Eternity: Our Next Billion Years

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It has become received wisdom that our world is doomed, that we live in the End of Days. Bleak predictions by psychics and scientists alike portend extreme weather, droughts, famines and floods that will overtake humanity within the century, or sooner. If not global warming, then supervolcanoes, meteoric impacts, nuclear war, bioterrorism, or natural plagues will get us. But whatever happens, Michael Hanlon believes that humankind will go on...and on. The shape of things to come will be strange, and somewhat terrifying, but will very likely seem banal to the people who inhabit it in the future. Humankind may be thrown back to the Stone Age on hundreds of occasions and may come close to extinction. But recovery will follow--each time more rapidly than the last. The world of 10,000 years hence, let alone 100,000,000 years hence, will be strange and almost unrecognizable. But no matter how battered and re-born, it will still be our world, populated by us through eternity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230219311
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/25/2008
  • Series: MacSci Series
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Hanlon is one of Britain’s most successful science writers. He has been Science Editor at the Daily Mail for many years; prior to this he was at the Daily Express, the Independent and Irish News. He contributes regularly to magazines such as the Spectator and appears on TV and radio as a science pundit. He has headlined several science festivals and written three critically acclaimed popular science books before this one: The Science Of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy (Macmillan, 2005), The Real Mars (Constable, 2004) and The Worlds of Galileo (Constable, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Temporal parochialism 17

2 Two worlds 29

3 Apocalypse postponed 44

4 Futures i will not see 69

5 The new world order 78

6 Machines and bodies 98

7 Minds 118

8 Wedding belles 131

9 We are the masters now 139

10 The singularity postponed? 154

11 Eclipse 165

12 Lingua franca 170

13 Planet of the apes 184

14 Take us to your leader 194

15 Eight surprising discoveries 201

16 Talking to the future 216

17 Lost ark found 235

18 AD one million 247

19 Something wicked ... 257

20 One last perfect day 267

21 Eternal earth - the dance of the continents 275

Epilogue 287

Bibliography 292

Index 295

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