The Clock is ticking…
The most debatable or we can say unresolved mysteries of our time is how it all started and how it is going to end… It’s more like a hen and egg problem, the genesis that will lead to a dreadful end or the end which will start a blissful new beginning.
Every major religion has its own way of untangling these then and when questions. Hinduism offers a version in which Lord Brahma created the universe out of himself and Lord Vishnu will take his tenth avatar where he will return as Kalki a figure on a white horse to battle evil and to usher in the age of Satya Yuga. In Christianity, God created Adam and Eve and through them, the whole human race was born. And in the end, the Bible’s Book of Revelation details Armageddon, the final battle on Earth between the forces of God and Satan. The doomsday beliefs of some ancient religions can still be felt in modern secular society, as was the case with the conclusion of the Mayan calendar cycle that predicted the end of the world in 2012.
When we are talking about religion and God, how can we ignore science? The battle between faith and proof, scriptures and technologies are still in place, with believers on both sides.
What if I tell you that science has found a way to predict the apocalypse?
Yes, the indication of a tipping point, when humans will fall into the ditch of their own creation.
The Doomsday Clock
The Doomsday Clock is a device created by the scientist of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientist in 1947, founded by Albert Einstein and his students from University of Chicago. The clock is symbol of apocalypse created by humankind.
The idea of the clock initially emerged from the mind of concern physicists after their work in the second world war, when US scientist and engineers took part in Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 by the US military.
The clock started out at 11:53 p.m., in 1947, at the beginning of the Cold War; it was started at seven minutes to midnight. And over the years it has been shifted back and forth as the global situation has worsened or improved. Since then, it has been adjusted 24 times. The furthest the clock has been set was 17 minutes to midnight, in 1991, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. But on 23 January 2020, the clock was moved closer to midnight than at any other time in its near 75-year lifetime i.e., 100 seconds to the midnight.
Minutes to Midnight
Here “Midnight” is not just a time of the day, it has a deeper meaning. According to the Clock, midnight is represented as the time when the apocalypse will arise upon the world. There are various things taken into consideration when the scientists from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decide what Midnight and “global catastrophe” really mean in a particular year. The potential sources of threat include nuclear threats, climate change, bioterrorism, and artificial intelligence, threats to humanity from unchecked scientific and technological advancements.
Every year, the responsibility falls upon The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board, a group of globally recognized leaders and noble laureates, experts in the specific field of nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies come together to reset the clock after a deliberative discussion on each crisis, climax and its resolution before the Clock could set to reflect the possible doomsday.
The Clock is not set or reset in real-time as the event occurs but only after the discussion and exhaustion of every possible avoidable outcome.
The members of the Science and Security Board have set the Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to a civilization-ending apocalypse and the same time we set in 2020. It is a deeply unfortunate coincidence that the clock was set when we step into the global pandemic, the worst century has ever seen. And even in 2021 the clock remained unchanged from 100 seconds to midnight, illustrating the perils facing the planet and mankind of their own making.
What will happen at MIDNIGHT…?
“The Bulletin’s Clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age…” — Eugene Rabinowitch, Co-founder of the Bulletin.
Don’t worry if you think at midnight the earth will tear open and every living being will submerge into the almighty nature as humanity's damnation. No nothing too conclusive. But yes, it is said to be a metaphor of apocalypse, how near we are to human-ending catastrophe coupled with a nuclear weapon and climate change, pushing the civilization over the edge. Because there is a tipping point with the climate that you can’t come back from. You won’t feel its effects until it’s too late to be recovered. The clock and its remaining time from midnight is a mere warning to mankind, so they are prepared for any global threats. Bulletin members have constantly emphasized that the clock is not intended to make people fearful, but rather to spur them to action, that could save lives.