Sunday, August 3, 2008

Stellar Formation metaphor

Developing in life reminds me of stellar formation:

Things start with a thin cloud of dust (the dust may be so thin as to consist only of individual atoms).

There is just enough gravity to cause the huge, thin cloud to pull together slightly.
(this may take millions of years)
Eventually the cloud is dense, and is even getting warmer in the middle.
The gravity continues to act, the density increases, until the cloud is very dense and much more compact.
When the middle of the cloud is dense enough and hot enough -- an incredible qualitative change happens, one of the miracles of physics and one of the outstanding phenomena of the universe:

nuclear fusion spontaneously begins. The energy from this is tremendous, and a star is born.

Dust turns into a star. The requirements are time and gravity.

We all have time, and we all have gravity. Our lives may be full of dust. Don't let that discourage you. Gather what you can together. A powerful qualitative change can happen even after a long, long, period of waiting and working.

No comments: