The opinion of the majority of scientists is, nowhere. We are born, we live and we died and that is it.
But, if we restrict the amplitude of this question, if we compact the limits of the visible material sphere, we will verify that the history is quiet different.
Ask any disciple of science: Where is humanity heading with its material progress? and a fantastic world of possibilities will open up immediately. With surprising patience, unsuspecting knowledge and undisguised pride, will cynically talk about the marvels that await us. So, let us see, what the scientific prophets say:
To begin with, many simply preach that science will overcome death. For as incredible as it may seem, the number of this converted flock that believe in material eternity is growing increasingly. Some of the more fortunate believers have already been anointed through cryogenics, a process of freezing bodies at a temperature of -196ºC. Apart from their frozen bodies, these chosen few also hold on to the sacred hope of one day being able to be resuscitated by science in a kind of microwave oven…
The second most worrying concern of the scientific futurists, after being acquitted from this topic concerning the immortality of the soul, will be turned to the Sun. Yes indeed, at the moment it is estimated that the Sun will continue to shine normally for at least the next 1.1 billion years(1). Later it will excessively swell-up and gobble up the closest planets, of which the Earth is also included. Evidently, at this point all life will cease, which will sadly include, the up to then happy and immortal terrestrial human beings.
They assure us that the measures to overcome this setback is already in the undertaking for several years now:
Already in 1960 it was imagined that man in the future could build salubrious and acclimatized underground shelters, if the Sun did not melt the Earth, or otherwise it could be possible to transport Earth's entire population to another planet where the heat would be less intense, Neptune, was the choice.
To date these ideas have already been considerably improved. A famous cosmologist, in a reaffirmation of his faith, in the power of technology to be able to save humanity, explained that the human beings of the future will simply move to another Universe, or they would free themselves from their bodies to be able to survive through their thoughts alone… Another scientist visualized the construction of factories on Mars to produce methane and ammonia that will be freed continually into the Martian atmosphere. This being done, it would be sufficient to simply introduce some plants and bacteria on the planet, specialized in the transformation of gases and in a short while there would be plenty of oxygen to survive. Easy! A new home for the human immigrants
Nowadays, there are also people who would like to put Earth a safe distance away from the Sun. Others think that we should move to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Some others, even more optimistic with man's capacity of achievement, foresee the construction of space cities around the Sun, which will, as time goes by, link up with each other eventually surrounding the entire star creating a huge artificial sphere around it. The necessary material for the construction would be easily obtained by dismantling the material from Jupiter. For those who find this idea, let us say, a trifle eccentric, would be content with the assembly of an artificial ring, and not a sphere around the Sun… All the same, even Earth would need to be dismantled in order to supply the necessary material for the construction of new worlds. Even the habitation of hollow asteroids has not been ruled out either, by filling them up with air. Finally, we must not forget the construction of cities on mini-planets, protected by domes, which have been visionary projects for a long now.
In the words of a respected scientist, these are the sober proposals from the spectrum of speculators concerning the man's future in space…
In fact, there are even some propositions to control the activity of the Sun. The ideas that are at the top of this deranged psychiatric list are quiet sure that humanity will be able to control several stars also! The author of a book, considered as scientific, (therefore serious) about the future of the human being affirms, I quote: If there is some fundamental law that states we cannot, occupy and explore our galaxy, with its hundred billion suns in the next million years, then to date this law is unknown to us. Consequently limitless power is therefore reserved for the human creature of this glorious future!
Unlimited in fact, is man's arrogance and presumption that can only compete with his morbid fantasy generated by his twisted intellect. All of these things are excrescences of the intellect that quiet unbelievably act attracting many very good and sincere people.
And that is how a considerable number of unworried humans go on winding downwards towards the abyss unaware that they have made science its deity. Let us hope that some of these people notice in time that the prophecies about the false prophets does not just refer to the leaders of religious doctrines.
Roberto C. P. Junior
1. Respecting the real conditions of our star, read the essay The Sun. Return