The Big Question 99: Will Humanity Destroy Itself?
Apr 29, 2022 1508
Will humanity destroy itself?
Since 1947, the members of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have maintained the doomsday clock. This clock represents the threat to humanity of a global man-made catastrophe.
The Bulletin’s board monitors new scientific and technological developments that could inflict irrevocable harm to the human race. In 1947, when the doomsday clock was started, the key issue was a global nuclear disaster, but since them other factors, such as climate change have been added.
In the clock, global catastrophe is represented by midnight, and how close the world is to catastrophe is reflected by the number of minutes to midnight. The furthest the clock has been to midnight was 17 minutes in 1991. In 2022, the clock was the closest to midnight it’s ever been, at 100 seconds to midnight.
The reality is that despite humanity’s ability to proliferate and dominate the biological and natural resources of the planet, there are plenty of examples from history of entire civilisations that completely destroyed themselves. The “four horsemen” of the apocalypse represent key factors that contributed to the collapse of these civilisations. These are war, natural disasters, famine and plagues.
While some of these factors are random events of nature, there are many ways in which these civilizations have contributed to their own demise.
But those were individual civilisations that were replaced by others. And in our highly connected and globalised world, now, for the first time in history, we are looking now at the possibility of the destruction of the entire human race.
Here is just one pointer. In 2021 The Weizmann Institute of Sciences in Israel published a study that compared human-made mass with all the living mass, or biomass, on the planet. Human-made mass is all stuff that humanity has made, including all the rubbish it has produced. The study showed that for the first time in human history, human-mad mass has surpassed the biomass of the planet, or will do so in the very near future.
From whatever perspective you look at it, we have many reasons to be very worried. That is, unless you bring God into the equation.
The Bible repeatedly tells us how the end of the world will play out, and it won’t be through humanity destroying itself. Instead, it is God who will be the agent of the destruction of this world, at the second coming of Jesus.
It won’t be because he hates the world and the people in it. Instead, it will be because God loves the world and wants to rebuild it as a perfect home for all those who choose him, who love over hatred.
As much as you might look around you and think that this world is spiralling out of control, you can trust that God is still on the throne. And he will create a new earth where love and righteousness will reign, and where there will be no more unfairness, suffering, or pain.