Why Not Some Really Good Prophecies? lip@s1.gov (Loren I. Petrich) I confess I find a lot

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Why Not Some Really Good Prophecies? lip@s1.gov (Loren I. Petrich) <1vo84n$nk5@s1.gov> I confess I find a lot of the "prophecies" in the Bible and elsewhere to be distastefully vague. Why not some detailed ones? Short of giving a summary of future history, one can give (say) a description of some scientific and technological advances. Here, I will show that one can indeed do that in terms that many of the Bible's writers, or else a Greek philosopher like Aristotle, can understand. I challenge you people to identify what I have described. Here is a sample: The Earth will be shown to move around the Sun, and the Moon and the planets will be shown to be rocky or airy bodies. The Sun is a giant ball of white-hot air, much like a hot fire. The stars are objects like the Sun, but very far away, which explains their dimness. Matter is composed of small particles, nearly a myriad of myriads times smaller than a grain of sand, which stick together in various combinations. However, even these particles are composed of particles a myriad times smaller, though some of them swell to fill up the volume. Air is a mixture of two airlike fluids, one of which makes things burn and one of which does not. The Earth's age is very great, 50 myriad of myriads of years, and humanity has not been on it for very long. The Universe is slightly older, originating from a great fireball. Not only sea shells but the bones of giant animals will be found in the Earth's rocks, which indicate that the Earth has had many generations of species in its lifetime. Some of them will look like giant snakes with elephant legs, for example. And only a myriad of years ago, much of the land to the north was under ice, and hairy elephants and hyenas roamed the land just to the south. The finding of genealogies will be elevated to a central biological principle, with it being shown that some species are descended from others. Dogs are descended from wolves and lions from small cats. Birds, bats, and insects are all descended from land animals, land animals from water animals like fish, and even land plants from water plants like seaweed. Some living things are too small for the unaided eye to see, and all the big ones are ultimately descended from some of these. Humanity will be shown to be descended from monkeys, through a sequence of ancestors that look like half-half. Disks of glass with curved surfaces and curved mirrors will be used to make objects seem bigger when one looks through them. The ethereal fluid whose flow makes lightning and which causes cloth to stick to amber will be tamed and put to work. It will be used to make lamps that do not need oil, contraptions to make things cold on a hot summer day, and ovens that cook from the inside out -- very fast. Magic boxes will be invented that run on this ethereal fluid, and which can send sound, pictures, and writing long distances. Some other such boxes can even do arithmetic at a myriad of myriads times the fast of the most skilled bookkeeper. Despite their superb transcriptional and calculational skill, it will prove difficult to teach these boxes how to recognize voices or objects in pictures. The copyist's craft will become virtually unneeded, due to the invention of a stamping technique that makes a page-size stamp from tiny, letter-size stamps. This technique will make books much more available and abundant, and the speed of the technique makes it possible to write little books containing the latest news and get them out very fast. Furthermore, scrolls will go out of date, the favorite design being stacks of paper bound together at one side. The smaller books, especially those featuring the latest news, will simply be stacks of paper held together by folding. Coins will be used only for low amounts of monetary value, being replaced by slips of paper with designs printed on them for higher values. However, that will allow for an improvement on debasing the coinage: all a leader has to do is just stamp out more of these little slips to cover expenses without raising taxes, with the side effect that the money's value goes down and down and down, sometimes by extreme amounts. Oxen and horses will become out of date in much of the world, owing to the development of wagons that move without being pulled by being pulled. These wagons will be much faster than even the fastest racehorse, and the bigger ones will carry a hundred times as much as even the strongest ox. These wagons will drink a kind of oil boiled off from pitch, which will be enough in demand to be carried in giant ships from distant parts of the world. Road building will become an advanced art, with some roads having no intersections with other roads, and instead going over or under them wherever they meet. Even when roads meet, there will often be periodically-changing lights which indicate by color who may go and who must stop. Red is stop, green is go, and yellow is either prepare to stop or rush through. Roads will also have their lanes marked out by painted lines, and some roads will even have dividers in the middle. Despite all these efforts, there will be enormous crowds of barely-moving wagons on the roads at many places at some times. And like roads, places to leave these wagons will also consume large amounts of land. Special roads will be built from pairs of iron rails, on which wagons with special wheels will travel. Long strings of these wagons will travel, with three or four in front pulling nearly a hundred others. Some such wagons will travel at ten times the speed of a racehorse, without, of course, getting the least bit tired. Some of these roads will be built in tunnels in large cities, so that people can avoid crowded streets by riding the wagons that run on these roads. Big mechanical birds will be built that can fly very fast, even with people on board. They will fly far enough to cross oceans on one drink of oil. Stone will still be used for building, but the stone will be an artificial stone that is poured and allowed to harden. It is, however, produced from natural stone that is baked to a powder in a kiln. When it is ready to use, it is mixed with water and taken to the site and poured. In this stone will often be iron bars to add strength. Cities will grow enormously in size, with our cities seeming like small towns in comparison. Water will come in by pipe, and wastewater will go out by pipe; all the pipes being underneath streets. Garbage will be taken care of by being loaded into wagons and taken to dumps some distance away, but the sheer volume of garbage will make even that solution difficult. Weapons will improve enormously in destructive power. Swords will go out of date, being replaced with tubes that expel pellets at high speed. Of course, horses will go out of date, being replaced by armored war wagons, some of them with big pellet-shooting tubes. There will also be contraptions that burst with great force, sometimes spraying iron fragments. There will even be such contraptions big enough to destroy whole cities at one stroke. [I could certainly continue, but my patience has run out.] -- /Loren Petrich, the Master Blaster /lip@s1.gov

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