Apocalypse Now? Or Apocalypse “Well Maybe Later”?

The upcoming apocalypse has been a very poignant topic in recent times, what with the global calamity that has been foretold by the Mayans. It appears as if we’ve all got about 16 days to count our blessings, make up for lost time with significant others, say all the things that we were going to say but never quite had the time to get around to saying, et cetera, et cetera.

After all, that’s all the time we’ve got left before time runs out, right?

Well, not exactly.  The end of the world has always been a very popular topic throughout the course of human history. Who knows? Maybe the world will end by the calculations of the Mayans, which have led to widespread hysteria, panic and a marginally successful Roland Emmerich film.

Or perhaps the end of time will be brought about by a sudden multitude of earthquakes and tsunamis as predicted by a doomsday cult in India. Maybe it’ll turn out that Harold Camping was actually right and the Rapture will occur. We could get hit by a rogue meteorite; there are a couple near misses that astronomers are predicting will happen in the near future. There’s also the possibility of the world ending with the rise of the zombie hoards; let’s not forget this summer’s bout of sudden onset cannibalism.

For all of that, though, there’s also the chance that the world will continue to spin as it always has, year in and year out, exactly as doomsday skeptics have been saying. Exactly as they have been saying ever since the very first end of the world prediction. In doing a little research on the end times, wondering whether or not I should begin to stockpile emergency rations and say farewell to everyone I know, I stumbled across a fairly extensive list of failed “doomsday” predictions.

Turns out, the very first recorded instance of a doomsday prediction was discovered on an Assyrian tablet that dates back to 2800 BC, about forty-eight hundred years ago. And the doomsday track record only goes downhill from there.

The second coming of Jesus Christ predates the predictions of Harold Camping by almost two millennia; he is very late. The world also should have ended on February 20th, 1524, when a colossal flood was predicted, caused by a planetary alignment in the constellation Pisces.  French astrologer Pierre Turrel actually predicted four different days for the end of the world, which were to occur in 1537, 1544, 1801, and 1814. He was correct zero out of four times.

Of course, it’s easy for one to brush off those predictions. They did occur hundreds of years ago in a more primitive age without the brilliant scientific advancements that have been made since then. However, doomsday skeptics have yet to find success in the modern day as well.

Remember June 6th, 2006?  That fateful day in June when the calendar formed the numerals 6-6-6, which was the sign of the Beast?  People made a big deal about that day as well, and the world kept on turning without anything resembling an apocalyptic scenario.

Jan. 1, 2000 was also supposed to be a big end of the world year, with hundreds of predictions ranging from a hostile first contact with aliens, to Bill Clinton declaring himself Dictator-for-Life, to a global pandemic. Most notably, the world only saw an easily fixed computer glitch and the inauguration of George W. Bush (No, Democrats, that does not count as an apocalypse).

So bear this fact in mind when you begin your preparations for the end of the world this December: The world was supposed end hundreds, maybe thousands, of times over the course of recorded history. The world has not yet ended yet, which you may have noticed.

Statistically, it’s almost impossible for there to be 100 percent certainty in anything, but doomsday skeptics have been rightly calling baloney on end of the world predictions just about 100 percent of the time.

If you start getting a little nervous come December 21st, just keep that fact in mind and you’ll be okay. You might even have a little fun, because the end of days is, at least, a very good excuse for a kick-ass party.