Leading Article: Forget it all ...

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How is it that black holes, a phenomenon we barely understand, have become such a popular symbol of our godless, negative existence? Stephen Hawking is a best-seller; Star Trek plays with unknowable doom. Pessimistic doomsayers will no doubt interpret yesterday's news of a black hole sucking us toward long-distant oblivion as confirmation of the ultimate futility of life.

But look on the bright side. Deprived of heaven and hope, we could fantasise about a universe on the far side of darkness where life is free of millenialism, party conferences, and all kinds of other political pretension.