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I really love this quote from evolutionary cosmologist Brian Swimme, "The Story of the Universe," EnlightenNext interview:

“This is the greatest story of the scientific enterprise. Here’s the whole story in one line: you take hydrogen gas, leave it alone, and it turns into rose bushes, giraffes and humans. The reason I like that version is that, you see, hydrogen gas is odorless and colorless. The Western civilization prejudice is that it is just material stuff; there’s not much there. The reason I love it is that you just take hydrogen, leave it alone, and it turns into a human. That’s an interesting bit of information. The whole point that it is trying to say is that if humans are spiritual, so is hydrogen. It’s an incredible opportunity to escape the traditional dualism. You know, spirit is up here, matter is down here. But, in reality, matter is all the way through. Spirit is all the way through.
Here is the longer version. The universe comes into existence 13 billion years ago-- the most recent guess. And so it comes forth as elementary particles, screaming hot. It is not only trillions of degrees hot, it is also a million times denser than lead. So, the universe doesn’t begin as fire; it begins as this incredibly dense, hot… we can’t even imagine it, and then it begins to expand. And then after 300 thousand years, it cools enough to form atoms, hydrogen atoms. So the hydrogen and helium atoms form about 300 hundred thousand years after the beginning, and then it continues to expand, and then the early galaxies form. When the universe is about a billion years, we have all these galaxies fluttering into existence. It is an incredible time, because it is the only moment in the history of the universe when galaxies can form. Before that it is too hot and dense; after that it is too thin and spread out. Do you get the implication there? The universe itself has its own timing of creativity. The way scientists talk about it is the universe “flutters into galaxies,” like snowflakes forming. Later on the galaxies complexify as the stars themselves, to burn and transform the elements in their cores. The hydrogen is transformed into helium, and later on it gets alot hotter and the helium is transformed into carbon and so forth. All of the elements are created in the middle of the star, which then explodes. The next star is formed out of these elements. Then you have the possibility of planets. It is then an amazing insight that all of the elements of our bodies are forged out of a star.”