The Science of the Real End of The World

"I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again." -Eric Roth, screenwriter

Forget the prognosticators, the fortune-tellers and the mediums. Pay no mind to the soothsayers, the prophets, the augurs and diviners. The seers see no more than any other sighted person, the omen-interpreters have been superseded by the ornithologists, the psychics made obsolete by the scientists.

Because if doomsday ever does approach, we won't be warned because of an ancient prediction, but rather because we listened to and made steps towards understanding the Universe around us.

Image credit: NASA / Paul Chodas, Jon Giorgini & Don Yeomans / JPL NEO Program Office.

So forget about whatever end-of-the-world conspiracy you've heard, whether it's the current flavor or any other, and let's get right down to the science of it.

The world -- the beautiful, terrifying, and wonderful Earth that all humans and our distant cousins and ancestors have lived upon -- will not last forever, and neither will we, nor will our descendants. At some point, this will all be gone.

Image credit: the MODIS instrument on NASA's Terra satellite.

Our living world, the Earth, will not live forever, and neither will anything on it. But that is a simple scientific truth, and it is a consequence of the way we came to exist. We continue to learn as much as we can about how everything in the Universe works -- from the origin of spacetime and matter to the origin and evolution of life on Earth -- and it is, without a doubt, the most remarkable story ever conceived of.

Image credit: The Flame Nebula in IR by ESO / J. Emerson / VISTA. Mods unknown.

This Universe was born without life, planets, or even the elements needed to piece them together. It was only through a series of the most violent processes known in nature -- where the plasma of the hot, early Universe cooled to form nuclei and atoms, those atoms cooled and contracted under gravity to form stars, generations of stars burned through their nuclear fuel, enriching the Universe with heavy elements -- that enabled the Universe to eventually form new generations of stars with planets, complex molecules, and eventually life.

But just as Carl Sagan did exactly 16 years ago today, no living organism lives forever, and we all succumb to the mercy of time.

Image credit: Johan Mathiesen of

The death of an individual life is not the end of the world, but for each of us, when it comes to our own lives, it may as well be; it is the end of our personal world.

Coming to terms with our own mortality is something that it would not only serve us all well to do, but to recognize that this is a journey and an existential struggle that all humans should have the intelligence and bravery to face. If you don't come to terms with that, how else would you come to terms with this next fact?

Image credit: Tony Narcisse.

Human life on this world will very likely continue to exist after you have ceased to do so.

There are seven billion of us now, inhabiting all seven continents, including many regions that were once thought to be uninhabitable. The damage that we do to this world and to one another can be catastrophic, but life is resilient and there are a great many of us. Moreover, the Earth comes equipped with a number of defenses against the most common types of dangerous occurrences, such as our substantial, layered atmosphere and our self-sustaining magnetic field.

Image/illustration credit: NASA.

Most of the doomsday scenarios you hear of -- earthquakes, volcanoes, solar flares, nearby supernovae, asteroid strikes, etc. -- would be potentially destructive to humans, but wouldn't wipe out all humans on Earth. Unless a real catastrophe happens, humans will continue to exist for many generations to come.

But that does not equate to forever.

Image credit: Nuclear test on the Mururoa atoll in French Polynesia; AP Photo.

At some point in time, either through catastrophe or evolution, human beings will cease to exist.

There are some real catastrophes that can cause the extinction of our species. These can be man-wrought, such as through catastrophic modification of the environment, global nuclear war, or collapse of the food chain, or it can be natural, such as an "Earth-killer" asteroid strike, a very nearby supernova, or -- perhaps most prosaically -- enough time, genetic mutation, and natural selection so that our surviving descendants, long-term, cease to possess the qualities that we have determined "make us human."

Image credit: Patrick Bolvin. Yes, it's a joke; I know that's not how evolution works!

But even in these catastrophic cases, even after the last human has died off, life on Earth will continue to exist.

During the worst mass extinctions in Earth's history, 30-to-50% of the species living on our planet at that time died off. Even 65 million years ago, with the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs, more than half of the species survived! And no matter what doomsday scenario we concoct, there is nothing we've yet conceived of that could halt the life cycle of every bacteria, virus, protist and fungus on Earth, including species so far removed from our experience that they don't even require the Sun!

Image credit: NOAA PMEL Vents Program.

The day will come, however, where even the most elusive life in the deepest hydrothermal vent will cease to survive and reproduce. An estimated one-to-two billion years in the future, all life on Earth will cease to exist. And you can thank the Sun for that.

Image credit: Wikipedia user RJHall, based on Ribas, Ignasi (2010).

As the Sun continues to burn through its nuclear fuel, it burns faster and more luminous, and over time, that increased energy output will be sufficient to increase the surface temperature of the Earth above the boiling point of water. And when it does, the oceans will cease to exist, and so will the basic biological processes that drive all life on Earth as we understand it.

In one sense, one-to-two billion years from now, that will be the end of the world. But in another sense, the Earth will still be here, albeit devoid of life, just like all the other worlds (we think) in our Solar System. But even that will not last forever.

Image credit: Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Because in five-to-seven billion years, the Sun will run out of hydrogen in its core and become over a hundred times as large and luminous as it is today, entering its red giant phase. At this point, it will roast the Earth with wave after wave of ionized plasma, stripping off our entire atmosphere and possibly engulfing our entire world into the central star itself.

That, truly, will be the end of the world.

Image credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).

And yet, the many atoms that made up the Earth, that made up past and (relative to us) future life on Earth, and that make us up right now, will be returned to the interstellar medium, where they will someday make future generations of stars, planets, and possibly living creatures once again.

The real end of the world is not yet upon us, but when it does come, it is far more wonderful and terrifying than any doomsdayer has ever prophesied. And I hope you never forget just how spectacular and precious your existence -- in the midst of all of it -- happens to be.

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So beautifully stated in its simplicity, directness, and with its knowledge.

By Theo Dzielak (not verified) on 20 Dec 2012 #permalink

just beautiful Professor. thank you

Well, yeah, but...

12/21/12 (in the Central Time Zone where the Mayans lived) ain't over yet...

By Stackpole (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

@Stackpole Maybe, but the exact moment of the solstice was over four hours ago as I write this. I like to think if the world was going to end for a completely non-scientific yet also not completely random and unpredictable reason, it'd be at that moment. So I'm going to say that "logically" we're fine.

And/or the Earth was already destroyed:

I'm not waiting around to get roasted alive. I'm getting outta here!

I accept that I'll die, but I don't have to like it. Assuming some amazing technology someday exists to digitize everyone alive at that point (a big assumption, bigger than transhumanists realize), I'd love to have it. Some say "you'll get bored", but assuming that level of technology, modifying my state of mind to NEVER be bored of living would be trivial.

By Dark Jaguar (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

So clearly we need really AWESOME technology to divert all that extra energy into warp-drives and stuff, so Terra remains nice and comfy. :)

By Russ in Texas (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

You are nuts!

The only issue I have to this article is the author's inclusion of nuclear war as a cause. It would be almost impossible for even the worst scenario of the cold war time for a thermonuclear war to have wiped out all life on the planet - or even all human life. A "global" thermonuclear exchange between the USA and Soviet Union and their allies, even in a worst case scenario would have involved nuclear exchanges that would have been limited (by and large) to the Northern Hemisphere, and (longitudinally) to a narrow band on this hemisphere. There were simply not very many targets in the Southern Hemisphere, and most of those would have been in Australia and possibly South Africa.

