to burn happily for billions of years. What triggered the birth of our Sun is thought to be a Supernova explosion near by in cosmic terms, whose powerful waves disturbed the equilibrium of the molecular cloud creating turbulences in it and one of these clumped plenty of atoms in it so that they formed a protostar that soon after gained enough quadrillions upon quadrillions of atoms that clumped ever closer and tighter together until the first pair fused and they all lit into a giant nuclear ball that was our young parent Sun. The Sun was a massive object, which pulled surrounding atoms in a rotating disk around it, which gradually following the same principles clumped into balls and formed the planets. The heavier planets with iron and rock formed close to the Sun, while the gas giants being lighter are farther away from it. Just imagine that Mercury is most probably some 90% composed of metals like gold and platinum in a molten state. Jupiter grew so large, that if it was to gain some 80 times more its present day mass it would have lit up as a second Sun and life would have never began on this Earth. Fortunately, this mass was distributed for the formation of all the other planets.
The early Solar System was a complete armagedon with asteroid “left overs” flying around and crashing into young planets, fusing with their mass. However, in time the all prevailing tranquility of gravity settled the movements of all the objects in the System and each one of them set in its own cyclic orbit in an extraordinary cosmic choreography. This surreal balance gave our Earth the chance to settle its own geological micro-chaos, so that chemical processes began to occur that were to change her face forever.
In her first millions of years of existence, Earth was a hostile place of volcanic activity and molten rock. Her color back then was not our familiar blue, but a firey red and dirty yellow with dark gasses covering the lava above. Just like an alien world that an observer back then would never think that so much life will flourish and such a drastic change will take place on the surface of this world in the millions and billions of years to come.