Home
Show Blogs--Guests' Details
News
Guest List
Science Book Reviews
Mathematics Book Review
Science Fiction Reviews
Science Articles
Famous Scientists
Famous Sci-Fi Writers
Links
Resume
Bio
e-mail me
Ten Ways Life on Earth Could End:

Blurb: Scary new evidence suggested by the most elite scientific community leaders seem to point to an inevitable calamity.

For centuries, prophets have been heralding the end of the world. Many saw catastrophic floods, others conjured up images of fire from the heavens and still others predicted utter chaos in the midst of our crumbling civilizations. Nostradamus, one of the great prophets of the middle ages, had prophesized destruction and chaos between the years 2009-2012. Even the Mayans’ calendar ends Dec 21, 2012. Is that how the world will end, in utter chaos? It has only come to the attention of scientists in the last few decades that certain activities of the cosmos could actually end life on earth. All the experts tout the cliché, “It’s not if the event will occur, but when it will occur.” Here are ten ways life on earth can end.

1. Super Volcano Eruptions

2. Meteor/Asteroid Strikes

3. Global Warming

4. Snowball Earth

5. Magnetic Polarity Change

6. Major Solar Flare

7. Magnetosphere Loss

8. Quasars—Gamma Ray Burst

9. Black Holes

10. Galaxy collision

1. Super Massive Volcanoes. While geologists were looking for evidence of a calamity from the fossil record, where a mass extinction had occurred, they found a curious layer below the dead zone. They noticed that large deposits of ash had preceded extinction episodes in recent times. One of the periods that concerned investigators most was the Cretaceous period, about 65 million years ago, where an unusually large ash build-up occurred. This period is important because the dinosaurs disappeared right afterwards. When geologists studied this phenomenon, they realized that only a super massive volcano could have produced such extensive deposits. Could a super massive volcano have killed the dinosaurs?

They found the smoking gun in the Yellowstone Caldera. It seemed that a super massive pocket of magma beneath Yellowstone National Park is just waiting for the right moment to erupt, and according to recent geologic studies, it’s growing. Christopher C. Sanders of the Yellowstone website advised state officials as recently as January 1, 2009 that a potential state of emergency exists in Yellowstone. (Sanders, 2009) When it finally erupts, a large amount of the animal population within a substantial radius of the event center would not survive. When Yellowstone grumbles, it is a likely reminder that nature is giving us a warning. (Krajick, 2004) It is likely to spread an extensive blanket of ash around the planet, blocking out the sun for extensive periods of time, creating a global winter for years, destroying the food supply world-wide. One of these occurred just prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Could it happen again? Of course!

Eruptions in the Yellowstone Caldera occur like clockwork every 600,000 years or so. (Brill, 2009) The last one was 640,000 years ago, which means that we are overdue. Geologists estimate that it would be 2,500 times as powerful as the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980. (Tyson, 2008) Yellowstone is not the only super volcano. Sumatra in Malaysia (India Daily, 2007), has also shown a cyclical nature similar to Yellowstone, only its cycle is 75,000, and is ironically due in 2012. Some say, (McCaffrey, 2001) its power is even more destructive than Yellowstone, some ten thousand times bigger..

2. Meteor or Asteroid Strikes. Unfortunately, investigators disagree. Many think that another possible reason could explain the mass extinction of the dinosaurs. It seems that also during this period, a strange form of quartz, known as shocked quartz occurs in the deposition. Since this kind of quartz is only produced from a massive meteor strike investigation is justifiable. Could a giant meteor striking the earth 65 million years ago have caused the extinction of the dinosaurs?

The evidence around the Yucatan Peninsula in a crater called Chicxulub in the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 180 kilometers in diameter, (Kumo, 1995) suggests that such a massive impact may have also spread a blanket of hot debris over the globe. One reason why the crater was not discovered earlier stems from the fact that it can only be seen from the air. Could a massive meteor or asteroid end life on earth today? Meteors, asteroids and comets often exceed speeds of 50,000 mph. At that rate, we would only have a few seconds warning. We would see a bright flash in the sky, followed by a massive shock wave seconds later, which would rip us apart and raise the land temperature to thousands of degrees, hot enough to melt steel and even rock, turning it into lava. We would not stand a chance. Then, hot debris would rain down, further heating the atmosphere. This might continue for months, blocking out the sun. The result of this is a nuclear winter. So, whatever the impact missed the nuclear winter will take care of. We would not survive. Scientists say, “Why not?”

