First the bad news: The world is going to end one day and there is nothing we can do about it. The good news: We could have a billion years to enjoy ourselves here before that happens.
Humans have long been obsessed with "The End." Since the dawn of civilization, people claiming to know when the big day is coming have stirred up trouble, sparked panics and started cults. The latest apocalyptic anxiety is being drummed up by David Meade, a devout Christian who predicts the Rapture as foretold in the Book of Revelations is coming Saturday (what a bummer doomsday couldn't at least fall on a Monday).
There is no scientific evidence to support the theory espoused by the self-described "specialist in research and investigation."
There are, however, several scenarios in which humans could be wiped out. And even if we manage to avoid all of those, the sun will die one day.
"A lot of people have written books about all the ways that the universe can get us," said Richard Binzel, a professor of planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Fortunately those are all very low probability. But, the one certainty is that the sun will not last forever."
*****************************************************Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has warned that over-population is another possible bullet that could lead to the demise of Earth as we know it.
As of April 2017, the planet's population is an estimated 7.5 billion, and the United Nations projects it will grow to 11.2 billion by the year 2100. (By comparison, the world's population is estimated to have been about 370 million in the year 1350.)
At a speech in June at the Starmus science festival in Trondheim, Norway, Hawking said mankind's only hope is to colonize other worlds.
"I am convinced that humans need to leave earth," he told the crowd at the festival. "The Earth is becoming too small for us, our physical resources are being drained at an alarming rate . . . When we have reached similar crisis in our history there has usually been somewhere else to colonize. Columbus did it in 1492 when he discovered the new world. But now there is no new world. No Eutopia around the corner. We are running out of space."