A (SCIENTIFIC) CREATION STORY
In the beginning was the void. No space. no time, no matter. God created a small ball of energy, containing all the future Universe. This concentration of energy began to expand, expand “explosively,” at the speed of light, forming space, matter, light, and time. As the Universe expanded it began to cool, matter coalesced into subatomic particles, into atomic particles. These, spun off into the expanding Universe, gathered into clumps, some immense, some small, and many in-between. Clumps gathered with other clumps, some merging into one clump, others rotating around each other. They began to form stars, star systems, galaxies, and clusters of galaxies.
In the interior of the stars, hydrogen fused with hydrogen, releasing heat and light, forming helium. Hydrogen fused with helium, helium with helium, and so on, forming heavier elements. Some stars just burned out, others exploded as nova, hurling hydrogen, helium, lithium, etc. into space. New stars formed incorporating these new elements, along with hydrogen, and continued the process forming even heavier elements—iron, nickel, silicon, besides carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen. Some of these stars also exploded in novae, hurling masses of heavy elements into space.
Now, as God knew it would, stellar formation took a new step. Before some of the stars had had smaller, sub-stellar bodies orbiting about them. These had been gaseous bodies, mostly of hydrogen. Now some of these bodies had rocky cores of carbon, nickel, iron, silicon, etc. On at least one of these rocky planets that was not too far from its sun, or too close, that was not too small or too large, things happened. Iron and nickel settled to the core, lighter elements like silicon floated above. A smaller rocky planet crashed into the surface and a large chunk splashed off but was unable to escape the gravitational attraction of the larger mass and went into orbit about it. The tidal forces of the orbiting moon helped keep the planet’s surface a dynamic environment, also it churned the waters of the ocean in a great tidal wave that continuously circles the planet. Hydrogen and oxygen formed water. Some hydrogen escaped from the planet but it was large enough to keep its nitrogen (and when it formed free oxygen). An atmosphere formed above the rocky surface. Water condensed into rain. Internal heat from gravitational contraction and radioactive decay heated the interior of the planet. Convective columns of molten rock carried the heat to the surface, sometimes the magma broke through to the surface as massive lava flows or volcanoes. Great plates of basalt formed, covering the surface of the planet. Granite islands floated on some. The churning of the convective columns pushed and shoved these plates about, rain falling on them caused erosion. Mountains rose, oceans formed. Mountains disappeared, the oceans expanded and shrank. Elements were buried and then exposed. The planet’s internal heat and the energy from the young star drove chemical reactions on this rocky planet.
Atoms formed molecules of many kinds. Chemical reactions became more varied and complex. Some molecules were able to sustain themselves for a while, some created a local environment that increased the length of time it could sustain itself. Becoming self-sustaining it became alive.
This new life began to evolve, diversifying into many forms, many more complex, some simpler, but ever growing, multiplying, changing form. About 12 billion years after the beginning, one of these life forms became self aware. Then the day came when it looked around itself and saw how amazing the world it lived in was and asked itself “How?” It explored its world, asked questions, and its knowledge grew. God saw and was pleased. It was amazing how everything had grown from that primal ball of energy, all on its own. And God saw and said it was good.