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Thread: Is the end really near?

  1. #1 Is the end really near? 
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    This morning, when I turned on the TV, the first thing I noticed is that every informational channel was showing news about a new earthquake in Chile, 8.8 on Richter scale. And so I begun thinking, have you noticed how many natural disasters were there in these past few months? I mean, most of them very terrifying. These recent two, Haiti and Chile both were massive natural disasters. This Earthquake in Chile was so strong that it causes tsunamis in Japan. So, am I just imagining or it seems that nature is finally fighting back? If so, is it really possible that the world we know will end during our lifetime?


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    It depends. Do you think it's plausible that Nature has a malicious will against homo sapiens?


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    Earthquakes, volcanoes etc are essentially random events, in that their timing is not predictable by any pattern.

    If you study probability, you will discover that random events are not evenly spaced. There is a phenomenon called 'random clumping' which shows that, if something is truly random, there will be times when it happens frequently. This is why we occasionally get a bunch of earthquakes happening close together in time.

    In other words, the current high frequency of earthquakes is purely due to chance.
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    Random yes, but TV news coverage is not random. TV selects the most sensational & preferably graphic events available at the time. Mostly this is nasty stuff like war that happens to people, by people. Man vs. man. When you see a lot of natural disaster coverage, it means people lately have been playing nice with each other. Man vs. nature. It's an encouraging sign. :-D
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    adding to Pong's and skeptic's points -

    the proliferation, speed and scope of news media now is far beyond anything available to previous generations - so, we get more coverage, faster, from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day ...

    when I was a kid, things like floods in China, earthquakes in Chile or Japan or Turkey, killer storms in France, etc, would barely rate a couple of column inches on the "world news" page of the paper, or 30 seconds a piece on the half hour TV news at 6pm ... or, it had to wait a couple of months to turn up in Time or National Geographic ... and, you'd be lucky to get any news at all out of Northeast Asia (China, North Korea, Siberia), so it would be secondhand and speculative reports at best ...
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    I would disagree they are random--anymore than hurricanes or severe storms. It's more that we don't yet understand the phenomena and probably lack the necessary measurements to forecast them.

    In any case I don't think there's been any recent rise in devastating earthquakes--just our media driven awareness of them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    I would disagree they are random--anymore than hurricanes or severe storms. It's more that we don't yet understand the phenomena and probably lack the necessary measurements to forecast them...
    to be fair, that's what I understood skeptic to mean by qualifying the use of "random" in this instance -
    ~ in that their timing is not predictable by any pattern...
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Earthquakes, volcanoes etc are essentially random events, in that their timing is not predictable by any pattern.

    If you study probability, you will discover that random events are not evenly spaced. There is a phenomenon called 'random clumping' which shows that, if something is truly random, there will be times when it happens frequently. This is why we occasionally get a bunch of earthquakes happening close together in time.

    In other words, the current high frequency of earthquakes is purely due to chance.
    Earthquakes can be clustered in time and space due to strain transfer on fault systems.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    Earthquakes, volcanoes etc are essentially random events, in that their timing is not predictable by any pattern.

    If you study probability, you will discover that random events are not evenly spaced. There is a phenomenon called 'random clumping' which shows that, if something is truly random, there will be times when it happens frequently. This is why we occasionally get a bunch of earthquakes happening close together in time.

    In other words, the current high frequency of earthquakes is purely due to chance.
    I believe it's just semi-random.

    The earthquake happened near a full moon. Tidal forces affect the tectonic plates. If I recall, the specific position of the moon's elliptical orbit also placed it as a full moon, closer than normal.

    In theory, orbital mechanics can play a dramatic effect of the earths seismic activity.

    At the vary least, the stronger tidal forces will help trigger such events and they are less likely when tidal forces are weaker.
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    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenderheart bear
    It depends. Do you think it's plausible that Nature has a malicious will against homo sapiens?
    When I said "Nature fighting back" i wasn't talking that earth has "malicious will against homo sapiens" I am just saying it is plausible that any present or future natural disasters may be an equal reaction to all "bad things" man did to to Earth. Call it the state of homeostasis in nature....
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  12. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennLonhon
    I am just saying it is plausible that any present or future natural disasters may be an equal reaction to all "bad things" man did to to Earth. Call it the state of homeostasis in nature....
    No, it is not plausible. For it to be plausible you would have to show a mechanism whereby the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes is influenced by the behaviour of homo sapiens and specifically by the 'bad things' we have done. Good luck with that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennLonhon
    When I said "Nature fighting back" i wasn't talking that earth has "malicious will against homo sapiens" I am just saying it is plausible that any present or future natural disasters may be an equal reaction to all "bad things" man did to to Earth. Call it the state of homeostasis in nature....
    With this logic, maybe we should turn back in time to the days of human sacrifices, in order to win the Earths confidence on us, so it wouldn`t punish us for being bad to her. Maybe, we Chileans have been awfully bad to her.
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  14. #13  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    I think that my suggestion of random clumping in time is a bit more in tune with Occam's Razor than Earth fighting back!
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  15. #14  
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    Are Haiti and Chile on the edge of the same tectonic plates ? If so that might explain ......
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by JennLonhon
    I am just saying it is plausible that any present or future natural disasters may be an equal reaction to all "bad things" man did to to Earth. Call it the state of homeostasis in nature....
    No, it is not plausible. For it to be plausible you would have to show a mechanism whereby the magnitude and frequency of earthquakes is influenced by the behaviour of homo sapiens and specifically by the 'bad things' we have done. Good luck with that.
    I don't like the anthropomorphism of "earth" anymore than you do. There is at least two examples of "man-made" earthquakes.

    Dam building is about the only good example but it usually leads to shallow low-intensity earth quakes. The mechanism is isostatic adjustment to all the added water weight. The effect has been known since the 1940s.

    The other example, by a similar mechanism, will be increased seismic activity due to melting glaciers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JennLonhon
    Quote Originally Posted by tenderheart bear
    It depends. Do you think it's plausible that Nature has a malicious will against homo sapiens?
    When I said "Nature fighting back" i wasn't talking that earth has "malicious will against homo sapiens" I am just saying it is plausible that any present or future natural disasters may be an equal reaction to all "bad things" man did to to Earth. Call it the state of homeostasis in nature....
    With tongue planted firmly in cheek, if this indeed bears any reflection to the truth, Nature's still probably putting the boots to bacteria for their horrendous hack-job on the atmosphere circa 2.5 Ga.
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  18. #17  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    I see I was a little misunderstood, my bad for expressing that way. I believe, like I said(in different words) that Earth has it's own process of re-building itself, and that previous ice ages show that it all goes in circles. I am not, under any circumstances trying to say earth has a brain. All I am saying is that man activities are speeding up the process....
    "Be the change you want to see in the world"
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