End of the world? Haven’t we all heard that before? We’ve been hearing so much on the news lately about different doomsday stories, it seems to suggest that we are much more intrigued in ending the world than saving it.
It all started during our grandfather’s – and later our father’s – time when H.G. Wells published his famous novel, “War of the Worlds” in 1898. Of all the themes about doomsday scenarios, alien invasions seem to stick the most in people’s minds. War of the Worlds has had the most reprints of any science fiction novel, the most radio broadcasts, and the most television shows and movies made, the most recent one in 2005 starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning.
Alien invasions seem to be a regular favorite – or recurring fear – of doomsday aye sayers. However, much as we know that there is alien life out there, the probability of aliens destroying the earth is a 0.1 in a million shot.
The Nibiru Planet is another doomsday theory. In the late 1960′s, Zechariah Sitchin suggested in his book that Nibiru is a wayward planet with an erratic orbit that can only be seen every 3,700 years. Many doomsday theorists computed that it will make an appearance early in the 21st century and the planet will collide with earth. However, there is very little evidence about even the existence of Nibiru, making this theory a 0.1 in a million shot.
In 2009, the film “2012” highlighted the fears of doomsday sayers about the end of the world as predicted by the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 21, 2012. Many scientists now have debunked this theory, pointing out simply that, like any normal calendar, when its cycle of years runs out, you have to start from the beginning again. Together with this theory, the death of the sun and a magnetic pole shift have also been debunked as part of the end of the world scenarios in 2012.
Super volcanoes have recently captured the news because scientists have proven beyond reasonable doubt that the wiping out of many species on earth have been linked with the environmental disasters of exploding super volcanoes. One thing with this theory though is that a lot of super volcanoes the size of Yellowstone Park or bigger need to blow up at the same time for this to happen. While this may have occurred millions of ages ago to wipe out the dinosaurs, the next series of explosions might not happen for a billion years.
Back in the days of the cold war from the 60′s to the early 90′s, World War 3 and a nuclear war fallout were the highlights of doomsday scenarios and Hollywood films. Today, the likelihood that any country would use a nuclear missile against its enemy is unlikely because of the advances in political behavior and psychology. While the possibility of terrorists setting off nuclear bombs is plausible, it’s not enough to end the world.
The finite peaking of oil together with an environmental collapse perhaps serves as the nearest thing to doomsday. Every oil expert concedes that oil production will soon peak and then run out, adding to the sudden collapse of the environment due to pollution, deforestation, global warming, and the like. Again, these theories, though given a 7 in a million shot chance of happening, still has holes in it. Oil will eventually run out, but, the endless possibilities of other energy resources negates its negative effects. Should our environment tilt towards the worse, Mother Nature seems to always have a way of refurbishing itself. This is not to say that people won’t suffer or die because of environmental disasters. Many will, but, it won’t be enough to spell the end of the world.
So are there any scenarios that may portent the real end of the world? Take note we didn’t include those so-called Biblical Armageddon prophets who claim to know the computations from the Book of Revelation. We’ve had enough of their mass hysteria causing unnecessary panic.
A recent news item on the inevitable collision of the Andromeda galaxy with the Milky Way is one of only two apocalyptic astronomical predictions that we can be absolutely certain of. The other is the death of our sun. Both are inevitable because they are scientifically proven to happen whether calculated or as a determinant. Two galaxies have gravity pulls which will eventually bring a collision of both galaxies or elements in it. The sun is a very large solar battery that will eventually run out of energy and burn itself out.
So when are these two inevitable doomsday occurrences scheduled? Well, a collision of galaxy elements may start happening 4 billion years from now. The sun winking out? Around 6 billion years from now.
We are now asking the doomsday scenarists to please quiet down and, as Mr. Spock in Star Trek would say, “live long and prosper.”