How will all of humanity end? It isn’t a very pleasant prospect, is it? It probably won’t happen during our lifetime, but it’s inevitable that one day all human life will become extinct on this planet.
So how do you think it will happen? Natural disaster? A human-triggered cataclysm? Killer robots roaming the countryside? A UFO invasion? Willful self-destruction? Giant asteroid? A zombie invasion? Or, are there “greater” forces working against us?
According to a man named Harold Camping, this Saturday will be the end of the world as we know it. He has had May 21, 2011 circled on his doomsday calendar for many years now. This is especially disturbing to me because my birthday is May 27 and I was really looking forward to being 39 years old . . . again.
So why does Mr. Camping think the world will end Saturday? Well, for starters, it’s supposedly the 7,000th anniversary of the day that Noah closed the door of the ark, right before the great flood began. And technically, the world won’t be destroyed. This is simply the day that the rapture will begin. This is the day that the 8,400-day tribulation will come to an end.
What’s that you say? You didn’t know that the tribulation was going on? Where have you been? See, the world won’t end until Oct. 21, when it is destroyed by fire, so get the marshmallows ready. S’mores anyone?
If I sound a bit skeptical it’s only because Mr. Camping has done this stunt before. The last time he predicted this very scenario was back in September 1997, and I believe his calculations were thankfully just a tad bit off.
If Mr. Camping is wrong again, another man, Ronald Weinland, has written a book explaining that there have already been six seals opened, and the seventh seal will be opened this fall. If that doesn’t pan out, two other doomsday prophets have warned us to cancel Christmas. And if that doesn’t happen, there’s plenty more where that came from.
Sheesh. It’s almost getting to be like you can’t even trust an apocalypse prophecy anymore.
On a serious note, during the last 20 years, doomsday prophecies have been more popular than ever before. For instance, in 1991, the Nation of Islam leader, Louis Farrakham, proclaimed the gulf war to be the “war of Armageddon . . . the final war.” Jehovah’s Witnesses made their last “end-of-days” installment in 1994. Currently, they are out of the prediction business. Also, in the July 27, 1997 issue of the esteemed Weekly World News, one article revealed that the oceans will shrink, the deserts will expand, crops will fail, mass starvation, changing weather patterns and mankind will disappear in the year 2001. In 2002, Al Gore updated these profound ideas by calling it global warming.
A big doomsday year was 1998 because, logically, 1998 divided by 3 is 666. Edgar Cayce predicted the Earth would have a new pole, creating massive tidal waves and earthquakes. Hal Lindsay’s predictions didn’t come true. The “final-days” prognostications of the Nostradamus quatrains for July 1999 never came true, either. At least not that I know of.
Anyway, if it doesn’t quite work out Saturday, we still have the Mayan calendar to contend with, and it officially ends on Dec. 21, 2012. After that, there are serious contenders for 2016, 2034 and September 2047.
I should also mention that there’s an asteroid named Apophis that will come amazingly close to Earth on April 13, 2029. It is 320 meters wide and will fly above us at 18,000 miles. For comparison, most satellites orbit at 22,000 miles. No one in recorded history has ever seen an asteroid in space so close and bright. And if our gravity pulls it too close, rocking its flight path, we might see it again in 2036 . . . and a WHOLE LOT CLOSER!
My only wish is that it doesn’t hit Earth before May 27 because that’s my birthday. I’ll be 39 years old . . . again.
Reach C.W. Plunkett at firstname.lastname@example.org.