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End of the world predictions and scenarios abound, we have always been fascinated with our own demise it seems. Last year I covered the predictions of Harold Camping and the relatively small following he had in his advertising the apocalypse campaign.

This year we have the Mayans to blame and it’s rather more wide spread than a few eccentric Camping followers. In my previous post I essentially put together and End of the World retrospective, surveying a small number of past predictions that failed. This time showcase the many predictions that still lie in our future.

Behold the Future History of the Apocalypse!

[Edit] I tested the Vodpod code on the Sciblogs platform and it didn’t work but the syndicated version does. If you still have trouble viewing then go Here  or Here to see the timeline.

NB. Where I couldn’t find or couldn’t be bothered looking for exact dates 1-January was substituted. Click the individual events to find the person who predicted it, move the sliders at the bottom to zoom in and out of timeframes.

Timeline Key:

Sources are given by letters, links below or can be copied from the timeline with a right click.

ABHOTA , AV  , MB , CoB , RT , L , WZ

Sources are of varying veracity and humour.

What I found interesting was the fact that the dates are mostly clustered in the period covering the next 40 years or so. Further, about 40% (9 events) occur within the next 10 years. This matches with data showing that a significant number of Christians (in America at least) believe that the second coming will occur in their own lifetime.

It’s a point I made in the previous post, but it is not a little disturbing that many people who ridicule putting a date on the “End Times” don’t do so because they think it’s not going to happen but because they think it’s a “mystery”. An interesting research project might be whether this propensity to feel the end of the world is nigh is a general human condition or a feature of religious individuals in particular. Presumably there is some innate propensity there that religious traditions use.

Anyway, plenty of opportunities for End of the World parties ahead! YAY!

[EDIT 3/05/12: I have just learned of another End of the World Event (a EWE if you will), this will be a combo of nuclear war and second coming of Jesus. Quite economical really. If I may indulge myself, a quote from the page:

"When I began writing posts for this site, I initially envisioned the possible need of writing more often, primarily due to our preparing for the possibility of “great tribulation” beginning at the very start of this final three and one-half year period. However, great physical tribulation did not begin at that time, and it thankfully has not yet begun. So the need to write more often in order to help people deal with tribulation that could have begun early on has not been needed. But rather, in the midst of horrifying prophecies for this end-time, God has revealed in a most powerful manner one of His greatest attributes toward His creation—toward mankind. It is the awesome quality of “mercy”!"

I'm not sure why this guy has put mercy in scare quotes but it is coincidental that God's "mercy" looks exactly like nothing happening at all. Looks to me like a built in excuse when the end of the world fizzles. More economy, handy that. Via UnreasonableFaith]

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Filed under: Psychological, Religion, Sciblogs, skepticism Tagged: Apocalypse, end-of-the-world, Eschatology, Harold Camping, Prediction, Science and Society