A New Holiday

December 22 should become Blithering Idiots’ Day, to remind us of the pointless, needless and timewasting hype dedicated to the Mayan apocalypse that, of course, did not happen yesterday. Its patron saint, if it needs one, can be Harold Camping.

All we really need to know about eschatology is that every prediction about the end of the world in the history of humankind has been wrong. With a 100% failure rate, it really is time to give up that game.

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4 comments so far

  1. Tom Barringer on

    “every prediction about the end of the world in the history of humankind has been wrong.”

    Sorry, Dan, not so. Only predictions whose date has arrived are wrong. One of the ones with the date still in the future might be right. Past performance is no prediction of future results! :D

    • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

      Those aren’t really predictions, if they’re not making a definitive statement. Still, point taken. Every end of the world prediction that’s set a date that has passed has been wrong.

      I think the only kind of doomsday warning that I would take seriously (aside from the current warnings about global climate change which we are seeing come to pass year by year) would be an asteroid prediction, and the only known one in the near future has been taken off the table — 2011 AG5’s orbit is better known now after its recent near pass, and it will definitely miss in 2040. 1999 AN10 is still on the table, but we won’t be able to predict more definitively until the near pass in 2027.

      • Paul Cales on

        Two points:

        First, the most recent fiasco was not originally a doomsday prediction. In fact we have no idea if the Mayans meant anything at all. You can credit idiots and the media for the END OF THE WORLD crap in that case.

        Second, while I don’t disagree with the asteroid scenario, I would say the much more possible – even likely – scenario is the Yosemite super-volcano blowing as it does periodically (every 100,000 years or so, but consistently), bringing about massive long-term ash clouds and subsequent major climate change that would devastate most life. Seismic activity has increased notably each year over the past decade.

        But all of this pales, according to the media, because we will all die horrible deaths in only slightly more than a day when we fall off the fiscal cliff, apparently the worst doomsday scenario of all !!!

        • The Rev Dr Sherwood Forrester on

          I’d forgotten about Yosemite — and unlike climate change or asteroids, that’s not something we can really do anything about, unless someone sorts out a way to vent the pressure gently. I don’t know enough geology to know if that would even help!


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