How Close is Doomsday?

clock 2The clock keeps moving but the alarm never goes off
Rahman Mohamed

Whenever something starts you know there’s going to be an end (This is the start of the article; there will be an end.).  Homo Sapiens were created/evolved; there’s been continuous debate of the start.  No matter when or how human life on Earth started, whether it includes all life on Earth or just the planet’s most annoying species, there’s going to be an end.  The question: when and how?

Common among religions is the prediction of the Apocalypse.  It’s the day or time the world will end (life); a saviour will come to those who believe, and the Superior will judge everyone.  Among Atheists the Apocalypse is seen as a time period when humans will go extinct.  They use different words but there’s no science-religion conflict in terms of The End.

The Atheist Apocalypse, or Doomsday, is based on science – human behaviour, adaptation, natural selection.  The human race will become extinct because it will no longer be able to support itself; nature or humans themselves will bring the end. Climate Change is considered to be bringing Doomsday ever than before.

On the other hand Religion Apocalypse is defined as a day when the Superior Being decides to end the world.  Religions provide signs to predict the coming of the apocalypse.  It’s become part of common culture.  The Simpsons: Treehouse of Horror often uses the Devil as a character.  Episode 221 shows the family falling asleep in Church; it’s split into 4, each with their own dream, ending with the family walking out of the church into the Apocalypse, seeing the four horsemen and devils.  While the Flanders Family ascends to Heaven a stairway going down opens in front of the Simpsons.  Led by Homer they walk into Hell.

There is no prediction of exactly (date and time) when The End will occur.  There are continuous suggestions.

The “Y2K Bug” predicted a destruction of humans on January 1, 2000.  Debated, it was predicted computers would not recognise the year 2000 and change to “January 1, 1900” instead of “January 1, 2000”.  At midnight on December 31, 1999 computers did move into the future Now they and their baby phones can sometimes predict the future (what you’re going to write next, what you want to see or hear).  They’re becoming smarter.

Mayan theology suggested the world would end on December 21, 2012.  The Mayans created a calendar that ended on December 21, 2012.  It was reported as accurate about many facts such as lunar cycles and eclipse.  In turn, based on research, many believed the Apocalypse would come on the date the Mayan calendar suggested.  According to NASA this was misinterpreted; December 21, 2012 Mayans suggested would be the day the world would be refreshed; Mayan gods would return to Earth and one of them “would conduct old rites of passage, to set space and time in order, and to regenerate the cosmos“.  There is debate about whether or not the world has been refreshed but there is no doubt it has not ended (unless this heaven); even if this is all a daydream because of boredom, you, Earth, humans, and life on Moon, Venus, Mars, and Pluto still exist.

A bit later than the Mayans, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been credited with creating the “Doomsday Clock“.  Since 1947 it has been adjusted based on how close the world is metaphorically to “Midnight” or “Doomsday”; some consider it a sign suggesting how soon an Apocalypse or Doomsday will appear.  It suggests how soon the world can be destroyed.  Using politics and science it has moved forward (closer to midnight) and backward (away from midnight/doomsday).  It’s used today.

When first created in 1947 it was set at seven minutes to midnight because of the chance of nuclear war.  The first time it moved “backward”, away from midnight was 1960. In 1953 the clock moved forward from 3 to 2 minutes because USA chose to pursue the Hydrogen Bomb, a more powerful weapon than the Nuclear Bomb.

Political action in 1960 suggested USA and USSR were moving further away from direct conflict; the clock moved to 7 minutes.  1991 saw the clock at 17 minutes to midnight; the official end of the Cold War brought the clock the furthest it’s ever been from midnight since its creation.

Although the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 was a historic, fearful event, the Doomsday Clock did not move.

2015 saw the clock move from 5 minutes to 3 minutes because

Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.

On 26 January 2017 BBC reported that the clock moved to 2:30 minutes to midnight.  It reported that the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BPA) stated the clock moved because of

President Trump’s statements on climate change, expanding the US nuclear arsenal and the questioning of intelligence agencies had contributed to the heightened global risk

The clock hasn’t moved since then.  There hasn’t been a reaction by the Doomsday Clock to the USA-North Korea Missile Standoff and President Donald Trump saying USA will respond with “fire and fury”.  Together with the Syrian Conflict there’s a chance the clock may move closer to midnight

Today an unofficial “Doomsday Clock” app is available in Google Play Store.  It shows the time of the Doomsday Clock.  How close the world is to an end is unknown to everyone except the person, human or other who will bring it or has planned it.

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