United Brethren has retired.


For all of you Doomsday-watchers out there, the Guardian has compiled a list of possible End-of-the-World events that might occur in the next century. Here they are ordered by threat level:

1: Super-volcanos
2: Climate Change
3: Viral Pandemic
4: Meteorite impact
5: Robots taking over
6: Terrorism
7: Telomere erosion
8: Nuclear war
9: Cosmic ray blast from exploding star
10: Earth swallowed by a black hole

If you want to know what "telomere erosion" is here's a definition:
Reinhard Stindl, a medical doctor at the University of Vienna, says every species contains an "evolutionary clock", ticking through the generations and counting down towards an inevitable extinction date:

"On the end of every animal's chromosomes are protective caps called telomeres. Without them our chromosomes would become unstable. Each time a cell divides it never quite copies its telomere completely and throughout our lifetime the telomeres become shorter and shorter as the cells multiply. Eventually, when they become critically short, we start to see age-related diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer's, heart attacks and strokes.

"However, it is not just through our lifetime that telomeres get shorter. My theory is that there is a tiny loss of telomere length from one generation to the next, mirroring the process of ageing in individuals. Over thousands of generations the telomere gets eroded down to its critical level. Once at the critical level we would expect to see outbreaks of age-related diseases occurring earlier in life and finally a population crash. Telomere erosion could explain the disappearance of a seemingly successful species, such as Neanderthal man, with no need for external factors such as climate change."

Note the low risk of nucler war. How fast things change. Also, if a super volcano goes off at Yellowstone, we may have to change our Zion model somewhat....!

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Blogger Geoff J said ... (April 14, 2005 10:23 AM) 

Well if we use 3 Nephi as our guide to doomsday/the 2nd coming of Christ it will probably be a combination of several of those... First terrorists and then things like volcanoes, meteors, and climate change before the 2nd Coming.

At least we can avoid a Robot attack using that map!


Blogger john f. said ... (April 14, 2005 11:18 AM) 

Also, if a super volcano goes off at Yellowstone, we may have to change our Zion model somewhat....!

Yep, might have to move back to Independence.


Blogger john f. said ... (April 14, 2005 11:19 AM) 

By the way, it is interesting that the Guardian think that the robots taking over is more likely than a terrorist attack. Does this betray a suspicion by the Guardian that the terrorism scare is artificial, just a politically incorrect scare tactic initiated by Bush-Hitler?


Anonymous Ronan said ... (April 14, 2005 1:14 PM) 

Actually, John, they think a terrorist attack is more likely to happen, but would not have the global doomsday effect that Robots would if they took over!


Anonymous Eric Russell said ... (April 14, 2005 4:41 PM) 

That is interesting how nuclear war is so low, especially considering the super volcano - the highest - is given a .15% chance.

It appears that most likely, none of these will occur in our lifetime. I think it would be interesting to see a similar assessment of the liklihood of non-global, but major disasters.


Blogger Christian said ... (April 16, 2005 4:58 PM) 

Hi folks - I admit right up front that this post is off topic (I'm sorry about that, but I don't know where else to post this).

I am not a Mormon (I'm actually a protestant seminary student), but I need to learn more about Mormon beliefs, and I'd really like to get it from the horses mouth, so to speak. So perhaps you can help me.

Basically, I am looking for a book(s) on Mormon theology (specifically, what Mormons believe about God, Christ, salvation, etc) - I NOT all that interested in the history of the Mormon church (which seems to be what most of the books out there focus on). I would like to find something that Mormon's themselves would point to as "yes! that says well who we are!" I've already done some searching on Amazon, and I'm having a difficult time figuring out what's considered "orthodox" in LDS circles.

So if you have any suggestions or pointers, I would appreciate it greatly! Please email me w/ info...

Thanks much,


Anonymous Ronan said ... (April 16, 2005 6:17 PM) 

Douglas Davies' Introduction to Mormonism is an excellent book on Mormon theology. He's not a Mormon but he knows the church well and there's no agenda. He's also a trained theologian so he can put Mormonism within its context.


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