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  • Keisha D'souza

A brief history of everything

In the beginning, there was a question mark. All else followed. The end.

'Since the beginning of time,'seems to be the opening line of every cosmological article fueled by the urge to explicate the grander things of the universe, ergo, I’ll be undertaking the daunting task of actually elucidating the origin of the universe and life on our planet. The most prominent theory of our universe’s origin centres on a cosmic cataclysm unmatched in all of history, the Big Bang Theory. It’s a model of the history of the universe.

At this moment, as you sit in the comfort of your home, the ominous dark energy that takes up 68.3% of the universe is causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate, ripping galaxies away from each other faster than the speed of light. The Big Bang Theory was born of this very observation: that other galaxies are moving away from our own at an overwhelming speed in all directions, as if they had been propelled by an ancient explosive force.

Here’s the gist: In the beginning, the entire universe — everything you know and adore — was crushed into an infinitesimal, unimaginably hot, trillion-Kelvin ball about the size of a peach, aka, a tiny singularity. This extremely dense point exploded with an unimaginable force, creating matter and propelling it outward to make billions of galaxies, star clusters, ferris wheels, aardvarks and black holes in our vast cosmos.

The origin of life on earth, known as abiogenesis, began around three billion years ago, evolving from the most basic of microbes into a dazzling array of complexity over time. The first organisms, our single-celled ancestors, developed from the primordial soup and evolved into a riot of intricate complexity and diversity.

The slow magic of evolution has resulted in the existence of an estimated 8.7 million species on earth today. Glance outside and you'll see all manner of strange, self reproducing flora and fauna, crawling upon a bioluminescent heap of mushrooms, blanketed by a film of gases. Their bodies contain trillions of cells, which can develop into muscles, bones and hundreds of other kinds of tissues and cell types. Earth is wonderfully unique with richly interconnected and intertwined biodiversity, it’s time we appreciate the incredible wonders of our planet. Happy Earth day!

A brief history of everything

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