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   You need just 3 ingredients to make the universe:

   matter,

   energy,

   and space

said one of the best known scientific thinkers of our day. To hear the way he put it, use the DOOR.

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   According to Steven Hawking¹:

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   “So what are the three ingredients we need to cook up a universe? The first is matter–stuff that has mass. Matter is all around us, in the ground beneath of feet and out in space. Dust, rock, ice, liquids. Vast clouds of gas, massive spirals of stars, each containing billions of suns, stretching away for incredible distances.

   “The second thing you need is energy. Even if you’ve never thought about it, we all know what energy is. Something we encounter every day. Look up at the Sun and you can feel it on your face: energy produced by a star ninety-three million miles away. Energy permeates the universe, driving the processes that keep it a dynamic, endlessly changing place.

   “So we have matter and we have energy. The third thing we need to build a universe is space. Lots of space. You can call the universe many things–awesome, beautiful, violent–but one thing you can’t call it is cramped. Wherever we look we see space, more space, and even more space. Stretching in all directions. It’s enough to make your head spin. So where did all this matter and energy and space come from? We­² had no idea until the twentieth century.

   “The answer came from the insights of one man, probably the most remarkable scientist who has ever lived. His name was Albert Einstein³….”

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   And on Hawking goes, simple and to the point. And not because he’s arguing from ignorance–as many of the rest of us might proceed to do, trying to be helpful.

   But there’s more to the point to his words than just a beginning science lesson. (And more than we want to get into here. Times up.)

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   ¹ Stephen Hawking, Brief Answers to the Big Questions  (Bantam, 2018, pp. 29-30). This is Hawking’s last “brief” book before his recent death. He clearly, but charitably, sees science and “science around the corner” as the place to seek answers for the big questions that matter–which he does not dodge. But God, or a what’s behind-the-scenes creator or designer that some might call “God,” is off the hook for packaging a more complete explanation or any explanation at all. Not forgetting that, Stephen Hawking is still a good source for much reliable scientific information.

   ² “We” here refers to scientists speaking from scientific evidence alone.

   ³ In just a few paragraphs later, Hawking points out that matter and energy are really the “same” thing (or 2 sides of the same coin–our term) as expressed in Einstein’s (simple) equation  e = mc² .

Happy 41st Birthday, Eli!