Welcome to the Universe: It’s Not as Friendly as You Think!

Chris Ferrie
4 min readDec 21, 2023

Gazing up at the starlit sky might fill you with wonder, but have you ever considered the universe’s less hospitable side? With my fellow science nerd friends Wade Fairclough and Byrne LaGinestra, my new book, 42 Reasons To Hate The Universe (And One Reason Not To), takes you on a journey through the cosmos, revealing its ironic and humorously harsh realities.

What is it?

This is a science book, but it’s not just a science book. 42 Reasons to Hate the Universe is a witty and ironic guide to the universe’s indifference. From the oxygen that’s quietly plotting against us (Reason 2) to the fragility of our planet (Reason 4), each chapter unveils surprising and thought-provoking aspects of our cosmic home.

How about we deep dive into one of the “reasons?” Let’s zoom in on one of the most compelling concepts: The Great Filter (Reason 1). This is a term coined in the context of the Fermi Paradox, addressing one of the most profound mysteries in cosmology: Why, in a universe so vast and seemingly conducive to life, have we not encountered any signs of extraterrestrial civilizations? This paradox is both fascinating and unsettling, stirring a mix of existential curiosity and dread.

The paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi, arises from the contrast between the high probability of extraterrestrial civilizations existing (given the vast number of stars and potentially habitable planets) and the total lack of evidence for, or contact with, such civilizations, regardless what the guy living in a camper van at the end of the street told you.

The Great Filter concept proposes that at some stage, from pre-life to an advanced civilization capable of colonizing galaxies, there is a highly improbable stage. This stage acts as a filter that prevents such civilizations from emerging. The chilling aspect of this concept is not just that advanced civilizations might be rare but that we have no idea where this filter occurs in the developmental timeline. Given that we are at least one such civilization, it might be nice to know…or not. Herein lies the existential gamble — have we already passed the Great Filter, or is it lying in wait? Some speculate that life itself might be the filter, suggesting our existence is incredibly rare and we are indeed alone. Others propose that the filter is yet to come, implying that something prevents civilizations from advancing to the stage of galactic colonization, and we are indeed screwed.

The Great Filter introduces a darkly humorous aspect to our cosmic story. The universe, in its vast indifference, might be setting us up for a fall. We celebrate each scientific advancement and dream of space travel and galactic colonies, but what if these aspirations are merely cosmic jokes, with the punchline being our eventual extinction or inability to ever leave our solar neighborhood?

Science and humor, my favorite blend

Every reason in the book is grounded in scientific fact, though presented with a twist of humor. For example, while exploring the concept of entropy (Reason 15), the book delves into the inevitable decline into disorder, but with a comedic lens that makes this heavy topic more digestible and engaging.

Why use humor to discuss such weighty topics? Humor makes complex scientific concepts more accessible. It engages readers, sparks curiosity, and offers a unique perspective on the often overwhelming vastness and complexity of the cosmos. Also, it’s fun…especially when we get just a little bit sweary — the universe is a bit of an asshole, after all.

Writing this book was a journey through both the marvels and the absurdities of the universe. Inspired by the likes of Carl Sagan and Douglas Adams, it’s a tribute to the awe of space and the humor in its inherent hostility. Understanding the universe’s quirks is not just about scientific curiosity. It’s a lesson in humility and resilience. It teaches us about our place in the cosmos and the importance of laughter in the face of existential dread.

Will the universe end soon?

Luckily, no — at least not before the book is released on 7 Feb 2024. But, just to be sure, you better pre-order it now so you don’t miss out. Join us on this enlightening yet entertaining adventure with 42 Reasons To Hate The Universe (And One Reason Not To). It’s a book that promises not only to educate but also to entertain, leaving you with a newfound appreciation for the cosmic comedy that is our universe. And, look, I know you want to know what the “one reason” is, but you’re going to have to wait to find out!

Before you go, what’s your take on the universe? Is it a friend, a foe, or just an indifferent bystander in our cosmic journey? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Thanks for joining the journey!
Dr. Chris Ferrie



Chris Ferrie

Quantum theorist by day, father by night. Occasionally moonlighting as a author. csferrie.com