End of the world conversation questions

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The End of the World has been predicted multiple times throughout history, and regularly in the 20th and 21st centuries. So far every prediction has failed.

Predictors[edit]

Those predicting the end of the world are either modern religious figures or the predictions are claimed to come from some ancient texts. Why should these people have access to information which science does not have?

Definitions[edit]

What does the "End of the World" mean? Is it:

  • A significant change to human civilisation.
  • The end of human civilisation.
  • The end of human life.
  • The end of all life on the planet Earth.
  • The destruction of the planet Earth.
  • The destruction of the universe.

Causes[edit]

Below are some of the things which have been suggested as being causes of the "End of the World". How likely is each one to occur? How likely is it that it would occur within a single 24-hour period? Which type of "End of the World" would it bring about?

  • Zombie apocalypse (deadly pandemic)
  • Reversal of the Earth's magnetic field
  • An alien invasion
  • A previously identified rogue planet in the solar system
  • A planetary alignment
  • A increase or decrease in the sun's strength
  • An asteroid striking the Earth
  • A man-made black hole formed by CERN experiments
  • The battle of Armageddon described in the Bible on the plains of Megiddo

Actions[edit]

  • What are your plans for next week?
  • If you really thought the world was going to end, what would you do?
  • What would you expect other people to do?
  • If the government felt the world was going to end, do you think it would tell people or keep quiet?
  • If the world was going to end anyway - what would be the advantage of keeping quiet?
  • Many "End of the World" beliefs involve things from outer space or changes to the planet. NASA, perhaps the best-placed organization to comment on such things, consistently denies any knowledge of of impending doom. Do you think that is is more likely that NASA is telling the truth or lying? Why?
  • Imagine that you had been informed that a cataclysmic event such as a large meteor striking the earth was going to occur in the next 48 hours. What would be the safest place to be? Where would you personally go?
  • Imagine that a cataclysmic event has occurred. You need to form a group of five people to oversee the reconstruction of civilisation. What five professions would you include in your group?

See also[edit]

External Links[edit]

NASA - Beyond 2012: Why the World Won't End