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The end of the world is nigh. That's what top astronomers will claim during a debate to end the 2011 Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal, believes civilisation has only a 50 per cent chance of surviving to 2100 without suffering a man-made catastrophe.

And the Astronomer Royal for Scotland, Professor John Brown, has an equally bleak outlook, fearing a random event from outer space is the most likely cause of our demise.

They will take to the stage to put forward their stark predictions in the discussion "Fire in the Sky: Cosmic Threats to Earth".

Despite having widely differing views, these two titans of astronomy between them offer global warming, over-population, terrorism, an asteroid falling to earth and a solar blast as potential reasons to panic.

That may be too optimistic of a time frame, the way things are going. To read the rest of the article, click here.
Category: Science