Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The End of the World


The End of the World -

 

 There's always been good business predicting the end of the world. The "end" of the "world" is pretty badly defined by most supernatural predictions. The rapture, for instance, is really just the beginning of the end, and signals civilization being sent back to the Stone Age for a bit while The Chosen are whisked up to heaven. Meanwhile, predictions of the end of the world in 2012 were wide-ranging, from a comet just tearing Earth in half (the rest of the universe spinning on as usual) to the complete and total end of everything ever. The latter is less scary because it's not as if anything will be around afterwards to care.

  In the case of some of the science-based predictions for how the universe will go on according to our knowledge of physics, there's no "end" as such. Matter and energy still exist, but in their lowest energy and most uniform state: the rub being that this state precludes the interactions needed to produce emergent structures. This includes stars, planets, and intelligent entities capable of experiencing the universe.

Here are some examples, with the predicted date of the end of all things.

Unspecified date

  •   Zoroastrianism claims that the end of the world will happen when a comet, called Gochihr, strikes the earth. It will cause all the world's metals to melt and will burn up the world. At the same time, sinners and the pious will pass through this river of molten metal. Sinners will have their sins burnt away and the pious will feel like they're "passing through warm milk."

28th century BCE

  •   The oldest known prediction of the end of the world is recorded on Assyrian tablets: "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching." Sound familiar?

1st century CE


7th century

  •   Muslims believed in the Qiyamah (Last Judgment) during which time Jesus 5 will come to earth, end all wars, and kill ad-Dajjal - the Muslim anti-Christ. Then every person who ever lived will be bodily resurrected, before being judged by God. The faithful go to heaven, and the rest to hell. Apparently there's also room for some "People of the Book," i.e. Jews and Christians.

 

http://rationalwiki.org/w/skins/common/images/magnify-clip.png

A little grandiose, eh?

16th century

  •   Circa 1504: Painter Sandro Botticelli believed he was living during the End Times/Tribulation, according to an inscription on his painting The Mystical Nativity.
  •  1533: Michael Stifel, Judgement Day. A common saying in German for PIDOOMA is to "calculate" or "talk a Stifel."

18th century

  •   1719: Jacob Bernoulli: a comet seen in 1680 would return and collide with the Earth. Said comet hasn't been seen since.
  •  
  • 19th century

  •  The "Great Disappointment": William Miller predicts the end would come in 1843... Then 1844... Oh. His many thousands of followers were not put off by this utter failure, and some became the Seventh Day Adventists. They are still waiting.
  • Native Americans in Spring 1891: All the whites are gonna die really soon!

20th century

  • 1914: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1915: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1918: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1920: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1925: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1941: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1975: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. mid-1970s: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression. 1977: William Branham: Destruction of the U.S., termination of all governments into a world government, Second Coming.131977: Pyramidologist Adam Rutherford: Beginning of the Millennium. 1978: Jim Jones took his cult with him.
  • 1979-1980: John Todd: Installation of a world government ruled by the Illuminati, with Jimmy Carter as the anti-Christ.
  • 1980: Pat Robertson: "A year of sorrow and bloodshed that will have no end soon, for the world is being torn apart, and my kingdom shall rise from the ruins of it."
  • 1981: Hal Lindsey: Pre-tribulational rapture.
  • 1982: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 1982: R.E. McMaster: World War III and/or economic depression, based on cyclical theory.
  • 1985: Pat Robertson: Worldwide economic collapse.
  • 1988: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 1988: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming.
  • 1989: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming. 1990: Elizabeth Clare Prophet: Global thermonuclear war.
  • 1991: Louis Farrakhan: The looming Gulf War would be the "War of Armageddon which is the final war."
  • 1992: Rollen Stewart: Second Coming.
  • 1992: Mission for the Coming Days: Second Coming. 1994: Harold Camping: Second Coming. 1994: Some Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1997: Heaven's Gate: Earth changes and a UFO abduction coinciding with the Hale-Bopp comet. Mass suicide in the hopes of hitching a ride on said UFOs.
  • 1997: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon. 1998: The Church of the SubGenius: the Rupture. Every year on July 5th, they meet and party in reverence, certain that it will happen this year. (Recent writings have inverted the year to "8661.")
  • 1999-2000: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression. 2000: Y2K: Collapse of civilization.

