"It is important for the human race to spread out into space for the survival of the species," Hawking said. "Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global warming, nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of."
Ron Coleman on liberal blog Dean's World, doubts Hawking's assertions that humans are at risk of imminent extintion. He takes issue with Hawking's lack of evidence to back up what Coleman describes as Hawking's usual "musings."
A fun website, Exit Mundi, that playfully but comprehensively presents the lion's share of end-of-world scenarios categorizes theories into groups such as "any day now, near future, distant future, and religion."
The posting about the Islamic scenario, Al-Qiyamah, from this site is quite interesting:
Oh, that good old Koran story about the end of days! The end of times as outlined in Muslim writings is one of the very finest religious apocalyptic scenario's around: rich in detail, vivid, and far reaching in religious implications. No wonder so many Muslims are deeply convinced judgment day (`Qiyamah', in Koran terminology) will come about one day.In fact, many of the signs of the end of times are gleaned from the prophetic hadith, the sayings, teachings, prophesies, and actions of our the final Prophet, Muhammad (SAWS).
So here's what will happen. The Koran discernes `minor' and `major' omens predicting the end of days. Many of the `minor' omens (there are 72 signs in total) are already here for everybody to be seen. Men will behave more like women and women will imitate men. Men will dress in silk. Children will be disobeyant, and youngsters will be role-models. People who used to be shepherds will build tall buildings.
And there's more. Many will engage in dangerous sports, divorces will be a daily occurrence and people will favour their friends over their families. Liquor will be consumed in the streets, and dancing and wild music will be everywhere. Religious leaders will make worldly profits, while intellectuals rather engage in science than in the study of religion. Also, there will be the usual apocalyptic rumble-a-bumble: earthquakes, devastating wars, storms and floods. If you add things up, it looks like the end of days is quite near, don't you think?
As a believer, I'm inclined to see the Islamic as the most accurate and if current events are any indication, God and his Messenger are right. Even if we wanted to colonize space, it probably wouldn't be much of a success since the nearest planetary solar system is 80 years away at a speed that we will never attain, and may not have a class G planet anyway. Terraformation on Mars? Keep dreaming. It took hundreds of millions of years to get the atmosphere up and running on this planet. Our best hope remains in God, Judgement Day, and the After Life.
Tags: Science, Islam