Basic reasons why our planet earth was habitable, presence of liquid water, habitable climate and complex life, and other planets are not, were the main things I knew about earth and other planets. Questions that lingers my mind is that were we lucky that the conditions for life existed in our planet or we are special to some extend that only we have these conditions and do we really have these conditions on earth only or could there be other places where these conditions are but only that we have not found them? The Yale professor David Bercovic, shaded more light on the origin and evolution of the earth to where we are now.
Professor Bercovic introduced us to the Big Bang theory. This theory states that the universe was one thing, expanded and eventually exploded. The singularity was in form of hot dense plasma, which had free electrons. As time passed on, the universe cooled enough to form helium. From the heat, helium formed bigger elements that were needed for complex life. He shared with us the evidence of the Big Bang. Gallactic “Red Shift”, by Hubble Expansion, that the other galaxies are expanding away from each other. Cosmic microwave background as well remains to be evidence that Big Bang happened. After exploding, clouds collapsed to form stars. Stars as well differ in size, how much light it produced and its life. Big stars burn faster, produced more light and last for a shorter period while the smaller ones burn slowly, emit less light and last longer. Through this burning of stars is when elements necessary for life were formed. Elements heavier than iron like uranium need external energy to form. Presence of heavy elements which entails everything that we need in life were formed because of the big bang.
This lecture made me think about my religious background about creation. In the Book of Genesis, we are told of God spending six days creating the earth and all that was in it. His words of mouth, creating things like his famous one “let there be light”, which happened and him molding Adam from soil then creating Eve from Adam’s rib while asleep, have been what I believed based on my religion since I was a child. I have never had opportunity to question it. When I think about it now, I ask myself where did he get the soil to create the earth and also how real can it be that he created Adam using soil. However, I have not seen evidence of God’s universe creation as we have seen evidence from Big Bang theory. Whether or not Genesis way or the Big Bang way was where we have our planet, both still holds a lot that we would like to know. In both cases, we can agree that it is still a mystery that we only have habitable earth and we do not know for certain where all this started.
I might not have one theory that I can cling on now, but I think it was great to have professor Bercovic that I get diverse possible explanations to the origin and the evolution of the earth.