3. Global Warming. Another calamity, global warming weighs in the background. Its unassuming role in the earth’s systems fails to capture our attention until it grows into a monster. The obvious greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide, which we can readily see develop from our automobiles’ emissions and emissions from industry. But a much more insidious greenhouse gas is waiting to spring forth in an overwhelmingly profuse manner. Deep beneath the ocean lie massive deposits of methane hydrate, a frozen form of methane. It is only stable because of the cold ocean currents. But as global warming continues, these deposits will begin to free themselves from the depths and contribute to the global warming issue, exacerbating the problem. Aside from the obvious effect of changing climate and warming waters, which will spurn intensive storms, the ice sheets will melt. This is by far the gravest issue since most of the world’s population occupies coastal areas. A rise of only a few feet will have a dire impact. Researchers see a rise of as much as 100 feet. This condition will also decrease the living space by as much as 25%, which the world population would find intolerable.

4. Snowball earth. Evidence suggests that it happened before and can happen again. But global warming is episodic and can and has been reversed by nature. Solar activities change from time to time, which would have an independent effect on climate. There have been extensive periods on earth during which all tendencies to warm the planet fail, plummeting the earth into mini-ice ages. One is documented during the middle ages, from 1500 to 1850, with a peak around 1800, (Behringer, 1999) causing much havoc on summer crops in Europe. If a number of facts that contribute to cooling occur at the same time, the climate of earth could reach a point of no return and propel the system into freezing more extensively than in the past. Logically, more snow and ice would tend to repel the sun’s rays inhibiting the earth’s ability to retain heat. Snowball earth can become inevitable under such circumstances, scientists say.

5. Magnetic Polarity Change. We are protected by our magnetosphere. Magnetic currents deflect solar flares and cosmic rays, protecting our fragile atmosphere. A shift in magnetic polarity would devastate many of the earth’s systems, throwing off the rhythm of nature. Studies have shown that change is a natural phenomenon. (Hoffman, 1995). Magnetic polarity change is already underway. Certain parts of the southern hemisphere have already begun to show weakened magnetic fields. (Twietmeyer, 2009)

6. Solar Flares. Solar flares are common, some have caused minor problems by disrupting magnetic fields on earth. These are temporary and localized. What if a major solar flare arrived? We would have little warning. Occasionally, however, massive flares jet out of the sun, whisking all kinds of dangerous particles along with it at near light speed velocities. Scientists calculate, (Whitfield, 2003) that occasionally massive flares jet out thousands of miles above the sun’s atmosphere. When these occur they create all kinds of havoc on our electrical systems and magnetic fields, disrupting power and navigation on both ships and aircraft.

7. The Magnetosphere. The magnetosphere protects us with a veil of magnetic energy, which deflects certain kinds of particles from entering earth’s atmosphere. Just a glimpse of celestial bodies that are not protected by a magnetosphere reveal how vulnerable they are in space. The Moon and Mars are just two examples. The pot-marked surface also tells us how vulnerable we are. Even the small meteorites that are normally deflected by the intense magnetic fields on earth would hammer the thin atmosphere on Mars and grind the Moon’s fine material on its surface to powder. Cosmic radiation is another problem that a lack of magnetosphere creates. Can the collapse of the magnetosphere on earth have a similar devastating effect? You bet!

8. Quasars. The most destructive force in the universe is what is known as a quasar. They occur when a super massive star, usually a neutron star implodes creating a massive black hole. At the event horizon, so much energy is created by the dynamic particle movement that gamma rays are blasted away from and perpendicular to the event horizon at the speed of light. These are known as gamma ray bursts. This is where Einstein’s famous equation, E = mc2, takes on significant meaning. Here, matter is transformed into energy at a rate far exceeding the production of any star. Scientists claim that the amount of energy is equivalent to all the energy produced by a galaxy. See Jochen Greiner’s research. (Greiner, 2009) Imagine if this energy were focused at a target like earth. In 2001, such a gamma ray burst was located in the sky. It was visible to the naked eye. The most astonishing aspect of its occurrence was that it originated halfway across the universe! If we could see how spectacular this event was from so far away, imagine what a quasar could do from our own back yard, within our own galaxy! Some scientists say that even if it were as close as a star in Ursa Major, say, Polaris is (430 light years away), it could have a damaging effect on the surface of the earth, most likely scorching it, destroying all life. Could it happen? It may already have hundreds of years ago, but the fallout has not reached us yet.

