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Challenge Match: Druid42 vs vkey08: "Doomsday" has a new date. It is....

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posted on Jan, 16 2013 @ 10:30 PM
Thanks goes out to vkey08 for engaging in this debate, and the readers as well, and special thanks to the judges ruling.

The topic is a popular one, TEOTWAWKI, TSHTF, and numerous other acronyms. It's something that was supposed to happen on 12/21/12. Alas. The Mayans were wrong. The long count ended, and the next resumed.

Doomsday passed us by once again.


It's within the confines of this debate that my opponent and I will address all the aspects of "Doomsday", and hopefully, by the end of this debate, we'll have selected a date upon which it occurs. In all honesty, I foresee it being within our lifetimes. To be more specific, within 10 years.

There are numerous factors to address, from global warming, unstable world economies, terrorist activities, and civil unrest.

Climatology has noted a shrinking Arctic Mass. We are on the verge of another "Fiscal Cliff". At any time a terrorist group may unleash a biological pandemic, and if Obama bans weapons, there may be civil war.

Any of those activities may produce the tinder to ignite a volatile situation from which there is no recovery.

I excluded natural disasters, until now.. We are at a solar maximum, so at anytime a CME can strike the earth and wipe out all electronics. The EMP would wipe out satellites, smartphones, and the electrical grid.. No more internet, no more computers, and no more cars to drive (all modern cars have electronic computers in them, which would be fried). With the electrical grid gone, which is regulated by computers, it's a electrical blackout.

There are near earth asteroids floating around through space, some categorized, some not, and further on we'll see the potentially hazardous candidates.

Aside of all that, there's the "Ring of Fire" in the Pacific Basin, any earthquake triggers causing volcanic eruptions. If Yellowstone blows, the complete western half of the USA is lost, and we would then be plunged into the proverbial "Nuclear Winter". There are other volcanic "hotspots" throughout the world, any of which could produce enough soot to block the vital sunlight required for weather regulation.

In short, Doomsday may be tomorrow. It may be a year. Surely, it will be within the 3.6 billion years before our sun goes supernova, and bakes the earth to ash. It is inevitable. The question is WHEN.

Now that I've painted a nearly hopeless future, I turn the debate over to my opponent, to find something hopeful within the odds against us.

With that, I yield the floor to vkey08.

posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 07:06 AM
Doomsday, the 2012 experience, Nibiru, PlanetX, Mass Chaos, Dogs and cats living together, biblical stuff.. Or......

We all know that at some point billions of years from now our sun will as is natural for it's course of life turn into a red giant, and then in the process of shedding it's shell burn the planet to a tinder, but that's BILLIONS of years from now, and by then, humans will most likely have colonized the outer reaches of the galaxy, as such the species will live, and we will continue on, so as long as everyone realizes that the science there, that a star has a finite life, and that a planetary nova is an inevitable result of the life cycle, and we agree that that is NOT a doomsday scenario we can continue.

When 2012 was a comin, a lot of people started to flood the forum with purported pictures of a mysterious Planet X aka Nibiru. And while entertaining, (as Planet X was supposed to wreck havoc back in 2003) it was just a footnote in a long line of predictions, albeit a very influential one, spawning movies, books, tv shows, and many more things. Heck one of my favorite shows on right now is Revolution, showing a post-apocalyptic world, but wait... HUMANS SURVIVED.

Well why? We may be floating on a rock in the middle of space, but the odds are that we will be here this year, next year and the year after that, as long as humans survive, it's not really doomsday. Remember that statement, as long as we survive, it is not doomsday. Doomsday suggests that we cease to exist, that we are all dead, every last one of us. Even if a massive comet hit the planet, or a nuclear war took place tomorrow, it's not doomsday.

Why is this so important, because to understand the doomsday phenomenon, you have to understand the mindset behind it, humans have been obsessed with their own demise since before recorded history, even in Bible, there's entire chapters devoted to how the Earth will be destroyed (Revelations, et al) so to be fair, some people may feel that God has, through his might predicted doomsday, but even the Bible's doomsday isn't really one, why you ask? Simple, in the end, humanity still survives. The chosen people ascend to a "new heaven and Earth" hmm.. OK, we live, so what's the fuss. So a few billion people suffer and die, as long as the species survives, that's all that matters.

So with this in mind, I will turn this back over to Druid with the following stipulation and question.

Stipulation: Every star in the universe has a life cycle, the planetary system is part of that life cycle, for the purposes of this debate, a Star's life (not including solar activity like a maximum) is conceded to be a scientific fact and out of the realm of a "doomsday" scenario.