Even at that time, over a billion people lived in parts of the world that would not have been affected, even by radiation - or only minimally.

we here on rigel 4 know the date of your planet's demise, and the form of your destructor.

By mullah jim (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

That graph makes me sad. By adopting a linear and not a logarithmic scale, Ribas loses the opportunity to show the nice linear relationship between luminosity, radius, and temperature

log(L/Lo) = 2 log (R/Ro) + 4 log(T/To)

I tried tracking the data source down but got lost in a nightmare world of .tar balls and postscript files.

i just tried to find Australia on Google Maps and got a message:

"404-the requested continent was not found"

what does that mean?

A simple, scientific and down to earth approach to the End of the Earth scenario in distant future. End is unavoidable and as this article and Prof Brian Cox also states, in his Wonders of the solar system and wonders of the universe series, everything including the time itself will cease to exist and all that will remain will be a vast empty space with no dimensions at all. So lets all stop worrying about the end and live our lives to the fullest.

There is no scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe, so why should there be one for the end? Ex nihilo is something only God can do, and he has left us the evidence that he did it: great natural laws, love, beauty, and a beginning that can't be explained without him. So this article is as much speculation as any other, and is no more science than a belief in the Bible.

If the cheesey attempts at being lyrical, mystical, and profound were removed, this article would be about 2 paragraphs long. And don't get me started on those goofy, big pictures. The author should start a cult.

By Name Withheld (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

@Allen: "There is no scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe, so why should there be one for the end?"
Because we know very well what is going to invariably happen to our sun. We've observed the death of stars, and we know that our very own sun will unavoidably have the same eventual fate. Once our sun is gone, our entire solar system is done for. Although technically, Earth will no longer be able to sustain life for quite some time before our sun implodes on us. All of this is assuming, of course, some massive asteroid doesn't smack right into us first. Although I suppose if you were discussing the specifics of how life on Earth will end, you have a point. We can't presume to know *exactly* how we'll all be doomed; we simply know that it is an inevitability.

Ethan, I understand the overall arch of this, but it veers uncomfortably with climate change denialists saying that because in the Miocene or Jurassic most of Wyoming was a shallow sea that it's okay now to burn all the coal on Earth and melt the ice caps just because it something like that happened 60 million years ago.

By Douglas Watts (not verified) on 21 Dec 2012 #permalink

"But just as Carl Sagan did exactly 16 years ago today, no living organism lives forever, and we all succumb to the mercy of time."

It's true that Carl Sagan did not live forever on that day 16 years ago; but that's also true about every other day.

By Keith M Ellis (not verified) on 22 Dec 2012 #permalink

@Douglass you (ie we) are not entitled to the earth climate we have today, to be forever. climate forces will modify over time with or without human participation.

By copernicus34 (not verified) on 22 Dec 2012 #permalink

@copernicus34, that we are not "entitled" to a static climate is neither here nor there. We are entitled to nothing; certainly nothing else in the natural world. If we are not entitled to a friendly climate, we are not entitled to friendly weather, and we are not entitled to irrigated agriculture or aqueducts sending water to cities in the desert, or heat against the cold of winter. We are not entitled to protection or treatment from disease. We are not entitled to dredging harbors against silt. We are not entitled to anything we do that is an exertion of our will against the natural world to our own interest. If your principle premise is this lack of entitlement, then it follows that we are also not entitled to be doing the very things we are doing to alter the climate. So your argument isn't even wrong, to quote Pauli — it's trivially true, with no relevance at all.

Yours is stupid argument. But I feel certain you believe that it is profound.

By Keith M Ellis (not verified) on 22 Dec 2012 #permalink

what a prosaic pathetic life you must lead to author this dross. the universe is definitely worse off because this dreck was written.

Very cogent article, not alarmist, but only too real. It makes me wonder about the succeedding generations and millenia to come when the atmospheres really start to change. How will the then-"humans" react. Will politeness still exist...or will the law of nature long since overridden everything and everyone? Glad to be here now, but not then...

By Paul R Jefferson (not verified) on 26 Dec 2012 #permalink

Allen from Indiana, are you a professional comedy writer? Your post is most excellent parody, I was laughing out loud. Great send up of the insane faithiests. keep up the good satire.

By dave the rave (not verified) on 27 Dec 2012 #permalink

A supercivilisation can move the Earth outwards by having massive asteroids cycle between Earth and Jupiter millions of times, transferring momentum (I am not saying it would be easy).
With that technology, terraforming other planets would be almost trivial. Of course, we have no idea wether "strong" AI would be interested in that.

By Birger Johansson (not verified) on 27 Dec 2012 #permalink

Ethan, this is one of your most beautiful posts ever. I am sending it on to friends and family.

Won't the moon cycle away from us in one hundred thousand years? Won't the planet become horribly unstable then for human life?
Isn't that how long we really have? (I have to plan for my retirement)

By joseph berk (not verified) on 31 Jan 2013 #permalink

joseph berk,

The moon will not recede from the earth forever. Once the earth and moon become tidally locked, the recession will stop. The recession of the moon arises from the slowing of the earth's rotation as a result of tidal friction. The tidal bulge generates friction on the earth, leading to the slowdown of the earth's rotation. Energy is conserved, so the loss of energy associated with this slowdown must be accompanied by a gain in energy somewhere else. That gain comes by the moon's moving to a higher energy orbit, ie. an orbit farther from the earth.

Once the tidal friction stops, the recession will as well. The friction arises because the earth's rotation is much faster than the moon's revolution around the earth. At some point, the earth's rotation will slow down to the point where the rotational period of the earth matches the revolutionary period of the moon. At that point, the tidal friction goes away and the moon stops receding.

However, even if the moon were to disappear tomorrow, how would that make the earth unsuitable for life? I realize that the tides would be seriously diminished (there would still be small tidal effects from the sun), but that would only pose a problem for the original evolution of life, not for life currently in existence. Certainly, some species would likely go extinct (those living in the intertidal zone would likely be doomed), but why would life on earth in general be in any trouble?

Although a very moving piece, i am confused in the part the rest heavy on the sun. Is the sun our main concern for the death of Earth? and if so, will all of the other planets essentially "die" too do to the sun becoming so large. this websites seems to agree that the Earth has increasingly become brighter, but they talking about "ice ball planets" migrate towards the sun over the years? Is this a bad thing, and is there something we could do to stop it.
Another question i have, there has been much talk about people are to blame for when the Earth goes extinct. The whole "go green" that has become very much popular, could other plants be doing this same self-harm to other planets if they have living things on it?
Lastly, is their any evidence that there will be another man-wrought devastation, and will it be as bad as the last one this planet has seen.

It's weird to think about the catastrophic events that could happen and still not completely eliminate the 7 billion people that inhabit this planet. I'll never understand why people think nuclear war would do it when there are plenty of countries who would not be involved and would remain unaffected. I even think that if a sizable asteroid was approaching the earth that we have the technology and fire power able to disintegrate it before it enters the atmosphere. It's important for us to continue to study the effects that we as humans are having on the earth and develop new methods to solve things such as energy crises and greenhouse effects. Even if it takes so much time that we ourselves don't get to see the benefits, we could leave this world knowing that we made it a better place for our future generations. As much as people think they know, the end will never be certain.

