Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery: A Program on the Big Questions for Grade 6

A Garden Is Born Evolution

Where previously there had been nothing, now there was something.

Within a black hole, a "singularity" developed.

What's a "singularity?" It's an area in a black hole where the density is so great the pressure squeezes bits of finite matter into a piece of infinite matter. Do you understand that?

Leader: Wait for a negative response.

I don't either! Riddle and mystery.

But some mathematicians support this theory of how the universe began. They call the birth of the universe the Big Bang, but there wasn't really a bang because it didn't happen instantaneously.

The singularity began to cool off and as that happened, it expanded to become the entire universe we know today. It's still cooling, expanding, and changing as we speak. Today, it's 156 billion light years wide. Can you imagine how big that is?

Leader: Wait for a negative response.

I can't either! Riddle and mystery. Cosmogony, the study of the origins of the universe, says this appears to be true.

Atoms became molecules. Molecules of different elements clustered together to form galaxies. Gaseous clouds of molecules formed into suns. Other gases became rock particles. Bunches of rock particles collided and stuck together and became the Earth. Earth has a non-living atmosphere of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Somehow, these elements managed to form themselves into living creatures. Planetary processes brought these elements together to form amino acids and nucleic acids—the building blocks of life—and they created single-celled organisms that grow and reproduce.

How did these non-living elements become life?

Leader: Wait for a negative response.

Many theories exist, but no one knows for sure. Riddle and mystery. Yet, we know that those single-celled organisms, like bacteria, changed over time. Changes in a living organism overtime is called "evolution."

As organisms evolved, they became more complex. Single-celled creatures, probably living in the sea, evolved into life forms with trillions of cells, which live now in the sea, in the air and on land.

Life became more plentiful. The barren rock became a garden. Since all life has a common ancestor, all life is linked. Since all life has requirements to stay healthy and alive, we have a responsibility. It isn't just that my survival might depend on your survival. My survival depends on the survival of trees and plants that create oxygen and the survival of particular bacteria which live in my intestines. Do you think it a far stretch to imagine that my survival might depend upon the survival of a rainforest ecosystem in South America?

Leader: Wait for a negative response.

I don't either! All life is connected and dependent upon other life forms. Riddle and mystery.