Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Filling The Universe

Should human beings spread to fill the universe and try to survive beyond the end of it?

Poul Anderson's characters of whom he approves try to explore and colonize as far as possible and his artificial intelligences have plans to survive the universe. See here. Asimov has a story in which entropy is eventually reversed. See here.

CS Lewis' evil scientist, Weston, wants mankind's descendants to spread throughout the universe but he has no answer for what to do when the last star dies. In Fred Hoyle's October The First Is Too Late, a man living six thousand years in our future argues that stars and galaxies will die and that material continuity is impossible. Hoyle seems to have abandoned his theory of the steady state universe.

Having reread October... to the end, I find that I do not understand everything that happens in it but will leave that discussion to anyone else who wants to read the novel. It is certainly worthy of thought and discussion.

The narrator of October... compares human beings disturbed by the intervention of a higher intelligence to ants disturbed by a man lifting a stone. The same comparison is made in Wells' The War Of The Worlds. Hoyle's future humanity covers a quarter of the Terrestrial land surface, an issue that we discussed here.

I think that that completes current thoughts on this novel by Fred Hoyle. It has been a fascinating digression.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

And I absolutely agree with Poul Anderson in believing it is RIGHT of the human race to leave Earth and settle other worlds. Not only for racial survival but also for seeking knowledge and understanding. I've also read an editorial by, I think, one of the post-Campbell editors of ANALOG, quoating Genesis' "go forth and multiply" as meaning Christians even have a DUTY to settle other planets if that became practical. I also believe that to REFUSE to turn outwards to the universe would have dire consequences for mankind. Consequences as dire as what we see in Anderson's short story "Murphy's Hall."