The Other I

March 21, 2011

After the End, then what happens?

Filed under: Questions beyond Science — theotheri @ 3:26 pm

The BBC is currently showing a fabulous TV series entitled The Wonders of the Universe with a young buck called Professor Brian Cox.   Given the topic, I think he should be at least middle-aged and mildly overweight, but he looks about 22 and his enthusiasm isn’t about motorcycles or fast cars but about the Haldron collider and black dwarf stars.

Once I was able overcome the feeling that I was being taught by an adolescent, I began to take in what Cox was saying.

“Life,” he said “is the way through which the Universe understands itself.”  Well, to tell the truth, I’m not really sure what that means.  But it sounds sort of poetic and meaningful, and I thought  it was something I might file away to give meaning to my occasional experiences I label “transcendent.”

Then Cox began to describe what he thinks will be the end game for our Universe in several trillion years or so.  All the stars will burn out, and even the black dwarfs will collapse.  Eventually there will be nothing, not even a single atom.

Nothing left at all but black holes and radiation.

Well, so much for transcendence.  I think science is wonderful.  It has changed the way I look at almost everything.  It has helped make me happier, less anxious, and I think less neurotic.  It has taught me how to dance.

But it does stop a little short of promising eternal life as we know it, doesn’t it?

But less one misunderstand,  science doesn’t think the End of the Universe is the End of Everything.

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