Scientists have announced that the universe may be inherently unstable. Billions of years from now, a new universe could open up and replace the one we’re in at the moment. I picture a tiny pinprick of matter expanding so that our universe is squashed up against the edges of the cosmos and then disappears in a puff of something or other. Does the universe have edges? It’s never been clear to me what exactly the universe is in. What’s outside it? It’s a well known fact that the earth is flat and rests on at least one turtle and maybe some elephants. But what is the turtle sitting on? It’s also been suggested that the cosmos is cyclical and that the Big Bang Universe we think we know is just the latest version in a permanent cycle of events.
I find all this uncertainty quite delightful. We’re a cosmic joke. It reminds me that there is really no point fretting. What will be will be. When the cosmos returns to chaos we won’t be in it because the sun will long since have run out of steam, or helium, and before that we’ll either have frozen to death or been wiped out through our own silliness. So don’t worry, even if we don’t succeed in planetary annihilation, cosmic physics will. What a joy.
Did you ever see The Day the Earth Stood Still? The 1950s version with Michael Rennie, not the recent one with Mr Woodenface Keanu Reeves. Yer man Rennie plays Klaatu, a Christ-like figure who gives himself the earth-name Mr Carpenter (geddit?). He comes from another planet with his robot Gort to tell our leaders that if they don’t stop being so fractious, the cosmic powers will sort us out. They don’t listen of course. Klaatu and Gort disappear off into the great unknown and the film ends. Spooky. It’s a terrific film. Next time it’s on the box, watch it. But for God’s sake avoid the Keanu Reeves version. That will seriously damage your health and your aesthetic sensibility.
So, boys and girls, live in the moment. Enjoy what you can when you can. Klaatu barada nikto.I bet a fair few Rectors could do with Klaatu and Gort to sort out their contradictious parishes. Do you think scientists will ever be able to explain everything? I hope not.
My daughter threatens not to speak to me again. She prefers to see the positive in Mr Reeves.