Understanding The Natural World Introduction

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Science has discovered the most amazing knowledge about the world over the last 400 years. We now know how the world began about 15 billion years ago in a massive explosion at a point source called the big bang and how it has been expanding outwards ever since. We know how the stars and planets formed and how the elements were forged in the stars. We understand the 4 basic forces that act in our world (gravity, electromagnetic and the strong and weak nuclear forces) and that cause everything physical to happen. We know how our solar system was formed about 5 billion years ago. We understand in principle how life arose on earth about 4 billion years ago as a single simple form and how it has since evolved into the myriad forms of life that now populate our planet. We know that our sun will die about 5 billion years from now, life will no longer be possible on planet earth and humankind will have to colonise another planet.

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