"I recall that in my earliest days of childhood since four years old, I would look up and experience a sense of wonder and exhilaration that captivated me throughout much of my boyhood. There was a certain beauty about nature which I could hardly grasp. Before I started first grade, my parents bought me a science encyclopedia which explained, in laymen terms, the beauty and elegance of the universe. It explained that nature can be viewed as a kind of hierarchy of different complexities and patterns starting at the submicroscopic level and going all the way to the scale of galaxy clusters and beyond. The word for this feature is Cosmos. I would marvel at the astonishing diversity of things: from the complicated actions and mechanisms which occur within the interior of a cell, to the various different plants and animals, to the subtle harmonies between the ocean and the wind and the Earth’s atmosphere, and other extraordinary aspects of nature. But in particular, I was fascinated by the solar system and the stars. I read about the evolution of the Sun and the then nine known planets. It said that in the earliest stages of the universe about 700 thousand years after the Big Bang—a colossal expansion of spacetime which resulted in the formation of the lighter elements—vast aggregates of hydrogen and helium atoms collected and condensed, by virtue of gravity, to form the stars. But it wasn’t until after the first generation of stars died out did life and conscious systems emerge. After these stars went supernovae, they would form vast enriched clouds of gas and dust, called nebulae, which would span the light-years. The final ingredients needed to make life as we know it was created. The gas and dust within these nebulae would then conglomerate and condense to form the second generation of stars. Circling around those stars, smaller aggregates of gas and dust formed the planets—and smaller still moons, comets and asteroids—every one of those worlds containing the ingredients for life. Those countless worlds span billions of lightyears in a vast web of trillions of galaxies across the heavens. Indeed, if the spontaneous emergence of organic chemistry—the building blocks of life—is inevitable after eons of time as some studies suggest, then those worlds up there in the heavens must be brimming with life and, perhaps, intelligent and thinking beings such as we."