ARIEL

By David C. Bossard

 

Narrator: God is ready to create the universe. His angels want to help, especially one particularly precocious angel named Ariel. So God explains to Ariel that the first thing that must be created is light, because all of matter is built out of light. He tells Ariel that there are lots of other details that you have to look after, but you have to start with light.

Ariel is a little mischievous, and a bit impatient. So he says to himself, "This sounds exciting. I'm going to try it for myself. Won't God be pleased when he sees how much I have learned from his little talk?"

So Ariel goes off and creates a universe. Bang! He makes the light just as God said he had to do it. Just then God drops in.

 

Ariel, excitedly: "I tried out what you said. Look at it!"

 

Narrator: God looks at the universe that Ariel just created.

 

God: "That's a nice job, Ariel, but I am afraid it won't work."

 

Ariel: "But why won't it work? I created light, just as you said."

 

God: "You need darkness in your universe."

 

Ariel: "Darkness? What do you mean? Darkness is nothing. Nothing is made out of darkness. You need to have light to create anything. You said so yourself!"

 

God: "You need darkness."

 

Ariel: "You talk as if darkness was something. But darkness is nothing. You can't create matter out of darkness."

 

God: "Well, Ariel, you did a good job with your light. Let's just watch and see what happens."

 

Narrator: So God and Ariel sat down and watched Ariel's new universe. It started expanding from the microscopic point of intense light that Ariel had made. It grew and grew—and then started to collapse. When it started collapsing, everything was over in a minute. Ariel's universe had self-destructed.

 

Ariel: "What happened?"

 

God: "You need darkness."

 

Ariel: "Well, God, I guess I need to learn some more about creating universes. Why do I need darkness?"

 

God: "You need to have many areas of darkness spread all through the light, because the gravity in light makes it come together in clumps. In your universe there was no darkness, so all the light just collapsed into a point and poof! there went your universe. If you want, let us say, two clumps of light, then you need to have some darkness between the two clumps so the light in each clump will be attracted mostly to the rest of the light in its own clump and not to the light in the other clump.

"Of course, you need lots of clumps, and you need clumps small enough so that you will be able to produce useful kinds of matter, but that's another story. You can't get anywhere with your universe unless you can get the great mass of light that you created to separate into clumps. For that you need darkness. Not darkness outside of your universe, but darkness in your universe, mixed in with the light.

"You were right that darkness is nothing, and that you can't make matter out of darkness, but you need darkness anyway. You need to separate light from darkness or else you can't get started with your creation. ... (Pause) ... I think I will tell that to Moses."

 

Ariel (puzzled): "Who is Moses?"