Using a huge galactic star cluster as a ‘lens’ to observe the behaviour of light from distant stars, Professor Eric Jullo and his associates of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California studied the mysterious ‘dark matter’ that makes up 75% of the universe.
The scientists have come to the conclusion that the universe will continue to expand for ever (rather than, say, collapsing back on itself or going into an endless cycle of expanding and collapsing). Eventually, it will become a vast wasteland with a temperature very close to absolute zero.
None of this sheds any new light on the fate of the Solar System and planet Earth. Within the timescale proposed for the endless expansion of the universe into a wasteland, the Sun has just a short time left – a few billion years – and when it reaches its demise, it will take all the inner planets (including Earth) with it. And, in any case, it is difficult to see, with all our human destructiveness, how most of the life-forms on earth can last more than a few hundred years at the most.
I am extremely loathe to pit the Christian revelation and science against one another. But it seems perfectly clear to me that the God who made this universe and who sustains it moment by moment has his own plans for its future. We don’t know enough about these plans to know with detailed certainty how they might interface with current scientific thinking. But we do know enough to be sure that God has a glorious future for a redeemed creation, for
In keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (2 Peter 3:13)