Harold Camping lets out a hearty chuckle when he considers the people who believe the world will end in 2012.
Yeah, it’s ridiculous, but you knew that all along. This nonsensical 2012 date for an apocalypse is pure numerology: one of the great cycles of the Mayan calendar comes to an end in that year, but it simply means that if you were a Mayan, you’d flip the page on your calendar then (or start carving a new symbol on your stone tablets). Only a loon would attach so much significance to an arbitary magical date that they would think it implies the world will end.
Harold Camping must be a very sensible person.
“That date has not one stitch of biblical authority,” Camping says from the Oakland office where he runs Family Radio, an evangelical station that reaches listeners around the world. “It’s like a fairy tale.”
The real date for the end of times, he says, is in 2011.
Camping is completely bonkers: his calculation is more idiotic numerology.
The number 5, Camping concluded, equals “atonement.” Ten is “completeness.” Seventeen means “heaven.” Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011.
“Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.,” he began. “Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that’s 1,978 years.”
Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days – the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year.
Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500.
Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500.
Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared.
Camping has made thes kinds of apocalyptic predictions before — he apparently thought Christ was going to return on 6 September 1994. The amazing thing is that in spite of his record of failure, in spite of the patent inanity of his calculations, the guy has a following and owns 55 radio stations that are spewing out his drivel to a gullible audience.
And that, I think, is perhaps the only legitimate evidence of the imminent demise of the human race.