Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The Doomsday Clock

My earlier post on the Rapture Index brought to mind another, perhaps more accurate, assessment of how nigh The End was becoming: the famous Doomsday Clock from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has informed the world what time it is since 1947, when its now-famous "Doomsday Clock" first appeared of the cover of the magazine. Since then, the minute hand of the clock has moved forward and back to reflect the global level of nuclear danger and the state of international security.

From the first announcement in 1947:

The new cover of the BULLETIN bears the design of a clock, its hands approaching twelve. This symbol of urgency well represents the state of mind of those whose closeness to the development of atomic energy does not permit them to forget that their lives and those of their children, the security of their country and the survival of civilization, all hang in the balance as long as the specter of atomic war has not been exorcised. No wonder their patience wears thin watching the slow progress of negotiations for the international control of atomic energy, on which all their hopes have centered since 1945; no wonder that many begin to take the failure of these negotiations for granted, and that suggestions for changing the program, or at least radically enlarging it, are now voiced even by such men as Urey and Szilard, who from the beginning have been in the forefront of the fight for international control.

The Doomsday Clock was last moved on February 27, 2002 and currently stands at seven minutes to midnight.

The closest to midnight that the Doomsday Clock has ever been was in 1953 at two minutes to midnight when "the United States and the Soviet Union test thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another."

The furthest from midnight was in 1991 at seventeen minutes to midnight when "the United States and the Soviet Union sign the long-stalled Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and announce further unilateral cuts in tactical and strategic nuclear weapons."

Since the Rapture Index was started , the "record high" was 182 on 24 September 2001 (I note that there were 3 False Christs and that the Mark of the Beast scored a 32 due to "new advancements in microcircuit technology.") And the "record low" was 57 on 12 December 1993 (The site cryptically comments: "in late 1993, just about every indicator either went dormant or had positive news.")

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