Usually science and religion don’t mix, but in the end they are both a good explanation for reality. They are both philosophies, ways of seeing the world. Where science ends it’s the place where religion begins. It’s normal, science discovers the rules, but who else, if not God, gave those rules ?
Isaac Asimov’s “Last question” is the science fiction version of religion. I find it simple and armonious. Creation of this world is the ultimate event we might witness. Perhaps we will be around that time to see the face of God.
It seams natural for most of us that we will colonize the Moon and Mars. But I believe that planets and other cosmic objects will be just mining posts for cities that will remain in space.
The main reason will be that the most important resource, energy, is more abundant in space than on the surface of the planets. But that is not all. Other resources can be better exploited in space. Some really important are metals. And the primordial source of metals are the asteroids. Harvesting them in space will prove more efficient than digging the planets surface in search for deposits.
Another advantage will be the garbage disposal method. Garbage can be thrown directly into the sun, or other planets that cannot be exploited. Also space voyages will be more affordable, today the launch of a spacecraft is so costly because she has to vanquish the gravitational force.
The most important resource available will be space itself. It’s abundance will encourage the really big projects.
The large distances involved in space conquest will mean long journeys. They will have to use robots both mechanicals and biologicals.
If mechanicals are not a surprise, biologicals might seam one. Biologicals will be stored in the form of DNA strings. Thus, we save energy and space. Once found a planet with the proper resources, the space ship and the mechanicals can create a breeding unit to start the production of the biologicals.
The advantage is that a living entity is more suitable to make contact with other living entities. A mechanical could be a shock to less advanced civilizations or might just be ignored. More advanced civilizations will, probably, be able to contact the space ship.
The evolution of the galaxies of the Universe is really a cycle resembling the migration of the continents. Inflation or deflation of the Universe is a matter of debate, but the outcome will be the same. Everything will became a single point infinitely small or nothing at all. The same kind of point was the origin of the current Universe. So, a full cycle means a point inflating until he becomes a hole universe with unreachable borders, followed by a deflation to a point that becomes nothingness.
The migration of the continents is a known fact. Using computers we’ve been able to see that all the continents were once united in a continent named Pangeea ( latin for One Continent ). Using the same kind of software we know that in time, there will be another Pangeea. By analyzing the magnetic orientation of different rocks, we are able to determine the that there were others Pangeeas in the past.
One day, perhaps we will have the means to simulate an Universe cycle. All we have to do is to find the center of the universe (or another fixed point) and to determine the speed of most of the galaxies. Yeap, it’s a big smile.