Every Apocalypse Is A Hoax
We’ve all heard the stories. Armageddon, Apocalypse, Revelations, WW III, plagues, mass extinctions, meteors, climate change-- something is going to happen to the planet and we’re all doomed. Hoax websites prey on our fears to wheel us into clicking on their sites to spread their own viruses or instill us with the same nonsense that has forced us to click in the first place. These are numerous and notorious sites that have become this generation's National Enquirer. It used to be that we'd see the titles, laugh at the photo-shopped picture, and stuff the paper back into it's holder. Nowadays, we've become obsessed with apocalyptic stories. We've somehow become the society that believes that Bat boy really does exist. We all start to think, "Well, it can't all be wrong." How much of these sites are really true? What should we know to keep us better informed? How close is the world to actually ending?
Prehistoric Mass Extinctions
5 Pre-History Mass Extinctions
There have been 5 mass extinctions since time on the planet Earth began. Each extinction has led to the majority of the Earth’s population's decimation. Extinctions are apart of life. They force the climate to change and new evolutions are created. For humanity to exist, the right conditions had to be born. Think of how much life would be different if even one extinction didn’t occur. What would we be right now?
End Ordovician, 444 million years ago, 86% of species lost:
This extinction was the result of an ice age. It lowered sea levels, possibly triggered by the uplift of the Appalachians. The newly exposed silicate rock sucked CO2 out of the atmosphere, and chilled the planet. Sea life was lost by the millions.
Late Devonian, 375 million years ago, 75% of species lost:
This extinction was the result of growth. Some species of ocean dwellers survived the first apocalypse, only to die in this one. The likely culprit was the newly evolved land plants that emerged. They started to cover the planet during the Devonian period. Their deep roots stirred up the earth, and released nutrients into the ocean. It could have triggered algal blooms which sucked oxygen out of the water, suffocating bottom dwellers like the trilobites.
End Permian, 251 million years ago, 96% of species lost:
This extinction was labeled “the Great Dying.” A series of natural disasters caused this apocalypse. It nearly ended life on the planet. A cataclysmic eruption near Siberia blasted CO2 into the atmosphere. Methanogenic bacteria responded by belching out methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Global temperatures surged while oceans acidified and stagnated, belching poisonous hydrogen sulfide.
End Triassic, 200 million years ago, 80% of species lost:
Still hotly debated, this extinction's cause is unknown. Paleontologists were baffled about the origin of some toothy fragments. They mistook them for bits of clams or sponges. But the discovery of an intact fossil in Scotland, revealed their owner – a jaw-less eel-like vertebrate named the conodont which boasted this remarkable set of teeth lining its mouth and throat. They were one of the first structures built from hydroxyapatite, a calcium-rich mineral that remains a key component of our own bones and teeth.
End Cretaceous, 66 million years ago, 76% of all species lost:
This extinction took out the dinosaurs. While a meteor was a part of the story, paleontologists still think it's only half of the picture. Climate change, volcanic activity, along with this mass asteroid dropped the Earth's temperature. Both land and sea saw dwindling numbers, and millions of species disappeared.
Past Human Extinction Theorists
Human Extinction Theories
There are no shortages of extinction theories. Almost every decade, some yahoo claims that the world will end. Most theories have been made about Revelations or other religious doomsday Apocalypses. When we think of "Apocalypse," most people see Nostradamus. This is not the case. Many people have come up with some idea about how the world will end. Even famous people have made their own theories to the end of the world. All of these theories have proven false by time.
Martin of Tours This French bishop whose shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints. He is considered a spiritual bridge across Europe.
His life was recorded by a contemporary, named Sulpicius Severus. He is best known for the account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. Conscripted as a soldier into the Roman army, he found the duty incompatible with the Christian faith he had adopted and became an early conscientious objector. In his theory, he stated that the world would end before 400 CE, writing, "There is no doubt that the Antichrist has already been born. Firmly established already in his early years, he will, after reaching maturity, achieve supreme power."
Pope Innocent III (d. 1216) He was one of the most powerful and influential popes. Pope Innocent is notable for using interdict and other censures to compel princes to obey his decisions, although these measures were not uniformly successful. Innocent called for Christian crusades against Muslim Spain and the Holy Land, as well as the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathars in southern France.One of Pope Innocent's most critical decisions was organizing the Fourth Crusade. Originally intended to attack Jerusalem through Egypt, a series of unforeseen circumstances led the crusaders to Constantinople, where they ultimately sacked the city in 1204. He predicted that the world would end 666 years after the rise of Islam (1284 CE).
Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. He belonged to the Florentine School under the patronage of Lorenzo de' Medici, a movement that Giorgio Vasari would characterize less than a hundred years later in his Vita of Botticelli as a "golden age". Botticelli's posthumous reputation suffered until the late 19th century; since then, his work has been seen to represent the linear grace of Early Renaissance painting.Among Botticelli's best-known works are The Birth of Venus and Primavera. In his extinction theory, he believed that he was living during the "Tribulation," and that the millennium would begin in three and a half years from 1500. He wrote in his book The Mystical Nativity that the Devil was loose and would soon be chained.
In his book, The Restoration of Christianity, Michael Servetus claimed that the Devil's reign in this world had started in 325 CE, at the Council of Nicea, and would last for 1260 years, thus ending in 1585. He was a Spanish polymath versed in many sciences: mathematics, astronomy and meteorology, geography, human anatomy, medicine and pharmacology, as well as jurisprudence, translation, poetry and the scholarly study of the Bible in its original languages. He is renowned in the history of several of these fields, particularly medicine and theology. He participated in the Protestant Reformation, and later developed a non-trinitarian Christology. Condemned by Catholics and Protestants alike, he was arrested in Geneva and burnt at the stake as a heretic by order of the city's Protestant governing council.
Christopher Columbus predicted that the world would end during 1658. His book, The Book of Prophecies, was written in 1501. Columbus claimed that the world was created in 5343 CE, and would last 7000 years. Assuming no year zero, that means the end would come in 1658. He was an Italian explorer, navigator, colonizer, and citizen of the Republic of Genoa. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean. Those voyages and his efforts to establish permanent settlements on the island of Hispaniola initiated the European colonization of the New World.
Jacob Bernoulli was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family. He was an early proponent of Leibnizian calculus and had sided with Leibniz during the Leibniz–Newton calculus controversy. He is known for his numerous contributions to calculus, and along with his brother Johann, was one of the founders of the calculus of variations. However, his most important contribution was in the field of probability, where he derived the first version of the law of large numbers in his work Ars Conjectandi.This mathematician predicted a comet would destroy the Earth on April 5, 1719.
Nicolas Camille Flammarion was a French astronomer and author. He was a prolific author of more than fifty titles, including popular science works about astronomy, several notable early science fiction novels, and works on psychic research and related topics. He also published the magazine L'Astronomie, starting in 1882. He maintained a private observatory at Juvisy-sur-Orge, France. He predicted that the 1910 appearance of Halley's Comet, "would impregnate that atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet", but not the planet itself. "Comet pills" were sold to protect against toxic gases. The comet indicated the Second Coming to many.
The founder of The Peoples Temple, Jim Jones, stated that he had visions that a nuclear holocaust was to take place in 1967. Jones is infamous due to the mass murder-suicide in November 1978 of 918 of its members in Jonestown, Guyana, the murder of Congressman Leo Ryan, and the ordering of four additional Temple member deaths in Georgetown, the Guyanese capital. Nearly three hundred children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head; it is suspected his death was a suicide.
Charles Manson predicted that an apocalyptic race war would occur in 1969 and ordered the Tate-LaBlanc murders in an attempt to bring it about. Manson based his prediction on his interpretation of The Beatles' self-titled album. Manson and his followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations over a period of five weeks in the summer of 1969. In 1971 he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people – most notably of the actress Sharon Tate – all of which were carried out by members of the group at his instruction. He is currently serving nine concurrent life sentences at Corcoran State Prison in Corcoran, California.
In 1976, the Brahma Kumaris founder, Lekhraj Kirpalani, had made a number of false predictions of a global Armageddon. The Indian religion believes the extinction will inspire it's people. They've called it, "Destruction," but externally presented it as, "Transformation." During Destruction, Brahma Kumari leaders teach the world will be purified, while all of the rest of humanity will be killed by nuclear or civil wars and natural disasters. This will include the sinking of all other continents except India. All other religions will also be destroyed, so that they alone will inherit the Earth for 2,500 years. These predictions are generally hidden from outsiders and, as they have failed, have been removed from their literature.
Marshall Applewhite, leader of the Heaven's Gate cult, claimed that a spacecraft was trailing the Comet Hale-Bopp and argued that suicide was "the only way to evacuate this Earth" so that the cult members' souls could board the supposed craft and be taken to another "level of existence above human." Applewhite and 38 of his followers committed mass suicide.
Isaac Newton predicted that Christ's Millennium would begin in the year 2000 in his book Observations upon the Prophecies of Daniel, and The Apocalypse of St. John. Newton was an English physicist and mathematician (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognized as one of the most influential scientists of all time and a key figure in the scientific revolution.
Grigori Rasputin prophesied a storm would take place on this day (Aug. 23, 2013) where fire would destroy most life on land and Jesus Christ would come back to Earth to comfort those in distress. Rasputin was a Russian peasant, mystical faith healer, and trusted friend of the family of Nicholas II. He became an influential figure in Saint Petersburg, especially after August 1915, when Nicholas took command of the army fighting in World War I. Accounts are often based on dubious memoirs, hearsay, and legend. While his influence and position may have been exaggerated — Rasputin became synonymous with power, debauchery and lust.
