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10 September 2007 @ 05:12 pm
Pondering Eschatological Cosmology  

In an article that opens by retelling the story of Alvie Singer’s childhood existential crisis (from Annie Hall), Jim Holt interviews a number of prominent cosmologists and eventually works his way around to this thought:

  • Why should we want the universe to last forever, anyway? Look—either the universe has a purpose or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t, then it is absurd. If it does have a purpose, then there are two possibilities: Either this purpose is eventually achieved, or it is never achieved. If it is never achieved, then the universe is futile. But if it is eventually achieved, then any further existence of the universe is pointless. So, no matter how you slice it, an eternal universe is either (a) absurd, (b) futile, or (c) eventually pointless.
    —Jim Holt, “How Will the Universe End?” in The Best American Science Writing 2005, Alan Lightman (editor), Jesse Cohen (series editor), Harper Perennial, New York, 2005, p.56.


Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
Skylarkerskylarker on September 10th, 2007 11:58 pm (UTC)
Good point. My point is, why should the Universe need a point when so many people are happy to assign it one (or more)?
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on September 13th, 2007 11:35 pm (UTC)

So… What you're all saying, essentially, is: "You don't need a point to have a point." Right?

Skylarkerskylarker on September 14th, 2007 01:55 am (UTC)
If by that you mean "You don't need a preassigned point when you can supply your own," eh?