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I have been invited to give a presentation to biology teachers on the big bang. Although this seems strange (why not physics teachers?) I think this is a wonderful idea. The big bang is in the news, and seems to be on the mind of lots of students. It seems especially appropriate to have it at a meeting like this.

Imagine yourself for a moment back in the middle to late 1800's, imagine that you're a high school biology teacher, and that you're are hearing a little bit about this new "theory of evolution." You're hearing about this guy Darwin; you're wondering what's going on here. He seems to be answering questions, but they are not questions you've ever heard before. He seems to be asking brand new questions before he answers them. You're trying to figure out what's going on, you might check the newspapers and hear about debates that are taking place at various colleges and at various churches, and so on; you just pick up little bits of it. You might get the sense that there is something very exciting going on, that maybe there is some complete change taking place in our understanding of the world but you can't quite get all the facts right. Well, you are living through a very analogous experience today.

We are living through a revolution in our understanding of the physical evolution of the universe. You may never have heard the question, "where were atoms made," and yet those questions are being answered. As I am speaking this, such questions are being debated, understood, discussed; mistakes are being found. We are living through an extremely exciting period that people will look back on a 100 years and say "wow, what it must have been like to be alive then when people were figuring out the origin of the universe." If these are questions that you never asked, well they didn't ask about evolution before they figured out evolution. People weren't saying "where did humans come from" when people suddenly figured out where they came from. The question "where did the universe come from" hardly is one that you would think of.


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