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End of The World

  1. May 14, 2004 #1
    Here is my take on the logical end of the world, or at least life as we know it. The fallowing varry in time, and level of destruction, and are ranked byt probability of the cause to our extinction fallowed by an explanation as to why: T=time, P=probability of extinction

    10.) Alien invasion: T=any, P=1/5,000,000, even if aliens would by some miracle to come here, would they kill us?

    9.) Sun dying: T=.5-5 billion, P= 1, ok..this IS going to happen, but would this leave us enough time to escape? Animal life will die by .5-1 billion years, and then the entire earth will be engulfed within 5 billion years.

    8.) Andomeda collison: T=.8-1.8 billion, P=1.This..will happen to, same ?. We will either be thrown out of our galaxy, be engulfed by the supermassive black hole, or simply die from the speed of collision.

    7.) Next ice age: T=3000 years, P=?. It's just an ice age..we dealt with these before, but considering how close it is, I had to put it up.

    6.) Ice caps melting due to global warming: T=800 years, P=?. Can we survive on water? Will we prevent this?

    5.) Technology gone wrong: T= any, P=1/2. We all thought about it, will our own prducts...be the "product" of our own demise? i.e. A.I., nanotech.

    4.) Meteor: T= now-65 million years, P= 1. We're do for another...NOW...

    3.) Yellow stone volcano: T=NOW, P=1. It's active..and if it goes off, it will have the same effect as 65 m. years ago...oh..it's due date is..NOW

    2.) Bio/chemical warfare: there is enough biological weaponary to destroy us 1 million times over...will this fall into the wrong hands??

    #1!!!.) NUCLEAR WAR: T=any, P=1. Ok..lets not **** ourselves. it's been only 50 years and we already almost did it MANY times. The technology is out there, the destruction is unlimited, it's only a question is when. :surprise: :cry:
  2. jcsd
  3. May 14, 2004 #2


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    Re number 9:

    I read an article once which said that an intelligent race could use rocket power to direct an asteroid to pass by the Earth (every few thousand years, if memory serves me) over the course of millions of years. If done right, it would raise the Earth's orbit to keep it the right distance from the Sun as the Sun expands into its red giant phase.
  4. May 16, 2004 #3
    8.) Andomeda collison: T=.8-1.8 billion, P=1.This..will happen to, same ?. We will either be thrown out of our galaxy, be engulfed by the supermassive black hole, or simply die from the speed of collision.

    The speed that we and Andromeda are accelerating towards is like.. 125 m/s.. Chances of the 'speed of collision' happening is bare minimum..

    What would most likely happen is that either our two galaxies will combine, another star will come near us and burn us all to hell, or.. can't think of any other ways we'd die... too sleepy..

    And besides, even if humans were alive 0.8bil to 1.8bil years from now.. the technology and power would be so advanced, we would be spread well through out the universe.. Well.. the galaxy..
  5. May 19, 2004 #4
    I'm not talking about the speed of collision with andromeda, since well, most of it is empty space so we won't be colliding with andromeda itself, but the collision into a star would blow us to hell. Also, theres the chance of flying out of the galaxy after we collide, since well, we're 2/3 there so theres a chance we'll either die in fire, or in ice. About technology, most likely true, but what if we encounter a few armagedons causing total loss of information about the past and past technologies, making us start from scratch? No technology for poor us then lol.

    But hey the whole dying by that thing is unlikely, that's why i put it in #8.
  6. May 20, 2004 #5


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    I don't know if you'd include this under "bio warfare", but I think there's a good chance it will be a virus that does us in. Not neccessarily an attack by one people group on another, just a naturally occurring outbreak.

    Here's the scenario that sometimes keeps me up at night:

    We already have a virus on the planet that is 100% lethal to humans. One of the problems with battling HIV (as with any virus) is that ti keeps mutating, so that if we do find a way to get a grip on one form of it, another form will spring up that is imune to whatever we've contrived. But what if, at some point, this virus mutation into an airborne form? The coast whose bond this version of the virus could carry around a passage in as deadly as AIDS and as contagious and the flu, and carry it for several years before he himself became sick. How many people might he infect, and how many more might do they infect, before the threat was discovered? Shortly, one of the people infected in those first few years would board an airplane, infecting several others on board, some of whom work in major airports.

    If this eventualality occurs, our entire species could be eradicated in a couple of decades. A few strays may survive to die of old age, but not an adequate breeding population.
  7. May 25, 2004 #6

    Lurch, don't get your inferences from movies. There could be no such virus. the virus in the movie was actually Ebola with threads drawn on, but in reality no virus is 100% lethal. Evev the Bubonic plague was 90% lethal, and due to the fact we have an immune system, we create cells to kill most viruses faster than they mutate. A couple of decades would be mroe than enough for us to develope an imunity. However, there may be another plague the size of the Bubonic plague and due to today's transport systems (airplane, train, car, ship) it would spread faster, though it wouldn't be 1/4 as deadly due to our medicine.

