The History of Everything (For The Big Bang Theory fans!)

This post is dedicated to all fans of The Big Bang Theory (TBBT)

(For those who don’t know TBBT, it’s one of the best sitcom ever. It’s about 2 scientists who share an apartment, who hang out with two nerdy other scientist friends. They have a hot blonde waitress for neighbour. The drama and comedy arises from this clash of unlikely character: nerds and hottie. The series has won or been nominated for a lot of awards, including The Emmy, Golden Globe for both the series and actor/actresses.

If you are into sitcom, you just can’t miss it. I love it because not only it makes me laugh madly, but it actually MAKES YOU SMARTER. The series will have snippets of Physics, biology, evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, peppered around the convo, and you can learn while you laugh. Yep, I am so nerdy I demand knowledge from my sit-com. Anyway, enough with the intro for the noobs)

Now you TBBT fans must be familiar with the opening title of the series. But do you know there is the COMPLETE version of the song? The song’s title is The History of Everything by Barenaked Ladies. And here’s the complete lyrics:

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state

Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started

Wait!

 The earth began to cool

The autotrophs began to drool

Neanderthals developed tools

We built a wall (We built the pyramids!)

Math, science, history

Unraveling the mystery

That all started with a big bang (Bang!)

 Since “the dawn of man” is really not that long

As every galaxy was formed in less time than it takes to sing this song

A fraction of a second and the elements were made

The bipeds stood up straight

The dinosaurs all met their fate

They tried to leap but they were late

And they all died (They froze their asses off!)

 The oceans and pangaea

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya

Set in motion by the same big bang

 It all started with a big… bang!

 It’s expanding ever outward, but one day

It will pause and start to go the other way

Collapsing ever inward,

We won’t be here,

It won’t be heard

Our best and brightest figure that it’ll make an even bigger bang

 Australopithecus would really have been sick of us

Debating how we’re here

They’re catching deer (We’re catching viruses!)

 Religion or astronomy

Descarte or deuteronomy

It all started with a big bang

Music and mythology

Einstein and astrology

It all started with a big bang

It all started with a big…

Bang!  

When I first listened to the opening, the paragraph already wowed me with its “big bang to present day” crammed in a paragraph. But when I learned about the complete lyrics I was flabbergasted. Why? Because I love the scientific stuff stuffed into the whole text!

Let’s visit some of the lyrics!

Our whole universe was in a hot dense state

Then nearly fourteen billion years ago expansion started

This is the basic premise of The Big Bang Theory – that 13.7 billion years ago The Universe began with a bang. How do science know this? Because they observe that stars are moving away from us and each other. If you extrapolate this far enough, the universe will be an expansion that began from a small point (a singularity). Some say this point was only the size of dime. And indeed it was very hot, and very dense.

Since “the dawn of man” is really not that long

This is true. The rise of “man” (whether it began with Homo Erectus or the later Homo Sapiens) wasn’t really that long, compared to the history of the planet. The late Carl Sagan used the “calendar analogy”. If you compress the entire history of the universe into a calendar year, Homo Erectus only appeared on December 31 at 10.48 pm! That’s how recent we are as a species. Amazing analogy, don’t you think?

Here’s a visual calendar of The Universe:

 

(from: http://visav.phys.uvic.ca/~babul/AstroCourses/P303/BB-slide.htm )

 As every galaxy was formed in less time than it takes to sing this song

A fraction of a second and the elements were made

 The above line, as silly and unbelievable as it sounds, is actually scientifically sound. I once watched a show on Discovery Channel that shows how all galaxies we see today have been ‘printed’ out in only a few minutes of the Big Bang. It is mind-boggling but there was already so much happening in even less than a second, hence “A fraction of a second and the elements were made”. Mind boggling indeed.

The dinosaurs all met their fate

They tried to leap but they were late

And they all died (They froze their asses off!)

 This is hilarious, but true. A meteor, or comet, or perhaps some alien’s Toyota Alphard fell into earth, resulting in huge dust and debris that covered the atmosphere, blocking the sun, and cause temperature to drop. The cold blooded dinosaurs could not regulate their body temperature, and the cooling of the planet was lethal. So yeah, they really froze their asses off 😀

 The oceans and pangaea

See ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya

Set in motion by the same big bang

 

 (from Wikipedia)

 Pangaea is the hypothetical Super Continent on earth 250 million years ago. Many scientists that there used to be only one big continent a long time ago, and gradually they ‘cracked’ and separated into different continents. In fact, some of the continents have clashed into each other in the past. There are strong proofs to this, like similar fossils along the “lines” that separated the continents.

 Again the song has scientific foundation. The earth as we know it is not in “end” stage or reached stasis. It is still experiencing the effect of the past big bang and the continents are still moving since we are really sitting on hot molten lava. And all these can be traced back to that powerful Big Bang.

 It’s expanding ever outward, but one day

It will pause and start to go the other way

Collapsing ever inward,

We won’t be here,

It won’t be heard

Our best and brightest figure that it’ll make an even bigger bang

So The Big Bang Theory has been accepted by majority as a most probable fact. But what will be the eventual fate of the universe in the future? There are several alternatives: from the Big Freeze (The Universe completely loses its heat and dies), to the Big Crunch, which was meant by the song ‘…go the other way, collapsing ever inward’. The Big Crunch is really the Big Bang put in reverse. The whole universe eventually stops expanding and starts collapsing (‘crunching’). Eventually it would collapse completely to a point – the end of the universe as we know it.

But here’s the song genius. Science also speculates that the collapse will result in….a new Big Bang! The Universe could be cyclical – born, grow, die, and born again! What a wonderful possibility – it will make an even bigger bang. Astrophysics can make you dizzy.

Australopithecus would really have been sick of us

Debating how we’re here

They’re catching deer (We’re catching viruses!)

We are indeed the only species who spends so much time contemplating, and researching, on why we are where we are now. The line they’re catching deer (and we’re catching viruses) may not be accurate. I thought viral infection has been with all this time? Perhaps I was wrong?

Religion or astronomy

Descarte or deuteronomy

It all started with a big bang

Music and mythology

Einstein and astrology

It all started with a big bang

A beautiful closing paragraph about mankind’s accomplishments. From religion to science, from art to philosophy. And the ability to contemplate our existence, our past, and our future. All these can be traced back to that big bang 13.7 billion years ago.

Isn’t life grand?

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Categories: Random Insight, Review

10 Comments »

  1. kayaknya pas bagian ‘they catching deer’ lalu kita catching viruses itu maksudnya pas mereka ngomongin kita, kitanya bersin (catching cold>>catching viruses)
    jokes 😀 (tapi jadi kurang ilmiah ya om)

  2. Hello, Henry

    I got to your blog entry by asking Google if anyone suggested a connection between the Asteroid Impact Winter theory and the second verse to “A History of Everything”. Sure enough,

    “A meteor, or comet, or perhaps some alien’s Toyota Alphard fell into earth, resulting in huge dust and debris that covered the atmosphere, blocking the sun, and cause temperature to drop.”

    As a footnote, most think the crater near Chicxulub, Mexico, is where the impact happened.

    I don’t know about you, but I imagine that BNL had a lot of fun putting the song together.

  3. Ini dinobatkan jd postingan favoritku.
    Suka banget sama op songnya Big Bang tp gak tau ada lanjutannya. Dan scientific stuff nya ternyata lbh byk di lanjutannya

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