|The other story|
|A long time ago but more recently, another story entered the western world. This story gives a materialistic explanation for our existence.|
|Story 2 Evolution|
| About 18 billion years ago, all matter was concentrated in one place, and something like an explosion happened to put things in motion. We call it the “big bang.” “Simple” hydrogen atoms came first, and bigger atoms formed later. Time, and the laws of physics came into effect.
The vast surge of matter formed worlds and stars and galaxies. Galaxies of stars moved around each other, planets and asteroids and comets orbited stars, and moons circled planets.
Planet earth had a moon and an atmosphere and a lot of water. Chemicals floated somewhere in the water and formed a soupy substance that might be called “protoplasm.” As a storm came through the area, lightning struck the chemicals, creating the first successful microorganism. It could move, breathe, take in food, and reproduce itself.
The atmosphere contained very little oxygen, but the first life forms didn’t need it. They fed on nonliving organic compounds and later diversified into a wide variety of forms, adapting to their different environments. Some became complex aerobic (oxygen-using) photosynthesizers. Algae-like forms added more oxygen to the atmosphere, making an environment conducive to complex forms.
One-celled organisms gave rise to multi-celled organisms, and multicelled organisms evolved appendages and organs and backbones. Fish gave rise to amphibians, amphibians gave rise to reptiles, and reptiles gave rise to birds and mammals.
Then came man. Man was able to outdo the other animals in creativity and enginuity. Mankind created complex social systems and built homes and developed the land. They made rules of conduct which enabled them to live together peacefully; this allowed them to enjoy life, create things, and safely coexist.
Social systems created an environment for scientists and engineers to invent and create machines. They built machines for improving the lives of many, and they built machines for mass destruction.
At this point in time the second law of thermodynamics ensures a cold dark future for the cosmos.* The universe expands, and even though the expansion gradually slows, it continues forever. Very few scientists might expect the universe to slow down enough to cave in on itself. Scientists in general expect it to expand forever. Stars eventually burn out as order tends toward disorder. Just as life began through no intention of its own, life eventually ceases. From dust life came, and to dust life returns.
|* The second law of thermodynamics plays a necessary part in life; many processes depend on it. The point here is that life is set on a natural course toward destruction.|