To understand man, one must first have a working knowledge of the molecular, cellular, chemical and biological makeup of human beings. All of these components are grouped under the study of natural science, which seeks to satisfy man’s natural curiosity by examining the world around us and presenting an order to the chaos of our experiences and observations.

Natural science includes the very small, the very large and the very complicated. The study of the very small involves the world of atoms, the building blocks of which everything is composed. The study of the very large is astronomy in which the focus is on great distances and long periods of time. Biology is the study of the very complicated, as man seeks to examine the structure, functioning, growth, origin and evolution and distribution of living organisms.

The long chain of complications is a metaphor of life as we move from the very small to the very large to the very complicated. The atom is the most minute of all living matter and was once thought to be indivisible, but this theory no longer holds true. It is now believed that elementary particles, known as electrons, protons, and neutrons make up the atoms. The study of the properties of atomic components yields an understanding of the particles assembled in the construction of man but fails to reveal the very essence of man.

In examining the very fiber of man, a brief overview begins with the protons and neutrons that build atomic nuclei. Matter is built from these two particles in two stages: in the first the protons and neutrons combine into atomic nuclei, and in the second these atomic nuclei combine with electrons to form atoms. Positive and negative electrical charges attract each other, an atomic nucleus, which is always positively charged, will attract the negatively charged electrons. An electron that is attracted to a nucleus does not become part of the nucleus but orbits around it at a certain distance.

Man represents a pattern of electron waves, just as all other objects, but not just as all other objects, but not just a conglomeration of atoms. Man is the combination of atoms and the ways in which they interact, constitutes the living man. Through the use of the scientific method, some scientists believe that the simplest living systems on the earth were a result of the formation of very complicated carbon compounds from inorganic matter under the influence of solar radiation and other phenomena.

Natural science seeks to uncover many of the questions regarding the existence of man and the long chain of complications, which have persisted over hundreds of years. The process will undoubtedly continue as man seeks to find concrete evidence to support his very existence.

Atom, Man, and the Universe by Hannes Alfven.