If we live long enough, almost everyone will have asked how it will all end. This momentous question is unanswerable because, although we might make predictions, the Principle of Uncertainty pervades everything any of us might say about the future.
But before we even get to making predictions, we have to decide which “end” we are talking about.
- Most of us are intimately concerned about our own death and of those who are dearest to us.
- Besides our personal death, there are the various catastrophes which could bring about millions of human deaths, or the extinction of thousands of species in a single horrifying event.
- Then there is the more ultimate end of the Earth as a planet on which life like ours can flourish.
- And finally there is the end not only of our solar system, our galaxy which we call The Milky Way, but of the entire universe.
Science has a lot to say about each of these endings, but not a single one can science predict with precise infallibility. Even when death is a mere second away, it is impossible to predict it with exact certainty. It happens all the time in unexpected accidents.
Nonetheless, science can provide us with some facts. And we as humans can make informed, if not infallible, decisions.
The next postings will look at some of the potential “ends” that science suggests could face us.