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Assuming that the human race survives long enough for us to answer all questions from how life began to the end of the universe, how would human race proceed when they are able to reach the theoretical limit of questions.

I will accept theoretical answers

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closed as primarily opinion-based by John Dallman, Frostfyre, Hohmannfan, TrEs-2b, Aify Aug 9 '16 at 0:02

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ "There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarrely inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened. There is yet a third theory which suggests that both of the first two theories were concocted by a wily editor of ’The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ in order to increase the level of universal uncertainty and paranoia and so boost the sales of the guide. " $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Aug 8 '16 at 10:43
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    $\begingroup$ "This last theory is, of course, the most convincing, because ’The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ is the only book in the whole of the known universe to have the words 'Don’t Panic’ inscribed in large, friendly letters on the cover." — The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Christmas Special $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Aug 8 '16 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR MEANINGFUL ANSWER $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Aug 8 '16 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ I'm confused. Are you saying the universe has only so many questions in existence, or that only so many of those questions can be answered? What about questions that don't have a singular answer (e.g., "What will happen tomorrow?")? How do those count? $\endgroup$ – Frostfyre Aug 8 '16 at 12:31
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    $\begingroup$ I am saying that universe has only so many questions in existence. And yes even non-singular answer questions can be answered because "Humans knows the answer" kind of sscenario $\endgroup$ – mico villena Aug 8 '16 at 12:57
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You cannot answer all questions

Of all questions, there is a category of questions called "undecidable". These are questions that cannot be answered, no matter how you try. A very simple example of such a question would be: "A car leaves Boston for New York. Will it get there before 5 o'clock today?". This is an Undecidable Problem.

And curiously enough, your question is one such undecidable problem. Even if we were to postulate that we, here today would magically gain the answers to all questions we might have and that are of some relevance to Life, The Universe And Everything, we still do not know how that will end, because the answers will raise new questions(*). And the answers, the new questions and the new answers to those new questions, will be highly influential on the outcome.

So your question cannot be answered... at least not for the moment. :)

(*) ...or, as might be the in case of Life, The Universe and Everything: it might lead us to try to find the original question(s) that we have an answer to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are you sure your example is undecidable? I think there is an algorithm with limited computation time that will decide this problem. [Start] [Wait until 5 o'clock] [return IsCarInNewYork] $\endgroup$ – lokimidgard Aug 8 '16 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ @lokimidgard You are more welcome to try to find that algoritm if you like. :) $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Aug 8 '16 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ I edited the original comment (accidently hit add to early). This algorithm will terminated after a limited time (through it may be after the car arrives). $\endgroup$ – lokimidgard Aug 8 '16 at 10:50
  • $\begingroup$ @lokimidgard I think that does not count because the algorithm does not try to solve the problem, it just looks for the actual outcome. $\endgroup$ – MichaelK Aug 8 '16 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't matter how an algorithm 'find' the answer or how long it takes (as long you can guarantee it will end in finite amount of time). If you rewrote your answer with, 'will it get there?' (without the time constrain) this could be another story. As long as the car is not destroyed it maybe get some day to New York, but maybe it will stand forever 5 miles out of Boston. $\endgroup$ – lokimidgard Aug 8 '16 at 10:59
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There is always mathematics - and unless the true theory turn out to be an ultrafinitistic one, there will always be an infinite amount of theorems to explore. Or unless humankind somehow gains the ability to comprehend and internalize actual infinities (but then there will always be the next transfinite ordinal..).

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Well, if you consider that the future is, much like the past, already set in stone and we are simply ignorant of it, than many questions can be answered by simply being able to peer beyond that veil. A matrioshka brain-type device could perhaps quantify even things we believe to be subjective into objective equations and very successfully predict future events. This precludes the effect of human free will, of course, but there's a fair chance no such thing exists in the first place. It does however assume that we'll be able to boil quantum mechanics down to something predictable through a deeper understanding of it, if that's possible.

Taking those assumptions on board, then human life would now be devoid of any mystery whatsoever, including the burden of ethical dilemmas or existential concerns or even the uncertainty of future events. Everyone would know the course of their entire lives from the moment they were old enough to comprehend it. The date and time of each event as well as the significance of everything that would ever happen to them. Including the fate of their world or universe down to a tee. Psychologically, I suspect, humans would be forced to either deny these insights, struggle pointlessly against them, or discover the joy in experiencing events they already knew would happen. The element of surprise would be all but gone, although human emotions associated with pleasant or negative surprise would still exist, humans would have to associate them with something else entirely.

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Probably find new questions. Maybe even make them up entirely.

Humans are pretty contrary - and really don't like being told something can't be done. So, they'll reach the end of any set of questions, and find new questions to ask. They'll look at their mapped out rules and laws for what makes things possible, and figure out how to break them - deliberately setting themselves out to find ways to do impossible things. They will continue asking impossible, un-provable questions because why not, and believe things because they believe them, not because they know or can prove anything.

Other possibilities - people forget. It's quite possible that after your theoretical everything is known, people will look back at the historical record and find things that have been overlooked, forgotten, or not recorded for some reason, and set out to rediscover them (reenacting, kinda). If the problem of no questions is pervasive enough, there might be social experiments deliberately losing information and recreating former historical societies to keep people searching. The ultimate cyclical question - how did we ever get along before we knew "X"?... lets find out!

And the last possibility... people are kinda crazy. I doubt, beyond all doubts, there will ever come a time where we understand people, and have run out of questions about us, because people don't run on logic (look at fanatics and extremists who don't even follow self-preservation). And even if we spend all of eternity trying to figure out the biological roots of human-people behavior (and I really doubt it will work, but whatever), we will still have plenty of questions about how other people will react - alien species, or species we uplift or create just because (how else will we answer those questions?), and how any of them interact with each other, with us, over time, in the future...

Maybe a species that runs on logic would be able to ask and answer all of those logical questions, and end up in a crisis because they don't know what else to do, to be, to discover. But we are creatures of instinct and impulse, no matter how much we like logic, and we are not gonna stop until the crazy runs out.

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It will never happen. There are whole classes of undecidable problems. Godel's incompleteness theorem shows that for mathematical systems if you have a finite number of axioms this will result in an infinite number of proofs that have to be solved. To solve a finite number of proofs requires an infinite number of axioms. That is only mathematical logic.

There are entire classes of philosophical problems that can never be resolved For example, ethics and epistemology.

This is to say nothing of the problems of ordinary life. Does she love me? Does she still love me? Will she love me tomorrow? Will I still love her twenty years from now? Am I happy? There is no way those simple problems can ever be solved. Everyone can think of hundreds of similar problems in our ordinary lives that are completely unsolvable.

Michael Karnerfors is absolutely right. This question is itself completely unsolvable and undecidable. Learn to live with the uncertainty, because there isn't any other choice.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hello, hello. To the downvoter, what is wrong with this answer? We could an interesting discussion if there some point that seems wrong. Always willing to learn. Over to you. $\endgroup$ – a4android Jan 7 '17 at 8:43

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