The End of The Universe

Now, the end of the universe is one of those things we could likely avoid thinking about, without too many consequences. However, it is sometimes interesting to consider what might happen a few billion years from now, will the universe start to contract, and eventually squish itself back into a little point before exploding again into the big bang? Or will it just continue expanding forever, until the suns go out, and all is cold.

In either of those situations, you have to wonder what will happen to humanity, if we perchance happen to be there, or to some other intelligent life, if any exists and makes it that far. Is that just the end of all life? It’s somewhat disconcerting to think so.

A fellow named Frank Tipler believes that it’s inevitable the universe will fill up with intelligent life, and that by the time the universe collapses, the ability of life to process information will be asymptotically infinite (as we get closer to the collapse, the closer to being able to process an infinite amount of information), allowing that life to essentially simulate the entire universe again, thus reproducing all of us, and our lives again, in this simulation of what is essentially the universe.

It’s an interesting idea, although I’m certainly skeptical that he bases his theological statements entirely on the bible. It’s interesting to wonder what the world will be like in a few thousand years, let alone a few million or billion.

You can read a little bit about his theory here (Tipler’s site) and here (wikipedia).

Along the same lines, there’s a fun short story by Isaac Asimov that has another ending to the universe:
The Last Question

3 Responses to “The End of The Universe”

  1. Jen says:

    Well, by that time I would assume that technology would allow us the luxury of traveling to and living on any planet or moon of our choice, at least within this solar system… So, we don’t really have to worry about what will happen to the Earth, we will have so many other places to call home.

  2. Liam says:

    So perhaps eventually we live elsewhere in the solar system, but eventually, the sun goes out. The same story goes even if we’re living in other solar systems… eventually stars go out, and we have no way to make new stars.