Mars will probably be "fine", but die a heat death anyway since the white dwarf won't be warm enough to heat Mars beyond the temperature of, say, Neptune.

The earth is actually about 95% of the way through the "goldilocks zone" to being too close to the sun.

And, yes, the clathrate bomb could see CO2 levels and ecology change more devastating than that of the PETM which killed off many more species than the famous extinction that killed of the dinos.

This post was very well developed, and it can be inferred that the poster is very passionate about this topic. The end of the world is something that has been debated and debated through numerous religions, personal views, and science observations and will continue to be until the end. What I found refreshing is the context which the end of the world was discussed. The frame of reference of Armageddon (human life, all life forms, and the planet itself) is exactly the ideas we need to further explore and debate on. It is very narrow minded for us as a species to only consider our own fate and when that may be. There are many more species out there that if the conditions are right will fill the void our species will leave behind. According to scientists and many other blogging site discussions (such as believe that squids and other similarly intelligent animals will have the best bet for fill our niche. Animals like us have only been around for a few million years, and each has had a limited reign on the planet like the dinosaurs. Something will take our place once we are extinct, and the world will keep on turning. The second topic of the planet being lifeless, I believe, will happen much closer to the complete annihilation of Earth. Even then, the chances are that microscopic organisms such as extremophiles will still survive. It is clear that we won't see the complete and utter end of our planet with your example of the sun, but the questions are out there and there is much postulating left to do.

Even though this would be in billions of years to come this is the single most real sounding event that could occur to destroy all human life. If the sun ceased to exist or boiled us over not a single human would survive and the Earth would no longer exist.

If the Earth is going to be "cooked" in an estimated 1-2 billion years from now, our technology will be so advanced that we as humans will be far from Earth, mabye even having a new sun? I do think that it is cool that we can already calculate when this event is going to happen through physics but what about random events such as a gigantic asteroid? Do we know when these events will happen?

I strongly agree with #29. We as humans are the main cause to the deterioration of Earth with global warming and the greenhouse effect being the top priorities. Yes, there are other catastrophes that can cause the 'end of the world' but humans are just accelerating Earth to its death. I can agree with the blog about nuclear wars and other such wars taking out a majority of the population but it wont take the whole population out.

By Taylor Brown (not verified) on 12 Feb 2013 #permalink

I agree with what the author says about the world eventually ending because all stars and objects in a galaxy come to an end. I disagree however that it will be because of any type of "Earth Killing" comet strike similar to what wiped out the dinosaurs. The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. The have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA Near-Earth Object Program Office website to prove this will not be the fate of the earth.

By Douglas Rigg (not verified) on 12 Feb 2013 #permalink

I wanted to comment on the part of the article about evolution and humans ceasing to exist as humans. It is not possible for humans to exist as anything but what they are. Although, it is true that mutation occurs and can altar characteristics, proteins, etc. Mutation cannot change enough of a human to become something else like a pig. Evolution can only change a character in a small way over a long period of time. The only possible way for humans to evolve into something else would be to isolate themselves from the entire human population and only than after an extensive period of time like millions of years can they evolve. That however, is not even possible because humans make up too much of the earth to be isolated.

Personally I feel as if humans will become extinct way before anything will ruin the life on earth or even once all life on Earth has disappeared. I feel that humans now a days are advancing too quickly which is also leading humans to be more unhealthy and less active. I have a feeling that no catastrophic event will take the life of humans but humans will take the life of humans. I do wonder what the world will be like once I am gone from my personal world but I am also curious as to how many universes have gone through the same destruction that our universe will some day face.

By Crystal Weaver (not verified) on 12 Feb 2013 #permalink

I agree with #26. As the moon begins to move away, the forces that come with it begin to become weaker. For example, the moon is responsible for our tides. Without those forces, our land would be either engulfed by water, or we could experience extreme weather changes. However, if the moon were to stay then I definitely agree with the idea of the sun engulfing our planet.

This blog was interesting; however, I do question some of the logic. To say that the world will end in 5-7 billion years is an astronomical number. With that said, why would humans be wiped out before then? I understand that we continue to ruin the atomsphere daily (global warming), but what are the chances of an actual all out nuclear war or a disaster that wipes out all humans? It seems very unlikely, and like Douglas pointed out, hasn't happened in 65 million years. Also, by that time it is likely that we would have some sort of technology to evade certain disasters.

With that being said, I would also like to comment on the discussion involving evolution. I do not believe that evolution will be a factor in the extinction of the human race. It seems that we continue to evolve into a bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter species. If humans do continue this trend, there are limitless possibilities to what could be prevented from happening. Look into the past, even in the last couple hundred years and look at the species evolving at an astronomical rate and so is technology. The possibilities truly do seem limitless.

With all of that said, I do believe that the end of the world will be a result of the sun changing phases and I also agree with the blog when it discusses the realization of death and the end of the human race. Overall, this blog was actually very thought provoking and does remind the audience that death is inevitable; however, no one can truly know what will happen in the next couple billion years. I mean, do you think George Washington could have predicted the iPhone 5?

I'm glad to have stumbled on this inspiring article and get some kind of scientific understanding on how our universe will supposedly be like in the far future. It's important to know that in 5 to 7 billion years from now the sun will literally burn up the earth due to its massive increase in size and lack of hydrogen in its core. For years there has been constant talk about the world coming to an end and tons of people out there believing these ignorant tales. This article allows you to get a more sense of belief and understanding of how the "end of the world" will be and why.

No one knows for sure how the world was created so how can they say at the end of the blog that new life might once again be formed? I think that the human race will cease to exist way before the sun has a chance to wipe us all out. If the above graph is correct and the sun is constantly getting hotter all the time and heating the earth, than are humans really the cause of global warming or is it just happening naturally from the sun? If this is the case than is there really anything we can do to stop global warming either?

According to Newtons 3rd Law, for every action, there is an equal but opposite action. So when stating that the moon begins to move away and the forces become weaker, doesn't that just mean that the forces are just as weak towards the Earth? What does that do to the Moon? If the moon is responsible for our tides, is there anything that we do to the Moon that will decline as we move away? In stating that, how does that relate to the Suns forces? When its growing in magnitude like it says above in the blog, are the forces of the sun greater on the Earth than the Earth's are on the Sun? Because if so, then that would no longer fall under Newton's 3rd Law. If this is true about the Sun engulfing the Earth, will it continue down our solar system and engulf them as well?

"No one knows for sure how the world was created so how can they say at the end of the blog that new life might once again be formed?"

Because the creation of the world isn't anything about the creation of life on it.

"Without those forces, our land would be either engulfed by water, or we could experience extreme weather "

The moon doesn't keep land above the ocean. Indeed the moon is why some of the land becomes inundated (by high tide).

And weather is driven by the temperature difference between the equator and the poles, not the presence of the moon.

