A layperson question.... I've taken a cosmology class, but I don't have a strong foundation in physics outside AP high school classes. So don't take too much time to explain to me, we're basing our understanding on the universe in how long we can see back in a giant time sphere around us how exactly are we arriving at the 15.5 billion year figure? red shift? it takes that long for light to reduce in frequency to a microwave state as a byproduct of space expansion? and now some nonsense questions... how did our matter manage to get ahead of light itself from the big bang? is it possible that the light we participated in our nuclear fusion may in fact, through a trickery of time and space, be a star in the sky, or perhaps a burst of microwave radiation? A gravity revolving door if you will. if jupiter and saturn had been closer together in the accretion of proto-solar gasses, would they have reached enough mass to ignite, thus rendering life on earth, fairly unlikely? and finally, i want someone to recognize how funny it is that ~almost 500 years ago copernicus considering ourselves no longer at the center of the known universe, and it was a huge deal. even he would find it amusing that today, again. we are at the center of the known universe.