9. Black Holes. Black holes lurk menacingly in the dark of space. Some are brightly lit, like quasars. We know where they are by their feeding habits. Matter orbits it at the accretion disc at nearly the speed of light. This much movement drives out large amounts of energy, producing intense light, which can be seen across the galaxy. But black holes that stop feeding are still moving through space and time. Could one happen to stray through our part of the galaxy and threaten our blue marble? You bet!

10. Galaxy Collisions. The most dynamic and cataclysmic event in the universe occurs where two titanic galaxies collide. There might be a way to throw a meteor or asteroid off course. There may be a way to escape the worst of a super volcano. We can prevent global warming by conservation. We can even avoid a black hole by moving the path of the earth at least theoretically. A galaxy collision is so broad and so encompassing that there is just no way that humble man could erect a barrier to stop a crash two hundred thousand light years across.

One of the paramount and possible results of galaxy collision is the potential for two black holes to attract each other. If that were to happen, they would first orbit each other until finally absorbing each other, forming one giant black hole. In the process of doing that, their movement and forces on gravity would create gravity waves or ripples of gravity through the star clusters within the colliding matter, creating further chaos. Anything caught up in this colossal gravity distortion would surely be met with weird expressions of the laws of physics assuming they would follow those laws at all. Perhaps, during such an event, all the laws of physics break down.

While Nostradamus made it very clear in his writings that one calamity can lead to the next in a series, like dominos, and imbalances in world systems can affect each other in negative ways, it was his lost book, the book of symbols that completes the prophecy. Although the work seems controversial, some scholars even doubt his authorship. Irrespective of this debate, the authenticity of the symbolism cannot be denied. Even though it may have been a copy of the original Nostradamus book, some people have gone through a lot of trouble to keep the writings alive. It would have been very risky for someone like Nostradamus to maintain ideas that opposed the church.

What is Galactic Alignment? Very powerful symbols tend to indicate, according to certain experts (Jenkins, 2009) that a cataclysmic calamity waits to show itself on a cosmic scale. It seems that the sun is moving into the final position of its 26,000-year cycle, to line up directly between the earth and the center of the galaxy. No one knows the perils that will manifest at that moment. But one thing is known: it will occur in 2012. We can also say how it can affect us. 1) The line up may affect gravity, which in turn would affect ocean tides. 2) Line up could affect the magnetosphere by weakening it or even reversing its polarity. 3) The production of solar flares is another concern that could grow out of excessive gravity wells.

We humans have only been on the earth for a very short time relative to the long life of the earth. The catastrophic geologic activities won’t cease just because humans have appeared on the scene. While these possibilities paint a gloomy picture for the future of the earth, they occur infrequently and over vast amounts of time and should not disrupt our day-to-day activities. In any event, we are relatively helpless to stop them. However, science and technology are advancing at astonishing rates, opening up new possibilities. Perhaps we can escape our demise by colonization of other planets or by developing new and powerful methods of cosmic manipulation. In any case, we must keep an optimistic attitude if we plan to survive as a species.

References:

Behringer, W., 1999, Climatic Change and Witch-Hunting: The Impact of the Little ice Age on Mentalities. Climatic Change, 43:33

Brill, Richard. Quake Swarm at Yellowstone May Signal Blast. January 4, 2009. Star Bulletin. Retrieved Feb 3, 2009 from http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20090104_Quake_swarm_at_Yellowstone_may_signal_blast.htm

Greiner, Jochen. Retrieved Feb, 3, 2009 from http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~jcg/

Hoffman, K. How Are Geomagnetic Reversals Related to Field Intensity? Vol. 76, July 18, 1995. P. 289. American Geophysical union.

India Daily, 2007. Toba in Sumatra a candidate for super volcano in 2012—increasing harmonic tremors have started after the Tsunami two yeas back. Editorial by India Daily Technology Team, Jan 6, 2007. Retrieved Dec. 15, 2008 from: http://www.indiadaily.com//editorial/15051.asp

Jenkins, J.M. What is the Galactic Aligment? Alignment202.com. Retrieved Jan 21, 2009 from http://www.alignment2012.com/whatisGA.htm.

