Some people say that the world is only beautiful because it’s God’s special creation. I disagree.
The universe as a whole is beautiful for many reasons, but the ones that stand out most to me are:
- There are approximately 100 billion galaxies, each with around 100 billion stars, give or take. Galaxies clump together in clusters and superclusters, which further clump together in galactic filaments, unfathomably large pillars of galaxy clusters stretching across the universe. Between these filaments is nothing. Absolutely empty space, the yawning void. These large-scale structures of the universe are so massive in scale that we can comprehend them only as numbers – they are unimaginably large.
- After the Big Bang, matter condensed and eventually formed stars. Those stars exploded, creating and then scattering denser elements across the universe. Eventually that re-condensed into our sun, and then into the planets in our solar system and through a long chain of very impressive chemical reactions, into us.
- There are more dimensions to the universe than we can observe, and as a consequence, the very fabric of spacetime itself bends and warps. As gravity stretches across all the dimensions and bends spacetime, it curves the paths along which light travels, in effect bending light around massive objects like galaxies; this phenomenon is called gravitational lensing.
- Had the physical laws and constants been ever so slightly different, it is very likely that none of this ever would have happened. The beauty of life is not that we are part of some greater plan, but that we are here at all.