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Download Countdown To Apocalypse: A Scientific Exploration Of The End by Paul Halpern PDF

By Paul Halpern

Encouraged via the top of the millennium, celebrated technological know-how author Paul Halpern tackles the destiny of human civilization and our planet during this meditation at the finish of the area. starting with the non secular origins of the belief of apocalypse, Halpern exhibits how technological know-how has borrowed the metaphor to explain power around the globe catastrophes. He spins out a number of eventualities for destruction, from nuclear battle and worldwide warming to an outstanding flood and a brand new Ice Age. He argues that whereas human heritage will sometime come to a close-even if we survived for billions of years, we'd finally face the top of the universe itself-in the period in-between we have now received impressive regulate over our destiny as a species. confronted with the facility to lead our planet towards paradise or remodel it into hell, he says, we needs to take steps to prevent these catalysts of apocalypse which are inside our keep an eye on.

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Surely doomsday must have seemed at hand. Finally, imagine their enormous relief when the fireball left the skies and the world was found to be completely unharmed. Even in the modern era, the coming of comets has triggered panic. In 1997, the spectacular appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp over the skies of the Northern Hemisphere inspired one of the worst cases of mass suicide in history. Believing that an alien spaceship lurked behind Hale-Bopp, thirty-nine members of the Heaven's Gate group chose to end their own lives abruptly.

7 In other words, once every three hundred thousand years, on average, a comet or asteroid large enough (estimated to be 1 kilometer in diameter or greater) to wreak enough havoc to wipe out advanced society (though not necessarily all of humankind) is due to strike Earth. These chances, though small, are still frightening. Imagine the bulk of humankind's crowning achievements—scientific, artistic, po- 34 COUNTDOWN TO APOCALYPSE litical, and social institutions—crumbling into dust in the face of global cataclysm.

Many early peoples, familiar with the ravaging impact of water, could readily picture the horrors of a. downpour that refused to let up for weeks. They could quite vividly imagine the nightmare of buckets and buckets of rain pouring down upon the Earth relentlessly, flooding streams and rivers, valleys and plains. Considering the damage that an ordinary deluge could do, they dreaded the destructive force of a universal flood. The ruination of agriculture, the inundation of towns and cities, and ultimately the THE FLOODS OF BABYLON 45 near-annihilation of the human race were all part of their diluvial or great flood imagery, Legend of Atlantis Aside from the tale of Noah, perhaps the most famous flood story in antiquity is the legend of Atlantis, The Atlantis chronicles first appeared in Plato's Timaeus.

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