Kamo, S.L., and Krogh,. T.E. 1995. Chicxulub crater source for shocked zircon crystals from the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary layer, Saskatchean: Evidence from new U-Pb data. Geology 23: 281-284.

Krajick, Kevin. Yellowstone Grumbles, July, 2004. Smithsonian Magazine.

McCaffrey, R., Wark, D.A., & Roeccker, S.W. Distribution of magma beneath the Toba caldera complex, north Sumatra, Indonesia, constrained by three-dimensional P wave velocities, seismicity, and gravity data. Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems, an electronic journal of the earth sciences, published by AGU and the Geochemical Society. Vol. 2, April 16, 2001. Paper number 2000GC000096.

Sanders, C., C., Yellowstone Supervolcano Getting Redy to Blow Its Cork. Retrieved Feb 3, 2009 from http://www.earthmountainview.com/yellowstone/yellowstone.htm

Twietmeyer, T. Magnetic Pole Shift May Be Underway. Rense.com, Retrieved Jan. 21, 2009 from http://www.rense.com/general51/mag.htm

Tyson, Peter, The Next Big One, Retrieved Dec. 12, 2008 from Nova Website: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/megavolcano/bigone.html

Whitfield, J. Solar Storms Trip Magnetic Flip. Nature.com. Nov. 17, 2003. Retrieved January 9, 2009 from http://www.nature.com/news/news-features/index.html

(Copyright © 2009 by D. Wayne Dworsky)

The Seeded Earth:

Blurb: I think we’ve been invaded by aliens! The proof is all around us. You just have to look.

For years, anthropologists and students of the fossil record have argued ardently about the origin of the homo sapiens species. It was always an uphill battle, allowing various factions to discover bits and pieces of the bigger picture, always fumbling in the wrong direction. As early as 1924, anatomist, Raymond Dart uncovered the earliest australopithecines in South Africa. In the early 1950’s, paleontologists continued to gather fossil evidence in Olduvai Gorge to reveal a library of fossils, which seemed to represent a missing link in the earliest hominid development. (Smithsonian, 2000) The feeble effort to decipher how Cro-Magnon and Neanderthal man evolved only served to deepen the existing controversy that society had already dismissed as an attempt to trivialize the evolution of humanity.

Disturbed and perplexed with current trends, laymen also argue amongst themselves further widening the gulf between the Darwinians and biblical scholars. Such a disparaging dichotomy only serves to anger and polarize the frustrated laymen, making a reliable delineation impossible to comprehend. That brings us back to where we started.

The real mystery lurks in a different domain. It’s not a question of which faction is satisfied or whether man evolved from the apes, but rather how did we jump from the animal realm to the human realm? The evidence, which the majority choose to ignore, is all around us. It is a fact that every civilization on earth has a religion; a superior being marks every religion. Many religions hold that a messiah will come to legitimize man’s existence. Hence, people subscribe to the doctrine that God will lead the way to righteousness. As we peer deeper into the cultural aspect of human enterprise, we quickly realize that no other animal in the entire animal kingdom subscribes to such religious tenets. homo sapiens are further distinct from other animals in that they are bare, devoid of a fur coat. While animals such as the pachyderms share our hairless traits, they don other ornaments, such as convoluted skin, to shed heat in hot, arid climates. Human beings are simply vulnerable in a naked state. Still, other traits mark us as unique. Although many scientists have only recently figured out that most animals possess a far, more sophisticated communication ability than at first realized, our communication remains most superior.

We appear to be the only creatures that store knowledge and reasons in the abstract. Of course, animals such as cats can abstract information about a place to be able to calculate precisely how to attack pray (mouse) from any position in a given area. But a cat cannot contemplate the plight of characters in a novel! Only we can contemplate and succeed in space exploration.

Now it becomes invitingly clear that we dwell on a different sphere making it possible to speculate about fantastic sources of our origin. It was as recent as the 1960’s, during the famous Apollo flights to the moon that investigators began to realize the possibility of extraterrestrial life carried on comets. (Chyba, 1990). Carl Sagan and many others have speculated that it is very possible microbial life could have drifted here on comets or other matter, which cannot be denied. Over the last several decades, most serious scientists have come to understand that all life needs water and simple life can survive the vacuum of space under certain circumstances. (Hoyle & Wickramasinghe, 1978). Microbial life could have indeed started elsewhere, hitching a ride on a comet and found its way to earth. As wonderful as this idea appears, it does not explain the uniqueness of the human entity. A much bolder explanation is in order.

