“Some part of our being knows this is where we came from,” says Carl Sagan at one point during his epic cosmology-narrating documentary, Cosmos. “We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We’re made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.”

I remember reading that second-t0-last sentence somewhere as a kid before I’d even seen the show in the 1980s. “Star-stuff,” an economic, deeply poetic way of driving such an elegant point home. It was mind-blowing to me at the time, back in grade school, just beginning to wrap my head around how scientists thought the puzzle pieces fit together.

But what if it turned out that what we’ve become over the course of evolutionary eons is about more than just the elemental stuff that stars and planets and nebulae are made of? What if the very structure…

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