Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The End of Time

All of a sudden, cosmology seems to be the sexy topic in the mainstream media's coverage of science. (Could Stephen Hawking have anything to do with that?)

Here is what seems to me a rather scatterbrained bit of speculation on the way in which the laws of physics and probability dictate that time will have to come to an end sometime within the next, oh, 3.7 billion years. (Nothing lends scientific credibility to a number like a decimal point, does it?)

I'd be more inclined to dismiss this bit of speculation as quickly as I do most cosmological ruminations if it weren't for a single line in the story that seems to ring true for some reason. The scientists involved "don't know what kind of catastrophe will cause the end of time, but they do say that we won't see it coming."

Hmmm. Do they mean it will be sort of like "a thief in the night"?

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