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Thursday, 13 December 2012

For one hundred thousand years, humans have looked up at the night sky and wondered about those awesome points of light. What are they? What are they made of? How did they get there?

They didn’t have the technology to find out, so they guessed that magical beings had created it all. If you prefer making wild guesses than making observations based on calculation, then here is a sealed box. Spend the next ten minutes guessing what’s inside, and come back again at the end of this video.  Because this video doesn’t cover what we guess about the universe, but what we know, and more importantly, how we know it.


Now let’s get back to that sealed box. To those who decided to skip this video in order to speculate on the contents, have you figured out what’s inside yet? Of course not. Sitting in an arm chair and making wild guesses, tells you nothing. You’re really no better off than the bronze-age farmers who  looked up at the stars and tried to guess what they were.

In the two parts of this video we have seen how our universe, our sun, and eventually our planet, formed over a period of 13.7 billion years without any need for invisible beings.

So we know that the universe wasn’t made in six days. And we know, of course, that it’s a lot more than 6,500 years old. If you want to believe in a recent mythical creation, then you’ve missed out on a lot of the incredible advances in knowledge over the last 300 years.

You’ve also missed out on something that would have astounded the four thousand generations of humans that preceded us, and were so curious about the creation of our world that they had to create gods and spirits to explain it.

They would never have dreamed that we would one day have the technology to look back in time nearly 14 billion years , and take a snapshot of the birth of our universe.

To me, the real story of the universe is way more interesting than myths and fairy tales. For one hundred thousand years, man has looked up into the same night sky and wondered.

We are the first people in human history not to wonder, not to guess, but to know.

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