The Baha'i teachings state that 'in the beginning matter was one', giving rise to elements which became differentiated only 'after a very long time' into their present complex forms. This teaching seemed, at the time, irreconcilable with known facts; but its truth became apparent by the middle of the twentieth century. Physicists now realize that all matter begins as hydrogen gas which, collecting slowly in suns and stars, cooks under enormous pressure for thousands of millions of years. The resulting nuclear reactions combine the original atoms of hydrogen into heavier and ever- more- complex elements. These elements eventually render the star unstable, triggering (if it is sufficiently massive) a 'supernova' explosion which welds vast quantities of star stuff into still heavier elements and flings them into space as gas. The constant repetition of this process throughout the universe provides the raw material for suns and planets such as our own. (214:2)
According to 'Abdul- Baha, the various elements all began as a single form of matter, arriving at their present- day condition by passing through intermediate stages: ...it is evident that in the beginning matter was one, and that one matter appeared in different aspects in each element. Thus various forms were produced, and these various aspects as they were produced became permanent, and each element was specialized. But this permanence was not definite, and did not attain realization and perfect existence until after a very long time (SAQ 181). (215:1)
The detailed verification of this teaching is one of the most amazing stories of modern science.. (215:2)
..After decades of detective work, based on studies of nuclear reactions and spectroscopic analysis of stars, astrophysicists worked out what must have happened. The last few pieces of the puzzle fell into place as recently as 1957.. (216:1)
..When this picture came into focus in `1957 it was precisely as 'Abdul- Baha had described more than half a century earlier.