Some 14 1/2 Billion years ago, a tiny powerful bundle of pure energy exploded. This tiny bundle of seed had within it the potential for life. Like all seeds, life required a particular environment to take root it as well as time and nurturing.
As Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker tell the story (Journey of the Universe) based on current scientific studies: “In the beginning the universe brought forth quarks and leptons, the elementary particles, and within a few microseconds, the quarks combined to form protons and neutrons that churned ceaselessly in a thick a gluey form of matter called plasma. There was almost no structure in the universe. These quanta would collide, would interact with one another, and then would scatter apart to collide with different partners millions of times each instant.
Our current mathematical model of the early universe asserts that even in the first few minutes, more structures began to emerge. The elementary particles began forming stable relationships. A single neutron might interact with a single proton, and instead of scattering away they would remain bonded together. At first these new bonds were quickly torn apart by other particles. But as the universe continued to expand and cool, these primordial couples and triad began to survive.”
Teilhard de Chardin would call this a process of complexification. The very beginning of evolution is observed in the ongoing story of creation. He described it as a kettle or pot of water placed on a fire, watching the heat begin to change the water; at first small bubbles might slowly begin to be observed, and then as the heat continues to affect the water, at the right moment, it would change to steam.
“Amidst such bonding and dissolution, the universe moves toward increasingly complex communities. These simple nuclei were the very first of the complex communities among the elementary particles.Intriguingly, all relationships carry a cost, even at this quantum level. A neutron does not simply adhere to a proton. Rather, both the neutron and the proton have to undergo a transformation for the bonding to occur. The proton and the neutron each give over part of their mass, which becomes a flash dog light released into the universe.” (Swimme & Tucker, Ibid)
“Even from the first moments, our universe moved toward creating relationships. …Even moments after the birth of the universe, the simple nuclei were brought forth, an at that required vast amounts of mass throughout the universe to be transformed into light. The entire universe was permeated with a new burst of radiation as protons and neutrons fused together into the first nuclei. This bonding is at the heart of the matter.” (Ibid)
The universe has been transforming and being transformed over the past 14.5 Billion years. Galaxies, with their stars and planets have been forming and changing; dying and being born into something new, time and time again. And we are part of that journey – we are part of the story of the unfolding creation. We are according to Teilhard de Chardin, the Universe become conscious, or aware. We are the story tellers. Throughout human history, we have looked around at a very hostile world, filled with fear. The unfolding of human history speaks of struggling to survive in a very difficult environment, competing with other tribes and with animals for food and water; for survival. Our ancestors looked around at the stars, the sun and the moon; they stood in awe of their world. They learned how to compete, to cooperate and to survive and expand, traveling from Africa, to Europe, Asia and the Americas, following the food. Globalization has been a human factor for hundreds of thousands of years. And at the present moment, we are beginning to look around our own Milky Way Galaxy and to create new stories.