The End is Coming.

According to this link, the end of the earth’s life will occur in about two billion years.  Apparently, there is no religious argument against that prediction.  What should we do about the end?

A traditional Christian answer would be “pray, pray hard”.  It wont’t help.  The trajectory of the earth is toward the sun and eventually it will get so hot water will evaporate.  Could people move to Mars which will be warmer?  And, won’t Mars eventually get too hot, then the next planet?

It seems to me, this little piece of information is very anti religious and should not be presented to the general public.  So far it has worked to make up a story about the beginning of the world, and, since no one saw it, argue it happened like the fictional story.  But it is something else to provide real time information that can be projected forward to an absolutely secular end.

On the other hand, religions have been so skillful in inserting themselves into secular events they will probably make up an appealing story for the physics of earth and sun movements.  If there is money or power to be gained, creative myths cannot be far behind.

When you think about it, the projected end of the earth really needs a religious version to make it interesting.  I mean, what more boring than talking about it getting so warm humans cannot produce food.

What’s needed is a story with huge fire and lightening–the kind religious stories have.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/how-long-will-the-world-last-105201/

Avatar of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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22 Responses to The End is Coming.

  1. Avatar of Kevin Kevin says:

    North Dakota used to be a tropical swamp.

  2. dan says:

    Ha Ha. Those Religious people are fools. If there is a God, then strike me down! Still waiting…okay, still alive…breathing…liver still functioning…WTF??? Jon, you were right after all! At least I hope you were…

  3. entech says:

    Even if we survive that extreme global warming they predict a collision between Andromeda and the Milky Way in about 4 billion years.

    That is, of course, if it doesn’t happen soon, if God doesn’t punish us all. If it doesn’t all split a part in the rupture (sic).

  4. David says:

    I think that it is interesting that many atheists seem to argue that religious leaders are insincere and are only after money and power. This would suggest that they are really atheists trying to trick the poor suckers at the bottom. Perhaps that’s why atheism is so attractive to the left. It seems to fit their narrative that the rich and powerful are sticking it to the poor.

    As far as the end of the world. We will just have to wait a couple of billion years and see.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      But the rich and powerful ARE sticking it to the poor. You make it sound like this is fiction. Recently, the statistics of who has benefited from the recovery from the recession have been revealed and it turns out that the top 1% have reaped 95% of the accumulated gains. In addition, the Republicans have been trying to fool regular folks into opposing health care reform. “You don’t need that lousy Obamacare”, they say. “We’ll give you charity when you are bankrupt from medical bills, we promise”. All of that prosperity that was supposed to “trickle down” has been sucked right up to the top.

      • wolfy32 says:

        obamacare is a bit off topic, but, both sides have it wrong, but, since neither side can fix anything, they have to pick something profitable to one of the sides to fix.. Having the government become an insurance agency, is well, profitable for the government… Another revenue source…

        Meanwhile, hospitals and clinics alike build billion dollar buildings. and charge thousands of dollars per night in the hospital. My sister had a procedure done that cost $120,000 one single procedure that took 4 hours. That’s neccessary?

        As businesses find it’s too expensive to have brick and mortar locations and are becoming more and more mobile, hospitals are building billion dollar luxary hotels and charging through the roof for services…

        What if we focussed on making healthcare more accessible, more mobile, and well, in the end cheaper… What if fixed costs went from a million a month to a few thousand a month?

        Then insurance premiums could go down by who knows how much. And health care could be fixed. Instead… We have to make sure that everything costs more… Yet, when doctor checks a kid for a cold.. He checks a heart beat with a stetho scope, and listens for congestion… Sends the kid home with some cough syrup or throat drops.. That costs $300? a 15-20 minute visit in a billion dollar facility?

        That should be a $20-50 visit. If that. Instead Insurance pays close to $300 for something like that. Fix health care, not just issue insurance to everyone… Making the government a health insurance agency is not going to fix anything except give the government more control over who gets better.

        • Henry says:

          Wolf: “Sends the kid home with some cough syrup or throat drops.. That costs $300?”

          The ill and dying just love having a higher bill so they can help someone else sponsor stadiums and Division I sports programs, glorifying his name. “Nothing will change. Nothing will change.” – Meratcare 2009

          • David says:

            I think one misnomer with regard to business is that costs get floated to the consumer. It can happen when within an industry you see a higher commodity price, or if you have a uniform regulation affecting all companies. These costs over time will get paid by the consumers.

