Brace yourselves, Gentle Readers. The End of the World draws nigh. Again.
According to new predictions, an asteroid is going to impact with the earth in September. But there is one caveat – that every single doomsday prophet in mankind’s history has made similar predictions before, and completely ballsed it up.
Famous contributors to this genre include many eminent figures in history, including Isaac Newton, just as unsuccessfully. And he wasn’t the last, either.
Early Christians believed the Second Coming could happen at any moment. William Miller convinced his followers the world would end in 1844. Wrong. Harold Camping predicted the end of the world in 2011. Wrong, otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this and you wouldn’t be reading it. And now we are faced with the prospect of the demise of the human race yet again.
So where do all these prophecies come from? Will they ever stop? And are they ever likely to be right?
he 16th century prophet Nostradamus made this bullshit theory worse. His 1555 book Les Propheties has been published worldwide; apparently predicting the Great Fire of London, the rise of Napoleon and of Hitler. Later interpretations of his bizarre and sometimes incomprehensible visions give the world’s destruction as 5,500 years after he wrote his prediction in 1553, which gives us another 5038 years. Nice bit of breathing space there, then…
Not unsurprisingly, religion is behind many prophecies that have predicted the end of the world. These include the prediction of Martin of Tours that the Antichrist had already been born and the apocalypse would happen before the year 400. No fewer than three people predicted that Jesus would return in the year 500, and Seventh Day Adventists followed the teachings of William Miller that exhorted them to give all their possessions away with the expectation that the world would end in 1844. Oops. Back to the poor house, guys.
It could still happen, though. One site does some complicated maths based on the Quran to predict that the world will end in 2280, which is slightly more optimistic. Even crazier, the Internet is jam-packed with numbnuts predicting that the world will end in such-and-such a year, based on things like the Lego Movie.
Which obviously confirms everything about our impending doom; mostly based on biblical prophecies and scaremongering about technology with the odd bit of Illuminati theory and Freemason imagery thrown in. Or something like that.
September’s threat is ostensibly meant to be from an asteroid, but as a date, it does strike me as being a pretty meaningless date for the end of the world. Not like the F.A. Cup or the Superbowl – those are dates.
So no need to stockpile bottled water and blankets – the world probably isn’t going to end this September. Not due to an asteroid, anyway.
So just carry on with what you’re doing peeps. And in the meantime, make sure you play nicely with the other children, OK?