The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.
Yes, the universe had a beginning. Yes, the universe continues to evolve. And yes, every one of our body’s atoms is traceable to the big bang and to the thermonuclear furnace within high-mass stars. We are not simply in the universe, we are part of it. We are born from it. One might even say we have been empowered by the universe to figure itself out — and we have only just begun.
On NASA funding: “‘As a fraction of your tax dollar today, what is the total cost of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit, and missions yet to fly?’ Answer: one-half of one percent of each tax dollar. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar.
“We are the universe, and the universe is in us”
Pretty much everything I believe in, summed up here.
Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The universe is huge in time and in space and in contents. So the good thing about the universe is extraordinarily rare phenomena happen every day, someplace in the universe. And so, however rare we might calculate it would be up here for life as we know it, you multiply up the numbers—the stars in the galaxy, galaxies in the universe—these are staggeringly huge numbers. 10^21, a thousand times bigger than the number of grains of sand on an average beach, itself a hundred times bigger than the number of words ever spoken or uttered by all humans who have ever lived. These are staggeringly large—stupendously large numbers… that give us the confidence that even if intelligence life is only short-lived (grows up and then becomes so smart it can kill itself), that there’s bound to be one out there that we’re hitting it right at the right time that they are happy to have a conservation with us if we’re smart enough to have a conversation with them.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson
In terms of other things that baffle me in the universe… oh there’s tons! I’m baffled every day; like:
What is dark matter?
What is dark energy?
How did inanimate organic molecules become animate and transform into life?
What was around before the universe?
Is there a multiverse?
Are there multiverses of multiverses?