In the beginning the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was on the face of the deepe.

And God said “Let there be light”: and there was light.

Indeed, there was much more than just light.

Out of the void, or even lack of void, out of nothing came an event so cataclysmic, so singular, that maybe whatever caused it to happen has to have been God, or perhaps we must name whatever caused it God.

Out of nothing came space and energy. This was the first division. From a single point came the energy which would make up the Universe. All of the energy which now makes up the Universe suddenly came into existence from a single point, and rushed outwards as space expanded. There is to this day a memory of this event. An echo of creation wherever one might look throughout the Universe. This is the cosmic background radiation.

It could be said that at the beginning that the Universe was unified, as one, one singularity. At the instant of creation, that unity began to unfold. The perfection of the Garden of Eden began to be lost.

As the Universe expanded, from that very first instance, the unity or, perhaps, symmetry of matter, energy, space and time all began to unravel. Expansion causes cooling- a dilution of energy, which caused the crystallisation of some of the energy into particles of matter. And the advent of particles of matter led to the existence of collisions between particles- which crystallised the occurrence of events. With events came the domains of space and time. Events happened in sequence and at locations, so time began to pass: literally, the clock began to tick.

As energy began to separate out into matter, the forces of nature appeared, the way in which different particles interact with each other. Electromagnetism, Gravity, the Strong Nuclear Force and the Weak Nuclear Force came out of this asymmetry. These were the first elemental components of the Universe, like the Greek philosopher’s Earth, Air, Fire and Water.

The one thing that tied these four elements together was the speed that they worked over distances, the speed with which information could travel, which was governed by the speed of light, but since all the forces of nature adhered to the same speed, it should be called the speed of information. The constancy of all the speeds of these various forces is attributable to the stickiness of space itself to the waves that carry them all. It seems to be the same for each, so that time, measured as the occurrence of events, runs the same however it is measured, whichever force of nature is used. In this way, cause and effect became the most fundamental Law of the Universe. The effect has to follow the cause, whichever force leads it to be caused, in the same time interval. The cause causes the effect to happen, in the same timescale. Without this, the whole Cosmos would unravel, and as such it seems to underpin the entire fabric of the Universe.

Maybe this is God’s first commandment. All actions lead to consequences. ( All the other commandments follow from this- take heed of what you do in mind of the consequences of your actions: love thy neighbour as yourself, do not kill, do not steal, honour your parents and so on). And of course, every action leads to a reaction, as Sir Isaac Newton pointed out.

So there was hydrogen, the simplest form of matter. And matter attracts matter (why this happens is a very difficult question, a question with Gravity). When hydrogen attracts hydrogen you get lots of hydrogen, and the atoms get so squeezed together they form helium, and then heavier elements. This leads to stars and even more energy (space, time, energy, matter- fundamental motifs in the running of the Universe). The heavier atoms get squeezed together to form even heavier atoms, until all the energy for this ran out, and the star exploded, distributing the exotic heavier elements about the Universe. This is why heavier elements were available in new planets for the development and evolution of life.

In some random way, on planets not too unlike Earth, or perhaps very unlike Earth, at many times in the distant prehistory of the Universe, chemical reactions occurred between elements and compounds of elements to cause the evolution of self -perpetuating structures called living organisms.

And God saw that it was good.

© S.T. Dobbs

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