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Scientists release list of doomsday scenarios


Posted on Sunday, 15 September, 2013 | Comment icon 20 comments

An asteroid impact is one possible disaster scenario. Image Credit: NASA/Don Davis
The research aims to provide a complete list of threats capable of bringing about the end of the world.
Among the most prominent threats are disasters such as an asteroid impact, an outbreak of incurable disease and the possibility of a nuclear apocalypse. Other scenarios include cyber-attack, a genetically engineered super virus or even the idea of computers becoming self-aware, a concept explored in numerous science fiction movies including "The Terminator" and "The Matrix".

Now a group of scientists including Professor Stephen Hawking and Astronomer Royal Lord Rees will be conducting further research in to the existential risks to mankind and how we may be able to make ourselves more resilient to them.

"In future decades, events with low probability but catastrophic consequences may loom high on the political agenda," said Lord Rees at the British Science Festival in Newcastle.

"We fret too much about minor hazards of everyday life: improbable air crashes, carcinogens in food, low radiation doses, and so forth. But the wide public is in denial about two kinds of threats: those that we're causing collectively to the biosphere, and those that stem from the greater vulnerability of our interconnected world to error or terror induced by individuals or small groups."

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (20)

Tags: Doomsday, Apocalypse


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #11 Posted by Aggie on 15 September, 2013, 19:02
I think Zombie Apocalypse is unlikely, unless everyone goes bathsalt crazy? Well, I have watched World War Z twice already...so I'm prepared! lol
Comment icon #12 Posted by Frank Merton on 15 September, 2013, 19:03
I think quite a bit has already been done. Objects that might collide with the earth are being found and followed, potential super-volcanoes are being watched, and the worst threat -- nuclear annihilation -- has diminished a lot with the end of the cold war (China and Vietnam are still communist countries and China has an unfortunate and unneeded nuclear program, but the only real Communist threat left is N. Korea (if such a hereditary monarchy can be called Communist). If the Iranians persist, something will have to be done and almost certainly will be, although I suspect the Chamberlains of ... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by MamaTweedy on 16 September, 2013, 0:41
how are computers going to become self aware when they are no smarter than the people that input information...that makes no sence
Comment icon #14 Posted by DecoNoir on 16 September, 2013, 1:05
Well, I have watched World War Z twice already...so I'm prepared! lol You should give the book a try. Id lend my copy but I don't think I can throw that far.
Comment icon #15 Posted by dummy2b on 16 September, 2013, 1:14
When all food is gone and we begin to eat each other, that will be the end of life on earth.
Comment icon #16 Posted by Xanthurion2 on 16 September, 2013, 3:19
Good idea to be prepared for any possible scenario no matter how ridiculous it seems.
Comment icon #17 Posted by Arbenol68 on 16 September, 2013, 3:28
When all food is gone and we begin to eat each other, that will be the end of life on earth. The last man alive will have to eat himself.
Comment icon #18 Posted by EtherialNight on 16 September, 2013, 5:22
I'm with the GE super viruses especially as they have already "accidentally" released a couple so far, and zombie/infection apocalypse, a la World War Z style.
Comment icon #19 Posted by Kaa-Tzik on 16 September, 2013, 9:54
Thining about it, it's possible that a zombie apocalypse is not so far fetched. Think of the scenario in 28 Days Later where the zombies are caused by a rabies like manmade virus that in the film was called "rage". All other fantasy zombies, like in The Walking Dead are essentially supernatural and not believable. For instance, any organism that moves and acts as the zombies do, must, in the real world, be alive and need water and food to provide the energy to move. Film zombies don't get to eat much, if anything, think of fatso down the well in Walking Dead, and could not in reality survive v... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by highdesert50 on 16 September, 2013, 12:28
The biggest threat to Earth is us, or more specifically, too many of us with no place to grow.


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