21st century

  • 2003: George W. Bush claimed that Operation Iraqi Freedom was necessary "to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse." (Plan no longer in progress.)
  • 2005-2026: William Strauss and Neil Howe: A crisis period in the U.S. comparable in effect to the American Revolution, Civil War, and Great Depression/WWII.  2007: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 2007: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 2008: Ronald Weinland: Start of the final years of Man's rule on Earth.
  • 2008: Sarah Palin: believes she is of the "Final Generation" and will see the End Times during her lifetime. Thankfully, over 9 million Americans disagreed.
  • 2008: The Large Hadron Collider will destroy the world with black holes, strangelets or something similarly scary and sciencey. (You can keep up to date with whether this has happened yet here.
  • 2009: David Wilkerson: Earth-shattering calamity engulfing the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America experiencing riots and blazing fires. 2011: Harold Camping: Second coming/rapture. May 21st, to be precise. He put up billboards! Later postponed to October 21st, but again nothing came of it. Camping will hold on to the money people sent him for the time being or for good, though followers were encouraged to drain their savings for Camping's campaign funds and many are deeply disappointed.
  • 2012: But of course! Un-naturally failed apocalypse, NASA pushed away space rock expected to hit in series of attempts to bombard asteroids in previous years. (They even did this to the moon!) The following trail fell to/passed Earth in early 2013.)
  • 2013: 2012 was just a warm up, the real bad stuff starts 2013 or something and it seems Isaac Newton predicted it. 2014: World War III, resurrected Nostradamus prophecy of a fire in the North for the reference of the end of the age of the fifth sun,[38] believed to be a specific Northern region of a country, current speculation is North Korea, as relative to the resolution of a Pope prediction. Unspecified time during the reign of Pope Francis, the pope succeeding Benedict XVI. Mediaeval Saint Malachy supposedly predicted Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus) would be the last pope, Rome would be destroyed and a terrible judge would judge his people, The end. Doomsayers have already started shoehorning the new pope into the prediction. 2018: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 2028: Fred Clark: A tongue-in-cheek offer guaranteeing 15 years of Bible-prophecy hucksterism for four easy payments of $39.99. 2030: Approximate date of a mass extinction event predicted by Bob Geldof. Myles Allen, of Oxford University claims "Competing hyperbole" are unhelpful in understanding real climate change.
  • 2035: Asteroid. 2036: More asteroids.
  • 2037: Hal Lindsey: Third Coming.
  • 2038: Deteteoration of the fundamental older technology that still underlies the most crucial systems today. 2040: Even more asteroids. 2039: End of life, the universe and everything. Also known as the Ascension.

87th century

  •  8661: Updated end of the world date for the Church of the SubGenius (from the original 1998).

112th century

  •  11103: The Doomsday argument, first stated in 1983, predicts that there is a 95% chance that the human species will go extinct within 9120 years.
  •  
  • 8,000,000th century

  •  According to current models, the Sun is expected to increase in luminosity by 10% in the next 800 million years. This will cause several changes to the climate that will make the continued existence of life on Earth impossible, starting with photosynthetic organisms and eventually killing off all life.
  •  
  • 50 millionth century

  •  5 billion years from now: According to most accepted models of stellar evolution, the sun will eventually run out of hydrogen fuel to fuse into helium and will expand, becoming a red giant as a result. This red giant might get large enough to swallow the Earth's orbit, but even if it doesn't, the Earth will be roasted to a cinder crisp. One school of thought predicts that the drag from the sun's outer gas envelope will cause the Earth to spiral into the sun and crash into its core; but as with all things scientific, there is another school of thought that says this won't happen. It happens on Doctor Who, so that means it will happen unless it doesn't (because of the changes the Doctor made to the timeline). Either way, watch out for Daleks.

200 millionth century

  •  20 billion years from now Judging from the current rate of universal inflation — the rate at which the expansion of the universe is accelerating — in 20 billion years, the universe will be expanding so rapidly that atoms will no longer be able to hold on to their electrons. This predicted event is known as the "Big Rip." Blame dark energy.

