We have shared one vision of diversity for the future of human evolution for many millennia to come, for the period during which the universe remains the hospitable, vital environment that it is today, and within the context of the four known, presently observable dimensions, with no hostile life forms to end our expansion. But as we look at each of these assumptions in turn, more speculation is called for to even begin scratching the surface of possibility.
The Fate of the Universe
1. Continued expansion and ultimate cooling,
2. An equilibrium such that the present expansion ceases and the universe goes on forever, or
3. The eventual contraction of all matter as gravity finally wins out over the current outward acceleration caused by the big bang.
Which of these three theories is correct depends on a number of variables including the amount of dark matter assumed to exist in the universe. There are a number of websites that deal specifically with these theories and we are building a links page to make them easier to find. The short of it is that the scientific community widely agrees that the universe has a finite age and that scenario number 1, continued expansion and cooling will ultimately result.
What does this mean to the future of the human race? It is necessary to make certain assumptions that we can in no way validate. Among these are that we will always have, in one form or another, the ‘instinct’ for survival. Based upon our experience with biological forms of life, this is a fairly safe assumption, but it is not necessarily a prerequisite for sentient life forms. Given the ability to ‘program’ both artificial life forms and our own genetic make-up we can easily envision whole classes of beings created for hazardous duties intended to serve the greater community. This notwithstanding, we believe that the majority of beings will strive to survive in the face of a dying universe.
In keeping with our theme of diversity, we recognize that branches of humanity may eventually become purely silicon-based, some of us may find ways of imprinting our essence onto the fabric of space-time itself, while still others will remain largely carbon-based biological beings. As the universe begins it’s decline, these disparate species could conceivably come together, each contributing to the ability to manipulate matter and energy in a different and unique way. Some could operate on the subatomic level while others deal with the universe on a cosmic, macro scale. The objective would be to stabilize and prevent the continued expansion and cooling of the universe. Self preservation or the search for God?
Aliens and the Distant Future of Human Evolution
With mounting certainty at least in the possibility of extraterrestrial life, aided in no small part by the recently decommissioned Kepler Telescope which identified thousands of potential earth-like planets in a tiny portion of our galaxy, scientists grow more hopeful that some form of life may be possible on other worlds. Fermi’s paradox notwithstanding (if aliens exist why haven’t we seen them?), in the distant future about which we speculate here, intergalactic distances may be assumed to pose no more of an obstacle than the interplanetary distances of our near-term future (thereby adding 100 billion galaxies into Drake’s equation). Conceivably this could bring us in contact with sentients who in the short term may vie for the same limited resources, but who in the face of a commonly cooling universe may band together to solve the ultimate threat to survival.
The Multi-Dimensional/Multi-Universe Model
Of course we may soon find that what we see is not what we get. The ending of the universe as we perceive it today may be no more significant in the scheme of things than the loss of an atom’s electron. There may well be an infinite number of dimensions or even ‘universes’ beyond the reality that we experience. Our job then would become mastering the transdimensional/transuniversal mobility, and perhaps even striving for the unification of these multiverses. There are a few websites that deal with these philosophies and over the next few months we will be identifying and presenting more on this speculative field of study.