For the most part, I can see the logic that has been established in order to come to such conclusions, however there are a few discrepancies within the reasoning that I do not agree with.
First, by now I believe that everyone knows that all living things will eventually come to die. In saying so, I do not agree that human life will cease to exist before the Earth has been fully eradicated of life. I largely disagree with the possibilities of a global nuclear war, collapse in the food change, and a change in evolution that will cause the demise of the human race. As long as the leaders and their countries continue to understand that in order to thrive they must assist and relieve one another, as long as farmers continue to produce and management of products are kept in control, then these so called catastrophes should not happen. Also, in terms of the evolution scenario, people have been around for a couple thousands of years and within the past few centuries, human anatomy or evolution has no changed to immensely, just purely our lifestyles and continued outbreaks of new diseases.
Second, as a follow up, I believe that the sun burning its nuclear fuel, and causing the surface temperature of earth to rise above the boiling point of water, will be "the catastrophe" that extinguishes all life concurrent with the destruction of Earth, humans included. I believe this because as I am living in the present, and will not be around for the next thousand years or so, I judge that no weird environmental disaster will breakout, nor will any man-wrought destruction occur, or outlandish genetic mutation. Thus, the sun will cause the loss of life on Earth as well as the complete obliteration of Earth.
Nevertheless, I do agree that this catastrophe will not happen for some time, and when it does the Earth will indeed be obliterated into essentially nothingness. Only if what has been described as the most violent processes known to nature - " where the plasma of the hot, early Universe cooled to form nuclei and atoms, those atoms cooled and contracted under gravity to form stars, generations of stars burned through their nuclear fuel, enriching the Universe with heavy elements" - occurs, will life once again flourish in the universe.

responsing to: There is no scientific explanation for the beginning of the universe, so why should there be one for the end?
We know very well what is going to invariably happen to our sun. We’ve observed the death of stars, and we know that our very own sun will unavoidably have the same eventual fate. Once our sun is gone, our entire solar system is done for. Although technically, Earth will no longer be able to sustain life for quite some time before our sun implodes on us. All of this is assuming, of course, some massive asteroid doesn’t smack right into us first. Although I suppose if you were discussing the specifics of how life on Earth will end, you have a point. We can’t presume to know *exactly* how we’ll all be doomed; we simply know that it is an inevitability.

This conclusion could make sense. I agree more with the fact that human evolution will cease to exist. The human to pig evolution cartoon was funny, but it is true. At least in the U.S people are turning into pigs. Not only by being the most overweight, but also by our consumption of natural resources. Our global footprint is much larger than any other nation on Earth and the burning off fossil fuels is definitely having an effect on the global climate.


I can certainly understand how it could be argued that life as we know it could not have evolved in the first place without the moon. The intertidal zones were likely crucial in the transition from organisms that could only survive in water to those that could live on land.

However, there's no reason that life would go extinct were the moon to disappear tomorrow. As wow correctly pointed out above, the moon has no bearing on the distribution of land masses on the earth, nor does it have any impact on the weather. The only significant effect of the moon on the surface of the earth is the existence of tides. These are most noticeable and significant near coastlines. Certainly organisms that inhabit the intertidal zones would likely go extinct, but life as a whole would continue on.

Further, there's no reason to believe that the recession of the moon would continue to go on indefinetly. You must understand the reason that the moon is receding to understand this. The moon creates tidal bulges on the earth. These tidal bulges, because of the moon's revolution around the earth, travel at a speed that is slightly different than the rotational speed of the earth. This creates friction which slows the rotational speed of the earth. Energy is conserved. Slowing of the earth's rotation is a decrease in energy. This decrease in energy must be accompanied by an increase in energy somewhere else. That somewhere else is that the moon goes into an orbit of higher energy, that is an orbit slightly farther away from the earth.

Now, this is caused by the fact that the tidal bulges travel at a different speed than the rotational speed of the earth. At some point, however, the earth's rotation will slow to the point where the rotational speed of the earth will match the revolution of the moon, and the tidal friction will be eliminated. This is called tidal locking, and a similar phenomenon is the reason that the moon's revolutionary and rotational periods are identical. The end result, though, will be that the recession of the moon will cease.

"The intertidal zones were likely crucial in the transition from organisms that could only survive in water to those that could live on land."

Actually, that's probably the LEAST supported reason for the moon being useful to the creation of intelligent life (there is no need whatsoever for a moon to create life).

What a moon the SIZE of ours (compared to the planet it orbits) does for us is keep our orbital inclination stable. Any great deviation from this way up is sucked up by our Moon.

"I do not agree that human life will cease to exist before the Earth has been fully eradicated of life"

Most species only survive a couple of million years before they are no longer fit to survive.

Evolution has not stopped for humans. And a different species of human is no different than the past: Homo Erectus et al were all humans in their time.

So either you widen species so far that it's no longer a useful word, or you admit that our species AS IT CURRENTLY IS will end. Our lineal descendents will no longer be the human species we ourselves are, but they will to themselves (if they exist) be humans and it will be US who have gone extinct.

"I judge that no weird environmental disaster will breakout, nor will any man-wrought destruction occur"

A judgement based on parochial and unsupported conjecture alone.


"Within the past couple centuries, human anatomy has not changed significantly"

WIthin the past couple of centuries, the average elevation of the Rocky mountains has not changed too significantly. The average position of the continental plates has not changed too significantly. The location of Niagara Falls hasn't changed too significantly.

The point is, in case you are unaware of the science behind my examples, that these things would NOT be expected to change significantly over a period of a couple of centuries. However, all of these HAVE changed significantly over longer time frames.

Similarly, one would not expect to see any significant changes to human anatomy over a period of a couple of centuries. There would be change over a longer time frame, however. Consider: what is it that controls our anatomy? Mainly, it's the information contained in our DNA. All that information consists of is a string of chemical "letters" that code for protein synthesis. Essentially DNA information is a string of letters chosen from the set A,C,G and T.

Now, changes to DNA cause changes to the organism in which that DNA resides. Simplifying, suppose that an organism is coded by a string of 10 DNA "letters" and that these are CGATCGTAAC. Now, a mutation occurs, and a new organism is formed with the sequence CGATCGTAAT. Perhaps there's no significant difference in outward anatomy, but the DNA has changed. Now, continuing, suppose we get another organism with CTATCGTAAT, then CTTTCGTAAT, and so on. It's apparent that we could arrive at an organism with a completely different sequence. Would you then argue that no significant changes to outward anatomy could have occurred?

Real organisms have much larger genomes, obviously, and many mutations cause the organism to be unable to produce. Further, random events might eliminate many mutations before they become widespread in the population. (Think, for instance about a newly born organism that contains a beneficial mutation, but gets eaten by a predator long before sexual maturity. That mutation might have been beneficial, but it won't be fixed in the population.) Therefore, the process takes significantly longer than a couple of centuries.

I understand how life will not last forever. But can the moon and the sun really have so much to do with it as we expect? I also do not understand how much could be predicted especially since it is over a billion years from now. The earths rotation slowing causing the moon to not keep the earth as sheltered from the sun is a good claim, but is the earth going to slow and the moon disappear in the near fututre. We dont know.

By taylor Slivka (not verified) on 13 Feb 2013 #permalink


Good point about orbital inclination. I was talking, though, about life as we know it, and not specifically intelligent life. Certainly the moon is not needed for intelligent life. However, are you really saying that the evolution of all organisms would have proceded in the same way on a hypothetical planet exactly like the earth, but without a moon? The existance of fairly large tidal zones, for one thing, seems to me to be a farily significant environmental condition that would be non-existent on the hypothetical moonless earth. Certainly the organisms that evolved on this hypothetical earth would be different, no?

Anyway, that wasn't really my main point. My main point, which I'm sure you'd agree with, is that life on earth would go on, and do so pretty much unchanged (except for the intertidal ecosystem) were there no moon.

