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End of the world news: Most recent update

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We are told by Howard Falcon-Lang, science reporter for BBC news, that the fate of the universe is now revealed by the galactic lens and that the universe will expand forever (19 August 2010):

Knowing the distribution of dark energy tells astronomers that the Universe will continue to get bigger indefinitely.

Eventually it will become a cold, dead wasteland with a temperature approaching what scientists term “absolute zero”.

Professor Priyamvada Natarajan of Yale University, a leading cosmologist and co-author of this study, said that the findings finally proved “exactly what the fate of the Universe will be”.

Hmmm. I thought that pulpit-splintering, Bible-whacking fundamentalists had settled that one along time ago. And I give about as much credit to each view.

Also, don’t miss this: “Tantalizing Clues as to Why Matter Prevails in the Universe: Surprisingly Large Matter/antimatter Asymmetry Discovered” from Science News Daily:

A large collaboration of physicists working at the Fermilab Tevatron particle collider has discovered evidence of an explanation for the prevalence of matter over antimatter in the universe. They found that colliding protons in their experiment produced short-lived B meson particles that almost immediately broke down into debris that included slightly more matter than antimatter. The two types of matter annihilate each other, so most of the material coming from these sorts of decays would disappear, leaving an excess of regular matter behind. This sort of matter/antimatter asymmetry accounts for the fact that just about all the material in the universe is made of the normal matter we’re familiar with.

Which doubtless explains the absence of really unusual events in my neck of the woods.

Thanks for the reply (#4). I would suggest that if Jesus had any authority in your thinking, you would take the passage you cited seriously, and in context. Indeed, Mark 13, Luke 21, and Matthew 24 are all rich in "end of the world" stuff, however one likes to interpret the details. Further, quoting one verse as you did, and ignoring the entire context of the passage does little to encourage credibility, in this area, or in any other. Best regards :-) NZer
NZer at 3, actually, the religious tradition I belong to is not at all a fan club for apocalypticism. That the universe will end one day is held as a general principle only. We are discouraged, starting from the New Testament itself, from pretending to certainty in such matters. http://bible.cc/mark/13-21.htm When I was a volunteer church librarian, I took out and read several books by splinter meisters who were elaborately working out why these are the "End Times". Wasn't a whole series of 90s best-selling books and many spinoffs (starting with Left Behind) based on that very proposition? I remember how angry the head church librarian was that this stuff (donated) was even stocked in our library. I pointed out that no one was checking the books out, so perhaps best not to make a fuss and risk an accusation of censorship. Most of our parishioners were far too sensible to take it seriously. Congregants at any church I have attended (for long) are usually advised to consider other matters, like the needs of their families and communities, and leave the end of the world to powers or forces greater than themselves. Put another way: If the universe does not end any time soon, a guy will be glad he got the roof fixed before the rains or snows come. O'Leary
"Hmmm. I thought that pulpit-splintering, Bible-whacking fundamentalists had settled that one along time ago." Hmmm. I don't recall any Bible thumpers (like myself) ever arguing from the Bible that the world would end in that way. Certainly the Bible says stuff about the end of the world, but unless you know something I don't, then I suspect that this is a caricature. Of course, as a Catholic, your Bible also says stuff about the end of the world, right? Or is that page ripped out? NZer
jurassicmac, I hear new theories just about every day. When someone gets a Nobel Prize or revolutionizes science, I will pay serious attention. Otherwise, it's just the usual water flowing under the bridge. Not bad or wrong, but not especially important, except as "noted in passing". O'Leary
Is there a particular reason why you don't give much credit to the finding? An error in their measurement, or an unjustified assumption in their reasoning perhaps? Just curious. jurassicmac

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