My Novels

Wednesday, January 02, 2002

I went on another long bike ride this morning and it was even colder, around 30 degrees. But I have a warm toboggan and gloves, wind-proof suit so it was fine. I actually prefer the colder weather to the extreme heat of the summer here. It's cloudy today, and there's forecasts of snow flurries here, but possibly 3-4 inches of snow farther south. Wow, they hardly ever get snow that far south, so it should be a big treat for them!

I found another article about our accelerating cosmos in the New York Times, and want to quote parts of it here. Again, it confirms the recent astronomy findings that the fate of the cosmos is bleak indeed, and we humans are destined for oblivion.

The Universe Might Last Forever, Astronomers Say, but Life Might Not

In the last four years astronomers have reported evidence that the expansion of the universe is not just continuing but is speeding up, under the influence of a mysterious "dark energy," an antigravity that seems to be embedded in space itself. If that is true and the universe goes on accelerating, astronomers say, rather than coasting gently into the night, distant galaxies will eventually be moving apart so quickly that they cannot communicate with one another. In effect, it would be like living in the middle of a black hole that kept getting emptier and colder.

And perhaps most important, starved finally of the energy even to complete a thought or a computation, the domain of life and intelligence would not expand, but constrict and eventually vanish like a dwindling echo into the silence of eternity. "I find the fate of a universe that is accelerating forever not very appealing," said Dr. Edward Witten, a theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study.

That is an understatement, in the view of Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss, an astrophysicist at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, who along with his colleague Dr. Glenn D. Starkman has recently tried to limn the possibilities of the far future. An accelerating universe "would be the worst possible universe, both for the quality and quantity of life," Dr. Krauss said, adding: "All our knowledge, civilization and culture are destined to be forgotten. There's no long-term future."

There you have it kids! Absolutely all we do means ZIP, nothing, nada! Except of course for our own momentary existence, and what we get out of our lives. I DO NOT believe humans will EVER control the fate of the cosmos; it's beyond our scope. I'm sure we will try, but it's doomed to failure. I always think of Dr. Carl Sagan's quote in one of his books about how humans are like moths that flutter briefly near the candle-flame and think it is forever. Our lives are simply a blink of the eye in the scheme of the universe; and worse, nothing we do matters much. That is, unless we end up destroying ourselves and our little corner of the universe with a science experiment gone horribly wrong (check out accelerating particle generators and how that could end up in a big bang all its own!).

Sometimes I wonder if the earth was seeded by some aliens, and we're all being observed -- sort of like "The Truman Show." What a hoot those darn aliens must be getting out of our adventures and misadventures!

Enough for today. I have some errands to run in town, and then will spend more time reading, learning and surfing the net.

No comments: