Hearing from our other resident astronomer, Faith Stults!
I so appreciate getting this commentary! I almost wish we could have a thread on the forum where any of our astronomers who have thoughts about a new Web image could share your thoughts. It means a lot.
“It took nearly 10 billion years for life on Earth to make its debut and another couple billion years after that for Homo sapiens to arrive on the scene.”
Let’s rehash that, since it is relevant. Earth forms ~4.5 Bya. Life on Earth began ~500M - 1B years after that, or ~3.5B - 3Bya. But even the first apes have only been here after 99.995% of life’s existence has passed. So H.sapien is only in the past 500,000 years! So the fact is that 99.9875 % of the 4B years of life was without us H.sapiens. It terms of a clock, in 24 hours, we arrived in the last 3 seconds! In a football drive of 100 yards, we are at the .25" line. It took us much, much, much longer than “a couple billion years”.
Like Bucky Wood, I wondered about the 10 billion years assertion for the age of the earth. Approximately four billion years is the correct age. Also, not only is the universe not static and smooth, it is extremely violent. The only reason that life is possible on earth is that it is in a quiet neighborhood with no exploding stars nearby or other violent activity. Also, our atmosphere protects life on earth from most of the ubiquitous radiation coming in from all directions. To paraphrase one of Jesus’ teachings, In my father’s universe there are many safe worlds that have been created. We live in one of them.
The article isn’t saying the earth is 10 billion years old, but rather life began on earth approximately 10 billion years after the universe had some sort of beginning.
Super article that adds a lot of depth and insight into what are already startling images. It made me stop and reconsider what aspects the JWST images don’t immediately show! Thank you for your wonderful commentary.