Killer asteroid may interfere with Singularity

Wouldn’t that just be humanity’s luck?  An asteroid hits earth and wipes out the human race just 9 years before the Singularity comes to pass and we all would have been made immortal.

From AOL News:

Not to alarm you, but Russian scientists estimate Earth will be hit by an asteroid on April 13, 2036. Should we start packing our bags now? And where would we go?

In 2004, NASA suggested the possibility that the asteroid called Apophis, bigger than two football fields, might collide with our planet in 2029. Further computations changed their minds about that prediction.

And now, Russian figures give us a new date for a possible encounter with the giant rock from space.

“Technically, they’re correct — there is a chance in 2036″ that Apophis will hit Earth, Donald Yeomans, head of NASA’s Near Earth Object Program, told the Life’s Little Mysteries website.

But Yeomans added that the odds of this happening are only 1 in 250,000.

Last month, Leonid Sokolov of Russia’s St. Petersburg State University announced that “Apophis will approach Earth at a distance of 37,000 to 38,000 kilometers on April 13, 2029. Its likely collision with Earth may occur on April 13, 2036.” . . .

The Russian researchers theorize that the nearly 1,000-foot-diameter Apophis might pass through an area in space called a gravitational keyhole in its 2029 pass of Earth. This keyhole might alter the asteroid’s course and aim it for a more direct hit of our home planet.

Yeomans explains that NASA isn’t concerned about Apophis coming too close to us in 2029.

“We’ve already ruled out the possibility of it hitting at that time,” he said. “On the other hand, if it goes through what we call a keyhole during that close Earth encounter … then it will indeed be perturbed just right so that it will come back and smack Earth on April 13, 2036.”

via Russian Scientists Say Asteroid on Collision Course With Earth.

Then read  Time Magazine: 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal

We are going to have to run a whole gauntlet of apocalypses.  First comes Rev. Camping’s prediction that the Rapture will happen on May 21 of this year (just three months left!).  The Mayans predicted that the world will end in 2012.  Then we have April 13, 2036 for the Asteroid.  And 2045 for the Singularity.  At least it’s not just Christians or semi-Christians who are making these kinds of predictions now.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Dennis Peskey

    I think I’ll go plant a tree.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • Dennis Peskey

    I think I’ll go plant a tree.
    Peace,
    Dennis

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, the good news is that if the asteroid does hit, we won’t have to suffer the complete consequences of Social Security collapsing.

    At least if (ha ha ha ha ha) the actuarial assumptions (ha ha ha) hold (ha ha ha) up.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, the good news is that if the asteroid does hit, we won’t have to suffer the complete consequences of Social Security collapsing.

    At least if (ha ha ha ha ha) the actuarial assumptions (ha ha ha) hold (ha ha ha) up.

  • WebMonk

    While 1 in 250,000 is better than winning the super jackpot lottery, it’s still not something I’ll worry about.

  • WebMonk

    While 1 in 250,000 is better than winning the super jackpot lottery, it’s still not something I’ll worry about.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Dennis @ 1-That’s funny!!

    I’m ashamed to admit that I used to belong to a dispensational premillenial church. Looking back on it, it’s pretty pathetic how every little thing happening in the Middle East turned into a “Jesus is coming back tomorrow!!!!” argument.

    Jesus will come back in His own time, not ours.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Dennis @ 1-That’s funny!!

    I’m ashamed to admit that I used to belong to a dispensational premillenial church. Looking back on it, it’s pretty pathetic how every little thing happening in the Middle East turned into a “Jesus is coming back tomorrow!!!!” argument.

    Jesus will come back in His own time, not ours.

  • Booklover

    Hi Dr. Veith…
    What is singularity? I tried the link to the Times and got Luther at the Movies.

  • Booklover

    Hi Dr. Veith…
    What is singularity? I tried the link to the Times and got Luther at the Movies.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I think we need to commission a pair of shuttles armered with unobtainium and send a crew of roughnecks to Apophis and blow it up with a nuclear warhead.

  • http://lutherama.blogspot.com Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    I think we need to commission a pair of shuttles armered with unobtainium and send a crew of roughnecks to Apophis and blow it up with a nuclear warhead.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Anybody else remember the movie Meteor with Sean Connery?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Anybody else remember the movie Meteor with Sean Connery?

  • Greg Smith

    Booklover:

    The Singularity is the point where computers/machines essentially become sentient. This has been fodder for science fiction for decades. It may become a reality before too many more decades pass. Here is a link to the article at Time:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2048138-1,00.html

    There are differing viewpoints on whether this will be good for man or bad for man. Most of the science fiction scenarios have, of course, played of the latter.

