Will Asteroids Wipe Out Humanity?

Recently, I wrote about Stephen Hawking’s concerns that artificial intelligence might someday wipe out the human race. Well, he is not the only one worried that humanity might be cataclysmically destroyed. According to The Telegraph (UK), Richard Dawkins and 100 other experts are worried that a massive asteroid impact may destroy life as we know it. Earlier this year Bill Nye expressed similar concerns in a YouTube video.

Man’s Ideas

More than 100 “scientists, physicists, artists, astronauts and business leaders from 30 countries” have signed a declaration that seeks to “solve humanity’s greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future,” according to one of the signers of the declaration. The reason for this declaration is because, as one of the scientists backing the plan puts it, “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it becomes that the human race has been living on borrowed time.” Those who signed the declaration are concerned that a massive asteroid impact on Earth could be doomsday for mankind. So they are seeking for governments to work together because, as one of them says, “finding hazardous asteroids early through an accelerated search program is the key to preventing future destructive impacts.” The goal is for early detection of these asteroids so that there is enough advanced notice to use current technology to “deflect dangerous asteroids through kinetic impactors and gravity tractors,” according to a NASA astronaut. Bill Nye and The Planetary Society urge creating a swarm of “laser bees” that could be sent to a potentially dangerous asteroid to knock it off collision course with Earth.

What fuels this fear that humanity is doomed to destruction by an asteroid, artificial intelligence, or some other catastrophe? Well, according to the starting point of those most concerned about humanity’s demise, life arrived here entirely naturalistically and Earth has existed for billions of years. There is nobody ordering, sustaining, or upholding the universe beyond the unfeeling laws of physics. There is even a popular dinosaur extinction proposal that claims the dinosaurs were wiped out by a massive asteroid impact. So if an asteroid destroyed much of life in the past, what is to stop it from doing it again?

God’s Word

When you start with God’s Word instead of man’s word, you get an entirely different perspective on humanity’s future. According to the Bible, God is upholding the world by His powerful Word (Hebrews 1:3). We are not alone in this universe at the mercy of blind natural laws. Also, we do not need to fear a natural calamity wiping out mankind. Scripture tells us how humanity will end—when Jesus Christ returns to Earth in judgment (2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 20:11–15). Those of us who have trusted in Christ as Savior have no fear of this coming judgment because our penalty for sin has already been paid by Jesus. But those who refuse to acknowledge Christ as Lord should fear this coming judgment, and it should drive them to repentance and faith in Christ.

Also, according to the biblical worldview, dinosaurs were not wiped out by an asteroid impact 65 million years ago. They were created on Day Six along with Adam and Eve. But many of them were buried in the global Flood of Noah’s day around 4,300 years ago. After the Flood, dinosaurs died out for the same reasons that many species go extinct each year such as competition for resources, changing climates, or human hunting. Dinosaur fossils shouldn’t make us worry that an asteroid might hit Earth and wipe us out. They should remind us of God’s judgment on sin in the past and His coming judgment on sin in the future.

When you start with man’s word on Earth’s history, you get a very different picture of Earth’s future than if you start with God’s Word. But we do not need to fear man’s doomsday forecast about humanity’s future because we serve a God who sees the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9–10). This should give us peace and hope as we await His coming.

And one last point to ponder. If there’s no God and life is just a result of naturalistic processes, then, as I said to Bill Nye during the debate, when people die they won’t even know they existed. So ultimately, if everyone died and all life were wiped out, why does it matter anyway? After all, from a naturalistic worldview life is ultimately meaningless and purposeless! The only reason these people are worried is because the Bible tells us that we know there is a God as God has made it plain to us (Romans 1). Actually, by being concerned about life being wiped out, these evolutionary naturalists are confirming the Bible!

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