The Eternal Dilemma – part 1

How do you choose what your life’s purpose is?

Well its easier said than done. Most people lead their lives without even asking the question, they just live from one day to the next, from one meal to the next and from one pay check to the next.

I’m different, I question everything.

Whether it was the birth of the universe and dawn of human life- Or the existence of God.  I’ve always been interested in how this all came about and why we are here and what we are supposed to do. Rather, our purpose as human beings.

Now why couldn’t I be like everyone else and just not be so damn inquisitive about everything? I really don’t know why I’m wired the way I am but fuck it. I might as well quench my thirst for the answers of all life’s questions while I’m here right. I mean I have the time. Otherwise it’s just – make money and die. I don’t mean to put it in such a way but when you think about it, it’s pretty much all we are here for.

I’ve read a lot in theoretical physics which basically uses math to explain natural phenomena. Theoretical physicists live their entire lives trying to break down, quantify and explain the most fundamental of life’s questions  – 1. How did the universe begin?
2. How did we get here? 3. Will the universe end? If so, when?

Theoretical physicists break their heads their entire lives trying to answer these 3 fundamental questions and every other sub question that stems from it – What is gravity? What is dark matter ? What is dark energy? Why is the universe made up of matter and not anti matter? and so on. Its profound and seemingly unending. But I will try to explain the three fundamental questions in the easiest of  ways to you.

1. How did the universe begin? 
Nowadays, every physicist more or less agrees to the same theory on how the universe began. Their model starts with entire universe as very hot dot much smaller than the diameter of an atom, (How did the dot get there? nobody has a clue). Anyway,  the dot began to expand faster than the speed of light, an expansion called the Big Bang. Cosmologists are still arguing about the exact mechanism that may have set this event in motion. Anyway, as the baby universe expanded, it cooled the various forms of matter and antimatter it contained, such as quarks and leptons, along with their antimatter twins, antiquarks and antileptons. These particles promptly smashed into and annihilated one another, leaving behind a small residue of matter and a lot of energy. The universe continued to cool down until the few quarks that survived began to latch together into protons and neutrons which in turn formed nuclei of Hydrogen, Helium, Deuterium, and Lithium.

This residue stayed hot for 300,000 years, too hot for electrons to combine and form complete atoms, until it began to cool enough for the same hydrogen helium and lithium atoms to begin a long journey to form gas, dust, planets, stars and galaxies.

Then came Gravity – So basically gravity took control and began to gather gas and dust into massive globs that collapsed in on themselves until fusion reactions took place giving birth to the first stars. On larger scales gravity pulled together huge regions of denser-than-average gas and these evolved into clusters of galaxies, each one brimming with billions of stars.

The fusion reactions inside the stars transformed hydrogen and helium atoms into other atomic nuclei such as carbon – the basis of all life on Earth ( hence the name carbon based life forms)

Viola! – The beginning of the universe and life.

However there are still many unanswered questions which theoretical physicsts are still trying to explain, such as where did the dot come from? and why did the dot expand instead of collapsing inward? and so on.

2. How did we get here? 
So as I said before once the hydrogen and helium atoms were transformed by fusion reactions into other atomic nuclei like carbon and oxygen. It was the basis of a living organisms to come into life on our planet Earth.

Enter the human species and Charles Darwin.

Charles Darwin first published our modern theories of evolution in his book The Origin of the Species in 1859 – that all life on Earth is related; adapting and changing over time.

According to Darwin – Human beings evolved from primates gradually over time and he presented similarities and evidence to prove his theory.
Look at any two creatures on Earth and you can trace them back to a common ancestor. Humans and chimpanzees share a common ancestor from at least 7 million years ago.

Trace back far enough, and you’re related to the first mammal who lived 220 million years ago. In fact, you and bacteria can trace a family member who lived billions of years ago. Keep going back, and you reach the oldest evidence of life on Earth, about 3.9 billion years ago.

But that’s as far as evolution can take us.

The Earth has been around for 4.5 billion years, and those early years were completely hostile to life. The early atmosphere was toxic, and a constant asteroid bombardment churned the landscape into a worldwide ocean of molten rock.

As soon as the environment settled down to be relatively habitable, life appeared. Just half a billion years beyond the formation of the Earth.

So how did life make the jump from raw chemicals to the evolutionary process we see today? The term for this mystery is abiogenesis and scientists are working on several theories to explain it.

So how did life get here? We just don’t know.

Maybe we’ll discover life on other planets and that will give us a clue, or maybe scientists will create an experiment that finally replicates the jump from non-life to life.

Or we may just never discover the answer.

3. Will the universe end? 

Many theoretical physicists believe the universe could end someday – and the process is likely to have already begun.

While no one knows for certain how it will happen, there are three leading theories dubbed the big crunch, the big rip and the big freeze, that could lead to our demise.

The ‘big rip’ would start once the pull of the universe’s expansion gets stronger than gravity. Galaxies would tear apart, followed by black holes, planets and stars

They claim all humanity will either slowly decay into radiation, completely vanish after collapsing in on itself or be ripped apart as the universe’s expansion speeds up.

In the ‘big rip’ scenario, dark energy could be warping the universe’s scaffolding causing galaxies to tear apart first, followed by smaller black holes, planets and stars.

This would take place once the ever-increasing pull of the universe’s expansion gets stronger than the gravity holding galaxies together.

The universe could eventually expand at the speed of light, and when this happens, the forces holding substances together would break down.

As a result, the universe will be empty, holding only single particles that are unconnected to anything else in existence.

There you have it I just tried to put into words 3 of theoretical physics’ most debatable questions. Although there is still a raging debate as to the exact answers to them this should suffice for now.

I got a little side tracked here and I will continue writing about life’s purpose soon.

Enjoy your weekend.

Cheers !

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