    P.S. AIDS isn't that bad, and it only thrives in 3rd world countries. In the U.S. AIDS cases have been declining since the 80's, with a very slight increase recently...(less safe sex, more AIDS).

    P.S.S. an AIDS particle is 10 microns wide, holes existing in any condom could be 50 microns wide while still being accepted. But it would take several hundred AIDS particles AT LEAST to infect you. (I say particle because viruses aren't considered living things)
  8. May 26, 2004 #7


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    I am not certain to which movie you are referring, but I referred to none at all. However, it is possible for a virus to be 100% lethal. In fact such a virus does exist; HIV. Everyone who catches it dies.

    The only reason AIDS "isn't that bad, and in only thrives in Third World countries", is because it is not airborne. We know that a 100% lethal virus can exist, and can have a contagious phase (without showing obvious symptoms) that lasts several years. We also know that airborne contagions can exist. Any virus combining these two traits would be devastating; but probably apocalyptic.
  9. May 26, 2004 #8


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    Well of course, everyone dies. I suppose you mean everyone who catches HIV, and doesn't receive modern treatment, dies within some span of time (it used to be stated as ten years).

    But this is not quite right. There are a few, very very rare, individuals who got HIV back in the bad old days, and did not develop AIDS. They had some kind of natural immunity. In your nightmare scenario (which I have had too) where HIV mutates or is caused to mutate into an aerobic, non-sexual form, there would be a tiny handful of survivors. Maybe enough to restart civilization and maybe not. The old George Stewart novel Earth Abides potrays such a situation; the great bulk of the population wiped out by a fast acting plague, and survivors at the rate of one or two in every 1000 square miles.
  10. May 26, 2004 #9


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    #6. Even with the complete melting of the ice caps, ocean levels will only rise by a few hundred feet. There will be plenty of land left above water.
  11. May 27, 2004 #10
    The world ends for us each, at the end of our lifes time. This is the fact of death and the finality of life. We singularly, and even as a singular species, pale in comparison to the whole of life on earth, the complex interwoven sublime uprising of life on this planet. Tipped by the tops of the Sequoias, and moving under vast seas, far from our inspection, life insinuates, and penetrates, and reaches, and soars, and flowers, and fruits, and ideates, and sings, and mourns and scintillates, lies mute, crawls, swings, swims, walks, appears, and vanishes. At one time in the last fifty thousand years, there were only twenty five hundred humans.

    One day in a parking lot, I looked toward the Wasatch Mountains, because something large had appeared and vanished, three large things in the sky. I stood for a minute then three large forms reappeared, simultaneously. They were each seemingly a half mile square, in area, though shaped differently. I called out to a woman as they vanished, and asked her to look at this thing. They were enormous flights of starlings, that turning, would vanish as they thinned in side view. She stood there, and their reappearance brought a shout, it was so disconcerting to see such a thing. Farmers here will put out copious amounts of poisons to kill flights just like these, because they compete for the grain they feed livestock. One person's miracle is another person's nightmare.

    I think that life is hardier than we are, and hopefully, in fact, certainly will prevail. We sadly cannot resist that monkey cleverness inherent in us, that causes us to so unwisely tresspass on on this world. Cataclysm brings us to our worse selves, and it takes generations to rebuild a vibrant society after it passes. Too bad we aren't more simple and more civilized; that where ever there were survivors, there would be civilization. Even Tom Clancy, ideates that women will be held virtual prisoners for breeding purposes, in submarines safe from the Earth surface, in the time of cataclysm, or terminal warfare. What a civilized thought. We, as a species don't even keep it together on the best of days.

    One million people will die of silent cataclysm, brought on by politics in the Sudan this year. That mass die-off should be on everyones mind, not some calculated, nerve wracking entertainment piece on top of summer terror threats. Worrying about cataclysm, I think that in our lifetimes, we are more likely to be killed by bathtubs falling from the sky.

    I did read one interesting thing, that was a theory, regarding the use of electricity. This person implied that there was only so much energy native to the planet, and the electricity we use is a theft from natural systems too large for us to understand; as if we had bound the soul of the planet to make toast.
  12. May 27, 2004 #11


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    I had heard of such cases also, but I was under the impression that all of them eventually did contract AIDS and die. And AFAIK, modern treatment can delay the onset of AIDS and prolong the life and continued health of the infected person for some time, but eventually death from AIDS is still inevitable. Do you happen to know the record for the longest anyone has stayed alive with HIV?
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