"Some say the world will end in fire. Some say in ice..." - Robert Frost
Many believe that the Earth is like an inmate waiting on Death Row. Even if we do not die by a comet or asteroid impact, we know the Earth's days are numbered. The Earth's rotation is slowing down. Far in the future, day lengths will be equivalent to 50 of our present days. The Moon will hang in the same place in the sky, and the lunar tides will stop.
In five billion years, the fuel in our Sun will be exhausted, and the Sun will begin to die and expand, becoming a red giant. At some point, our oceans will boil away. No one on Earth will be alive to see a red glow filling most of the sky. As Freeman Dyson once said, "No matter how deep we burrow into the Earth... we can only postpone by a few million years our miserable end."
Where will humans be, five billion years from now, at the End of the World?
Even if we could somehow withstand the incredible heat of the sun, we would not survive. In about seven billion years, the Sun's outer "atmosphere" will engulf the Earth. Due to atmospheric friction, the Earth will spiral into the sun and incinerate.
Here is our future:
Sun expands to engulf the Earth 7 billion years Stars cease to form. All large stars 1 trillion years have become neutron stars or black holes. Longest-lived stars use up all fuel 100 trillion years
"And when he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour." - Book of Revelations (8:1)
I conclude on an upbeat note from theoretical physicist Freeman J. Dyson:
"Goedel proved that the world of pure mathematics is inexhaustible; no finite set of axioms and rules of inference can ever encompass the whole of mathematics; given any finite set of axioms, we can find meaningful mathematical questions which the axioms leave unanswered. I hope that an analogous situation exists in the physical world. If my view of the future is correct, it means that the world of physics and astronomy is also inexhaustible; no matter how far we go into the future, there will always be new things happening, new information coming in, new worlds to explore, a constantly expanding domain of life, consciousness, and memory."
The Loom of God bridges the gulf that has so long divided mathematics and religion. In a blend of science, science fiction, history, and dazzling computer imagery, I help the reader understand mystical relationships between numbers, God, and the mathematical fabric of our universe. From the mysterious cult of Pythagoras, to the awesome mechanics of Stonehenge, to the fearsome gargoyles and glorious fractals created on the computer screens of today, I explain the power of numbers and their connection with the search for the ultimate meaning and Apocalypse of the universe.
"Pickover's lively, provocative travel guide takes readers into the fascinating realm of mystic math, from perfectly strange numbers to fractured geometries and other curious nooks and crannies of ancient worlds and modern times." - Ivars Peterson, Science News, Author of "The Mathematical Tourist: Snapshots of Modern Mathematics"
"Chock-full of mathematical treats, The Loom of God takes you on a trip which explores ideas in a totally non-threatening, enjoyable format. Entertaining and informative adventure of Pickover's fictional characters -- Theano and Mr. Plex -- bring to life such things as: the golden mean, spirals in hyperspace, the Inca quipus, string theory, the wild and diverse world of numbers. A must for the I-hate-math person as well as the mathematical explorer." - Theoni Pappas, author of The Joy of Mathematics
"Pickover has done it again, with a marvelously entertaining, historical romp through the unexpected connections between mathematics and mysticism." - Paul Hoffman, President/Editer-in-Chief, Discover magazine
"Without peer as an idea machine, Cliff Pickover proves equally adept at writing, The Loom of God is a well-crafted piece of mathematical science fiction." - Charles Aschbacher, Book Review Editor, Journal of Recreational Mathematics
"If you ever doubted that science and religion have commonality, this is the book for you. In The Loom of God, Cliff Pickover, in his irrepressible style, frolics through a forest of mathematical curiosities and historical tidbits, all skillfully woven into a futuristic fantasy, leaving you to wonder where he learned all that." - Julien C. Sprott, Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Here is the book's Table of Contents:
1 Are Numbers Gods?
2 The End of The World
3 Pentagonal Numbers
4 Doomsday: Friday 13, November, A.D. 2026
5 666,666, Gnomons, and Oblong Numbers
6 St. Augustine Numbers
8 Turks and Christians
9 The Ars Magna of Ramon Lull
10 Death Stars, a Prelude to August 21, 2126
12 Urantia and 5,342,482,337,666
13 Fractals and God
14 Behold the Fractal Quipu
15 The Eye of God
16 Number Caves
17 Numerical Gargoyles
18 Astronomical Computers in Canchal de Mahoma
20 Mathematical Proofs of God's Existence
21 Eschaton Now
Postscript 1. Goedel's Mathematical Proof of God's Existence
Postscript 2. Mathematicians Who Were Religious
Postscript 3. Author's Musings
Smorgasbord for Computer Junkies
About the Author