The English speaking world’s favorite source for news, Telegraph.co.uk, informs their readers that more than 40 percent of Americans believe Jesus Christ will return to Earth by 2050, according to a poll from the Pew Research Center For The People and The Press/Smithsonian Magazine.
You have got to hand it to the editors at Telegraph; they know how to craft an enticing headline. It made ME stop and take notice, and I am grateful that it did. There are some other very interesting poll results that accompany the Jesus question.
Some of my favorites:
81% believe computers will be able to converse like humans by 2050.
58% believe another world war will have occurred by 2050.
71% believe cancer will be cured by 2050.
31% believe the earth will be struck by an asteroid by 2050.
I suppose these are a few of my favorites because I can’t believe in any of these scenarios occurring by 2050.
Computers are truly amazing, and getting more amazing by the year. But we should not allow our amazement to underestimate the complexity of the human brain. For my limited understanding of how complex the human brain is, to try and replicate the half dozen or so speech-related functions of the brain using computers would seem akin to mapping all of the galaxies in the observable universe. (Actually, upon checking, scientists have mapped about 15% of the universe – that’s actually much more that I would have guessed.)
A modern “world war” in the context of WWI and WWII seems unlikely to occur. The more likely scenario is nuclear annihilation, which I think is less classified as warfare and more accurately described as human genocide – not really an ideal comparison to the world wars from the 1910’s and 1940’s. Either way, will anyone still be around to say who was right and who was wrong?
A “cure for cancer” is like stating a “cure for infections”. There are so many types of cancer that develop for different reasons. Cancer is part of the human condition, or more accurately, the “living condition”. Most living things, especially animals, will always be subject to cancers. Some types of cancers might be cured, but all cancers? By 2050? No.
Asteroid strikes are so rare, and people’s belief in an asteroid strike is based on a misunderstanding of statistics. The odds of death by asteroid are about 1 in 500,000. By contrast, odds of death by motor vehicle are 1 in 100. Not all asteroids will be of the global killer variety, some are just a few tens of meters wide, but I doubt the respondents had these numbers in mind when offering their feelings.
Read the article and let us know which poll numbers are your favorites.