Question: What is your new target date, if any, and what do you feel will be the final downfall of Earth.

posted on Jan, 17 2013 @ 09:42 PM
I will concede that a Star's lifespan is without the terms of this debate, but will include the fact, for reference, that LONG before a sun goes Supernova, the radiation it produces in the form of gamma rays would irradiate all life on it's planetary belongings. Yes, the radiation would get us well before it ever went Red Giant, probably a few Billion years before the Supernova event. The stipulation is acknowledged by this participant, and henceforth, will not be referred to as a cause of a doomsday event.

You see, we are precariously balanced in a narrow range of atmospheric concentrations of Oxygen, Nitrogen, and Carbon Dioxide, (toss in a few trace elements for the sake of argument) and heating the atmosphere upsets that balance. Humans need air to breath, and within the current parameters that we now have. There are many things that can upset that balance, but before I continue, let me regress to address my opponent's Socratic Question.

Question: What is your new target date, if any, and what do you feel will be the final downfall of Earth.

Honestly, I am saving the "reveal" for my final post in this debate, and my opponent will have one final chance to refute it. I can answer the second part by referring to the geological record. All past five extinction events were related to extraterrestrial impactors, asteroids which wiped out 30-90% of existing life.

I'll reflect back to my opponent's position, that as long as a pocket of humanity survives, it's not a doomsday. I'll posit that any event that terminates the existence of 50% of humanity IS a doomsday event. Casual definitions infer the upset of the current status of humanity on this planet, but need not be the parameters in this debate. I would for my opponent to agree that disruption of the current infrastructure, the WWW, the global economy, and the ability to go to the grocery store to buy everyday needs being disrupted would indicate a deviation from the norm, and such a disruption would have a cascading effect on the mentality of human beings. Riots, looting, supply chains disrupted, panic, and lack of resources are all just a mere calamity away.

Enter the doomsday preppers.

Socratic Question: Why would a small percentage of the population devote their time to stockpiling the resources they need to survive? Do they have inside knowledge?

Humanity is well aware of the precarious balance we currently live in. Well, probably not all of humanity, but definitely fellow ATS members. Doomsday to them is the collapse of society, and they are prepared, or nearly so, and will be able to survive, being the remnant that my opponent resolves to be the exclusion of a doomsday event. As long as you survive, it wasn't a doomsday event? Rhetoric.

Doomsday doesn't necessarily include the eradication of humanity, but rather the loss of all the modern conveniences we currently enjoy. The loss of the electrical grid, and all the devices that use it, the loss of a stable economy, and the ability to freely buy the goods we need, and the constant supply chain that defines a functional economy, well, to lose all that, THAT is doomsday.

I'll pause in my position.

posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 07:19 AM

Socratic Question: Why would a small percentage of the population devote their time to stockpiling the resources they need to survive? Do they have inside knowledge?

Doomsday sells. That would be the bottom line here, there have been preppers and sayers ever since the time of the Romans. The soothsayer on the street that claimed the Empire was going to crumble and it would be the end of civilization, for the Romans, when the Barbarians invaded, it was.. by your definition Doomsday. When the Muslims invaded and sacked Constantinople it was by your definition Doomsday, that society, which knew not much else, was radically altered, and people were unable to carry on their daily lives.

Most ATS'ers that are Preppers or as I have called them, somewhat mockingly in the 2012 forum, Peddlers of Doom Porn, tend to get their information from the likes of Alex Jones, and John Moore, and *shudder* Nancy Lieder, (we'll get back to Nancy in a moment) but the first two, are in it to sell product. They fantasize about FEMA camps and martial law, they sell product to help people go off the grid so that the evil government can't get them, and in Moores case, he mixes that fear of governmental collapse with a sweet fiction of planetary bodies like Nibiru coming at us invisibly, completely defying every law of physics known, and smashing out planet out of it's orbit.. But in the end it's to sell product (a few years back he tried to claim the Gulf Stream had stopped flowing to sell his prepper materials) In fact, here's a quote:

Preparation is a complex matter. I do private consultations for families and corporations. A full eight-hour consultation just hits the highlights.

That's John's standard disclaimer. Alex Jones, Well we all know about him, if it's sensationalized it's Alex.. Need we say more, in fact Alex uses a lot of John's predictions on his own show. Nancy is a world unto herself, contacted by the Zetas, she claims all sorts of Earth Changing Extinction events, none of which have ever come to pass. But don't tell her that, she'll start to harass you all over the web. This is the "inside information" that is being passed, bogus science and Aliens? Sorry I'll stick to the more mundane.

So there you have the sources from which the "inside info" spills, and most of the big names are the same way, here's what's gong to happen, and oh look, here's something you too can buy to help you get through it and live.

Mankind has been through it's supposed doomsday several times over, and we will continue to go though it until the star ends it's life. However bad things get we adapt, and that's the key here, humanity adapts. Technically, if you use the description you gave, of 50% of humanity being eliminated as a threshold, you end up with a statement that "Doomsday has already happened" how? Easy, if you believe in the Bible, the Flood would have technically, by that definition been doomsday. The bottom line, Mankind is obsessed with the morose and morbid, we obsess about our own demise, and in all this time Humanity has been on the planet, we've adapted to whatever has been dealt us.