  • Greg Smith

    Booklover:

    The Singularity is the point where computers/machines essentially become sentient. This has been fodder for science fiction for decades. It may become a reality before too many more decades pass. Here is a link to the article at Time:

    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2048138-1,00.html

    There are differing viewpoints on whether this will be good for man or bad for man. Most of the science fiction scenarios have, of course, played of the latter.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Thanks, Booklover, and sorry for the incorrect link. I fixed it.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    Thanks, Booklover, and sorry for the incorrect link. I fixed it.

  • WebMonk

    Greg, I’d say that most sci-fi scenarios play it out that it would be good for man – a bunch of challenges, but overall good. Of course, there are plenty of doomsday stories out there on the Singularity, but I would estimate the majority to be generally positive toward the concept.

  • WebMonk

    Greg, I’d say that most sci-fi scenarios play it out that it would be good for man – a bunch of challenges, but overall good. Of course, there are plenty of doomsday stories out there on the Singularity, but I would estimate the majority to be generally positive toward the concept.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Not to alarm you, but Russian scientists estimate Earth will be hit by an asteroid on April 13, 2036. Should we start packing our bags now? And where would we go?”

    Finally, a solution to the unfunded liabilities of social entitlements!
    :-)

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “Not to alarm you, but Russian scientists estimate Earth will be hit by an asteroid on April 13, 2036. Should we start packing our bags now? And where would we go?”

    Finally, a solution to the unfunded liabilities of social entitlements!
    :-)

  • Tom Hering

    “There are differing viewpoints on whether [the Singularity] will be good for man or bad for man.”

    There are also differing viewpoints on whether the Singularity can ever happen. Of course, all you have to do is redefine “intelligence” and “sentience” (things that are hard enough to define for humans – never mind machines) in order to announce that it has happened.

  • Tom Hering

    “There are differing viewpoints on whether [the Singularity] will be good for man or bad for man.”

    There are also differing viewpoints on whether the Singularity can ever happen. Of course, all you have to do is redefine “intelligence” and “sentience” (things that are hard enough to define for humans – never mind machines) in order to announce that it has happened.

  • WebMonk

    Sunrise Alley and Alpha are a couple of good books (Alpha immediately follows Sunrise Alley) that look at the melding and differences of human and computer. It’s not a Singularity-all-at-once view, but rather looking at the beginning of the Singularity process.

    They’re good adventure and romance (kind of) stories, but I particularly like Asaro’s approach to the topic. One of the things that irritates me about some stories is the greatly increased speed at which cultural changes sweep across the author’s world – I realize it makes for a more concise and compact story, but even something like a Singularity would take many generations, were it to be able to happen at all.

    Asaro introduces the beginning of what will obviously be a multi-generational process and very likely never be truly 100% completed. I appreciated that aspect of the story.

    As for the original topic of the asteroid, I think we’ll have a much more precise grasp of what the asteroid will be doing in another 15 years. Then, if we see that our odds of a strike go up to something like 1 in 1000, I hope we would do something to deflect it or break it up before we cross orbits again. I have a suspicion that the odds will rise as we get a better set of observations and the possible affecting variables start dropping out. In ten years it’ll be up to 1 in 10^6, and in another ten, it’ll be nailed down to a near miss with no chance of hitting Earth.

  • WebMonk

    Sunrise Alley and Alpha are a couple of good books (Alpha immediately follows Sunrise Alley) that look at the melding and differences of human and computer. It’s not a Singularity-all-at-once view, but rather looking at the beginning of the Singularity process.

    They’re good adventure and romance (kind of) stories, but I particularly like Asaro’s approach to the topic. One of the things that irritates me about some stories is the greatly increased speed at which cultural changes sweep across the author’s world – I realize it makes for a more concise and compact story, but even something like a Singularity would take many generations, were it to be able to happen at all.

    Asaro introduces the beginning of what will obviously be a multi-generational process and very likely never be truly 100% completed. I appreciated that aspect of the story.

    As for the original topic of the asteroid, I think we’ll have a much more precise grasp of what the asteroid will be doing in another 15 years. Then, if we see that our odds of a strike go up to something like 1 in 1000, I hope we would do something to deflect it or break it up before we cross orbits again. I have a suspicion that the odds will rise as we get a better set of observations and the possible affecting variables start dropping out. In ten years it’ll be up to 1 in 10^6, and in another ten, it’ll be nailed down to a near miss with no chance of hitting Earth.

  • Carl Vehse

    Is it too late to get an asteroid rider on my homeowner’s insurance policy?!?

  • Carl Vehse

    Is it too late to get an asteroid rider on my homeowner’s insurance policy?!?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Come on, how can an asteroid hit us in 2036 when the world ends in 2012? I mean really people, think about it. And we call these people scientists?

  • http://www.utah-lutheran.blogspot.com Bror Erickson

    Come on, how can an asteroid hit us in 2036 when the world ends in 2012? I mean really people, think about it. And we call these people scientists?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Crud… now I’ve got R.E.M. going through my head…

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    Crud… now I’ve got R.E.M. going through my head…


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