When the universe was in its childhood, it contained mostly one element: hydrogen. “At that time the Universe was too cold for other elements to form, and the cosmos entered a dark age lasting 380 million years.”
Only a scientist can write with this kind of nonchalant assertiveness about something so huge as the origin of being, and I was very lucky to discover him. But unhappy, too, because reading his work makes me want to become a scientist – something I no longer have time for. So I read this short piece by Brian Koberlein and I am happy to experience the evolution of the universe through him – when light first arrives and the stars start to shine. And I’m excited by the fact that every new phrase, each new bit of progress, comprises the happy chain of coincidences that made us, and eventually led me to write Yonder. Or, in Koberlein’s words, “Each step from hydrogen to the other elements relies upon rare celestial and quantum processes. It is a parade of flukes that leads from primordial matter to us.” What shall we do, now that we are here?