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Did God send a prophet?
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What Scientists Would Say Was the Cause of Hurricanes Like Katrina
|Breached levee floods New Orleans
after Katrina.—Digital Globe.
A topic Ellen White turned to time and again was that of natural disasters and their meaning.
She saw in them both a sign of the end of time and a call by God for sinners to repent.
At the same time she predicted that alternative explanations for such disasters would be proposed by
The restraining Spirit of God is even now being withdrawn
from the world. Hurricanes, storms, tempests, fire
and flood, disasters by sea and land, follow each other in
quick succession. Science seeks to explain all these. The
signs thickening around us, telling of the near approach
of the Son of God, are attributed to any other than the
true cause.—Testimonies for the Church, vol. 6, p. 408, bold added.
Another example of this prediction is the following, which sees localized natural disasters
as a "symbol" of worse things to come:
Local disturbances in nature are permitted to take place as symbols of
that which may be expected all over the world when the angels loose the four
winds of the earth. The forces of nature are under the direction of an
Eternal Agency. Science, in her pride, may seek to explain strange happenings
on land and on sea; but science fails of tracing in these things the workings
of Providence.—Manuscript Releases, vol. 19, p. 280, bold added.
Thus Ellen White is predicting that science will come up with explanations for hurricanes
that leave God out of the picture. In other words, they will attribute an increase in the number and
intensity of hurricanes to the result of mere natural processes, rather than to anything of a
What Took Place
While the U.S. was reeling under the effects of nine hurricanes to come ashore in two years (2004:
Charley, Frances, Gaston, Ivan, Jeanne; 2005: Dennis, Katrina, Rita, Wilma), some scientists attributed
the increase in number and severity of hurricanes to naturalistic explanations like
global warming or weather cycles:
"Atlantic cyclones have been increasing in numbers since 1995,
but one can't say with certainty that there is a link to global
warming," says Patrick Galois with the French weather service
"There have been other high-frequency periods for storms, such
as in the 1950s and '60s, and it could be that what we are seeing
now is simply part of a cycle, with highs and lows."
On the other hand, more and more scientists estimate that global
warming, while not necessarily making hurricanes more frequent
or likelier to make landfall, is making them more vicious.
. . .
Just a tiny increase in surface temperature can have an extraordinary
effect, says researcher Kerry Emanuel of the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT).
In a study published in Nature in July, Emanuel found that the
destructive power of North Atlantic storms had doubled over the
past 30 years, during which the sea-surface temperature rose
by only 0.5 C (0.9 F).—"Experts Foresee More Katrinas," Aug. 31, 2005.
Thus it is true that scientists are zeroing in on naturalistic explanations that leave God
out of the picture, explanations such as global warming or weather cycles. It is the rare scientist today
that speaks of hurricanes like Katrina as being a sign of the end, a warning from God, or
a removal of His protection.
Give Us Your Opinion
|What do you think of her prediction of what scientists would say?