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Archive for Friday, January 15, 2010

Predicting ‘end of time’ takes an optimistic turn

January 15, 2010

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— Man is the only creature that knows it’s going to die, and atomic scientists are the only professionals who measure the amount of time before man annihilates himself. But there is good news from those scientists: Humanity inched away from Armageddon on Thursday morning. The Doomsday Clock was set back one minute, from 11:55 to 11:54, reversing a precipitous slide toward midnight, the zero hour, ultimate self-destruction.

The clock was reset to reflect a “more hopeful state of world affairs,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced at the New York Academy of Sciences and over a live feed on the Internet. Forty policymakers, scientists and Nobel laureates on the board of the Bulletin — an online magazine that covers threats to humanity — decided to move the clock after spirited debates about current trends in science and politics.

This is the 19th time the clock has moved in 63 years. The creators of the Manhattan Project wound up the symbolic device in 1947 to remind the world of the consequence of abusing nuclear power.

Comments

anon1958 4 years, 11 months ago

"Man is the only creature that knows it’s going to die, and atomic scientists are the only professionals who measure the amount of time before man annihilates himself. blah blah blah"

What a bunch of bs, malarky, hooey and baloney.

This drivel pretending to be wisdom completely ignores the extremely dangerous situation of the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. Those nukes are far more likely to ignite a thermonuclear war on purpose than an exchange between the USA and USSR during the cold war on the account of accident or misunderstanding.

The people in charge of the armageddon clock are not "measuring" anything. They are just not credible because they are simply geussing and their guesses are based on how they feel (hopeful) rather than any kind of meaningful analysis.

The armageddon clock was a good publicity stunt when it was launched. It seems to have taken on a life of its own in the following decades and has a credibility and newsworthiness that is unearned. Just because some people with big names and high achievements have signed on to it does not mean that the advancement or digression of the time announced by the clock has any coherence with reality.

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