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The Big Bang Theory
First there was a big chunk of matter which exploded in a big bang. All the pieces of matter were flung out and scattered all over the universe, separately forming whirling clouds of gas and dust which became galaxies.
Then in each galaxy many millions of smaller discs of gas and dust formed around hot centres called suns. After colliding, merging and cooling off over billions of years, these discs of gas and dust became planets, all travelling and orbiting around their own suns and formed solar systems. This solar system is a group of nine planets including earth.
How Life Formed
The earth is born - a molten ball of rock which condenses from a cloud of dust and gas. As the earth cools the crust buckles and cracks, and the volcanoes belch out gases. With further cooling, water condenses and clouds form. Rains come and wash chemicals out of the atmosphere into the oceans and form a `primeval' or `primordial soup'. Electrical storms form organic compounds, which gradually develop into self-supporting cells. Life thus becomes established.
It is believed that the first living things to develop were probably viruses. And the first true cells resembled bacteria. The first plant life is thought to be algae, found in stagnant pools.