Time’s Greatest Catastrophes

Discussion in 'History' started by Kipler, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Kipler Registered Member

    Throughout time there have been events that will never be forgotten. Wars, plagues, and natural disasters where so much was lost there are still traces of them today. But which of them is the "greatest" of them all?

    I'm new here, so sorry if this isn't the "usual".
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. draqon Banned Banned


    evil has no hierarchy.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    I really depends on what sort of timescale you're looking at. The Permian Extinction was probably the most significant natural disaster, though no human was alive to witness it.

    In human history, biblical literalists would say the Great Flood, though I'd be more inclined to vote for the Black Death, in terms of its overall impact on world history. I couldn't gainsay anyone who selected the influenza pandemic of 1918, though, nor the "Great Exchange" that may have killed off tens of millions (some suggest nearly 100 million) Native Americans in the late-15th and 16th centuries.

    I am certainly more likely to see epidemics as greater disasters than Earthquakes or hurricanes, simply because they are responsible for so many more human deaths.
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

    Well the big bang might have caused the end of..."something else" entirely.

    Depends who you ask:

    Dinosaurs :

    Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event(65MYA) - Probably an Asteriod to the Yucatans -certainly one of the Universe's cheapest shots.

    Life in General:

    The Permian-Triassic (P-Tr) extinction event(250MYA), the Great Dying - 70% land and 96% marine species -extinct. Nasty bit of bidness, that.


    Toba catastrophe(70,000 to 75,000 years ago) - Supervolcano eruption in Indonesia. 1 Gigaton of TNT eq. explosion reduces, in theory, Humanity to 1000 -10000 "pairs". The fart felt 'round the world.
  8. River Ape Valued Senior Member

    It hasn't happened yet.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  9. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

    perhaps, they were meant to be!!

    personally i think the flooding in gloucester, right now has got to be the worse for me!! i have family there and i cant call them they're phones are of.
  10. Orleander OH JOY!!!! Valued Senior Member

    would the ice age be considered a catastrophe? I know it was a natural thing, but so was Katrina.

    The black plague is a good on though. I agree with pandeamoni.
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm reluctant to indict acts of nature that happened before we were here because of the butterfly effect. Any one of them could be responsible for a minute tweak in evolution that resulted in our existence. So I'm only looking at things that have happened since the dawn of civilization.

    My measure of a catastrophe is something that has caused major harm to civilization that can never be healed. I just can't see counting something like the Plague because 500 years later its impact is trivial. Or perhaps even positive. Don't forget that with 25% of Europe's population dead, the remaining 75% became 33% wealthier. It's been argued that the Plague set in motion Europe's economic recovery and made the advances of the Renaissance and Enlightenment possible.

    No, what I count is the destruction of an entire civilization. Only six civilizations have sprung up on Earth, and each one is a treasure. Its ideas, its motifs, its philosophy, its literature and art, these are irreplaceable. If you're sitting there counting to yourself and wondering what I'm talking about, yes there are only three civilizations now. China, India and the various offshoots of wildly successful Mesopotamian.

    Mesopotamian was so wildly successful that it went on a rampage of hubris and obliterated the other three civilizations. Remember ancient Egypt, that great culture? Destroyed by Muslim Arabs, one branch of Mesopotamian civilization. The Aztecs and Incas, who got off to a late start because humans only arrived in the New World around 15000BCE but already had metallurgy, writing and astronomy? Destroyed by European Christians, the other branch of Mesopotamian civilization.

    Those two annihilations deprived the human race--forever--of everything those civilizations had to offer. We'll never know what we might have today if they had survived. Okay, the Egyptians left some good records that the Arabs didn't manage to destroy so we've preserved a little of their culture. But the Aztec libraries were burned, and Inca art was melted down into gold bullion. All we've got left of two great civilizations are a few pyramids and some legends. Genocide is forever.

    I'm sure you see where I'm heading. All three of these civilizations were destroyed in the name of religion. Monotheistic, evangelical religion. Intolerant, genocidal religion. Islam and Christianity: Abrahamic religion.

    The greatest catastrophe of all time was the rise of Abahamic religion.
  12. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

    That is why I referred to "its overall impact on world history," and not just to the number of people killed, though it's also important to remember that it be believed to have killed many more people in Asia than it did in Europe. (Some estimate it killed off 2/3s of the population of China).

    In many ways, it was the catalyst that transformed Europe. Weakening the church, enhancing social mobility and having effects that percolated through to the Renaissance and the Reformation. It's even been linked as a contributing factor to Europe's Little Ice Age.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2007
  13. Enmos Valued Senior Member

  14. sniffy Banned Banned

    The election of George W Bush as president of the USA?
  15. killallewoks Registered Member

    thats good
  16. killallewoks Registered Member

    Thats a good thing
  17. Enmos Valued Senior Member

    Yes it definately was.. hmm but i think it still counts as a catastrophy right ?
  18. halo07guy Registered Senior Member

    You know that when you were talking about the Butterfly effect you were really talking about Chaos Theory, right? Anyway, I think the biggest one was Krakatoa, rivaled only by Hitler.
  19. lucifers angel same shit, differant day!! Registered Senior Member

    the goverment!!
  20. draqon Banned Banned

  21. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member


    The beginning of our universe for what begins will end.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2007
  22. Fugu-dono Scholar Of Shen Zhou Registered Senior Member

    Losing the all those materials of the library of Alexandria. I'm sure much knowledge was gone forever with those incidents. *sigh* proably not the greatest but I find such a waste.
  23. desi Valued Senior Member

    I don't know if you can blame monotheism as the reason Egypt and the North American indians went down. Egypt has rich farmland and the Incas & Aztecs had gold. Both had to be deal with to get their stuff. Why do you think the US is in the Middle East right now, monotheism? Don't dismiss avarice as a motive so offhandedly.

    I'd have to say the most disastrous event was Adam biting into that sinfully luscious red apple.

Share This Page