To concoct life as we know it there must be a crucible and just the right ingredients. The physical universe, itself engendered from apparently nothing, is therefore the sine qua non for all life. It has evolved from a violent, metaphorical birth, and we deduce with fair accuracy its lifetime so far to be 13.8 billion years. The processes that have led to humans are manifold and complex. So when any present, complex event is viewed in light of this history, it appears entirely improbable yet simultaneously unremarkable. We consider what light physics can shed on this dichotomy.
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