This question Does all matter exist forever? has inspired me with a related question: Will life exist forever? Here life is meant in the widest sense. It need not be an organism based on carbon or silicon. Perhaps the answer should focus on: Will intelligence exist forever? Some interesting ideas about this topic are given by F. J. Dyson: Time without end: Physics and biology in an open universe, Rev. Mod. Phys. 51 (1979) 447. But this paper is certainly not the newest state of the art.

closed as too broad by Conifold, Joseph Weissman Aug 27 '17 at 17:14

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    According to whom? The post you linked at least points to non-dualism as a reference. As is, the question is overly broad with any answer possible, including "we do not know and we will never know", or "time is a spurious notion so the question is moot". This sort of thing is best addressed by encyclopedia articles, not SE, e.g. SEP's Life. Could you narrow it down to something concisely answerable? – Conifold Aug 23 '17 at 20:28
  • You mean my remark "not the newest state of the art"? That's according to me because Dyson's really great paper is nearly 40 years old. I am simply interested in new aspects. Of course the question is based on the notion of time that we use to measure the age of the universe and on an open universe because life based on whatever medium would hardly survive a big crunch. – Heinrich Aug 24 '17 at 12:33

On earth, all life will perish the moment this planet no longer bears the conditions necessary for life. Some day, that is bound to happen. For example, we know that the sun can't provide us the energy necessary for life forever.

However, there are trillions upon trillions of other planets in the universe. It would be highly unlikely for earth to be the only planet that contains some kind of life and it would therefore be very likely for life to continue to exist on other planets until those planets no longer bear the conditions necessary for life.

How long this cycle can continue is impossible to know. Neither scientists nor philosophers can agree on whether the universe had a beginning, or whether it will ever cease to exist. It does appear, however, that the universe expands and crunches (either just once or in the form of a repeating cycle). This could mean that there is no life whatsoever in the entire universe at least at the beginning of every expansion and the end of every crunch. However, that's really nothing but speculation, as there may be forms of life capable of surviving a crunch and a subsequent expansion.

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    The "expand and crunch" idea is actually a little old. It's shown that the universe is not only expanding, but also expanding in an accelerating speed, that is, it should have no end. – Zafer Sernikli Aug 25 '17 at 9:07
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    @ZaferSernikli : Last time I checked, the data suggested the expansion of the universe was slowing down. That's been a while ago, however. I guess new data may contradict earlier findings. I'll need to look that up! – John Slegers Aug 25 '17 at 9:13
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    The most recent information I have seen is that the universe is probably Euclidean. So there might be a parabolic expansion. (But the information about the sign of average energy density may change like a sine curve.) In that case the free energy will decrease to nearly zero. If I remember correctly, Dyson proposes extending periods of hybernation phases. To survive a big crunch would require more than I am willing to accept. – Heinrich Aug 25 '17 at 11:53
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    @Heinrich : " To survive a big crunch would require more than I am willing to accept" → It sure seems unlikely, but I thought the same thing about creatures being able to withstand both temperatures as low as 1 K and as high as 420 K... until I learnt about tardigrades. So I prefer to leave that possibility open, although I do consider it unlikely ;-) – John Slegers Aug 25 '17 at 11:56
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    @John Siegers: There are really astonishing examples of adapted organisms, but in a big crunch not even hadrons would survive. At least after the last recurrence they had to be formed after about 10^(-10) seconds. – Heinrich Aug 25 '17 at 12:07

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