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ARCHIVE for Wednesday 5th September 2001 - How did the world begin?
The correct answer is - it is a total mystery.
That is also the proper answer to the other big questions about our existence - the ones that children ask but adults hate to answer. Questions like: "How did life begin?" or " Where does human intelligence come from?" or "How did language develop?"
Everyone has ideas about these things, but no one really knows. If they did know there would not be all those different theories. We have all, for example, heard of the "Big Bang'. According to this explanation, everything in the cosmos developed from a tiny package of incredibly dense matter that exploded. One day, somehow, it exploded - and our world began.
Adults are quite happy to accept this idea but it does not satisfy children. The next thing they ask, quite rightly, is: How did that suspicious package get there in the first place? Scientists don't find it so easy to answer that one. And they themselves are divided over the Big Bang. Some declare that there was no such thing, and that the universe has always existed. They say it goes on forever and has neither beginning nor end. Others disagree. Against this idea, they say, is the fact that all material things have limits. Recently, I pointed this out while discussing the size of the universe with a six-year-old boy. The next time I saw him he said he had been thinking about it, and he had reached a conclusion. "The universe," he said "does have its limits, but as you get near to them they run away!" Now how do you answer that?
Most writers have their "thing" or main theme that runs throughout all their work. My "thing" for over 35 years - in books, articles, and lectures - has been the mystery of existence. Within this unexplained universe is an infinity of mysteries. Wherever you look -- in archaeology and ancient history or in the modern records of parapsychology and strange phenomena - you find evidence to contradict every theory and "certainty" of official science. The real world is quite different from the way our teachers describe it, and it is a great deal more interesting.
It's a fact
The earth is travelling round the Sun at an astonishing 18.6 miles a second.
The Sun itself is in orbit. It takes thousands of years to circle round a distant part of the Milky Way that we call the Galactic Centre.
There are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on all of our beaches.
The ancients saw the Moon as a protector - which is TRUE. Its gravity attracts passing Earth-bound meteors.
If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with subject heading: John Michell
John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.
This service is for UK orders only.
Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
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