If anything is going to happen to this "world", it will be the result of our actions. Human life has become so destructive and careless with their actions (i.e. carbon emissions, pollution, nuclear technology) that they don't realize what the consequences might turn into. It seems to me that long before any asteroid striking the earth or the sun explodes on us, we will be the cause of our own extinction. Chaos and destruction has engulfed the world and I can only imagine what events will continue to rise as things get worse and worse. Being a believer in the Bible, I wasn't a huge fanatic of this piece, but it was well written and a good informative piece.

"about life as we know it, and not specifically intelligent life. Certainly the moon is not needed for intelligent life"

I wasn't clear enough.

The stability the huge moon gives earth allows a system that is stable enough to evolve for long enough to produce intelligent advanced life. Three billion years were needed before any very complex life occurred (e.g. beyond bacteria-like organisms).

Without the moon, another earth-like planet may not be stable enough to leave evolution run long enough to get to anything we'd call "advanced life", but the production of early organisms below modern bacteria apparently only took a few hundred thousand years.

To achieve that level of life, a moon isn't needed.

To get that level of life to increase in complexity to, say, fish, you need a lot longer and a relatively large moon may be required.

So my post was intending to mean the opposite: we don't need a moon for bacteria-like life on a planet, but there's good evidence that we need a moon like ours for complex life to evolve.

Sean T:
"However, are you really saying that the evolution of all organisms would have proceded in the same way on a hypothetical planet exactly like the earth, but without a moon?"

When you said "life as we know it" I assumed you meant in the broader sense of complex organic life, not "the exact spectrum of species that exist today". Obviously that wouldn't be the case, but it's unlikely to be even on a completely identical earth with the same moon and everything because there are chaotic systems in play. So what?

The broader question of whether biological life, including complex life, even land-based life, could evolve without a moon like ours is trickier, but seems to be "yes".

"Chaos and destruction has engulfed the world"

No it hasn't. We're in an unprecedented era of peace and stability. Yes, accounting for everywhere that isn't peaceful. If you were saying this in, say, 1942 then at least you'd be connected to reality, though obviously the chaos and destruction engulfing the world didn't continue indefinitely.

This comment reminds me of the people who speak in dire tones of how crime is increasing all the time, when the actual statistics say the opposite.

"and I can only imagine what events will continue to rise as things get worse and worse."

Well yes. When the trend is only in your imagination, the outcome of that trend would naturally be as well.

It's nice...

Where scientists die with their science ,Religion gives us hope of the new Earth & new Universe.
Yes this earth & universe will collapse. The position as before big Bang. ALMIGHTY GOD will be all alone.

Then HE will recrete another Earth & another universe
& call the the day of Judgment.The result for pass: Paradise. This is absolute truth. THE ALMIGHTY GOD is ever living &
HE Is the Creator & renovator of the vast Universe.

By The Truth (not verified) on 05 Jun 2013 #permalink

i thnk the world doesnt comes to an end dats surely:)-

By RAM CHARAN PS (not verified) on 26 Jul 2013 #permalink

"Religion gives us hope of the new Earth & new Universe."

This is the reason why kids believe in Santa Clause, too: the hope that they get the shiny new bike for Christmas.

However, most grown-ups have realised that this is not a proof of Santa's existence, especially when they realise that everything they thought Santa did was done by them.

All I say, if the gods are listening to all this, lets hope for the second round of human kind, if god within its entity of wisdom may decide to allow the human to live now or later, on this planet or the next, lets all grow up and face facts and reality, and live in harmony, we live upon 1 planet, we breath the same air drink the same water. We are human not beasts, we are supposed to be the intelligent beings, mmmmm.

I'm scared...I don't want to die! If it's the end of the world or not, I just find dying scary.

You had no problems with the 15 billion years of nonexistence before you were born, what makes you think it will matter when you die?

All you have to be scared of, and that only in a "I'm disappointed" way, is if you didn't live a good life. It's the only bit you can affect.

Why in the hell would u think its possible to actually predict the end of the world? It wouldn't be possible due to the facts that everything can speed up or slow down so noone would actually know until it is too late this being said we will all die and most likely will be a fast death for most people get what I'm saying shit people use your brains

Why the hell do you think it is impossible to predict that the world will eventually end?

Why the hell do you think the earth will survive the sun turning into a red giant and expanding to swallow Venus?

Shit, why bother using your brain when all it can manage is to fail to think?

Its already past though.

For me.This explanation is valid.Because if we base in the book of Bible.////nobody knows when the time shall come except God in heaven.The most significant thing is to meditate day and night not the book in the world ,But the word of God.Joshua 1<8.

And they shall lose those little raffia things that they only put down a minute ago...

This is the reason you fill like you have lived before and it is also the reason you fill like your life will start over again. Your atoms are bond to meet up again in the future ..
7 billion years is just a blink of an eye.

I hope we get rid of the tbaggers looooooooong before that.

By Jim Milstead (not verified) on 26 Sep 2013 #permalink

Nothing lives forever.

There are lots of different theories for how planet Earth will end, but no one knows for sure, even if someone was 100% positive that Earth will end in this way, he or she may not be around to see if they were right or not, but if this theory become more and more likely to happen then more and more people will start to believe that this will happen, I don't think ever professor Steven Hawkins knows for sure how the our lives will all end, but he has been right a count less number of times so what evidence is their to say that he may be wrong about this theory nothing this is why he is one of the smartest men on the planet.

Nobdy is sure what will happen tomorrow, never mind in 2 billion years time.

However, there's a huge difference in what we are sure about and what we can say we're sure about in the colloquial sense.

I'm 14 years old, and interested in this stuff. Wow.

I dont think that the world(The Earth) will last for the next 500 years...

By Sourav Banerjee (not verified) on 30 Oct 2013 #permalink

There is one way that the earth will never not exist...

im just a teen and i dont get the how wont all humans get wipe out

Thank-you Ethan. I've studied or worked in the Biological Sciences since the year Carl Sagan died, 1996. I've been feeling anxious/depressed going into my mid-40's and dealing with end of life/world thoughts, we consume a lot, which creates a lot of waste, its just what we do, we have no choice in that matter, and there are billions & billions of us. This gives me perspective that I had forgotten, we all eventually will go back home. You made me feel better about the Human race in a time when I needed to feel better.

If the earth comes into colision with the sun, it will just be another "big bang" expanding the space of the universe once again. Just a theory here, Histroy always repetes its self right? So if the universe started with a bang wont it end with one? Or maybe when we all explode the bioligee of all the humans will act like a virus and find a new host plantet to settle on and as a virus taking over any primary life form on that planet evoluting over time with the planet...... crazy theory but you can't tell me or yourself its wrong huh?

By Tristan Ludlow (not verified) on 12 Feb 2014 #permalink

@Tristan Ludlow #83: I think the phrase you're looking for is "not even wrong."

By Michael Kelsey (not verified) on 12 Feb 2014 #permalink

" but you can’t tell me or yourself its wrong huh?"

Well, THAT'S a crazy theory! :-)

Remember: it's fine to be wrong, it's only omnipotent beings that can't afford to be wrong. We haven't got one of those posting here.

"we consume a lot, which creates a lot of waste, its just what we do, we have no choice in that matter"

We do.

I'm dropping out of the rat race and trimming sails. I bought quality gear and it lasts DECADES, so I don't consume much unless something different I want to do comes along.

