The expected maximum solar flares, which astrophysicists have calculated will definitely take place towards to end of 2011-2012, may knock out all electrical and satellite communications. But what will we do without these communications?
Now, never before in known human history has the world been threatened with the possibility of a major nuclear conflict. It happened before on a limited scale in Japan in 1945 and it can happen again, this time involving several nations, especially in this era where fanatical fundamentalists are prepared to kill themselves in the process of killing others and who believe that there is a paradisiacal reward awaiting them!
The flash points could be the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Iranian pledge to annihilate Israel, and the North Korean threat, all of which could also involve Russia and China. Of course, many believe that such a thing will never happen in their lifetime, and so, please don't stop the Carnival. But it is recorded in the Book that they were eating and drinking and taking wives when the Flood came and took them all away, and also that it will be "the fire next time."
This newspaper is not the medium for linking science and religion. On the other hand, my book, The End of this Era A Linkage between Science and Religion, does just that. In fact, when it was launched in Melbourne, Australia in March, the audience was particularly attentive to my talk as it was at a time when Australia's worst ever bush fires laid waste thousands of acres and claimed many lives. It was described as "Hell on Earth."
But "the fire next time" can come from sources other than a nuclear holocaust.
The asteroid belt is a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and may contain over a million objects larger than one kilometre across. They are primordial objects left over from the formation of the solar system following the Big Bang; leftover rocky matter which orbits the sun and which has never successfully coalesced into a planet like ours. They are sometimes nudged by the gravitation pull of nearby planets into orbits that cause them to enter Earth's atmosphere.
Significantly, in ancient and medieval Europe, meteors were described as bright "fire balls," "shooting stars," or "falling stars." As they enter Earth's atmosphere and plummet towards the ground, they become bright streaks of light generating intense heat and usually burn up before they get close enough to Earth. They are then called meteorites. Some are indeed celestial missiles, which are capable of unleashing more power than thousands of nuclear bombs.
It also needs to be appreciated that each day about a billion meteors, captives of gravity, pass into Earth's atmosphere. The vast majority of them are smallish objects that heat up and disintegrate as they enter into the planet's invisible barrier of air, but a few of them are of such magnitude as to change the course of history. Indeed, it is believed that the annihilation of the dinosaurs several million years ago was a result of the impact of an asteroid in the Yucatan Peninsula.
The astronomers, astrophysicists and cosmologists all over the world are fully aware of this threat. In April 2004 Dr Michael Griffin, Administrator, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in a testimony to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, said: "Thank you for giving me this opportunity to comment on the greatest natural threat to the long-term survivability of mankind, an asteroid impact with Earth. The effects of an impact are so catastrophic that it is essential to prepare a defence against such an occurrence. Impacts with diameters greater than one kilometre could result in worldwide damage and a possible elimination of the human race." Apropos this, in April 2004, NASA astronaut Ed Liu told United States scientists that (hopefully) an asteroid deflection mission could be ready for flight by 2015. Some, however, think that by then it may be too late!
The Mayans had a great gift and as far as I am concerned all gifts come from the Creator and it may possibly be a well-planned and purposeful gift to warn mankind. They prophesied that the end of this era (not the end of the world) will be on the winter solstice of December 21, 2012, after which there will be a new era of peace and love when the world will then enter what they called the "fifth cycle," the others having been previously destroyed by cataclysms about 4,000-5,000 years apart. Interestingly, Biblical scholars have calculated that the great Flood of Noah's time would have occurred about 4,353 years ago!
I predict as the months go by, the so-called 2012 apocalypse will probably cause increasing concern and panic, especially as television stations like the History Channel have already produced impressive documentaries about 2012, and I am told that there is soon to be a movie on it. As I wrote last week, scholars normally contribute these myths to the fantasies of ancient poets. But what if the scholars are wrong?
But if this comes to pass, there is another frightening aspect to it. For example, we live in an era when wars and missile exchanges taking place thousands of miles away (like the Iraq War) are televised and can be seen in people's homes. Can you imagine the scene when NASA will be able to televise an incoming asteroid weeks or months in advance?
The Christian Bible says that no one knows the day or the hour except the Father. But nothing is said about the year!