3×1041 st century

  •  3×1043 years from now: estimated time for all nucleons in the observable universe to decay, if the proton half-life takes the largest possible value (1041 years). This is the Total Existence Failure of the entire universe, anything complex enough to be considered life that would care about it would likely have evaporated to nothing long before this. Out of all the above, this is the most likely.

 

 There's always been good business predicting the end of the world. The "end" of the "world" is pretty badly defined by most supernatural predictions. The rapture, for instance, is really just the beginning of the end, and signals civilization being sent back to the Stone Age for a bit while The Chosen are whisked up to heaven. Meanwhile, predictions of the end of the world in 2012 were wide-ranging, from a comet just tearing Earth in half (the rest of the universe spinning on as usual) to the complete and total end of everything ever. The latter is less scary because it's not as if anything will be around afterwards to care.

 In the case of some of the science-based predictions for how the universe will go on according to our knowledge of physics, there's no "end" as such. Matter and energy still exist, but in their lowest energy and most uniform state: the rub being that this state precludes the interactions needed to produce emergent structures. This includes stars, planets, and intelligent entities capable of experiencing the universe.

Here are some examples, with the predicted date of the end of all things.

Unspecified date

  •   Zoroastrianism claims that the end of the world will happen when a comet, called Gochihr, strikes the earth. It will cause all the world's metals to melt and will burn up the world. At the same time, sinners and the pious will pass through this river of molten metal. Sinners will have their sins burnt away and the pious will feel like they're "passing through warm milk."

28th century BCE

  •   The oldest known prediction of the end of the world is recorded on Assyrian tablets: "Our Earth is degenerate in these later days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book and the end of the world is evidently approaching." Sound familiar?

1st century CE


7th century

  •  Muslims believed in the Qiyamah (Last Judgement) during which time Jesus5 will come to earth, end all wars, and kill ad-Dajjal - the Muslim anti-Christ. Then every person who ever lived will be bodily resurrected, before being judged by God. The faithful go to heaven, and the rest to hell. Apparently there's also room for some "People of the Book," i.e. Jews and Christians.

 

http://rationalwiki.org/w/skins/common/images/magnify-clip.png

A little grandiose, eh?

16th century

  •  Circa 1504: Painter Sandro Botticelli believed he was living during the End Times/Tribulation, according to an inscription on his painting The Mystical Nativity.
  •  1533: Michael Stifel, Judgement Day.  A common saying in German for PIDOOMA is to "calculate" or "talk a Stifel."

18th century

  • 1719: Jacob Bernoulli: a comet seen in 1680 would return and collide with the Earth. Said comet hasn't been seen since. 19th century

  • The "Great Disappointment": William Miller predicts the end would come in 1843... Then 1844... Oh.  His many thousands of followers were not put off by this utter failure, and some became the Seventh Day Adventists. They're still waiting.
  • Native Americans in Spring 1891: All the whites are gonna die really soon!

20th century

  • 1914: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1915: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1918: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1920: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1925: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1941: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddoon.
  • 1975: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • Mid-1970s: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression.
  • 1977: William Branham: Destruction of the U.S., termination of all governments into a world government, Second Coming.13
  • 1977: Pyramidologist Adam Rutherford: Beginning of the Millennium.
  • 1978: Jim Jones took his cult with him.
  • 1979-1980: John Todd: Installation of a world government ruled by the Illuminati, with Jimmy Carter as the anti-Christ.
  • 1980: Pat Robertson: "A year of sorrow and bloodshed that will have no end soon, for the world is being torn apart, and my kingdom shall rise from the ruins of it."
  • 1981: Hal Lindsey: Pre-tribulational rapture.
  • 1982: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 1982: R.E. McMaster: World War III and/or economic depression, based on cyclical theory.  1985: Pat Robertson: Worldwide economic collapse.
  • 1988: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 1988: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming.
  • 1988: Colin Deal: Second Coming.
  • 1989: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming.
  • 1990: Elizabeth Clare Prophet: Global thermonuclear war.
  • 1991: Louis Farrakhan: The looming Gulf War would be the "War of Armageddon which is the final war."
  • 1992: Rollen Stewart: Second Coming.
  • 1992: Mission for the Coming Days: Second Coming.
  • 1994: Harold Camping: Second Coming.
  • 1994: Some Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1997: Heaven's Gate: Earth changes and a UFO abduction coinciding with the Hale-Bopp comet. Mass suicide in the hopes of hitching a ride on said UFOs.
  • 1997: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.
  • 1998: The Church of the SubGenius: the Rupture. Every year on July 5th, they meet and party in reverence, certain that it will happen this year. (Recent writings have inverted the year to "8661.")
  • 1999-2000: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression.
  • 2000: Y2K: Collapse of civilization.

