Friday, August 13, 2010

How will the Earth End? Part.I

Many people from science fiction writers to religious prophets have speculated about the earth’s final days, but perhaps only astronomers have provided an end date that is inescapable. Our sun has been converting hydrogen into helium in its core for about 4.65 billion years. It has enough hydrogen left for another 4.5 billion before the outer layers will expand to have a circumference that extends to the orbit of the earth or farther. This new red giant star will one day swallow up the earth.
                But there is good reason to suspect the end of humankind will come before 4.5 billion years. The most difficult question to answer is whether humans will be cause to their own undoing or whether they will be the subject of forces outside of their control. 
               Contrasted to the more protracted ways for mankind to destroy itself, there are also the quicker alternatives, like nuclear holocaust. “Every man, woman, and child lives under a nuclear sword of Damocles,” said President John F. Kennedy in a September 1961 speech to the United Nations General Assembly, “hanging by the slenderest of threads, capable of being cut at any moment by accident or miscalculation or madness.”

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