Sunday, September 18, 2005

When Hell freezes over!

Inescapably, famous composers such as Monteverdi, Telemann, Krenek , Stravinsky, Pergolesi and many other authors wrote music about Orpheus who was love stricken and heart broken when he lost his love Euridice. Determined to look for her .... who was, of course, in hell; and armed with his lyre, he went there trying to rescue her ... according to the well known fable.

Now, to me, that was very odd: Why Euridice did not qualify to go to heaven istead of being sent to hell? She must have been a BAD girl! But that is not the subject I want to fuss over today. Today's is the fulfilment of a promise I made to myself for a long time: the subject of predicting when hell will freeze over.

You can easily find that this subject is not new by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, there are numerous discussions about the temperature of hell, whether it is hotter or cooler than heaven, whether hell is endo or exo thermic, etc... To me, these discussions lack rigorous scientific support and that prompted me to throw down the gauntlet and enter the ring. Of course, please do not get me wrong, and please do not think for a minute what you read here cannot be but a complete fabrication on my part.

But first thing first! When I was in school, I had an old and wise professor of applied mathematics, who taught me a lot of odd things, including this: before you want to find the solution to a problem or a question, such as the attempt to calculate this proverbial time when hell freezes over, you may want to make sure that the solution does exist, and if you find that the solution does exist, investigate to see if it is unique. Worse, to me, being an overly cautious person, I think we need to step back even further, adding another level of complexity to this problem: does hell exist? This must be answered even before finding out when it will freeze over, and then whether it will freeze over only once.

So, there we are. Does hell exist? Once we find the answer, we may be able to proceed further. Do you know that there exists a list of Entrance to Hell in and around the UK? It is at:

[The link above is not active for some unknown reason. You will need to manually copy the URL address to your browser. Check it out.]

and this list is updated constantly. So, to these folks, they are certain that hell does exist, and according to this list, it is evident that hell is a manifold structure according to their view. If I had peaked your curiosity, and you can't stand the suspense any longer, here is a photo of one such entrance, aptly named Badadada tatatata.

Hell this way, enter Badadada tatatata at own's risk!

The Bible says hell does exist, and if you do not carefully follow instructions given to you, you will get to go there where you will be tormented and burned by the flames in this furnace. This furnace is said to be in the heart of the earth as it is underground. Now, I think that is going too far and too deep! Physically, that is not possible! Because Satan is believed to live there, it cannot be as deep as all the way to the inner core of the earth because the temperature there is about 10,000 degrees Farenheit! At that depth, even Satan must exist in liquid or vapor form and according to popular belief, he looks like this:

It's closer than you think, and it's HOT!

so that cannot be!

But I am digressing! None of this provides any shred of evidence that hell does exist. So, how does one proceed? Let's be scientific about it, tongue in cheekly! Although it is believed that most statistics are invented spontaneously, let me assert to you that 76% of Americans believe in heaven and 71% believe in hell. I am not sure I trust these two figures as I think they should be the same, but the discrepancy may be in the error in sampling of about 3%. To this crowd, it is perfectly coherent to discuss the time that hell will freeze over as they may be interested to know if that time may coincide with the time they will be sent there because the chance of them getting burned may be lessened. For the remaining other population of the world, I have no idea how many believe hell exists. One of these days, I may find time to learn about that spontaneous statistics, but not today.

It is now apparent that the foregoing mumbling was not totally useless. It has established the fact that the subject of interest here: "When hell freezes over" only has limited appeal if it is kept strictly to the literal meaning of hell as it is usually understood: the bad place where bad boys and bad girls are sent when they don't follow instructions well. To broaden the appeal of this blog, let's make a leap of faith, suspend disbelief and declare that hell is nothing but the places on earth that are really hot and smell of sulfur. Eruptions of volcanoes immediately come to mind when lava is spewed from the vast reservoir underneath. Now you have it, hell is now the place one finds the hot liquid iron lying just under the earth's rocky mantle. So hell is now well defined. It affects everyone in the world equally because molten lava is under all of us. Now that hell is well established, it is conceivable that the specter of it one day "freezing over" is quite real. OK. When will that day arrive? You can be assured that it will not be tomorrow, or Sunday. Let's see how one can proceed from here.

About five billion years ago, earth was just a ball of molten rock. It was just a ball of hell, and hell was everywhere. Slowly, by cooling, the upper 35 - 70 kilometer layer of earth became the crust that eventually supports the homo sapiens for their homes and the highways for their cars. The mantle occupies the next 3,000 kilometer or so, intermingling the crust with hell below, which includes the 10,000 degree Farenheit core, the ultimate hell. You may be surprised to learn that hell is also highly radioactive which is really the reason for the intense heat used to burn souls "eternally." This eternal notion can easily be explained by disclosing that most of the heat comes from Uranium-238 that can burn for 4.47 billion years before losing half of its activity. Now you know where the 5 billion year comes from.

Orpheus in Hell!

It may take another 5 billion years before the half life decay law turns off this radioactivity allowing hell to cool down for good. Then eventually, it will freeze over. Who knows when so I am venturing a lower bound guess: hell will freeze over at least 5 billion years from today, in the year 5,000,002,005 AC or sometime after that date. That will be a cold day in hell. So the solution does exist and I think it is unique as it is not clear how hell will be awaken again to freeze over a second or more times.

May be we should not underestimate Satan as he may know how to do that!