亞馬遜暢銷排名第一的通常都是宇宙起源這個題材的書，— 連哈利波特和達文西密碼都沒有這麼暢銷. 所以每個出版社都知道，要賺錢的還是得出版那些生老病死，有關靈魂深處的書. 這些書都有這樣的內容： 那裡有個傢伙，他的名字叫做神 ，神說“要有光”, 然後(神的意思是萬能的） 要感謝神，該死的沒有光你還能活？. 可惜，老天頭一晚還有些懸，直接關了燈，繼續睡，直到可以面對分水。 就這樣，他繼續，以這種零星和隨意的方式進一步拓展現實的界限，日復一日地建立他的永恆黑膠唱片收藏，直到他有一個完整的宇宙可以玩。
What really happened was The Big Bang: a great big huge world-making dimension-shaking bang. Except of course it wasn't big, it was infinitesmally small. Presently, this ineptly titled fireball, not unlike an unstable South American economy, underwent a sudden period of hyper-inflation. So, in marginally less time than Usain Bolt could run a nanometre at full pelt, sub-atomic particles formed, matter defeated anti-matter, and Hugh Grant established himself as the archetypal bumbling Brit. In the aeons that have followed, our Universe has expanded, cooled, caught VD, and allowed stars and atoms to form, though probably not in that order.
「I may make you feel, but I can't make you think.」
- Dr. J. Tull
The population of the Universe is — surprise! — also shrouded in controversy.
NASA believes the Universe's total population is roughly seven billion. This measurement is not of "intelligent life forms," on which we gave up long ago, but merely of "sentient beings," most of whom feel they'll stay right where they are, which is hugging a spinning dirt clod with the appropriate name of Earth. Despite billions being spent to detect extra-terrestrial
intelligence feelings, there seem to be none other anywhere in the Universe — which, of course, is merely a commentary on the need for greater funding levels for the program.
These scientists note that, if other sentient beings were detected, there is no way to actually meet them and learn the answers to mankind's most pressing questions, such as whether Nixon really was a crook and whether eggs are good or bad for you. This is because Einstein's Theory of Relativity prohibits us from exceeding the speed of light. So even if you could build a ship that travels that fast, you'd get obscenely bored during trips to the stars, even if you brought a lot of entertainment along, as everything from yo-yos to marbles to footballs would become prohibitively heavy and cease being round.
What would happen after such a close encounter is more problematic, as mankind has a perfect record so far of responding to newfound sentient life with game preserves, slave auctions, and butcher shops.
Scientist Douglas Adams, however, takes a competing view. He says:
「It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Therefore, there must be a finite number of inhabited worlds. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near to nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely the products of a deranged imagination」
- Dr. Douglas Adams on the Universe
Dr. Adams' expert opinion is likewise not to be interpreted as advocacy for funding cuts.
「Some say the world will end in fire / Some say in ice.」
- Dr. Robert Frost (if the name doesn't give it away)
Scientists maintain that something else will happen, but whatever it is it will involve neither a supernatural being nor a popular puzzle. One theory is known as the Big Crunch: basically the same as the Big Bang, only in cereal form. The Big Crunch theory states that the Universe will "crunch" back down into nothing just like an atomic bomb only exactly the opposite. Whoever named this phenomenon was just as inept at making up names as people who give their child two first names, like Will Smith.
Another alternative, should dark energy overcome the forces of gravity, is the Open Universe, where Unix finally defeats Windows, expansion is eternal, and we all become so spread out as to abruptly end the institution of masturbation. All physical interactions will cease, and the very fabric of reality will tear like a piece of stale bread that your mother tried to pack in your lunchbox. Still, better than the heat death of the Universe. All I can say is that you should never, ever come between a woman and that damned magazine.