Thinking Aloud On A Sunday

The Sun.

Last week, I read an article about the future of our sun. It contained this section.

‘In a few billion years, the sun will become a red giant so large that it will engulf our planet. But the Earth will become uninhabitable much sooner than that. After about a billion years the sun will become hot enough to boil our oceans.’

I woke up thinking about that this morning.

Everything will be gone. Every vestige of our history and culture. Every building, natural wonder, and every human being and animal. Not one living thing will survive, and it will be as if the earth never existed. No records of it ever being there; and no memories of great thinkers and writers, or the work of renowned artists.

It may well be that by then there will be colonies on distant planets, unaffected by the exploding sun. But they will have to be far distant indeed, to escape a similar fate.

And what if such colonies are poplulated by then? Unless all our human treasures are taken there to be stored, and some kind of space ark used to convey animal species to the end of the galaxy, they will have only pictures and documents stored on computers. It won’t be long before it is all beyond the living memory of anyone left.

So I have to wonder.

Is it all worth it?

64 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On A Sunday

  1. Well, Pete…lots of different thoughts on the subject…Your post, not something that had crossed my mind…I do find it difficult to comprehend that we are seeing, doing, thinking and then oblivion( as) in dead… Let’s hope someone somewhere is preserving our legacy away from this planet for future generations although I am not sure they would be impressed by some of the happenings :)…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pete,

    You need to research the ‘Fermi Paradox’ and the ‘Drake Equation’ from the 1950’s and 60’s.
    There may be a finite duration for each sentient civilisation in our galaxy. Our ‘Milky Way’
    galaxy is approx 100,000 light years in diameter, containing approx 300 million planets that have
    water and could sustain ‘sentient life and civilisations’.
    Yes, our own personal ‘mortality’ will creep up on us at some point. Maybe the ancient Greeks or Romans thought that they would be be immortal, yet they all eventually perished.
    The Labour Party think that they are right, the Tories think that they are right, so do the
    American Democrats and Republicans and, worldwide, socialists and fascists and religious
    fanatics. Yet they all live in the ‘moment’ of their own existence.
    Having read about this stuff for many years, I have calculated that, having paid off my mortgage
    and being the owner of my house, my son will have to hire a minimum of 6 ‘skips’ to empty my
    house of all the shit Annie and I have accumulated over the last 118 years of our (joint) lives!
    Maybe some of it could be worth some money to him. Or he could just save some time and put
    it all into ‘landfill’!
    We may all think that we have lived our ‘best lives’, when, in reality, we have just lived our
    ‘actual lives’. Just don’t get me started on ‘solipsism’ or ‘The Matrix’!
    Regards to you and Julie and Ollie and all in the DPRB.
    PS; There is no point to any of it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It puts things into perspective. We tend to think of ourselves as the centre of the universe, but for all we know there are many civilizations that have already died, and we know nothing about. Why should we be any different? I remember talking to somebody from work about cemeteries and I told her I wanted to be cremated. She told me she wanted to be buried so her family could go to visit her, and when I asked her how long or how many generations did she think would carry on visiting her, I left her thinking. Perhaps I shouldn’t have… It reminds me of a chapter in a novel by Melville called ‘Pierre’ where there is a discussion about our sense of time and the universes’ sense of time, and how that makes us worry about things that have little importance in the big scheme of things.
    I hope that some of our “achievements” are spared, but ephemeral things are beautiful as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I used to explain the earth’s demise to my students in this way. If you started right now and said my children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, children’s, etc. lives will be effected. It is estimated that it takes 71 years to count to a billion if you are physically capable of doing so. So the goal is to take care of what we have because in a billion years it won’t be here.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. While explaining consciousness to my six year old, and how he is in control of his actions, not his “brain” telling him to do things, I told him that we are ghosts in a meat suit.

    I have to believe that this physical existence isn’t all we have. And wouldn’t that be the grand point to it all? Isn’t that “next place” where we will carry all our progress and memories with us?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very interesting thoughts, Pete, but the way mankind is (mis)behaving right now, it will not take a billion years to destroy our planet and to make it totally uninhabitable! 😦

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I wasn’t stressed out about the article at all. I was actually surprised to read that we still had that long before it all melts. But it must have got into my brain, and reminded me of itself when I was waking up. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I”m reminded of something Chantilas said in the film “Red Planet.”

    “… Say we didn’t try. We just
    finished poisoning the Earth, and
    everyone was dead in a hundred
    years. Then what was the point of
    any of it? Music, art, beauty,
    love. All gone. The Greeks,
    Gandhi, the Constitution, people
    dying for freedom and ideas…
    none of it meant anything? What
    about religion. Do we give up on
    God, too?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read something, or hear it on a TV programme, and it ‘festers’ in my subconscious. Remember the men who walked around holding boards that bore the words “The End Of The World Is Nigh”? Turns out they were right, but out by a few billion years.
      Best wishes, Pete. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a fundamental philosophical question, Pete, possibly second only to “Why are we here?”. My feeling is that one’s response [as opposed to a categorical answer, which surely isn’t possible?] depends upon one’s beliefs about metaphysics; or, to put it another way: if one believes in anything beyond this physical life, which can influence how one approaches these questions. As for the sum of our achievements at some point in the future when we are capable of relocating to [which I prefer to “colonising”] another suitable planet, by then we must surely have technology we can’t even dream of now, so it could very well be possible to replicate physical artefacts, using scans taken in advance of the catastrophe [similarly to 3D printing], so I want to believe that all will not be lost. Cheers, Jon.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your thoughts and theories, Jon. What you say is completely possible of course. I was being a little flippant with this post, but the more I thnk about it… πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.


      1. If you think about it, we have sent craft into the universe. some of them may last. there could be other intelligent or aware beings out there. While it is like finding a needle in a haystack, one of those other beings could run across one of our problems. It should at the very least pose an intellectual problem for that species. I would argue, that alone makes it all worth it. Warmest regards, Theo

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Somehow, I doubt that will be the case, Kim.
      Look at the garbage strewn all over Mount Everest, and that’s just by climbers. And there won’t be any trash collection trucks on Mars for a very long time. πŸ™‚
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. It’s something that I have always found fascinating in some weird way. What is going to happen in so many years in the future. Will humanity indeed have found a way to go to other planets? Or will the human race end during those times. No idea really. Either way we will never find out, unless we invent some kind of time machine😊

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Pete, considering that all of the world’s history and knowledge can now be accessed on my watch, I think a small group of explorers, probably financed by Richard Branson, will just move farther out of the neighborhood of earth. Maybe Mars will have the right climate, or since it sounds like the Sun is really going to expand, we might finally see what’s on Jupiter in the summer….I’m a “glass half full” kind of guy it seems!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. One more thing Pete…it reminds me of the scene in “Annie Hall” when the boy won’t do his schoolwork because he read that the universe was expanding, and if that’s the case, “what’s the point?” His Mom screams at him, “Brooklyn isn’t expanding!”

        Liked by 1 person

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