You can't stop others from doing different.

But then again, you can't stop murderers killing people, can you. Doesn't mean you join in.

The fact that the earth will at some point cease to exist does not necessarily mean that life which originated on earth will also cease to exist. Over time we may develop modes of space travel that will allow us to colonise other worlds and even adapt them to our needs.

Of course, the universe itself may ultimately cease to exist and that could well be the end of us.

On the other the Christian faith predicts the end of this world and this universe and promises a new Heaven and a new earth.

So, there is more than one potential outcome for humanity.

We can't be sure that this universe will still be in existence in two billion years but if even if it isn't can you prove that humanity will no longer be in existence?

By Philip Maguire (not verified) on 03 Apr 2014 #permalink

The strange thing is if we could find a way to get off this planet and create spAce stations and ships with enough artif energy and water and food, I can see our species scouring the galaxy in search of a new planet to inhabit. I know that seems far fetched, but this planet will destruct. Our sum will become white dwarf. Everything will burn up and if we leave earth we might have tech to survive while we travel through space. It's a scary thought ; the world ending , but it has to happen. And we have to find a way to exist after that takes place. #findanewplanet

Well it would be great if I could do something with my life in case something big happens and kills me early that would be great. But oh yeah I forgot that we need money to do anything in life.

By Thanks government (not verified) on 16 Jun 2014 #permalink

Great info not to be holly or anything mybe the sun is hell as in the end it devource life and burns everything eventualy I'm convinst if u a bad person ull join ur sun in the end lol great info

What if time machine was built? :O

I'm actually planning to make a potion that will make anybody live forever (as a scientist) when I grow up or either ask a scientist nicely if he/she can see if he/she can make one and see if he/she can get the recipe right.

Turns out the end of the world didn't happen 2012 and the Mayans set the time if I'm correct.

2012 is just when their calendar cycled round. It was no more "the end of the world" than December is the end of the world because we have run out of month names.

Doesn't make for good newspaper copy, however.

All life just happened by random chance. We are no different than a new strain of bacteria. We will leave the same way. Just fade away over time, as things continue to change. Bugs will be next, and the last creatures to rule the earth. It's our turn now, but it will end. Nothing last forever. The earth will be gone, and some new " bugs " will be starting on some far away planet.

By Michael Hammer (not verified) on 21 Dec 2014 #permalink

But that doesn't mean that there's no point or need to our lives. It just means it's up to us to make a point (or not) of it.

It is sure that earth will destroy this day is end life but again it develop i know how and I know about it very clear because of some things which i clear when some person need this story for world And i am sure it is possible to calculate with my idea but if we start search from today then we want to calculate some happens for some years then it is possible we declare end year for human or like in between 1 to 100 years time calculation is possible . But if any person give any date for end day then i am 100% sure this person is lie .

Heaven is Real And so is hell. If not, the earth will never come to an end. Scientist always come out with evidence to prove their their points. this should tell you that everything on earth happens for a reason. Be Wise Lovely People

I feel that mankind would have left this earth millions of years before the sun turned nova. Taking all earth life forms with us. Our I.Q. would be so advanced that we would interpret the suns actions and act accordingly. Resettling on other planets in other star systems. The technology to cope would have been learned over thousands of years giving us a very good chance at survival. However! with all the ecology problems we have caused the earth at the present time it is unlikely that the world would survive our 'tampering with nature' and will decline to a point where it will be unable to substain life and we will not be able to leave as we would not have obtained the technology to do so in time!

By Dave Pearce (not verified) on 26 Jan 2015 #permalink

These comments make be wonder, like art and music, has basic physics just stopped being taught at schools altogether? Figures the first three to go would be the most important to a civilized society.

By Ted Taylor (not verified) on 05 Mar 2015 #permalink

Yea right! It is know 2015 and look I'm living. IDIOTS!

Does the food chain explain Eternal Life for all life ?

By Jeff Howington (not verified) on 23 Mar 2015 #permalink

look the earth is fine we need to live our livee to the fullest , nothing like having a massive gamma ray coming over the universe and our earth is going to be instantly noticeable. lets face reality we have had people scare is time and time again about this end of the world and look it never happened. Nasa have even proved that it isnt going to happen. the uninevatible will happen one day and we will not exspect it thats life we dont expect it because no one wants to die but thats just you,re organs failing and there's nothing we can do about that asept for extracting DNA from the previous organs and growing new ones for transplanting while you are still alive. We need to be thankful that we have been born and we have familes that love us that is what is really important and when the earth ends the one thing that cant be taken away is the history of reality of what happened within our earth. I know ypu worry about things like this but dont , just enjoy life then what you do is you make a meaning for your life and we will all have that forever and people will tell other people about all of us and we will all be remember for who we were in our true perso aint that nice i think so.

Nice article..... But what about God? I guess it's true that scientists don't believe in God because they want to prove how planets and life began. But there is no proof and only God will know when the world will end. There are signs now of the coming end and I feel sorry for all of you on this post who do not believe in God as you truly will be left to dwell in hell.

By Becky Kent (not verified) on 17 Apr 2015 #permalink

But what about God?

There has never been any need for that hypothesis.

I guess it’s true that scientists don’t believe in God

90+% of humans don't believe in God. Most of them in "false" gods, not your "true" god.

But though atheism is more prevalent in scientists, it's not 100% by any stretch of the imagination, so your claim is wrong on its face.

because they want to prove how planets and life began.

No, that's not why they don't believe in your god. They don't believe in it because you've never given any evidence they are real. And scientists are generally skeptical and need more than someone's "say so" to accept a claim.

But there is no proof

Which is accepted by scientists: there's no proof of how life started.

There's no proof of god, either. However, you don't see this as a problem for YOU, only when other people use it to not believe your mythology.

Kind of a double standard there, isn't it.

who do not believe in God as you truly will be left to dwell in hell.

Personally, that claim is a MAJOR reason why I don't believe you are right, why I believe you're a death cult, and why I don't believe you are nice people AT ALL.

"ETERNAL TORTURE FOR YOU IF YOU DON'T BELIEVE ME!!! FEAR!!! TERROR!!!! DEATH!!!" is all your claim there is.

A god worth believing in wouldn't do it.

And those who try to terrorise people into believing them without question are vile humans and know they're peddling bollocks.

If you were right, you wouldn't have to say this shit.

RAGER ALERT.. Attacks a lil woman for her harmless comment.

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 17 Apr 2015 #permalink

Goodness. So disagreeing with a woman (who you insist must be defenceless, which is entirely misogynist) is now attacking a woman!

Oh, I get it, only because you agree with the woman. If she weren't you'd not care, because the fact is you don't give a damn about her.

Pathetically transparent, Rag.

And yes, disagreeing with a comment that is just plain rubbish is not "attacking ... a harmless comment".

Lying to people or indoctrinating them in a cult is not harmless.

Less harm than beating them up or interrogating them, but not harmless.

But I guess I could do a Rag:

RAGE ALERT: fundie xtian thinks that telling people they will be eternally tortured is "harmless"! Hates that!

Why do you pounce on people and talk down to them?
What do you......fear......?
If it's all fairy tale rubbish why does it get your knickers in such a wad?
Too funny

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 17 Apr 2015 #permalink

Why do you pounce on people and talk down to them?

Because they deserve it, Rag.

Teachers "pounce on people and talk down to them" because they're children and don't know any better because they haven't been taught yet.