            However, if a company spends money foolishly with little return on their investment this money does not get paid by the consumer. If that were true then companies would never quit spending money (sort of like the government). What these foolish expenditures affect is the profit. Generally speaking supply and demand will affect the price the consumer pays. If expenses are too high to make a profit where the price is determined according to supply and demand then the company will go out of business thereby reducing the supply – which would then allow prices to increase all things being equal.

        • David says:

          You have one thing nailed in your post. Why is the cost of health care so high? Health care is subject to supply and demand just like any other business. When the supply goes up then the prices go down and vice versa. When demand goes up prices go up and similarly when demand goes down prices go down – all things being equal.

          So what is happening to supply and demand in the health industry. Supply is constrained for several reasons – hospitals and clinics need doctors, nurse practitioners or physicians assistants to diagnose patients. The state mandates that one cannot get diagnosed by someone unless they passed their licensing protocols for these positions. This is a rather large constraint to the supply of health care. There are a myriad of other regulations and rules that apply to prescribing medication. So in some jurisdictions NP’s and PA’s can’t prescribe medication. So whatever diagnosis is determined must go through a doctor. Another major constraint on supply. No one seems to care about the supply of health care. We just ignore this as a society.

          On the demand side we have a disaster in the making. The government has told all seniors since the 1960′s that their health care is free. When cost goes down demand goes up. The government then mandates rates – based upon their best guess. Hospitals are stuck with under payments from Medicare and Medicaid. So they shift those costs to insurance companies and private payers. Private payers pay at a rate of 10% so those costs get shifted on to private insurance. There is no wonder that the cost of private insurance has gone through the roof since the 1960′s.

          Attempting to improve the situation congress made health insurance tax deductible to employers. This started out as a benefit, but soon became the norm for most companies. Employees expect now to get health insurance from their employer. This odd expectation is simply a function of tax law. However, because the cost was hidden, at least at first, from the employee it seemed like a reduced cost way to go to the doctor. This increased demand.

          Recently several states have programs to insure children and we have a law that requires emergency rooms to turn no one away. These items all ratchet up demand.

          Another factor is that the states mandate what insurance must be offered in insurance plans. These mandates increase the cost of the insurance but worse increase demand for health care. An $80 chiropractor visit now only costs $15 under my insurance plan.

          Now turn to the looming baby boomer demographic that is heading toward old age. We will get the double whammy of them getting their health care for free plus the demographics will overwhelm the system.

          So now we have the crown jewel of the Obama administration – Obamacare. All people will have to have health care – much of it subsidized. Add to this that the insurance will have mandates requiring certain levels of insurance. All of this will massively increase the demand on health care.

          With demand increasing at every turn prices will go up.

          • wolfy32 says:

            Precisely my point. Yet, you hit the nail on the problem… Most regulations are all pointing to suggest more demand for health care.. It’s all encouraging demand. Yet, nothing is being done on the supply other than to build half billion dollar new facilities.

            At the same time doctors complain about their 200,000 -300,000 dollars of student debt, plus long hours in their residences, etc.

            However, where is the real constraint??? It’s in the medical schools.. They limit how many students are allowed in each year. I’ve had friends that were highly intelligent, would have made great doctors or medical staff. And turned away, because the person in front of them had a 3.99 gpa and he had maybe a 3.98 gpa. And they met their quota for number of students that year… So, now you have a limited supply of educated medical staff… Meanwhile hospitals and clinics make mistakes and increase medical costs by having insufficient medical staff… Plus everything is encouraging demand… It’s a really bad situation…

            And passing national health insurance… Is just adding fuel to the fire…..

      • David says:

        Oh I missed the part where Obama was talking about trickle down economics. I see, during the first years of the Obama years when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress they were secretly attempting to reward the wealthy.

        This populist notion comes from a mind set that the government controls the economy picking winners and losers. All government then must do is set the dial to the middle class and voila the income disparity is decreased. Or there appears to be the notion that the rich somehow are stealing from the poor.

        If we start with the notion that one’s labor, skill, ingenuity and property and the results flowing therefrom belong to the individual that owns them, this Liberal mythology makes little sense. Essentially the economy is just a big trading scheme. I trade my skills, ingenuity, labor and/or property in return for something I want. We introduce money to grease the skids. Much easier to be paid money, which represents the value of my labor, than to trade a little bit of my labor for some else’s labor, skill, goods etc. The government’s role is essentially to pass laws, enforce them and adjudicate these rules to prevent fraud, contractual arrangements etc. Also they control the monetary system. The idea as it seems to me is to keep a stable monetary unit so that when I trade my skills with another that I don’t lose the value my skills represent while holding on to the currency – inflation or deflation.

