The end of our times seems to creep closer and closer as the Doomsday Clock is slowly reaching midnight according to scientists. The concept of having a clock that calculates how close the human race is to extinction from various factors ranging from nuclear war to new technologies has been implemented since 1947 at the University of Chicago.
The team in charge of calculating the likelihood of total annihilation is the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, founded in 1945 by the ones involved in the development of nuclear bombs and tests. The concept of the clock has already been portrayed in mass media by the comic book series and movie, Watchmen. Once the minute hand reaches midnight, the human race will be extinct, or at least, that’s what it is believed.
The closest we have ever been to this dire time was back in 1953 when the clock was two minutes away from midnight. This was caused by the constant nuclear bomb tests carried out in the US and the Soviet Union. At that time, the scientists’ team claimed that the western civilization was just a couple of ticks away from atomic bombs lighting up the sky from Moscow to Chicago.
28 years after that period, the clock moved slightly back, at 4 minutes to midnight. This was marked by the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan in parallel with the US withdrawing from the Olympic Games held in Moscow. Fortunately, in both of those cases, extinction was still close but somewhat far away.
The Cold War put us at 17 minutes till midnight, mostly due to the fact that in 1991, both the US and Russia decided that having a nuclear deterrent was no longer viable, cutting the worldwide nuclear arsenal drastically in the process.
But, in 2015, the clock showed something extremely dire. We are only 3 minutes until midnight, and it seems like the clock doesn’t necessarily want to stop its progression in 2016. Climate change and the modernization of nuclear weapons on a global scale, in addition to outsized nuclear arsenals, are pushing the clock’s hand closer and closer.
True, the Doomsday Clock is still just a prediction, but it does show a rather interesting fact. Almost all scientific parties, ranging from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists to Stephen Hawking, are fearing that our current human civilization is on the brink of wiping itself out. But it is worth noting that some scientists believe that the human race “as we know it” is on the brink, not humanity as a whole, with us simply reaching the new step in our evolutionary ladder.
Even if concepts differ from party to party, the fact that the Doomsday Clock is slowly reaching midnight according to scientists is still somewhat widespread. Even if the nuclear threat is not as big as the one from 1953, climate change and deadly disease outbreaks have become increasingly threatening, without showing any signs of stopping in the near future.