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Apr 22 2014

The end is nigh … again

I’m in the wrong line of work and, sadly, have a conscience thanks to my lousy parents giving me an inherent shame in lying and hyping. I’m not sure if anyone takes Pat Robertson seriously, but my fear is a lot of people do. And he clearly operates with no such moral restrictions:

HuffPo — “I wrote a book, I wrote a book. It’s called ‘The End of the Age’ and it deals with an asteroid hitting the Earth,” Robertson said on his show, “The 700 Club,” which airs on ABC Family. “I don’t see anything else that fulfills the prophetic words of Jesus Christ other than an asteroid strike. There isn’t anything that will cause the seas to roil, that will cause the skies to darken, the moon and the sun not to give their light, the nations terrified on Earth saying ‘what’s happening?’”

Robertson pointed out that Jupiter’s gravity pulls most of the bigger space rocks away from us. But one of these days… POW!

“Hey, just get ready. Get right and stay right with the Lord,” he urged in a clip posted online by The Raw Story. “It could be next week, or it could be a 1,000 years from now, but nevertheless we want to be ready at whatever time the Lord says ‘I’m wrapping it up, it’s time to come home.’”

It could be next week or a thousand years from now. That part we can all agree with. But it’s hard to see how the Bible has anything to say about asteroids, given the first one, Ceres, was discovered in 1801. That’s AD, as in After Death.

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  1. 1
    Cuttlefish

    Anno Domini

    (I can’t help myself, it’s rough draft comment season.)

  2. 2
    Gregory in Seattle

    First off, it would be a meteor, not an asteroid. And second, any asteroid with the potential to cause an extinction level event would be spotted months — more likely years — ahead of the actual impact. More than enough time to “get right” with our absentee alleged lord.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    ‘The End of the Age’ and it deals with an asteroid hitting the Earth,”

    Niven and Pournelle did it better, except that they clearly got tired of writing it and decided to just tack together a sort of ending because they hit the contracted page-count or something.

  4. 4
    Randomfactor

    “I don’t see anything else that fulfills the prophetic words of Jesus Christ other than an asteroid strike.

    Of course not. Because although he ustacould do all that stuff, god’s powers have declined so far that it’s a strain for him to appear on toast.

  5. 5
    Kaintukee Bob

    @Gregory in Seattle (#2)

    Really? I thought I’d heard that the amount of sky we actually watch with our current asteroid/meteor detection systems is really, really tiny. I’m sure that once it was close enough to be seen easily in the night sky, it’d be detected quickly, but wouldn’t that put it days or weeks out, not months or years?

  6. 6
    Pierce R. Butler

    Jupiter schmupiter – in Pat’s book the asteroid gets pushed towards the Earth by angels.

    They aim it towards San Francisco, of course.

  7. 7
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Get ready for the asteroid that will hit the Earth in 6.5 million years. Seriously. It’s better to prepare now than to wait 6.4 million years, because Jesus will know you’re just jerking him around.

  8. 8
    Holms

    #5
    No, there is an extensive search for such objects, and almost all of these objects have been far too dim to ever see with the naked eye, even at closest approach. Here is a map of their orbits, which should give you a sense of the crazy sensitivity the search has.

  9. 9
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    “I don’t see anything else that fulfills the prophetic words of Jesus Christ other than an asteroid strike. “

    How about a cometary strike which is even mor edangerous given comets are far less predictable and expect~able in their orbits?

    Of course with objects like the Centaurs and many NEO’s there’s an overlap which some comet’s looking asteroidal and some asteroids being the remnants of burnt down comets.

    Robertson pointed out that Jupiter’s gravity pulls most of the bigger space rocks away from us.

    Jupiter’s gravity is a bit of a metaphorical double edged sword – yes, it sops up some possible impactors but it also captures many long period objects into short period inner solar system dwelling ones making them more likely to impact the Earth. Eg. the Jupiter family of short period comets incl. the kreutz (sp?) sungrazers I think.

    @2. Gregory in Seattle : “First off, it would be a meteor, not an asteroid.”

    Pedantically it’d be a bolide impact – a meteorite assuming its from a meteoroid / asteroid that briefly went through a “shooting star” meteor stage in our atmosphere!

  10. 10
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    See :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centaur_(minor_planet)

    For more about the astronomical variety of Centaurs.

    See :

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/10/13/death-by-meteorite/#.U1eJn1WSx_Q

    for a look at the odds bolide impacts~wise via the Bad Astronomer who is actually brilliantly good. This also contains a link to the B612 foundation whichis also informative and worth looking at in this context I reckon.

    In addition if y’like check out another BA blog item here :

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/09/24/asteroids_and_comets_which_is_which.html

    on a couple of comets impersonating asteroids or are they asteroids impersonating comets?

  11. 11
    scoobie

    So even when it comes to the end of the world, god remains so puny and invisible that he has to operate via means that are indistinguishable from nature? How will we know it was him wot did it? Will Jebus be riding and hollering atop the rock?

  12. 12
    Ex Patriot

    The only thing he is maybe correct about is that a asteroid could hit the earth but not because some zombie is directing it or his so called father. This has happened before and could again but his so called sky fairy has nothing to do about it as he does not exist

  13. 13
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Hmm .. I’ve juststumbled on this item too :

    http://www.universetoday.com/111432/surprise-earth-is-hit-by-a-lot-more-asteroids-than-you-thought/#more-111432

    But, but, but, they all land in Russia for some unknown reason! ;-)

    (Tunguska, Sikhote-Alin, Chelyabinsk, etc .. )

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    PS. Wonder whether Robertson read that one befroe me -and more importantly before making his vague prediction?

    O’course its all too easy to predict a major meteorite impact, or volcano, or earthquake or .. etc .. will happen plus “wars and rumours of wars” (have there ever not been?)

    Adding specifics to those predictions – time and place and good enough info to help actually save lives and avert worse suffering and loss of life? Now *that* would be impressive!

    Possibly. I mean LA getting The massive Quake or Hawaii’s constant volcano erupting -or Iceland’s active cones a blastin’ sometime in the next few decades, not so much.

  15. 15
    Randomfactor

    But, but, but, they all land in Russia for some unknown reason! ;-)

    Another one just the other day. Not a hit, though.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/dashcam-captures-meteor-over-russia-n85691

  16. 16
    busterggi

    For a bunch who claim not to be a death cult Christians sure are obessed with death.

  17. 17
    Marcus Ranum

    A rogue black hole would be cooler. Because falling into it would (to an observer) last forever, therefore: eternal damnation.

  18. 18
    thebookofdave

    @#6 Pierce R. Butler

    They aim it towards San Francisco, of course.

    It probably struck 20 years ago, but missed its target by a few miles. When’s the next End Of The World planned?

  19. 19
    comfychair

    The end has been nigh since before the first human put pointed stick to clay tablet, I think.

  1. 20
    This week in science: Calentamiento de la Tierra - Online Political Blog

    […] City busting bolides impact our planet once or twice a year on average, but so far population centers have been lucky. Oh, and the seer, Pat Robertson, predicted this all along! […]

  2. 21
    This week in science: Calentamiento de la Tierra | PROGRESSIVE VOICES

    […] City busting bolides impact our planet once or twice a year on average, but so far population centers have been lucky. Oh, and the seer, Pat Robertson, predicted this all along! […]

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