Thursday, 24 November 2011

A trillion years from now

Imagine how things might be a trillion years from now. That’s about seventy times the current age of the universe (about 13.75 billion years), so I'd guess there will have been a few changes. No EU, no politics, no celebrities, no climate science, no Christmas shopping and no dog shit on the pavements. But I digress.

Of course our sun will be long gone and so will the Solar System. The sun may become a red giant and engulf the Earth with some genuine global warming - or it may not, we don’t know.  

Our entire galaxy may collide with the Andromeda galaxy in three to five billion years time, so there is more than one possible fate lying in wait for our little Solar System.

What about us? Will we be remembered in a trillion years time? Well I don’t know about your ego, but mine says we won’t. So what will be left of us?

The obvious answer is nothing – but do we mean nothing at all? I’d say yes to that question. In a trillion years time there will not be the slightest trace of our existence. Not a single proton, neutron or electron, not a single quantum of radiation will tell the smallest hint of our story. Every last quantum of it will be gone.

The universe will change to such an extent that our onetime existence here on dear old Earth is no longer even a fragment of data. Data and laws - we are the data, not the laws. In the end, all data is deleted, so the time will come when we never existed.


Sam Vega said...

Debatable, in that the "laws" are themselves a product of the way we see things at this particular point in time. All that empty cosmos and time is taking place within our minds. The universe might objectively exist in the way we think it does, but then again it might objectively exist in the way that mediaeval peasants thought it did, or the way they think on planet Tharg. To assume that we are skilful or lucky enough to have hit upon the objective truth of material existence is a form of naive realism.

rogerh said...

I thought Old Moore said we would merge and pass through Andromeda with hardly a murmur, mind you, the old currant bun will be cold by then so we could do with a warm. Then there's all those wiggly string thingys and alternative unis or universes, will they be gone too? Like many a philosophical question, if it bothers you at all you are surely lost. I thought a trillion was how much I owed the bank.

A K Haart said...

SV - For me our view of reality is just a repertoire of behaviour which may vary with the situation. It is moulded by the real world the social world and genetics, but in the end it's just a conceptual framework.

rogerh - so it's you who took on all that debt?

James Higham said...

A nice glass of red will help with this imagining, AKH.

A K Haart said...

JH - That's where it mostly comes from (: