Religion · Science

We’ll Have Ample Warning of the Apocalypse

People have been arguing for ages now that the end of the world, as foretold in John’s shroom trip the book of Revelation, will be upon us any minute now.

But I think the Bible makes it clear that we’ll have ample warning — thousands if not millions of years — before that happens.

Revelation 6:12-13 says:

12I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

As I understand it, all seven seals have to be opened before Armageddon, and the seventh seal can’t be opened until the stars fall to earth.

The thing is, we know where the closest stars are. The nearest one is four and some change light years away. Even Kent Hovind concedes that stars up to 100 ly away can be located via parallax.

We can also directly measure the velocity with which stars are moving toward or away from us by looking at their spectrum shift.

What this adds up to is that we’ll be able to tell when neighboring stars start moving toward us. Since stars are such massive objects, they have a lot of inertia. They can’t just turn on a dime. We’ll see them slowing down and shifting direction. And even when they’re on a collision course with the solar system it’ll take centuries before they get here.

Of course, there’s the whole business of the size of stars compared to the Earth. When the events of Rev. 6:13 occur, I doubt anyone will describe it as “stars falling to earth”. When those stars collide, they’ll destroy all of the inner solar system planets. Which raises the question of where, exactly, the seventh seal will be opened.

But I’ll let the theologians worry about that. And Michael Bay, because that seems like the kind of movie he’d make.

2 thoughts on “We’ll Have Ample Warning of the Apocalypse

  1. The thing is, we know where the closest stars are. The nearest one is four and some change light years away.
    Technically speaking the closest star is at a mean distance of ~93×10^6 miles 😉

Comments are closed.