A Billions Years Old Aperture

My exposure to Stephen Hawking started with seeing him regularly in the media, then I started reading his book A Brief History of Time around two years ago.

Prior to reading his book, I had no interest in physics or astronomy. After reading it, I became more intrigued in both subjects. Stephen Hawking’s approach in A Brief History of Time is fascinating, and his humour actually help explain physics and astronomy in such a friendly way.

After finishing his book, I watched Stephen Hawking’s Genius Series. Hawking challenges volunteers and viewers in the series to explore some of humanity’s biggest questions about our own existence and the universe in which we live. Some of the questions addressed in the series include: Where did the universe come from? Why are we here? Are we alone?

I really enjoy the Genius Series because it addresses such topics in a manner that makes sense to the average person who isn’t familiar with physics or astronomy.

Hawking's A Brief History of Time and Genius Series sparked my curiosity in astronomy. The way I perceived myself and the universe around me transformed largely as a result of astronomy. Astronomy is a fascinating subject that offers a unique perspective on humans and the universe.

Astronomy was the first to taught me that we are as conscious being are an aperture through which the universe looking at and exploring itself.

Here’s one of my favorite phrases from Genius Series that point to our beginnings and position in the universe:

What are we? We began deep in the distant past as the building blocks of life created themselves.

Then billions of years ago, a molecule with a remarkable ability began to make copies of itself from the raw materials of the planet. A chain reaction had begun and evolution took over.

Here we are, complex biological machines, capable not just of replicating and passing on the chain reaction of life, but also figuring out how we got here.

The original primitive life has been running ever since it first began and now, only just passing through you. We are part of a single ancient process, clambering about our tiny ball of rock as it orbits the sun, passing the reaction on and on. We are already billions years old, which makes us pretty special.

Thank you, Hawking, for encouraging me to look up at the stars and for motivating me to pursue answers to my questions about the universe. Happy birthday, Hawking. May you find eternal tranquility among the stars.

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Karina

19. Pramoedya Ananta Toer pernah berkata, menulis adalah bekerja untuk keabadian.