How did it all begin?

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Community: Humanism


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Humanists believe science provides the most reliable source of knowledge about the universe. To understand more fully the how the world was formed, we should look to the theories that have come out of scientific research.

One theory that has been helpful in explaining how the world might have begun is the Big Bang theory. It suggests that all matter started out as an infinitesimally small point called the singularity. The theory says nothing about where that came from rather that it was a random event. There are many other theories which have helped develop insights into how the world has changed and developed over many years.

Follow up questions:

  1. Can you describe one aspect of this creation account that made you feel curious?

  2. Humanists believe the universe came into existence as a result of a random event, whereas many religions believe it was created by a supreme being. Do you think both could be true

  3. Do you think that the world is becoming better as time moves on?

  4. Are there any similarities or differences with other creation stories you have heard?

  5. What one thing do you want to remember from this creation account?

How did it All Begin?

It is impossible to talk of a time before the world began because it seems that time and space began together over 14 billion years ago. Scientists call this the Big Bang. Although we do not understand how or why it happened, space suddenly expanded from a tiny, tiny speck into our vast universe.  Since then our universe has continue to grow, with stars forming from the debris of the original explosion. For humans one of the most interesting parts of this development was 4.6 billion years ago, when the molten matter swirling around our Sun finally cooled and created what we now call the Earth.

We would not recognize this hot, rocky, early Earth, and there was certainly no life. But sometime in the first billion years the chemicals floating in the ocean created a tiny chemical bubble that could make copies of itself: the first life. Since each copy could be a little different from the original, these small differences added up over billions of years to produce every different kind of animal and plant through a process called evolution.

Then 2.8 million years ago, the first human-like creatures emerged. They weren’t like you: they couldn’t speak, they didn’t cook their food and they were quite hairy. For a long time after that there were different species of humans. But now only our species, the Homo Sapiens, remains.

The origins of life for Homo Sapiens began 200,000 years ago, where over time we developed small communities, each with its own culture, plans for the future and the ability to talk to each other. As time went on, these cultures and languages became more complex. We built villages, which became towns and towns became cities. Now, all cities, and nearly all humans are connected through technology, but also through shared cultures, beliefs, and values.

(This account was drawn from current scientific research)