What I found most interesting about David Bercovici’s lecture was how much had to happen for us to be here today. The majority of the lecture was consumed with a detailed explanation of everything that happened that allowed for Earth to become a habitable climate with liquid water and complex life.
The universe had to expand, clouds had to collapse, stars had to explode and planets had to form all in the correct order and at the correct time. If every event that David Bercovici mentioned had not happened when and how it did, the Earth would not be here or would not be here as the same kind of planet, complex life would not have been possible, and humans would not have evolved as we have today.
Thinking about the complicated origin of the universe made me think about how our own origins as individuals are equally as complicated. If one’s ancestors hadn’t lived where they did, if some natural disaster hadn’t displaced a group of people, if one’s parents never crossed paths, someone would not be here today. Everyone comes from such complicated backgrounds and every detail of their past, as well as that of their parent’s or ancestors, is so crucial in determining one’s life trajectory. Every little decision someone makes has a drastic effect on their future, their children’s futures, and their children’s children’s futures. As the butterfly effect explains, every detail matters and every move changes the course of history. Any variation from the perfect conditions required to make the universe, the earth, or you changes the course of history, just as every decision that you make will affect the future in some way.
However, although everyone has complicated and unique backgrounds, everyone’s backgrounds come back to one moment: The Big Bang. Without the Big Bang, we would not have atoms and stars; without atoms and stars we would not have Earth; without Earth, there would be no habitable planet; and without a habitable planet with liquid water and ability to sustain complex life, we would not exist. So, while we are all so different in where we come from, what we believe, how we behave, we undeniably have one origin in common. The origin of the universe unites as all.
We all have origin stories full of moments or facts that we view as important to our identity. Our origins, like the origins of the universe, are unique and dependent on many “stars aligning.” The origin of the universe and of habitable life on Earth required the coincidental successional of particular events, and our own origins are uniquely structured in the same way.
Thus, David Bercovici’s lecture on the origin of the universe made me appreciate the unlikely circumstances that lead to our ability to exist. The lecture also made me consider the unique circumstances that occurred over generations and generations of human life that together form our own individual origin stories. Origins define what objects become or who people are, and the way that origins are formed (the history of people or objects) has a major impact on the future of those people or objects.