I know it's bad to use a TV show as a basis, but a few have come out recently that really push that point home, Revolution, EMP style event that knocks out the use of electricity, which by the way we've only used widespread for about 100 years of our existence on the planet.. 100 years, in the cosmic clock... So to claim that the sudden destruction of our "comfort" would be doomsday is rather short sighted, considering only 500 years ago, we were still hurling arrows at each other, and 500 years before that, swords and rocks... We've come very far in a short time, but it does not mean that suddenly removing the ability to go to Stop and Shop will spell doomsday. People adapt, that is our biggest strength over most species. As such as long as we can adapt, we will live, as long as we live, there's no extinction, there's no doomsday, no matter what the peddlers of Doom Porn would have you believe.

Socratic Question: Do you ever feel that an event would have such a catastrophic reach that humanity would be unable to adapt to it's new surroundings..

Question two: Does our current technology actually define us as a species, if so, how do you explain everything up to about 1900?

posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 11:46 AM
I'll start with the easy question first.

Question two: Does our current technology actually define us as a species, if so, how do you explain everything up to about 1900?

It's not the technology that defines us, it's the dependence on it. Up until the transition to a global economy, people produced their own goods, and traded locally with others. Up until, and including, the rise of the urban metropolis, survival goods such as food and clothing was produced in small communities, and shipped into the cities. Until about 1900, people had skills to farm the land, to sheer the sheep, weave the wool, and in short, were mostly self-sufficient. We've lost that with the advent of technology. Grain is genetically engineered, as with the cattle and chickens, to produce "bigger and better", and the relatively low cost coupled with advertising caused people to adopt an easier lifestyle. No longer did grandparents need to teach survival skills, and a huge body of practical information is fading away with each passing generation. People neither have the desire to plant their own food, let alone preserve it, when the convenient Stop and Shop can provide them with a quick and easy meal. I'll use an ugly term here, and say that people have gotten lazy. That is the difference between a society that relies upon technology to provide their every want, and the mindset of people living in the pre-1900 world.

Socratic Question: Do you ever feel that an event would have such a catastrophic reach that humanity would be unable to adapt to it's new surroundings.

If you'll allow me a trigger event coupled with a result event, I'll be able to envision a scenario in which mankind is unable to cope:
Terrorists unleash a genetically engineered biological agent, a rather nasty variation that has a 2 week incubation period, in a small town in France. The tourists vacationing there spread the contagion at the Charles de Gaulle Airport, which is France's busiest airport handling over 60 million passengers per year, however, it's only the world's seventh busiest airport. From ground zero, the contagion is spread to every major airport in the world, and after two weeks when symptoms appear, the contagion has already spread at an exponential rate throughout the world. Are there any safeguards in the airline industry to prevent such a widespread dispersion? Nope, and that is only one scenario mankind isn't prepared for.

Doomsday won't just be a single event. It will be an event that triggers a cascade of other events, all of which will be detrimental to survival. My faith in humanity isn't as well placed as my opponent's, especially not when your next meal is contingent upon so many widely different variables. To hope that mankind will always be so lucky to survive under such a narrow band of parameters shows a unique brand of human spirit, but in reality we've fallen under an illusory blanket of comfort, one in which we always expect things to work they way they always have for us. As rhetoric, how long can you survive without water coming from your faucet, or electricity to provide you with lighting, and all the other luxuries we grown accustomed to?

*drum roll*
The new date for doomsday is....
April 13th, 2029.
Oh wait, make that 2036.
Well, anyway, we need to keep an eye on 2004 MN4 Apophis. It's the new Elenin.

The point is, doomsday won't be a predictable event, because if it was, we'd be able to prevent it by intervention. The real doomsday, when it occurs, will just happen, perhaps catching us blind-sided, and with little time to react. The important thing to consider is that we address the doomsday issues with a rational mind, planning for contingencies that we may not see coming, for without doing so, it may spell the doom for us all.

In closing, I'd like to thank vkey08 for a challenging debate, the readers and judges, and the staff. Thank all of you for your time.

posted on Jan, 18 2013 @ 03:06 PM

It's not the technology that defines us, it's the dependence on it.

I'll use an ugly term here, and say that people have gotten lazy.

