Chapter Twenty-Nine: Questions


“… the prediction favored by most cosmologists is not a Big Rip but rather continued expansion and cooling, the universe ultimately sliding into a “Big Freeze.” History of the universe, PBS, 2000,

“That our own “real” universe is more likely a simulation than not has been seriously argued in the philosophy field, and experiments capable of providing evidence for or against this are described by physicists.”
Philosophy: N. Bostrom, Are you living in a computer simulation? See
Experiments: S. R. Beane, Z. Davoudi, M. J. Savage, Constraints on the universe as a numerical simulation, arXiv, arXiv:1210.1847v2,

“… it is known that most species last no longer than a few million years.” S. J. Gould, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory, Harvard University Press, 2002.



This book has benefited greatly from input by numerous parties; I am grateful to each. They include David Alexander, Arnold and Riva Berleant, CASFWG, Keith Curtis, Joseph Friedlander, Bill Friedman, Maciamo Hay, Tom Howard, David Hutchinson, Jack Jackson, Maryann Karinch, Alan Kauffman, Peg Kay, Daniel Levine, Donald Maclean, Shirin Mirlohi, Margaret Morris, the Natural Philosophy Study Group, Steve Nerlich, Megan Neumann, Terri Proksch, Jonathan Simonson, Logan Streondj, Viktor Toth, Tihamer Toth-Fejel, UALR, Willard Wells, Eleanor and George (1928–2012) Wolff, Eve Syrkin Wurtele, Paul Yoder, and others. You probably know why you’re here and have my heartfelt thanks! If your name was inadvertently omitted, please let me know. A special mention goes to Eric Klien of the Lifeboat Foundation for his confidence in this book and, in addition, his invaluable editorial and other support.

I also extend my thanks to you, the reader, for your interest in this fascinating subject we call the future. If you would like to submit a suggestion or correction, however large or small, for the next edition, please go to or to the facebook discussion group, It will be received with appreciation.


About the Cover Artists and Designers


The cover of the book you are reading features one of a collection of fine works by artists associated with Lifeboat. This book is distributed featuring each artist at different times. To view and enjoy all of them online, simply visit the publisher at Please read more about the artists below.


Catherine Asaro received her PhD in chemical physics from Harvard University and wrote her doctorate in theoretical atomic and molecular physics. For the past twenty years, she has been a novelist with over twenty-five science fiction novels and near future thrillers published, as well as numerous works of shorter fiction and non-fiction. She was elected to two terms as the president of the board of directors for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, sand is the president and founder of Starflight Music, an independent record label. She also teaches as a visiting professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and coaches profoundly gifted math students in high school and middle school for top-ranked national and international contests, for example the USA Mathematical Olympiad and the American Regional Mathematics League. She is a member of SIGMA, a think tank of speculative writers and scientists who advise the government regarding future trends affecting national security.

Catherine is a two-time winner of the Nebula Award, sometimes known as the “Oscar of Science Fiction,” for her novel The Quantum Rose and her novella The Spacetime Pool, and she has won numerous other awards for her science fiction, fantasy, and high-tech thrillers. She appears as the Author Guest of Honor, as a futurist and keynote speaker, and as a singer at numerous conferences in the United States and abroad, including for example Guest of Honor at the New Zealand National Science Fiction Convention.

Find out more at


Design: Catherine Asaro. Clock art: Francesco De Comité.



  1. Daniel Battis a writer, teacher, designer, and developer of community groups. He currently serves as the Art Director at a nonprofit organization in Sacramento, California. He has written and published several short stories including the children’s tale “Keaghan in Dreamside” and is the designer of many more. In addition, he is preparing the release of his first full-length novel,The Young Gods. Jason is a member of the Lifeboat Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board for the University of Arizona’s Consortium for Applied Space Ethics, and was a speaker at the 100 Year Starship Symposiums in 2011 and 2012. He and his family live in northern California.

Find out more at



Frank D. Smith is a Lifeboat Foundation staff member and project coordinator of the InfoPreserver skills repository wiki at (email: An “artnician” from Los Angeles who has interwoven art and technology throughout his career, he now makes his home in Bellingham, Washington, USA with his beautiful wife Kimberly and amazing stepdaughter Siri. He hopes to be creating holographic covers for Lifeboat Foundation publications in a hundred years.

Find out more at


About the Author


Daniel Berleant earned his PhD and MS from the University of Texas at Austin in 1991. His BS is from MIT. He has worked in industry as a software engineer and taught courses at three universities to students ranging from the freshman to advanced graduate levels. Berleant and his students’ research has been funded through the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Corporation for National and Community Service, and other agencies; and through industry including Procter and Gamble, Electricité de France, Invitrogen, and others. Research in his lab has included artificial intelligence, inference under severe uncertainty, web science, energy, text mining, bioinformatics, and technology foresight.

Find out more at



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