End of World Claim Sure to Disappoint

Jacob Ngai, Staff Writer

Run? Hide? Bury myself in a hole? After so many failed doomsday predictions, I don’t think I can believe anything anymore.
These frightening predictions originate from the Bible, mistaken scientific facts, or date from calendars of lost civilizations.
I’ve heard many times that life as we know it will end because of some calamitous, worldwide event. Of the many predictions, Y2K is one of the most famous in my lifetime.
More recently, last year in fact, preacher Harold Camping foretold Jesus Christ’s return.
Now the Mayan calendar is set to end in December, supposedly bringing doomsday… again.
Well, I think not. The previous dates for cataclysm have come and gone. It has taught me that people don’t know what the phrase “the world is ending” even means.
In 1000 A.D, medieval Christians thought that year would herald the coming of the Anti-Christ and the end of the world, but that obviously did not happen.
Again, on April 23, 1843, preacher William Miller announced that the end of the world was near, founding his doomsday predictions on Biblical scripture.
The day came and went, so he changed the date to October 22, 1844 and said that his mistake was due to a mathematical error. Who would have guessed that he would be wrong again? October 23, 1844 became known as the “Great Disappointment.” No kidding.
Preacher Harold Camping told the world that Christ was returning on May 21, 2011.
He and his followers quit their jobs and gave their savings to his Family Radio Ministry just to promote this prediction. When his prediction didn’t come, he blamed the failure on a mathematical error and changed the date to October 21, refusing to return their money and saying that they  donated it of “their own free will.”
In my opinion, he just wanted money and he saw doomsday predictions as an opportunity to get it. Some predicted a glitch in worldwide computer systems would cause a malfunction and computers would become self aware, destroying life as we knew it. And what happened?
2000 passed and we still have fully functional computers in our backpacks and cell phones in our jean pockets.
The most recent buildup is about how the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012 and will supposedly bring the end of the world.
Scientifically speaking, the Mayan calendar intervals build up in multiples of twenty.
An interval of 7,200 days is known as a “Katun” and it takes twenty Katuns to complete a “Baktun.”
After thirteen Baktuns it is supposed to reset and not end, thus disproving the doomsday theory.
If you don’t want to do all this math…imagine an annual calendar, where there are always twelve months and and after finishing, the world does not end, a new year simply begins. It’s the same with the Mayan calendar.
Yet, people still believe all this mumbo jumbo. Some crazy folks have spent their money on underground shelters in response to this most recent paranoia.
Just like the past predictions however, we will wake up in our cozy bed and continuing with our daily life the next day, and another craazy priest or mathematician  will come up with a new way the world will end.