Doomsday List: British Scientists Reveal How They Think The World Will End
There's a lot of speculation out there as to how the world will end. Now we have some expert authority on what might fry us to a crisp. British scientists have put together a doomsday list, a catalog of events they say could end mankind, based on things like where global technology, conflict and climate change are headed.
Scientists from Cambridge and Oxford Universities have come up with a list of events they believe are likely to end the world. They set up an organization called the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Existential Risk to assess what poses the greatest threat to our species.
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"Our goal is to steer a small fraction of Cambridge's great intellectual resources, and of the reputation built on its past and present scientific pre-eminence, to the task of ensuring that our own species has a long-term future," it states on the organization's website. From bioterrorism to cyber-attacks, the menu of plausible doomsday scenarios and their consequences are unsavory to say the least.
"We fret too much about minor hazards of everyday life: improbable air crashes, carcinogens in food, low radiation doses, and so forth," Lord Rees, astronomer and former president of the Royal Society, told the British Science Festival in Newcastle on Thursday, according to Sky News.
"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."
So what made the scientists' doomsday list?
Of course, there's always the possibilty of a giant fireball coming out of the sky and obliterating Earth. There's also war, nuclear apocalypse, hostile and self-aware computers, cyber or bioterrorism and pandemics.
"Pandemics could spread at the speed of jet aircraft, causing maximal havoc in the shambolic but burgeoning megacities of the developing world. Social media could spread psychic contagion - rumors and panic - literally at the speed of light," Rees said at the festival, according to The Telegraph.
Scientists working on the doomsday risk project are looking for funding to conduct research into these various models of the world's end. Hopefully they'll figure out how to keep angry computers at bay.
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