earthExamining the unity of nature

J. V. Siry

There is a unity in science, as the study of nature, that runs so deeply through astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology giving rise to a vision of our place in nature that is fundamentally distinct from earlier worldviews. 


This distinction lies in the origins and behavior of all the elements comprising the world we see around us. The sun brings light and life to our world but is also the forge of all the known elements, from carbon to uranium. Water H2O is actually essential to all known life.


Astronomy: In the fusion of hydrogen into helium stars like our sun generate the energy and mass to fuse all of the elements of which you are made.

Physics: The universe began with an abundance of hydrogen the least massive and most prevalent element in the universe.

Chemistry:  The molecules that react in our world to form water, fire, air, and earth are largely composed of oxygen, carbon, silica, calcium, phosphorus, nitrogen, iron, and nickel in various mixtures. The following elements are necessary for all life which so far as we know is confined to the earth: carbon, phosphorus, nitrogen, hydrogen, & oxygen.

Geology: The Earth, third planet traveling about the sun, is a massive electromagnet rotating on its axis and evolving over the last 4 billion years. What this means is that the features of the oceans and the continents have so changed over the last billion years that the climate has changed. DNAThese vast changes in climate due to the shifting of the continents has influenced the existence and descent of plant and animal life from which we are descended!

Biology:  We recognize that you and I are the descendants of a common ancestry because of the genetic evidence found in the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) and RNA of our chromosomes reveals similar respiratory enzymes that regulate cellular metabolism. Humans, like all animal and plant life, emerge from a single cell with the mitochondrial DNA of our mother’s line, after a nine-month gestation period, into a biotically diverse world that has been changing for billions of years.

Welcome aboard the spaceship Earth. We are only the latest arrival to the strange freight that this planet carries through but one solar system of the Milky Way galaxy!  You are really a symbiotic part of this tangled menagerie and its history on earth is deeply embedded in your inheritance.

Earth spins

1997, 2007; 400 words

Direction box