The problem with your assumptions are that people cannot live without this level of technology, however, I propose that we could, and in very short order. Remember the East Coast over the past two years has seen two long term electricity situations, at the very least life was hard, at most, we coped (I will now use some personal experience here) During the aftermath of Storm Alfred, we saw a level of cooperation that I never believed possible, people who normally would have relied on machines and powered things, were out helping neighbors and we got through those 2 1/2 weeks (we did not know how long it would be at the time, we were told up to 4 months maybe 6) all of the gadgets we took for granted no longer functioned, and when gas was starting to run low for generators, and cars, we made due, one person would go for five, etc, one generator would be used to charge portable electronics if needed for communication, however, without the towers, cellphones were nice paperweights. The point is we adapted, in VERY short order to the new standard, and noone died, noone went mental and we survived it. Just like any other situation, we would survive it, adapt and move on.

To address your scenario, in this day and age, planes and large public transportation hubs have sensors, that would alert the authorities to any major contaminant, those planes would be grounded, the area sealed, and that's that. It would take much more than just releasing the toxin in a major airport, it would take a coordinated world wide strike on hundreds of them to make sure just one plane got through. As far as asteroids go, we get near misses all the time, the Earth's atmosphere, creates a drag on anything that hits it, so unless it were on a definite collision course, that noone had any advance warning of, we could theoretically avoid it/deflect it. (this is the basis for the Nibiru claims, an invisible planet that noone can see hitting Earth in 2003, and then in 2012, and now who knows)

The fact remains, that no matter what hits us, unless it's so major that we have zero warning (even a nuke has 30 minutes of warning flying to anywhere) then it's highly unlikely that a doomsday scenario would happen until the star went into the beginnings of her death throes, and by then, we won't even be isolated to Earth.

To conclude, there is no evidence to support that in the near, or not so near future, that the current climate on Earth political or natural will support an extinction level event, just because one country falls (say the United States falls into mass chaos and hysteria tomorrow and the predictions of FEMA camps and mass executions and food rationing begins) that is still but one country, and is not indicative of the world at large, we are vain to think that as we go so goes the world. I predict, that even if the USA were to fall into some SHTIF scenario, the rest of the world would look with sadness, but they would go on with their lives, as normal.....Adapting to the missing component.

Thank you Druid, readers and judges... It's been a fun one


posted on Jan, 22 2013 @ 02:33 PM

Round 1:

This round was a bit of a mixed bag for me.
Druid does a nice job of laying out any number of possible scenarios that could result in a "doomsday" type of event. However, I did not feel that Druid did a very good job of outlining what his role in the debate would be or the position he would be taking in this debate. Luckily Vkey08's response does clear things up a bit....

I found Vkey08's post to be a rather inferior argument in suggesting that if one person, or a small pocket of people, survive than there was no "doomsday". Although I agreed with many of the points made in this reply, I feel that Vkey08 undermined his own argument with this assertion.

Round 1: Druid

In round 2 Druid does a nice job of countering the points made by Vkey08 and pointing out much of what I was thinking in terms of how to define "doomsday" and how there can be a "doomsday" without a humanity as a whole being wiped out.

Vykey08's reply in this round just fell flat for me. Focusing on the load mouths of our time like Alex Jones. As this post continues with the points of how mankind has progressed I felt that Vkey08 was missing the bigger picture. How many people would be able or have the knowledge today to go hunt with stones in order to survive? Things like that were a skill set back in those days, and I would suggest that such skills for the most part are lost on a majority of society today.

Round 2: Druid

The final round....

It was like Druid had read my mind. He does a great job of pointing out humanity's dependence on current technology and how a disruption of this norm could be catastrophic for many as the majority of society no longer has the skill sets of our fore fathers and goes even further in defining a true "doomsday" type of event.

VKey08's final post again fell flat. Using his own experience as an example, I felt that he actually supported Druid's argument. How can one suggest that people will survive and make due without our current technology, then use an example to prove this point saying that people used generators to charge their cell phones for communication? So we can make due without- and to prove this point Vkeys uses an example of how people did not make due without, but found ways to use this technology they could easily do without?

Round 3 and winner: Druid.

After reading both arguments, that are excellent ones - my hat I tip to both Druid and Vkey. I am leaning toward the winner of this debate being Vkey on one premise - no one can accurately predict a date for doomsday reliably based on any external data at this time, even with the suns recent and albeit disturbing solar events and high intensity flares that have been recorded. I am throwing my two pence in as to Vkey being the winner of this debate. Both sides gave very good and educated arguments. Congratulations to both.

This debate was a tie. The tie was broken with:

Both sides do a fairly good job of bringing up reasons for doomstday vs. no-doomsday. So not going by the various facts but by feeling alone, at the end of this debate I feel that vkeys ideas are more connected to reality.
I think the last post was vkeys weakest while being Druids strongest, but all in all, right after 2012 having come and gone I think we are all a little doomsday-fatigued and more likely to tip it slightly in vkeys favor.
The most interesting question brought up was how much percent of humanity would have to die for it to be considered doomsday. I dont have the answers to that but it gave me a chuckle.

By a small margin, vkey wins this Debate.

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