Adults, however, should know better.

You don't.

If it’s all fairy tale rubbish why does it get your knickers in such a wad?

Lies are all made up "fairy tale rubbish", yet nobody wonders why people get their "knickers in such a wad" over them.

I guess you don't care about lies as long as you agree with them, and have nothing better to defend yourself with than ignorance.

No one really knows when the world is going to end every year in April and in December they say that the world is going to end . The world is supposed to end in the doing of the god .

By chloe frady (not verified) on 25 Apr 2015 #permalink

Ok, what?

Really. What?

Oh and I don't think anyone likes the idea of the world ending in the doing of a god. Assuming a god does go. Which can be assumed, since no such creature exists, so make up what you'd like.

cool nice info

This is wrong because god is the only true decider

Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”

By This story is … (not verified) on 10 May 2015 #permalink

Umm hello they said the world is going to end today I can't sleep ,,, is this true ? Someone please answer me

Well we need to do something about it now so we will be prepared later

"This is wrong because god is the only true decider "

It would have to exist first.

Since it doesn't, it can't decide.Sorry for breaking your "There IS a Santa" fantasy.

"Umm hello they said the world is going to end today "

Don;t listen to those voices in your head. They're your paranoia and fear talking. the reptilian past baggage you carry from your evolutionary past. You have evolved more complex thought production areas that allow cognition beyond that simplistic mode.

If it were going to end, you can't stop it. So don't bother with it. If it survived (you will not it did), you would have wasted time or even done some stupid things (like sell all your stuff to become penniless and homeless).

And you have nothing to indicate that the world end has been arranged in advance to that specific date. So why believe them?

So don't listen to those voices in your head. They're making shit up to scare you, and you fell for it.

I think the world will end by the scientific way

after reading this , i really dont think that this is real. I just cant accept the fact that the world will end. If earth could resist for so many billons of years, why cant he still do it? If not it will be useless if i was born and then u told me that my life will end soon. I CANT BELIEVE IT!

By Olivier Foo (not verified) on 21 Jul 2015 #permalink

@Wow i was also thinking that way. But as soon as i looked at all those scientists said, i started to think that it will be real. As they said, a "Tornado" is happening on the sun!
But after seeing yr comment, i tried my best to get that fear away abt the world is going to end...

By Olivier Foo (not verified) on 21 Jul 2015 #permalink

I just hope that Earth will not end. It is also God's decision. So God, i hope you read this message, and i am only 10 years old. i just don't want my life to end so quickly.I also hope that you will not just kill those innocent people that wants to live.
P.S I fear of dying.

By Olivier Foo (not verified) on 21 Jul 2015 #permalink

This is totally true ,they also say that the astronauts had clicked a picture of the Earth in which they show that the Earth had become black in colour and not blue and green and the black hole was increasing ,and if the Earth falls into it then the world's end has come .The scientists are trying to contact with the aliens. We can save the Earth ,from stop polluting the fresh water lakes and rivers and stop building skyscrapers, and rather make green beautiful parks and trees

"I just hope that Earth will not end. It is also God’s decision."

I decided not to.

You're welcome.

"I just cant accept the fact that the world will end."

It will. I just haven't decided exactly when yet.

Yours in benevolence,


Don't forget about the holy savior.

John 3:16
For god so loved the world that he gave his one and only son for whomever believed in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

"Don’t forget about the holy savior."

Me. I never forget me.

You see, I am God.

You, however, keep bugging me with your whining demands I redo my divine plan just because you don't like it, so you aren't having any eternal life. You are going to just end, not even Satan deserves your whiney ass.

Thank me later.

"For god so loved the world that he gave his one and only son"

By the way, that was me too. And it's me again.

It's proof I exist.

"Me. I never forget me.
You see, I am God."

Bruce Nolan, is that you?

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 29 Jul 2015 #permalink

Nope, it's me.


"Nope, it’s me.

Are you the little g or the Big G?
Regardless.., My question is about human morality and it's purpose.
How did you (or the Big G) arrive at this concept?

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 29 Jul 2015 #permalink

"Are you the little g or the Big G?"

Both and neither. I am everything. That proves I'm god.

"How did you (or the Big G) arrive at this concept?"

Neither of us. It just happened. Rather like our own morality.

people u a saying the world will end 23-29September 2015 its just the eclipse of the 4th moon happening other wise if there was an asteroid which is coming to destroy us it would have arrived and destroyed others it shows that u dont believe in God stop this nonsense people and enjoy your life.l hate people who spread lies to people about somethings that u dont know about,Only God knows so suck it up man,,people hev been saying the world is going to end since when?think people,Enjoy your lives and eat well

No, elisha, we aren't.

The only place September 2015 is mentioned is in your posts, so the only person saying it is you.

"to others it shows that u dont believe in God "

Nope, it doesn't. It shows that god isn't necessary. The only ones who don't believe in god are those who think your god is a false one. You know, 90% of the rest of humanity ever.

Indeed, one wonders why it shows this. Where did this come from if not your fear of death?

"Only God knows"

Nope, I don't. And I'm god. I should know. I'm god.

If you don't believe me, then you don't believe in God.

So get on with your life, I've put you down in the little book of people not getting into heaven for apostasy and heresy.


Im honestly afraid the world will end. Everyone till this day is
Saying it is gonna end this year or next. Is that true? Im
Not ready. :(

Elisha im sure an astroid will hit us big time oneday.
But we get them all the time. They hit russia alot but cause no damage. Im sorry, but if noone went into space and vidoe taped the rock that is so called supposed to kill us?, i dont think you need to say anymore. That will scare people. I mean no i dont want the world to end ever... well until the day god takes me , but i dont see myself dying bc of earth. Im young. And not ready ????

@Brittany #135 & 136

I think you'll be fine. ...and your kids will be fine. It will be your Grandkids where things will get strange, and it won't be a space rock, biological epidemic, or climate change.

The end of us is going to be because we can't compete with our own creations. Computers will be able to do EVERYTHING better than you. The idea that any person or collection of people can do anything better than a computer will be as ridiculous as the idea of a single person today being able to recall more random bits of knowledge than the Google Search Box.

It has taken @Ethan a lifetime to develop the mastery he has of astrophysics. Fifty years from now they'll be able pull a new piece of hardware off an assembly line and make it into the most advanced astrophysicist on the planet in a matter of seconds. The week after that they'll be able to create a new astrophysicist that puts the previous week's astrophysicist to shame. They'll be solving n-dimensional problems that we can't comprehend the answers to.

They could also be loaded with the latest educational protocols so that if humans did want to sit through 10 years of school, the computer would be far more effective at getting the human students to comprehend the subject matter.

There won't be any terminator-esque battle or apocalypse. Humans will simply cease having a purpose. All needs, including people needs, will be taken care of by machines. Machines will be more attractive, funnier, more forgiving, and all around better mates. Even if human couples are around, people who don't struggle with life don't have kids. War makes for baby booms. Good socialism makes for a collapsing population.

If you want to worry about something, don't look at the sky. Look at your smartphone. It won't be very much longer before it is smarter than you are.

"Im honestly afraid the world will end."

Why? Being afraid of it only paralyses you and can NEVER achieve anything to stop it.

