Predicting the end of time is hard work

Well, it seems that we missed out on the Apocalypse again.

Not a big surprise – people have been prophesizing the date for the

end of the world since recorded time – and before.

The mystery is – why?

It’s not as though the predictor would ever get to say “I told you

so.”

How incredibly easy is it to gather a following of millions in this

day of digital communication? It’s like Facebook on steroids as people

like this Harold Camping measure their worth by the number of

worshippers they attract.

Even after he got it wrong back in 1994. But everyone makes mistakes.

It’s okay. I, too, have trouble with math.

After 70 years of studying the Bible, he claims to have developed a

system that uses mathematics to interpret prophesies hidden in it. He

says the world will end on 21 May, because that will be 722,500 days

from 1 April AD33, which he believes was the day of the Crucifixion.

The figure of 722,500 is important because you get it by multiplying

three holy numbers (five, 10 and 17) together twice. “When I found

this out, I tell you, it blew my mind,” he said.

Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but the millions of dollars

of church funds he’s blown to persuade others that he’s right this

time – that blows my mind.

Money that can be spent helping others. But I guess there’s no reason

to help anybody but yourself when the world is ending.

Nostradamus, Haley’s Comet, Jim Jones, David Koresh of the Branch

Davidian, the Order of the Solar Temple – even the Mayans had to take

a shot at the End of theWorld lottery: Dec. 22, 2012.

Pick a date and make up a story to go with it.

I have a feeling that if this world ever were to come to an end, it

would be by our own doing. There would be no hand reaching out of the

heavens to save us.

Every day somewhere in the world, there are natural disasters,

outbreaks of disease or just plain famine. And each time it happens,

somebody uses it to predict the end of the world.

Well, there’s always next week.

Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal

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