Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Creation Myth for the 21st Century


In the beginning was the law, and there was nothing but the law. The law was creative, and it allowed energy to come out of nothing. Energy was positive and negative; therefore, it could come out of nothing and return to nothing. The law ruled the positive and the negative energy, and it allowed it to develop in time to form universes until they again returned to nothing. Universes were born, and universes died. This is the story of our universe.
When the first age began, all energy was one and expansion began. The law broke into four forces, and these four forces ruled the energy as it expanded. There was gravity to rule the movements of the stars and planets and electromagnetism to rule the living matter. There was the weak force to heat the sun and the strong force to form atoms.
When the second age began, energy developed and became matter. The simple elements were formed—mostly hydrogen, but also helium and lithium. There was also some beryllium that was formed, but there was not yet any element heavier than that in the universe.
When the third age began, simple matter collapsed under the force of gravity and formed the young stars. The weak force lighted their fire, and the strong force began to form the heavy atoms of our universe. When their development was completed, the young stars exploded, spreading their matter throughout the universe.
When the fourth age began, matter collapsed again to form new stars out of the light atoms and planets out of the heavy atoms. Solar systems were formed, with a sun at the center to warm the planets. Some of these planets were far enough to cool down so that atoms could form molecules, and the electromagnetic force would rule them. But they were close enough to the sun to receive enough heat from the sun. The heat would break molecules and new molecules would form.
When the fifth age began, the breaking and forming of some molecules formed a circle. These molecules began to form copies of themselves out of other molecules, and they would spread. Life was born, but it was not life as we know it. It was still chemistry, but it moved further and further away from chemical equilibrium.
When the sixth age began, chemical life had developed enough to become biological life. Biological life formed cells that formed copies of themselves. Some of these cells formed complex organisms of many different cells. Biological life developed into more and more complex shapes, until if finally formed the plants and the animals.
When the seventh age began, one of these animals became so complex that it became conscious of itself and its environment. The human being became the human person, and it looked up at the whole universe. And it saw that it was nothing.
Vanity of vanities, says the teacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

Well, what do you think? Maybe the first couple of chapters of the Book of Genesis aren't so bad after all.