I was wondering about how everything we know came together to be the way it is right now and what will happen to us as a species.
The story of everything started 15 billion years ago.
The universe, as we know it, was created by an enormous explosion of matter to create space-time. A fiery, dense universe started to inflate.
For three billion years, optically dense matter/energy decoupled and created an invisible universe.
It took another billion years for clusters of matter to form. As heavier nuclei synthesized they formed protogalaxies.
After more than 5 billion years after the big bang, galaxies formed. Later, new galaxies, more like our own, with heavier nuclei came into being.
Around the 10 billion year-mark, our solar system, with orbiting planets formed.
A billion years later, in the primordial oceans of earth, atoms combined to form macromolecules capable of self-reproduction and self-assembly. This was DNA, the basis of all life.
DNA is the alphabet of life. Two strands of a double helix are linked by pairs of bases. There are four bases: adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine. All living organisms are formed by these four bases.
DNA resembles a spiral staircase and the order of how the bases are arranged in it create a particular organism. This DNA assembles an organism around it and copies itself. This copying is not always accurate. In most cases, the new mutations result in those organisms dying out. In some cases, however, it increases the chances of the DNA surviving and becomes biological adaptation.
Around 3 million years ago, our first ancestors inhabited the earth. They became increasingly more sophisticated. From the first hominid to 8,000 B. C. was the Old Stone Age; from 8,000 B. C. to 6,000 B. C. was the Stone Age, and from 6,000 B. C. to 3,000 B. C. was the New Stone Age. From 3,000 B. C. to 2, 000 B. C. was the Bronze Age. And from 2,000 B. C. to the time the Christian calendar begins was the Iron Age.
The last millennium covered the Middle Ages to the Modern Age. The most critical stages came after the fall of the Roman Empire, the Dark Ages; the pestilence that spread from Asia all the way to Africa, the Black Death; and the two world wars, which has resulted in the new threat of nuclear proliferation.
Where will we go now?
The next 100 years will be the most critical. It is at this stage where the pressure of new changes will force themselves on us. Besides the obvious political and economic problems, there are new problems that threaten our survival as a species: nuclear proliferation, environmental disasters, the population explosion, and epidemics and famines.
One solution may be the creation of a world government because the problems will be too much for any one nation. Assuming that by sharing of resources, peace and stability is established and most of our critical problems are solved, there will still be an evolutionary thrust to push us to build civilizations under the sea and move towards space. The reason for this is that the world population will be around 36 billion people at the end of the century if it continues at its current rate of 1.9 percent, which means that it doubles every 40 years.
This will result in the creation of a new species of human beings to cope with building and inhabiting the new environments. Failure to do this will mean that by the year 2600, people will be standing shoulder to shoulder and the earth will literally be red-hot because of electrical consumption.
Over the past 10,000 years, there has been no significant change in human DNA, but it may all change dramatically over the next 1000 years as genetic engineering works on creating improved human beings. It will probably start with plants and animals, with many restrictions against it being used on human beings, but someone will break the taboo and start creating human beings outside the womb. These human beings will not be restricted by the size of the birth canal and will grow bigger brains. Our current brains are 3 pounds. Future brains may be around 5 pounds. They will also probably be bigger and stronger than we are now.
Overall, the entire thrust of everything, from our perspective, has been the evolution of matter from nothing, then life forms from apparent random permutations, and then the evolution of one particular species until it took over the entire planet.
It's an amazing story.
Of course there are many missing links to it-
What happened before the big bang? What banged? How did the atoms necessary for life sort themselves out to create the macromolecule that defined all life? How did one creature create a superior brain and nervous system?
One thing is for sure: the future is not going to be anything like the past. The prevailing wisdom that there is nothing new under the sun is in for a shock.
Saleem Rana would love to share his inspiring ideas with you. Hunting everywhere for a life worth living? Discover the life of your dreams. His book Never Ever Give Up tells you how. It is offered at no cost as a way to help YOU succeed. http://www.theempoweredsoul.com/enter.html Copyright 2004 Saleem Rana. Please feel free to pass this article on to your friends, or use it in your ezine or newsletter. It's a shareware article.