Perhaps life started elsewhere, as previously suggested. And then billions of years later, the creator decided to rekindle life, in a viable zone such as earth, by reseeding it with already developed homo sapiens species. It almost seems like the creator tried many times to seed the earth with man like creatures, which failed to evolve in the desired way. Perhaps they dropped homo sapiens on earth, say 20,000 years ago, allowing them to reach their full potential, modern man!

In reading this article, or re-reading it, it may seem that man could have evolved in this manner. It cannot be easily dismissed considering how out of phase we seem to be with the rest of life on earth. Perhaps we are the aliens on earth. To support this notion, just consider the following five observations:

1. Why do we worship the heavens as though our god dwells there?

2. Why are we endowed with such complex language that allows us to speculate about our origins?

3. Why do we possess the skill to store information as easily as a squirrel stores nuts for future consumption?

4. Why are we so vulnerable to other creatures, yet we are far cleverer to avoid dangers they pose?

5.Why do we have such an insatiable hunger to explore space?

References:

Chyba, C.F., Thomas, P.J., Brookshaw, L., & Sagan, C, "Cometrary Delivery of Organic Moleculrds to the Early Earth" P366-373, vol 249. Science, July 27, 1990

Hoyle, F., & Wiskramasinghe, C., Lifecloud: The Origin of Life in the Universe. Harper and Row, 1978.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Human Origins Program. Copyright: 2000. Last updated March, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2009 from http://anthropology.si.edu/humanorigins/index2.htm

(Copyright © 2009 by D. Wayne Dworsky)

Why Life on Earth?:

Blurb:

It’s no secret that life should start on Earth, at least in this solar system. After all, look how hostile the other solar system environments are. Some, gas giants, whose gravity would crush delicate life forms, or rocky worlds, whose proximity to the sun would broil fragile life, and distant ice worlds, far too cold to even contemplate. And this is nothing compared to the ferocious weather encountered on some worlds.

When we pose the question, why life and why Earth? we are forced to consider the conditions necessary for life to exist. Examining all the possible worlds that our galaxy allows us to form, we are quickly reminded how fragile our blue marble is. If you take away any of the necessary conditions for life, it would vanish in a blink. Our studies and undertakings have led us to realize that 10 distinct conditions that are necessary in order for life to exist in any particular place must be present. Indeed, we have found worlds that possess some one of these conditions—some planets have even possessed two or more, but life as we know it requires all ten conditions.

1. It has to ha ve the right temperature—not too hot, not too cold

2. It has to rotate—in order to produce weather

3. It has to revolve around its sun—to produce climate

4. It has to be the right size—too big, too much gravity; too small, too little

5. It has to have water—all life as we know it requires water

6. It has to be rocky—life cannot function on a gas planet

7. It has to have the right combination of gases—to protect us from meteorites.

8. It has to have a magnetic core—to protect the atmosphere from cosmic rays

9. It has to have an ozone layer—to protect the Earth from ultra-violet rays.

10. It has to have a way of recycling oxygen—for photosynthesis.

Why? First, we are vulnerable. Life can only tolerate limited temperature swings. Even those organism that can live in extremely hot or cold conditions have a limit. Conditions in space can far exceed any of these limits, creating situations that would invariably break down the molecular bonds that allow living creatures to live and replicate. Second, we are vastly complex. In Lewis Wolpert’s book, “How We Live & Why We Die,” he draws the incomprehensible complex world of cells—how miraculously they survive and replicate. Cells are powerhouses of form, pushing our most basic structures—our DNA, to function in ways that baffle our common sense. Wolpert even lays the claim that the DNA is self-regulating, able to make repairs on its own errors. These processes extend on outward, into the cell substructures and larger organs, extending out to the body itself.

And finally, the universe is huge beyond anyone can imagine. Even complex computer model cannot even approach the marvelous way in which the nature of giant structures can exist.

Life, however, is tenacious. Cells are driven to function and replicate. They are tough. Some scientists even speculate that very simple organisms may have even hitched rides on asteroids from distant stars.

We can reflect on our very existence. This last aspect is important to consider because since we are made up of the elements of the universe, it almost seems like the universe is becoming aware of itself.

