Contemplating The Beginning
edited: Tuesday, October 17, 2006
By Jay W Driskell
Not "rated" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, August 07, 2003
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From The "Big Bang" until now
In the beginning, the earth was created - came into existence. The earth began well after the beginning of the universe. Our sun is a third- or fourth-generation star
A first-generation star is one that was formed out of the materials of the Big Bang', which would have been hydrogen. A first-generation star is hydrogen-rich; it had nothing else; there WAS nothing else. As a star advances in its life-cycle, it reaches a point where it starts spewing out matter other than hydrogen that is a result of its having burned hydrogen into heavier elements. At a certain age stars explode -- go "nova". When they do this they spew huge amounts of their stellar material into space. This debris scatters through space, becomes caught in gravitational eddies and currents within the vast clouds of hydrogen that exist even to this day. Part will then condenses into a new star, a second-generation star, using copious quantities of that hydrogen, plus of debris from the remains of the first-generation star. Of course, the first-generation star might still be there, still doing its thing, but by now it has become a middle-aged, a mature, or even an elderly star. Stars, when they reach the end of their life-span, having burned up their fuel, go out; they leave a kind of a "corpse" behind that astronomers are familiar with.
A second-generation star goes through its life-cycle as did the first generation star, exploding, going nova, spewing out its debris -- which now has a few more of the heavier elements. Hydrogen predominately burns into helium; helium will burn into lithium, carbon, or after intense "cooking" becomes other elements including uranium --uranium being one of the heaviest-- not much is produced by each generation of star, but the heavier elements are produced and will accumulate. Various combinations of elements will combine with readily available hydrogen producing a next-generation star.
Our own sun is a third- or fourth-generation star; it has been here some 4+ billion years. Our planet Earth was formed about the same time as our sun. Its life-cycle, while different from the sun, is tied closely to that of the sun; it uses elements produced by earlier generation stars that had not been completely drawn into the gravitational field of the sun nor were they absorbed by the sun. The elements that make up our planet and our bodies are not new elements: they have been processed in the stellar furnaces since the beginning of the universe.
We are truly made of the stuff of stars.
It would be ludicrous of us to think that we are the only life-forms in this huge vast universe. Assuming that some of the stars -- the earlier generation stars -- also had planets. Their planets would normally develop life as did ours. Their life-forms would be different than the life-forms here on planet earth. That life would advance through various forms until it reached a technological age similar to what ours now is -- but they would have done so several billion years before we did - their present technology would make ours look like we are playing with tinker-toys.
Our technology has existed for only the last 300-400 years, and already we are on the verge of space travel. What would a civilization be like which has had technology for space travel for over a billion years? It is rather difficult to imagine a space-faring race of a billion years worth of technology that wouldn't be traveling across space. Maybe the stories of the flying sauces are true . It would be reasonable and logical to assume that they are true , just from the very fact that we are such a brand-new infant civilization. It is rather awe-inspiring to think that there are other people' out there among the stars that look at us as infants -- which is in reality what we are.
We are a very young civilization; we are very young in a technological sense. We are much too young in a social sense; we have too many of the evolutionary ancestral hang-ups that must be removed before the human race evolves into something more "civilized". We have a long way to go -- we have come a very long way; but the distance between here and the civilizations of a billion-years depth? - It's a very big step from here to there. I feel that we will make that step; there will be changes -- some for the good, some not -- but somehow, and in some form, our civilization will survive; at least our planetary life-form will survive.
Looking at the way in which the DNA of everything on this planet is all so similar -- it is possible that this DNA originated a few billion years ago somewhere else. One large bit of evidence for that is a very important atom in every major molecule in our body: the cobalt atom. It is not very abundant on our world, and yet it is required in our body in an abundance more than would be expected, had life originated here. This life of ours appears to have originated somewhere where there was a greater amount of cobalt in their environment.
Has our ancestry been placed here by "others"?
If so - How?
All this is just something to think about.