I love those kinds of questions that give me a headache. This one in particularly has upset me so many times, all because I know I’ll never get to answer it. Not in this lifetime anyway.
So I know scientists are not sure if the universe has an end point, but most of them seem to believe in that it’s infinite. That not only it doesn’t end, but it’s also expanding.
And most of them think about the end point in terms of it being either non-ending (round like a ball) or having a cliff or a window that lets you peek into what’s outside it.
See, but what if it’s neither one of those? What if it’s a dead end? What if you would just bump into a wall eventually and realize you live in a box?
No one has traveled far enough to find out, so the only way astronomers can talk about it is by making predictions. And they make predictions based on calculations. And those calculations are based on physics and logic. The belief that these last two are the only way to explain what is happening around us has been so deeply ingrained into our subconscious that we often forget it was us who invented logic and physics in the first place.
You know how in school and higher education we’re constantly pushed to support our arguments with evidence? How we’re led to believe that if a theory has gathered plenty of ‘evidence’ over the years, then it must be 99% accurate? Well, it was us who came up with experimental methods, formulas and tools to evaluate that theory. And you can try as hard as you want to control for all the possible unaccounted influences. In the end, you are still using ways that you came up with to control for variables that you have thought of…
My point is, we can never truly eliminate every single possibly confounding variable and we will always be some way influenced by our own beliefs and desires. What if one of those influences we haven’t thought of is the ultimate game changer that would make everything we know about logic and physics collapse? Think of how many such little influences have gone unnoticed over thousands and thousands of years.
So if we have completely missed the key clues to understanding what logic and physics really are, then it means the logic and physics we believe in so firmly today are wrong. It means we all may be wrong just about everything.
And that means the universe could very well end in a wall, whether visible or not. And there’s nothing waiting behind it. Just nothing. It’s hard to imagine it because it’s so counter-intuitive to our belief that physical things can’t exist in nothingness. But think about death. And think about what if death feels exactly like those 10 seconds that you spent unconscious the last time you passed out for whatever reason. I’ve done a fair share of fainting in my life and I remember how it felt. I was falling one moment and being carried outside the next. There was nothing in between. For 10 seconds, I didn’t exist.
The understanding of physical existence is subjective and has yet to be proved real.
So the universe may very well be enclosed in a six-wall cube, existing in non-existence.