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What If…

May 1, 2009

The World Ended?

Ah, the end of the world. What a refreshingly new topic to discuss…NOT. I think that for as long as people have been able to grasp the concept of death, there has been speculation as to just how the world as we know it will come to an end. Meteorites are somewhat plausible, especially considering that it is almost impossible for us to predict the behavior of these things in space. There was a meteor several years back that almost struck Earth, and it was certainly large enough to cause wide-spread damage if it had, that we did not even detect until it had missed us. An unpredictable threat such as this is highly likely to be “the end of it all” as we wouldn’t even know what was going on until it was too late.

Global warming…hmmm… Well, considering that some scientists believe that we may actually be in a period of global cooling, I don’t think this is that much of a threat. And honestly, I think even if it were to be a threat, it would only be threatening to our race and a large number of the species that live upon the planet. I don’t believe that it could actually cause the destruction of the earth.

Nuclear weapons are another strong possibility because as humans, if an enemy were to attack us with dangerous weapons, we would probably be too busy getting our revenge to save ourselves. However, this goes back to my belief that it could easily spell the end of the human race rather than the actual planet. I mean yes, the planet’s surface would be greatly altered after such an attack, but I do believe that it would at least still exist.

Zombies…ah, zombies. I think that would be fun.

Once again, the problem with the superflu idea is that it could easily spell the end of the human race, but not necessarily the planet.

So I suppose that brings me to my real point. “The end of the world” is not a very specific phrase. By “world ending” does this prompt mean (as is usually implied) the end of human civilization? Or, does it mean (as I usually define it) the destruction of the planet Earth? And if it is the latter, does destruction simply mean destroying the Earth as we know it to be now, or does it mean, no more Earth in existence?

As for the destruction of the human race, I can easily see a meteor or some other celestial body brutally slamming into and raping this planet of all we hold dear. The universe is in constant motion and it is constantly changing about us as we progress through life. Therefore, I find it highly likely that some sort of epic celestial event (be it some large body colliding with us, or simply an event that strongly effects our planet) could be the cause of the end of both human life and the Earth.

But, I can also see humans taking a similar path to that of other animals. Mass extinction was once much more common, millions of years ago. And even now, as one species grows stronger in its given environment, it exhausts its home of the resources necessary to support it and dies out. This is not unusual; it is the way of life. I believe that one day the human race shall follow this path, and that this is more likely than any catastrophic event. Any given environment can only support a certain number of one species. Once that peak number is reached, resources become scarce and that species begins to die out. It may make a miraculous recovery once its numbers have been diminished; it may not. It may tire out its environment and that could be the end of it, but all things do eventually come to an end, regardless of how quickly or slowly. I think this is the fate our human world. I don’t feel this way because I believe that progress is “bad” and that we should all cast off our present society and live as chimpanzees. However, I do believe that one day the human race will wear out the things necessary to keep it on this earth. This is how I see our unavoidable end. A natural end, not necessarily reached because of the so-called “evils” of civilization, but most likely aided by them in a natural process that all species go through.

But zombies would be pretty damn cool too.

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