The sun will not last forever, nor will the universe.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

The sun will not last forever, nor will the universe.

My Reading Room

Even the universe must come to an end someday.

“The Last Question,” a short story by Isaac Asimov, follows a series of artificially intelligent computers called the Multivac and its interactions with humanity. Multivac helped man design ships, plot trajectories to neighboring planets, and finally, even harness the energy of the sun on a planet-wide scale.

There seems to be no problem that the increasingly powerful Multivac can’t solve. But nothing is infinite, and successive generations of humanity, despite having achieved immortality and transcended their physical bodies, continue to ask Multivac the same question.

“Can entropy ever be reversed?”

Each time, the all-powerful supercomputer replies that there is insufficient data for a meaningful answer.

Finally, when the universe is in its death throes and humanity has become a collective consciousness comprising trillions upon trillions of ethereal minds, they fuse with Multivac – now known as the Cosmic AC – in what is effectively mankind’s end.

But AC remains, pondering the last question man ever asked of it, and finally declares an answer, one that raises interesting questions for both science and religion.