It’s that time of year again. Christmas is over, the New Year’s bell has rung, and now we roll out the prophecies revealing who’s saying the world’s going to end this year and why. This next apocalyptic prediction comes from Harold Camping, first made famous for his radio and television programs. Camping has predicted that the end of the world will come this year and in only a few months. Is this prediction the big one that will ultimately prove right? Or is Camping, like so many others before him, simply wrong?
The idea that someone could predict the day the world could end has been around for quite some time. And rarely has there been so many predictions the world over of the end times than in the past few years. The previous decade saw dozens, if not hundreds, of well publicized end of the world predictions that thankfully proved to be quite wrong. But if the end of the world is indeed coming this year, is it possible someone has a direct hotline with the four horsemen?
The media tycoon Camping has predicted that on May 21st, 2011 the righteous will suddenly be taken up and transported to heaven where they will live lives of righteous harmony with others. The rest of the world, according to him, will be left wondering what happened to all the good people in the world until around October when massive problems will arise around the world. As if the mysterious massive bird die offs, TSA lines, economic disasters, epidemics, and oil spills weren’t enough, Camping suggests this will really be when the world comes to a grinding halt and society simply collapses.
But before you start stocking your shelves with canned foods and planning to start retirement early in a massive underground concrete bunker, you should know first that Camping has made predictions in the past. In 1994, Camping said the world would end with the introduction starting with a fiery atomic blast in New York city. Of course he was mistaken, and the world continued to move on for at least another sixteen years before his next prophecy. His explanation for the previous rapture not taking place was a slight miscalculation.
Interestingly enough sir Isaac Newton, father of gravity and a number of mathematical theorems we still use today in the Newtonian model wrote in his notes his own prediction based on mathematical calculations derived from scripture. In his notes, Newton predicted that the world would end “no sooner than” the year 2060. Is there a reason all of these predictions seem to be placed distinctly in this 100 year span of time? Interestingly enough, with all of these calculations based on math, psychic visions, Mayan prophecies, and other factors it actually seems less likely that the world will end this year than it was in the mid 1960’s when the cold war was raging, relations with the Soviet Union were getting colder, the Cuban Missile Crisis took place, and one of the most powerful men in the world was assassinated years before economic ties made another World War undesirable for world powers. If I were to make a prediction about the end of the world, it would have most likely been 50 years ago. The fact that we survived it speaks volumes about the ability of the human race to survive and even thrive in times of uncertainty.
And so as we march on into an uncertain future with the ever droning call of doomsayers telling us we have little time left on the planet, perhaps we can see that our species has come through a long dark night rife with controversy, conjecture, and conflict. And that light on the horizon we all see fast approaching may not be the explosion of a nuclear bomb vaporizing millions, but the first brilliant rays of a coming dawn.