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Discovery Magazine 11/1/2009

Hydrogen in the Universe

Our Universe is made up mostly of an element called hydrogen. In nature, however, hydrogen is converted into another element known as helium. It does not turn back into hydrogen once it changes, and we have not found any way that hydrogen can be produced in large amounts. If the Universe were millions or billions of years old, then all the hydrogen would have changed into helium. But that is not what we find. The Universe still contains huge amounts of hydrogen. One famous astronomer by the name of Fred Hoyle saw this as a real dilemma. After studying it for some time, he concluded that the idea of an old age for the Universe had some problems. He even thought that this piece of evidence, along with others, might point to a Creator. He was right. If the Universe has been around for billions of years, all the hydrogen would have changed into helium. But when we look at the Universe, we still see enormous amounts of hydrogen, which shows that the Universe cannot be billions of years old.

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