Beit Gamaliel

The confluence of knowledge and faith

“Unprecedented” Times?

“Unprecedented” Times?

Since the pandemic, the word “unprecedented” has become mainstream. Unprecedented means that a phenomena was “never done or known before.” Ironically, the pandemic was not unprecedented, as the world had seen several pandemics throughout human history.

The northern hemisphere is currently under an “unprecedented” heat wave, according to news outlets. A recent declaration by climate researcher Eliot Jacobson is that we are in the 6th Great Extinction. For those who may not be aware, science has theorized that there have been 5 great, or mass, extinction events in the past:

  • Ordovician-Silurian Extinction: 440 million years ago
  • Devonian Extinction: 365 million years ago
  • Permian-Triassic Extinction: 250 million years ago
  • Triassic-Jurassic Extinction: 210 million years ago
  • Cretaceous-tertiary Extinction: 65 million Years Ago

Each of these extinction events punctuated the transition to a new period of global evolutionary change. The most recent event, the Cretaceous-Tertiary Extinction, wiped out roughly 50 percent of plants and animals. The event was signaled a major turning point in Earth’s history.

Much of science is based on the wild imaginations of scientists. To be clear, science, as defined by the dictionary, is the “systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation, experimentation, and the testing of theories against the evidence obtained” (Oxford Dictionary). Scientific knowledge must be based on some form of observation and experimentation. Where science cannot observe the natural world (i.e., past events), scientists gather what limited knowledge is known about the event, and then imagine the rest.

To illustrate the point, if I were to reject the theory of evolution, the natural question would be: “Then where did we come from?” I could just accept that it doesn’t matter. Or I could propose a new idea on man’s origins. Even though I would just make it up, based upon known evidence or information, it would still be just a theory that cannot be observed, tested, or proven. Since none of these extinction events were observed, the theories are based on the imagination of scientists.

Despite the lack of sufficient evident, scientists theorize the cause of all 5 of the great extinctions to be the result of “some combination of rapid and dramatic changes in climate, combined with significant changes in the composition of environments on land or in the ocean (such as ocean acidification or acid rain from intense volcanic activity)” ( This means that at least 5 times in the earth’s history, the earth itself has undergone unexplained and catastrophic climate change that was NOT linked to human activity.

Climate researchers are trying to contextualize the current heat waves plaguing the world. Elliot Jacobson explains why a triad of climate problems — global temperatures hitting record highs, sea surface temperatures rising, and a remarkably low Antarctic Sea ice extent — point to disaster. Scientists contend that we are entering the 6th Great Extinction, and this is the result of our own human activity.  One report states that researchers “found that these heat waves are no longer rare due to warming caused by burning fossils and other human activities.”

But the reality is, this is not the first time in the earth’s history that cataclysmic climate change occurred. In fact, with at least 5 other extinction events, it would rather appear to be cyclical, and maybe predictable, and maybe beyond the reach of human influence. These are NOT unprecedented times at all!

One thing science taught us is that the key to survival as a species is adaptation. Adaptation is the reason we do not see a tyrannosaurus rex roaming the countryside today. It could not adapt. Regardless of how the current situation has unfolded, the key to survival is to do the one thing humans refuse to do: change.

When considering all the signs that the end is near, the Bible outlines that ruining the earth is part of it (Revelations chapters 6 and 11). But there are a host of other things as well ( Paul writes to Timothy:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. Have nothing to do with such people.

2 Timothy 3:1-5

It is the love of money and the love of self that drives climate change. If we as humans refuse to change, then the climate certainly will.

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