Why are we so vulnerable? And why is life so tenacious—existing in places where it ought not exist? We blossom here on a thread, in a delicate balance of nature—taking advantage of certain situations that only exist because of the particular set of conditions that exist here on Earth. Scientists have studied life forms in extreme conditions. Life can survive in scalding water with virtually nothing to eat, deep in dark caves, at the depths of the ocean, unable to carry out photosynthesis. Microbes have adapted to rather harsh conditions near super hot volcanic vents called smokers deep beneath the oceans in total blackness because they can extract nutrients from the hot gases that they spew. Others have found bacteria within rocks deep below the ground in unthinkable places, consuming minerals for food. Still, others have found living organisms in scalding hot highly acidic springs in Yellowstone National Park.

Because we conclude that some 200 billion stars exist in our galaxy alone, and some 200 billion galaxies in the universe, it seems inevitable that we would find life outside our planet. Yet, the conditions for life are rather extraordinary. Just finding a rocky planet with oxygen is not good enough. There must be a system in tact that sustains these conditions. The more we reflect on these rather miraculous conditions, the more we realize that it may be a much harder job to find life outside of Earth than we originally thought.

A Desperate Universe:

Blurb:The journey through life via movement, consciousness, sex, and finally death is far more sobering than at first thought. It is equally disturbing to think that we must in fact die. We no longer are aware of the universe. It is as though all the files have been deleted and the operating system won’t boot up.

As other observances of the life processes cross our minds, we cannot help reflect upon our very existence and dream about what we owe to our consciousness to arrive at this shocking truth of awareness. Is it a freak of nature, an accident or a sublime scheme conjured up by some self-actuating force? Or is there only one life force that is spread out uniquely throughout the universe?

We are aware of ourselves even at very young ages. Are cats similarly aware of themselves or only partially aware, perhaps aware of only their actions in the environment, but much less aware of the larger universe? Where does that leave simpler creatures that only live a short time, but in large numbers? What is the nature of their awareness paradigm in the scheme of things? And what of plants, bacteria and virus? What may their roles be? So living creatures are born only to die? Or is there something else?

Torturing as it may be to our awareness of life, we also observe that everything must in fact die. I came across a very strange book, entitled, The Whole Death Catalog by Harold Schechter. In it, he explores every chilling aspect of death. We are promptly reminded about death in every corridor of life. Not only do all living things die, but all non-living, physical objects of the universe also die. Cars are born on an assembly line. They get used, grow old, wither and die. Ships and airplanes are also born, used, get old and die. Houses are built, used, grow old and die. We see mountains rise and fall, islands emerge and succumb, and rivers stream, meander and dry up. Even planets buzz around accretion discs in great orbits only to meet their demise when they encounter the gravity well that draws them into the star that gave them life. Even giant suns strewn across this vast universe ignite, snapping into existence, use up their fuel, grow old and eventually fizzle out. Why must everything die? According to Nick Lane, in his book, Life Ascending, “Death…is programmed into the very fabric of life,” embodies the price of immortality. By immortality, I mean that everything in the universe is constantly recycled. Mountains rise, whither away by the process of weathering only to be rebuilt by plate tectonics and volcanism, rising, scraping the clouds majestically once more.

On a much larger scale, old stars die, sometimes exploding violently, giving rise to stellar nurseries in giant nebulae, thousands of light years across, giving birth to new stars. We owe our very existence to the fact that we are made of star stuff, says the late Carl Sagan. By that, I mean stars make heavy elements like calcium, copper, zinc and iron, which make up our flesh, blood and bones. Stars race around giant black holes at their galactic centers, driving themselves to their doom, sucked into a gaping, inescapable, abyss. These colossal powers are just some of the many that are so far beyond our comprehension and imagination it humbles us to reflect upon them.

We observe that birth and death are imbued with sex, splitting the nature of life into two distinct realms. This dichotomy is everywhere. Male and female, expand and contract, right and wrong, left and right, up and down, in and out, pull and push, plus and minus, black and white, yes and no, positive and negative, energy and matter, ying and yang, life and death. So, everything in the universe has a partner, as if God cannot stand being alone.