In 2012, there was mass hysteria over one Apocalyptic theory. The supposed Mayan Apocalypse at the end of the 13th b'ak'tun. The Earth would be destroyed by an asteroid, Nibiru, or some other interplanetary object; an alien invasion, a supernova, or the Second coming. Mayan scholars stated that nowhere in the Mayan accounts was this disaster implied. The Long Count calendar that supposedly ended in 2012 was misrepresented. The calendar simply started over. Scientists from NASA along with expert archaeologists, stated that none of those events were even possible.
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Theories and Theorists
Present Extinction Theories
There are still theories about the world ending. Some mathematicians have made claims as to when the extinction will occur. Some present theories include nuclear, asteroid, or other natural disasters. Religious fanatics have prophesied the end for generations. These are the newest additions of the Second coming. Everyone believes that an apocalypse will happen. It's a debate of when and of what.
F. Kenton Beshore bases his prediction on the prior suggestion that Jesus would return in 1988, within one Biblical generation (40 years) of the founding of Israel in 1948. Beshore argues that the prediction was correct, but that the definition of a Biblical generation was incorrect and was actually 70–80 years, placing the Second Coming of Jesus between 2018 and 2028 and the Rapture by 2021 at the latest. He was raised a pastor's son in La Canada Flintridge, California, Kenton graduated with his master's degree from Biola's Talbot School of Theology. In 1978, Kenton came to Mariners as a college pastor. He loved Mariners' dream to reach out to those who weren't currently attending church and share the truth that God loved them more than they could ever know and, in 1984, he became Mariners' Senior Pastor. He has overseen Mariners stunning growth from a church of less than 300 to one of 15,000.
According to the abjad interpretation of a hadith, Adnan Oktar is a Sunni Muslim creationist who claims that the Last Day will come about in 2120, when Nemesis will collide with the Earth. While Said Nursi, a Sunni Muslim theologian who wrote the Risale-i Nur Collection, expects the end in 2129.
According to an opinion on The Talmud in mainstream Orthodox Judaism, the Messiah will come within 6000 years from the creation of Adam, and the world could possibly be destroyed 1000 years later. This would put the beginning of the period of desolation in the year 2239 CE and the end of the period of desolation in the year 3239 CE.
Scientists believe in different theories. Nick Bostrom believes that the Earth still has 500,000 years to go. He believes Earth will have likely been hit by an asteroid of roughly 1 km in diameter, and the impact would cause a mass extinction.
At 100 million years from now, Stephen A. Nelson calculates that the Earth will have likely been hit by an asteroid about 10–15 km in diameter.
Anne Minard estimates 500-600 million years will be the end of human extinction. She believes a massive, hyper-energetic supernova, occurs within 6,500 light-years of Earth; close enough for its rays to affect Earth's ozone layer and triggers a mass extinction. She relies on the assumption that a previous explosion triggers a Ordovician-Silurian extinction event. However, the supernova would have to be precisely oriented relative to Earth to have any negative effect.
Our sun still has 1-5 billion years of life left according to many scientists. It is widely accepted by the scientific community that the estimated end of our sun's current phase of development is in the billions. After which, it will swell into a red giant, either swallowing the Earth (or at least completely scorching it). However, as the Sun grows gradually hotter (over millions of years), the Earth may become too hot for life as early as one billion years from now.
Keep the Hysteria To A Minimum
So why are there so many theories to when the end is coming? Well, human fear is always a best-seller. Any book that dramatizes our impending doom sells millions of copies. Any scientist that can presumably dictate when the end is near, wins prizes or esteem. Scientists that observe space, are less believable because their end dates are so far into the vast future, and religious fanatics or those that believe more in faith than fact, want to believe that the end is coming. People want to believe that they matter, and being “chosen” in the end makes them feel like they have meaning.
According to NASA, several “end of the world” hoaxes have been debunked. Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012-16, astronomers would have tracked these planets for at least the past decade. The sheer mass of these planets would be visible to the naked eye. Obviously, these stories are not real. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.
The polar shift theory, is also a hoax. The theory claims to explain that a group of Inuit or other Native peoples have seen that the north pole and the south pole are switching, causing a mass extinction. A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-switch to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn't cause any harm to life on Earth. Scientists believe a magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia.
Asteroid impact theory, while possible, is unlikely to come true. The Earth has always been pummeled by comets and asteroids, (after all, we do have the moon), although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today, NASA astronomers safeguard our future with a brigade called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office website, so we can see that nothing is predicted to hit catastrophically, in 2016.
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