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Opinions of Saturday, 20 April 2019

Columnist: Robert Abalungo

Meaning of life and the end of our universe

The question of why and how we came to exist as humanity has been with us for several millennia. Who created us and why did he do so? Who created our creator?

As rational beings, these are unavoidable questions which keep prodding our conscience. Is there a purpose for life? To me, life is meaningless. It is only those who understand the uselessness of life who live their lives satisfactorily in fear of nothing. It takes philosophical and scientific reasoning to unlock fractions of secrets regarding our existence on this pale blue dot.

I find it daunting that mankind's life is so ephemeral. In order to persuade myself into agreement with the unpreventable demise of man, I am forced to sometimes reason that, "it's easy come, easy go". Humans are mortal beings because life comes freely. Consequently, it ends abruptly. Few lucky individuals live their full lifespan of about 70 years before death eventually overpowers them.

The unmatched ingenuity of man in the animal kingdom gives me sleepless nights anytime I understand that our world and the universe's lifetime is not infinite. Our lively planet is unfortunately destined for doomsday. Scientifically, the universe together with all its content will die in the big freeze or the big crunch.

Historically, it is known that about 99% of life species that ever lived on earth have gone extinct. Therefore, how special are we to think we are safe? Not too fast! Scientists need to create astronomical awareness of the several cosmic catastrophes such as alien invasions, asteroid impacts, supernova explosions and other external mishaps that could potentially wipe out our planet.

Humanity as a whole have no future in our watery world. The best future we could ever have will be embark on a mass exodus to other distant but favorable extrasolar bodies. Eventually, we would still need to escape our universe into other multiverses if we wish to survive our species eternally. Our universe is a ticking time bomb which cannot be defused.

The sun is the ultimate source of energy and life in our planet. Our planet derives it energy from the sun while revolving around it. Mathematically, it has been accurately calculated that the sun has used half of its nuclear fuel since it existed about 4.5 billion years ago. The sun is an averaged-sized star. All stars eventually use up their nuclear fuel and die. Disappearance of our sun means, we are dead.

If humans don't get smarter technologically, all our hustles will one day be in vain. Nevertheless, we don't normally worry about the death of our planets and the universe because we still have about 5 billion years before our sun consumes us.

Global warming and climate change are further shortening the generational lifespan of our species. Sadly, man is a significant contributor to climate change. About 50% of atmospheric carbon dioxide comes from the transportation sector. Tsunamis, volcanoes, earth quakes and hurricanes are getting stronger and commoner by the day. We need to brace our heads in readiness for this impact.