        So the question is how do the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? It’s quite simple that the rich have more property, skills and ingenuity than the poor. They have more with which to trade. They are better at expanding what they have to offer than the poor. The poor can get out of their plight through education, skills, ingenuity and acquiring property. I would like to understand how the rich steal the skills, ingenuity and property of the poor.

        The real problem here is government. I see it in two ways. The poor are provided certain benefits from the government which reduces their motivation to increase their skills, labor, ingenuity and property. Additionally, the government makes it increasingly more difficult to utilize one’s skills, ingenuity, labor and/or increase their property. If one has to get licensed to provide their labor, you are protecting those already licensed and hurting those who would like to utilize their labor in that field. When the government saddles small businesses with regulations with which only large businesses can comply, they are causing small businesses to be less profitable – hurting the efficiency advantages they have over large business.

        It is no wonder that when we have ever increasing regulations, taxes, welfare benefits (of all kinds and stripes), licensing requirements etc. that we will see most of the benefits of a government lead recovery go to the wealthy.

  5. wolfy32 says:

    There is an inevitable end. The Apocrypha and Revelations speak of it quite well. An event so catestrophic that 1/3 of the grass and forrests will burn. The freshwater will be poisoned by something from the sky called “wurmwood”. Some interpret that to be a meteor or comet / asteroid that has something poisonous to humans that poisons the water supplies as it breaks apart and falls into various rivers.

    The oceans will boil in some way, Doesn’t explain why or how.

    And a bunch of alien beings will be released on the earth to kill a bunch of people.

    Other things like famines and disease….

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Re. “Apocrypha”: I think you meant apocalypse, ( A literary genre). An honest mistake.

      • wolfy32 says:

        No, there’s a biblical book called “The Apocrypha”. When the priests were making the decision of which book to end the bible with, the decision was between Revelations and The Apocrypha.. Revelations One… The Apocrypha was rejected.

        It’s in some (I believe Catholic) bibles as an added / extra book..

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          It was called the apocalypse of Jon, AKA Revelation, AKA The Revelation of John. The Apocrypha (books, plural) are the additional books in the OT, contained in the Catholic Bible. Not in the NT. Catholics call them Deuter0canonical, and are recognized by them to be different than the rest. They are also called “intertestamental books” Look up” Catholic Bible- Deuterocanonical”. You will find them listed. There are reasons they remain for the Catholics. You may also wish to look up pseudipigrapha.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          “The Apocrypha ” is a book of books like the Bible, which is a compilation of books or letters. It too like the Bible is available as a stand alone publication, but the books contained in it are scattered throughout the Catholic Bible. Some Catholic Bibles may have them listed as a different genre, yet included.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          At the time, and later up to this date there have been many writings that fit into the apocalyptic profile. The “Left Behind Series” , Doomsday Prepers also fall in line with apocalyptic literature. None of them are of the nature of Apocrypha.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          Much of those “Other books” are related to Gnosticism. There are also other “lost books”: “The Gnostic Gospels”, “The lost books of Eden”, and then there is “The Other Bible”, among others. Some later ones dwell on UFO’s.

        • wolfy32 says:

          I’m looking you’re right, it’s a classification not a book. I don’t remember it being a genre of books. maybe they meant apocryphal books / writings that many disagreed on int erms of supporting revelations or other writings to end the bible with.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Thanks. There are also books in the Hebrew Bible, AKA OT that are of an apocalyptic nature, such as Daniel. A couple books in the Catholic Deuterconanicals, (Apocrypha) also have a sense of it too.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            It also is not by accident that the millenialists find and use Daniel along with the Book of Revelation in the NT to support Dispensationalism and “the rapture” (as understood by them). Hal Lindsey is but one that popularized it. The outline of “Left Behind”. In his first edition he said that a generation is 40 yr, and counting forward 40 yr from 1948, (The creation of the state of Israel ) ending at 1988, the world would come to and end. Many before and since have done the same things. Yet they continue to sell books, and make new sects.

    • entech says:

      I think you were almost right the first time Wolfy. The word you were looking for was:
      apocryphal adjective
      (of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true: an apocryphal story about a former president his alleged description of opera as ‘fat gits singing’ is probably apocryphal.

      You see there are heaps of books and stories that didn’t quite make the cut, but that does not mean that they and those that did should rightly be called apocryphal.

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