A recent line of cosmological research offers what seems like a glorious concept. Perhaps the early universe was actually very hospitable to life.
when the universe was 15 million years old, the cosmic microwave background had a temperature of warm summer day on Earth. If rocky planets existed at that epoch then the CMB could have kept their surface warm even if they did not reside in the habitable zone around their parent star. Hence liquid water could have existed on their surface, starting the chemistry of life as we know it.
Which sounds lovely, a universe just teeming with life.
However, we at Infocult always take the Gothic view. So imagine a universe filled with planets, many covered with water, and out of which emerge a delightful diversity of life forms, basking in the warmth provided by the very universe.
For a while.
Because, you see, that background radiation declines by degrees, steadily. It is now just 2.7 degrees above absolute zero, in fact. So at some point that pleasant warmth would have faded into a chill, then a killing cold. And unless those life-bearing planets orbited friendly stars at just the right distance, and unless those life forms developed advanced techologies.... there would have been a vast, cosmic-level die-off. Countless ecosystems must have died in slow, glacial horror.
In which case the universe would have been dotted with the frozen remains of life. Our cosmos would have become a vast display of horrible death and futility.
Over time, those remains would fade, and become victims of entropy, forgotten by a largely, if not entirely, silent universe.
That's what we see when we peer up from Earth into the deeps of space.