The World May or May Not Possibly Be Perhaps Coming to an End. Probably. Not?

There are many theories floating about in cyberspace about the impending doom of our world.  These speculations about the end of the world include both religious theories and scientific ones, some of which are decently supported and others which seem to be completely arbitrary claims.  Most of the theories I came across during my research were theories based on the Mayan Calendar, the Bible, planetary knowledge, and astronomical knowledge.

The Mayan Long Count Calendar

I’m sure almost everyone by now has heard talk of the world ending on December 21, 2012, a theory that was based on the Mayan Calendar predictions.  This seems to be the most widespread of the Doomsday prophecies.  However, most people have not delved deeper into the Mayan culture, and thus have not learned that this prophesied date is in fact simply the last day on the Mayan Long Count Calendar. The Mayans even created another Long Count Calendar that starts up right after the current one ends.  According to several websites, including this one, the Mayans never attached an apocalyptic prediction to this date.  In fact, the end of the calendars was a cause for celebration in the Mayan culture.  Therefore, in actuality we really have nothing to worry about as far as the Mayan Calendar is concerned.

Another theory regarding the end of world is also one that most people have heard talk of – Judgment Day.  This theory is described in the Christian Bible, and says that the world will end with God and Christ coming and judging everyone’s souls, deciding who will go to Heaven.  In her article, Betty Miller discusses the many signs in the Bible that warn of this impending Apocalypse.  She also claims that God has spoken to her directly, warning her of this doom and informing her of what needs to be done – namely, spiritual preparation.  Although proponents of this theory find much evidence and support in the Bible, there does not seem to be much else supporting this theory.  Therefore, you must decide for yourself whether or not you take the Bible as truth, and then decide from there how credible you find this theory to be.

This image shows the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano. If a Supervolcano were to erupt, it could be 10,000 times worse than this one.

As I mentioned before, there are also several astronomical and geological theories for the world ending.  One of these is the theory of mass destruction due to a Supervolcano erupting (namely, the Yellowstone Supervolcano).  If this actually happened, the devastation would be very extensive, possibly even plunge the planet into an ice age or cause an extinction.  According to ScienceDaily, there is evidence in the geologic record of an ancient volcano eruption that caused mass extinction 260 million years ago.  However, the probability of a Supervolcano eruption anytime in the near future is very minimal.  One article asserts that geologists have predicted the next eruption to be in 2012, but there are no resources cited for this claim and the evidence given to support is pretty unlikely.

After reading through all of these (and more) theories of world destruction, I still am not convinced that we should be worried.  I consider myself scientifically inclined, and so I tend to look for scientific evidence when considering the believability of any assertion.  Most of the theories I came across did not have anything remotely scientific to support their claims, and even the theories that actually did cite evidence in their arguments were not very convincing at all.  Even if I did believe these theories though and now found myself in a state of panic about our impending doom, there was practically no advice given to me in any of these articles about what we can do to help save ourselves.  The only resource that gave any sort of solution was the article about Judgment Day, but praying to save our souls was the only advice I found there.  Basically, I have concluded that we do not face a threat of mass destruction, but even if we knew for sure that the world was about to end, there is really nothing we can do so why waste our time fretting about it?

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