Monday, November 28, 2011

The universe, alas, is a gamble

Slate's Chris Wilson has an interesting article about E.T. and why we're having so much trouble finding him. Long story short: It's complicated (but read his piece here). He ends with this sobering bit: "At press time, the planet Earth has about 5 billion years left before our sun becomes a red giant, probably swallowing us up in the process. There are any number of ways that our fate could be hastened. The moon could take a hit, throwing us off tilt; we could succumb to a super virus; global warming could bake our planet to a crisp; or we could nuke one another into oblivion. There is a distinct possibility that we are living out the final act of the human race. This is not some gloomy assessment of humanity. It is a basic fact of the uncaring randomness of the universe, not to mention our stunning incompetence at preserving our finely-tuned habitat. As those investment commercials say, it’s not too early to start thinking about our retirement." Albert Einstein was convinced that "God does not play dice." The trouble is that His handmaiden, the universe, does. Happy Monday.

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