Sunday, November 22, 2009

2012 film, near miss asteroid, and end of the world

I'm a big fan of science fiction films like 2012, partly because filmmakers produce creative graphics and computer imagery not found anywhere else.  I'm more than willing to buy a $19 DVD to view graphics that were made from $200 million movie budgets.

In these films you can look at what super volcanoes could potentially look like to how the world's continents could be split to how tsunamis affect buildings and skyscrapers.

It is thought provoking to imagine how disasters took place in the past and how Earth was once just a single continent, moved into the body of continents that we know now.  Then there's the ultimate question about human existence.  These disaster movies always reminds me how precious time is.

Yet as the movie credits roll on and as you turn your DVD player off, did you ever wonder how factual these movies were?  Is the sun actually dying?  Are there asteroids coming our way?  The truth is, all of the above.  The imaginations of the best scriptwriters are often grounded on scientific reality.

(Courtesy: NASA)

For instance, just this month, a space rock named "2009 VA" narrowly missed Earth by 9,000 miles.  It was so close that the trajectory of the rock actually was affected by Earth's gravity.  According to NASA's public update, the Catalina Sky Survey based in the University of Arizona was able to detect it 15 hours prior to approaching Earth.  Talk about a close call...

Now don't worry, the size of this asteriod was only about 20 feet long, it wouldn't hurt as much as the 90 foot rock that impacted the Siberian forest in 1908 which devastated 500,000 acres and was equivalent to 1,000 times the power of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.  (Comforting...)

What both religion and science are saying about Armageddon

Our life on Earth as a species is finite.

First, the sun is dying, it will get hotter, redder, before it turns into a dwarf.  Our moon will look like a bloody moon (from the red sun) then it will no longer give its light as the sun darkens.  This Earth, the animals, and our existence as we know it, will be non-existent.

This is not about belief, it is a fact.  It is not a question of if but a question of when.  The world will end at some point and life 'as we know it' will cease to exist.  The scientific community and religious community agrees together on these points.  For example, take these statements attributed to two popular people in their specific fields of study:
The long-term survival of the human race is at risk as long as it is confined to a single planet. Sooner or later, disasters such as an asteroid collision or nuclear war could wipe us all out. But once we spread out into space and establish independent colonies, our future should be safe. There isn't anywhere like the Earth in the solar system, so we would have to go to another star.

–Stephen Hawking, physicist
Quoting an 800 year old prophecy from Isaiah:
Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken (Matt 24:29).

-Jesus Christ
Stephen Hawking and Jesus agrees that there is an end of the world scenario. 

At some point in time, we need a new earth.  A new way to colonize outside of our current state of existence and to develop a method to ensure that our human race endures forever.  The silliest thing I hear all the time is that the sun will die out "billions of years" from now and we shouldn't worry...  But that's expecting everything will go according to plan!  What we don't know is what would happen if either the Sun or the Earth is hit by a large enough rock. 

Thankfully, the Creator does promise us a new earth:

"As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me," declares the LORD, "so will your name and descendants endure." (Isaiah 66:22)

Illustration by: asampogna/

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