Since we are made of everything in the universe and that we are questioning our own existence, even in this very article, would imply that the universe is questioning its own existence. Oh, yes! Just as a child wonders why he or she is alive, the universe seems to be wondering why it’s alive! Then we have the paradox. A strange little logic device to tinker with, provoking the thought of time travel. And other haunting problems that are inconsistent with common sense. What if we could travel back to the past and change something. Wouldn’t that alter the present? How weird! If we went to the future, in the future, that action would force it to exist in the past. I’m getting dizzy! Optical illusions create situations that are not what they seem to be. When we look at an optical illusion, our mind is tricked.

“Thus conscious doth make cowards of us all and thus the native hue of resolution is sicklied o’er the pale cast of thought with great pith and moment. With this regard, our currents turn awry and lose the name of action…”—Shakespeare.

Death of Humanity!:

Blurb: Are we headed for a disaster? It’s so crystal clear! All the signs are there.

Since the 1950’s the world’s been changing ever more rapidly. Its rate of change during the past 60 years has actually increased and continues to do so at an alarming rate. In fact, it has changed more in the last 10 years than it has since prehistory. What is the implication of this radical growth rate? One of the more significant changes is the world population. Here’s the irony: places in the world that experience the greatest population increase are the poorest countries. What makes this so alarming is that these places are least able to support their current populations. Increases put tremendous strains on these places, and growth increases make their survival impossible. It’s like waiting for a detonated bomb to go off.

According to the National Census Bureau, the current world population is estimated at 6.7 billion and is growing at the alarming rate of close to 2% per year. Just to emphasize, that’s 2% of the previous year’s population. In other words, its growth rate is compounded, just like bank interest. This is nothing new. By the year 2050, population is estimated to reach 9.4 billion. Where will all these people fit? If you ever look out at the landscape from an aircraft, you will be very alarmed. It’s crowded down there. Now, imagine the population nearly doubled. Twice as many houses, businesses, cars, airplanes, boats, trains, trailer trucks, etc. Then there will be twice as much demand on the world’s resources, twice as much use of petroleum. Too many people put a strain on the food supply. Too many people put a strain on our political borders. Too many people put a strain on our health systems. Too many people put a strain on the earth’s resources. Even if nothing catastrophic happens to the earth in the foreseeable future, the growth rate alone is enough to put the world out of business.

If a global warming issue were to be realized and causes a glacial meltdown, it has been estimated that ocean levels can rise as much as 200 feet. This event would literally wipe out 80% of all the coastal cities, which would displace a vast number of people. The consequence of this urban loss will impact how business is done worldwide, affecting the food supply, energy production, and exploitation of natural resources.

If a global catastrophe were to occur, say a meteor strike or a super-massive volcano or excess global warming (See my article Ten Ways Life on Earth Can End), just to name a few, the strain on the already bloated population will inevitably lead to famine, war, political upheavals that we have not seen in hundreds of years. In short, it would reduce the stability of our world to such a significant degree that the land would be lawless; people would be desperate, every man for himself. There would be no courtesy for our neighbor as it was in the middle ages, no sympathy for the weak, and no consideration for the future. We don’t need proof. It’s obvious. It’s happed before and it will happen again.

Every species on the face of the earth has faced annihilation due to overcrowding. When a population reaches a critical mass, it invariably breaks down. The population will break down, either by disease, by fights, or by parasites that take advantage of the easy pickings caused by the societal weakness born out of overcrowding. It is a well-known fact that opportunists will take advantage of situations in which easy pickings prevails.

Ant colonies fall, abundant spider populations use up their food supply and dwindle, resilient termite colonies fizzle out. Virtually all animal specialists succumb. The mighty dinosaurs disappeared. Even countries have fallen after a while due to their greed, waste and overpopulation. They disintegrate just like everything else in the universe. (See my article The Desperate Universe)

There is a way out. It’s simple: we need to control our population growth. China is doing it. Japan is doing it. However, in this country, and in South America, many with voices will shout that the way to do it appears to target the Black, the Spanish, etc. But if we are to survive as human beings in this modern world, we need to tighten our belts and delay our own, shortsighted and selfish gratification.

 


|Home| |Show Blogs--Guests' Details| |News| |Guest List| |Science Book Reviews| |Mathematics Book Review| |Science Fiction Reviews| |Science Articles| |Famous Scientists| |Famous Sci-Fi Writers| |Links| |Resume| |Bio|


Copyright © 2010 by Alpha Centauri & Beyond