I’ve been thinking a lot about the beauty and complexity of nature and it’s processes and how I feel as though I was let down by my Christian education growing up. So I’ve decided to read through Bill Bryson’s “A Short History Of Nearly Everything” again and write a bit of it down. Hopefully my ramblings will be somewhat coherent and not too dull.
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” -Carl Sagan (or Sharon Begley)
The atoms, that make you up, have been around since before our solar system began. And with great luck your lineage has survived all of earth’s great extinctions.
- End Ordovician, 444 million years ago, 86% of species lost
- Late Devonian, 375 million years ago, 75% of species lost
- End Permian, 251 million years ago, 96% of species lost
- End Triassic, 200 million years ago, 80% of species lost
- End Cretaceous, 66 million years ago, 76% of all species lost
Never mind the complexity of finding a mate and being fit enough to eat, evade predators, and reproduce. You should congratulate yourself for making it as far as you have.
How do we know all of this?
As far as we know, we started off as a dot. All matter and energy in the universe was in that one dimensional dot smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. Something happened, we have no idea what, but the dot exploded. After about a second our universe was a million billion miles across and billions of degrees hot. As it cooled and expanded nearly all of matter in the universe was created in just a few minutes. There is a great deal we don’t know. And what we do know, we haven’t known for very long. The big bang theory has been around for less than 100 years, about the same amount of time as we’ve known that galaxies exist.
Right now we guess we’re about 13.7 billion years old. But if you turn on an old tv, the static that you see is partly made from photons (now microwaves) created back at the beginning of time. A snapshot, if you will, of the beginning of the universe called cosmic background radiation. And we’ve used this snapshot since the 1970’s, when we first discovered it, to determine our age.
When Pat Morrow and I spoke to a group of high school students earlier this year, just under half of the class were young earth creationists. I feel that their education is failing them in the same way as it did me.
~ Jordan Kroeker