The Future Universe: From a Cosmic Perspective


Working Group 7-9 November 2000 – Provisional agenda. 

1. Physics of the universe: scenarios for the long-range future
(A) Towards asymptopia: evolution of cosmic structure, death of stars, decay of atoms, formation and evaporation of black holes, behaviour near cosmological singularities, etc. What would an eternal cosmos be like at each era between the present and the final 'omega point'?
(B) Possibility of sudden apocalypse: could our present space (if vacuum is metastable) be converted catastrophically into a new kind of space, governed by different physical laws?

2. Mathematics
Nature of complexity. Limits to the amount of information storage in the cosmos and how it depends on the cosmological model. Simple models for emergent complexity: cellular automata, 'artificial life' etc.

3. Biology
How large is the contingent element in evolution? Scenarios and constraints for alternative evolution on Earth-like planets, for future evolution on Earth, for other life-forms in quite different habitats, and for the spread of life (or automata created by life) through the Galaxy and beyond? SETI-related issues.

4. Philosophy/theology
Drawing the threads together and the relevance of these ideas to our human perspective.

A Symposium sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation
Organizers: John Barrow, George V. Coyne, George Ellis, Michael HellerMartin J. Rees.


Dr. John D. Barrow
Prof. Nicola Cabibbo
Dr. A. Graham Cairns-Smith
Dr. Stephen R.L. Clark
Dr. Simon Conway Morris
Dr. George V. Coyne, S. J.
Dr. Paul Davies
Dr. George F.R. Ellis
Dr. Luiz H. Fragas
Dr. Roberto Gasparini
Dr. Owen Gingerich
Ms. Mary Gregg
Dr. Peter Gruber
Dr. Charles Harper
The Rev. Dr. Michael Heller
Dr. Lawrence M. Krauss

Dr. John Meyers
Dr. Mary Ann Meyers
Dr. K. Meyers Kasmer
The Rev. Dr. Jürgen Moltmann
Dr. P.J.E. Peebles
Mrs. Vivian Piasecki
Dr. Cornelius B. Prior, Jr.
Sir Martin J. Rees
Dr. Hubert Reeves
Dr. Vera C. Rubin
Dr. Robert J. Russell
Msgr. Prof. Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo
Dr. Allan R. Sandage
Dr. Lee Smolin
Dr. Larry E. Tise
The Rev. Canon Keith Ward


The Far-Future Universe: Eschatology from a Cosmic Perspective

7-9 November 2000 Extra Series 12 Templeton Foundation Press, 2002 pp. 384 Contents and Preface ... Read more