Get you next apocalypse right here!

So the Mayan ‘prophecy’ proved to be a bust. Interestingly, very few of the seven million ethnic Mayans took it seriously. But five Michigan school districts closed 33 schools on Wednesday, two days early, not because they wanted students to prepare properly for the end of the world but because of rumors of violence triggered by the Mayan doomsday.

However, the recent survey by the Public Religion Research Institute had an interesting tidbit about Americans. “Only 2% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the ancient Mayans, will happen by the end of this year”, suggesting that most people are taking it healthily as a joke.

But just when you think that religious Americans are climbing out of the well of crazy that they live in, the survey also says that “More than one-third (36%) of Americans believe that the severity of recent natural disasters is evidence that we are in what the Bible calls the end times” and that “15% of Americans believe that the end of the world, as predicted by the Book of Revelation, will occur in their lifetime.” So it looks like we are destined to lurch from one doomsday scenario to the next for the indefinite future. If you want to keep track of the ones to come, here is a list. I’m betting my money on the year 2017 when a group known as the Sword of God Brotherhood says that the prophet Gabriel had foretold that all will be destroyed except the members of that group. This is just the kind of story that will capture the imagination of the end-of-timers.

Via Tbogg, here’s a clip from Annie Hall to pass the time until the world blows up.


  1. frank says

    Whenever these “end of the world” events are covered by the media, the believers are never asked to specify what they mean by “end of the world.” Will the earth continue, but human civilization cease to exist? Will the earth itself (or maybe the solar system) cease to exist? Will the whole universe cease to exist? (This would be my definition.)

    If the known world consisted mostly of the Mediterranean basin and supernatural beings played a large role in everyday life, the end of the world would be plausible. But given that we know that we live in a universe roughly 13 billion years old, and that human civilization has been around roughly 10 000 years, the idea that the world is going to end soon seems to me to be the height of arrogance.

  2. says

    Well, the end of the Earth is coming. In one or 2 billion years, when the sun expands and gives “global warming” a whole new meaning. The mayans, however, didn’t predict that. And the odds are pretty good that something gigantic from space, moving very fast, will whack the crap out of the Earth if we continue to blissfully ignore that possibility or aren’t able to do anything but watch. So, yeah. It’s coming. … wait for it…

    I did mention the solar expansion to one friend who cracked me up by asking, “one or two billion years from today, or when?”

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