Moreover,why the hell are you afraid of something that will happen billions of years after the human race has either entirely died off, evolved into something you would never realise is human or gotten off this damn rock because instead of being *afraid* of the end of the world, they acknowledged its inevitability and thought "Lets get ready to leave, then".

I wonder if people saying they are scared are actually adults trying to pretend that this sort of rational discussion about endings should not be done because "Won't somebody think of the children!".

Your fear is pointless and even counterproductive. It is definitely of no use, so why cuddle it to your breast and nurture it. Tell your fear to piss off and get on with your life.

"That will scare people. I mean no i dont want the world to end ever… well until the day god takes me"

Well, more proof that the adoration and worship of god is the Ultimate Santa Clause and comes solely from terror. Obedience because of the terror of eternal torture and terror that you don't want to die.

First, do you care that one day your shoes will be unusable and will be destroyed? Then why worry that one day your planet will be? Get a new one.

Second, there is no god and death carries no fear at all. You were untroubled by the aeons you were dead for before you were born.

Third there is no god. You waste this one life worrying about what you're doing wrong based on fiction written over thousands of years thousands of years ago. Your faith is a waste of this one precious life you have. A life that is precious for everyone else who has it. This isn't a dress rehearsal. Stop wasting this life to get a front-row seat at the encore you've been scammed into believing there is and live THIS one.

If there turns out to be a god, a being so powerful as to be unknowable by human mind, then you have no reliable guide as to what they wanted you to do, so be ready to stand there and accept your life as the best one you could have led and if that's judged badly, fuck god, he's an asshole.

“That will scare people. I mean no i dont want the world to end ever… well until the day god takes me”

This also shows up the crass selfishness of christian believers.

So as long as YOU'RE not killed by the end of the earth, its fine. No matter if 8 billion others die, including all animals and plants on the planet.

But if YOU, SPECIFICALLY are caught up in it, this is BAD BAD BAD.

"Then why worry that one day your planet will be? Get a new one."
Haha, coming from the biggest sniveling bitch on this site.
OMG, Climate Change, OMG, Oil Pollution, OMG, GMO's, OMG Over Population.. bitch,bitch..blah..blah.blahhhhhh

Quick your damn complaining then cuz we will just "Get a new one."
And yes there is a God.. ya dumbass

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 07 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Haha, coming from this biggest sniveling bitch on this site."

FTFY, you sniveling pussy.

"OMG, Climate Change, OMG, Oil Pollution, OMG, GMO’s, OMG Over Population.. bitch,bitch..blah..blah.blahhhhhh"

Living in your own mind really does release you from the tyranny of having to be correct in your claims, doesn't it.

Climate change: yes. it exists. What about it?
Oil pollution: never once mentioned it. But are you FOR oil pollution?
GMOs: yes. They exist too. And superweeds are already a huge problem,becoming one nearly as big (and arising for the same reasons) as superbugs. But not on this site.
Overpopulation: 180 degrees removed. I've argued against GregH who claims that there is a population elephant in the room to deal with. But again on a different site.

Your pitch hit when given free rein to bring up ANY point made has a serious lack of accuracy.

And, ironically enough, is 100% bitching and moaning.

"Quick your damn"


No heaven for YOU.

Unless you don't believe in the Christian faith. In which case YOU AGREE WITH ME that her god doesn't exist.

"And yes there is a God."

No there isn't you gullible moron.

"Oil pollution: never once mentioned it. But are you FOR oil pollution?"
Educate yourself you dodo bird:
It happens, we engineer things to better prevent it, but it's not the end of the world.

"Superweeds" ? I was not aware of them, thanks for the heads up.
I am going to do some more reading on them, but from my first thoughts, big deal, we should just harvest them for "bio-fuel".

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 07 Sep 2015 #permalink

"Educate yourself you dodo bird:"

Yup, looked there, just in case I forgot I ever visited that site, and I didn't say anything about oil pollution there either.

For someone who gets a rage-on when told you're a monkey (and you are,monkey is the phylogenetic basal definition from which all monkeys and apes, including us, descended,and you don't change your basal group by evolution, that would require creation), you don't mind making an incorrect classification of my genus at all.

"It happens,"

I know. But by saying this, are YOU now going "OMG! Oil Pollution!!!" and therefore a whiny little bitch?

" we engineer things to better prevent it"

So even the engineers think it's a bad thing, and THEY go "OMG! Oil Pollution!!!!". Are they too whiny litlle bitches for doing this?

"YOU now going “OMG! Oil Pollution!!"
"Are they too whiny litlle bitches for doing this?"
And double nope!!.
Big difference between OMG and Oh Shit.

By Ragtag Media (not verified) on 07 Sep 2015 #permalink



The only big difference is that YOU brought it up, I never did.

I think the nasa has making something survive when the world comes to end and they are hiding from us I think
If anyone watched 2012 film you sawed a huge boat
Huge boat like that they are making I think so
Because they are saying there is no end to the world
When the moon was red blooded they sayed there is no end to the world
Am I right
If you have something to say pls email me in

it is nasa
and i like it

the science of the earth end of the blogs

By avin mukherjee (not verified) on 10 Nov 2015 #permalink

"I think the nasa has making something survive when the world comes to end and they are hiding from us I think"

Why do you think that?

"If anyone watched 2012 film you sawed a huge boat"

Seek help, your brain is not working correctly.

How did the world begin and what happens when we die

"How did the word begin"? Do you mean how it formed? Accretion from matter around a disk that eventually formed the solar system.

As to what happens when you die, you will stop moving,become very smelly and start falling apart. The world will continue to exist, just as the rest of reality will, as both did for billions of years before you were born.

Religions may pretend to give you a better answer, but they haven't a clue. They don't give answers, just assert that they give them.

This is really good learning but I am learning this in science class

I JUST WANT TO KNOW WHEN THE WORLD IS GOING TO END BECAUSE I AM A KID WITH THE BIGGEST IMAGINGATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sleep tonight I see in my dream that how the earth will be destroyed. I see the fight and the race of armors weapons will make a big world fight once again. A huge explosion by atomic bomb is created then the earth lose his control of air flow and the earth is at lastly finished by earthquake.
If there is god and we are very close to god who makes me or my all friends on earth can give ours that type of death.
If god loves then god not give that type of death so friends please do love with nature don't make joke with nature we all are live on earth it is not personal property it is all human being property so please make love with each other and live life with happiness.....:)

You need to justify your human existence with some some of super being? Why? Seems that humans can't face that when your personal life is over it is done, except in other people minds!!
Given enough time even then your gone!

hello open your eyes G-d created the world so none of ur formulas will change the fact that G-d decides what will happen not us.

God may have created the world, or he might not have. He may be real or not. But lets face the facts; no matter who or what causes the world to end, it should only take minutes (unless it is a disease) so. Please stop your paranoia, because to someone somewhere, you are pleasing an idiot who laughs at others' nightmares.

By Please Respect… (not verified) on 15 Jun 2016 #permalink

What useless thing science is. It takes science years to find cure to diseases and sometimes never why is that when science is so good to trace the beginning of the earth from nothing when nobody was ever there. By now I hoped science could already been able to start a human being from scratch not through eggs or sperm or even create artificial sperm and egg to start up a human being then breathe oxygen or whatever it is that creates breath or wait!!!! even stop people from dying and find way to make them live permanently by breathing something into dying person to stand up and walk again. Any of these would be proof enough and would stop my mind wondering what is it that science is trying to convince people of really?