21st century

  • 2003: George W. Bush claimed that Operation Iraqi Freedom was necessary "to thwart Gog and Magog, the Bible’s satanic agents of the Apocalypse."  (Plan no longer in progress.)
  • 2005-2026: William Strauss and Neil Howe: A crisis period in the U.S. comparable in effect to the American Revolution, Civil War, and Great Depression/WWII.
  •  2007: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 2007: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 2008: Ronald Weinland: Start of the final years of Man's rule on Earth.
  • 2008: Sarah Palin: believes she is of the "Final Generation" and will see the End Times during her lifetime. Thankfully, over 9 million Americans disagreed.
  • 2008: The Large Hadron Collider will destroy the world with black holes, strangelets or something similarly scary and sciencey. (You can keep up to date with whether this has happened yet here.)
  • 2009: David Wilkerson: Earth-shattering calamity engulfing the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America experiencing riots and blazing fires.
  • 2011: Harold Camping: Second coming/rapture. May 21st, to be precise.  He put up billboards![32] Later postponed to October 21st, but again nothing came of it. Camping will hold on to the money people sent him for the time being or for good, though followers were encouraged to drain their savings for Camping's campaign funds and many are deeply disappointed.
  • 2012: But of course! Un-naturally failed apocalypse, NASA pushed away space rock expected to hit in series of attempts to bombard asteroids in previous years.  (They even did this to the moon!) The following trail fell to/passed Earth in early 2013. ;)
  • 2013: 2012 was just a warm up, the real bad stuff starts 2013 or something and it seems Isaac Newton predicted it.
  • 2014: World War III, resurrected Nostradamus prophecy of a fire in the North for the reference of the end of the age of the fifth sun, believed to be a specific Northern region of a country, current speculation is North Korea, as relative to the resolution of a Pope prediction.
  • Unspecified time during the reign of Pope Francis, the pope succeeding Benedict XVI. Mediaeval Saint Malachy supposedly predicted Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus) would be the last pope, Rome would be destroyed and a terrible judge would judge his people, the end.  Doomsayers have already started shoehorning the new pope into the prediction.
  • 2018: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 2028: Fred Clark: A tongue-in-cheek offer guaranteeing 15 years of Bible-prophecy hucksterism for four easy payments of $39.99.
  • 2030: Approximate date of a mass extinction event predicted by Bob Geldof. Myles Allen, of Oxford University claims "Competing hyperbole" are unhelpful in understanding real climate change.
  • 2035: Asteroid.
  • 2036: More asteroids.
  • 2037: Hal Lindsey: Third Coming.
  • 2038: Deteteoration of the fundamental older technology that still underlies the most crucial systems today.
  • 2040: Even more asteroids.
  • 2039: End of life, the universe and everything. Also known as the Ascension.

87th century

  • 8661: Updated end of the world date for the Church of the SubGenius (from the original 1998).

112th century

  • 11103: The Doomsday argument, first stated in 1983, predicts that there is a 95% chance that the human species will go extinct within 9120 years.
  •  
  • 8,000,000th century

  • According to current models, the Sun is expected to increase in luminosity by 10% in the next 800 million years. This will cause several changes to the climate that will make the continued existence of life on Earth impossible, starting with photosynthetic organisms and eventually killing off all life.

50 millionth century

  • 5 billion years from now: According to most accepted models of stellar evolution, the sun will eventually run out of hydrogen fuel to fuse into helium and will expand, becoming a red giant as a result. This red giant might get large enough to swallow the Earth's orbit, but even if it doesn't, the Earth will be roasted to a cinder crisp. One school of thought predicts that the drag from the sun's outer gas envelope will cause the Earth to spiral into the sun and crash into its core; but as with all things scientific, there is another school of thought that says this won't happen.  It happens on Doctor Who, so that means it will happen unless it doesn't (because of the changes the Doctor made to the timeline). Either way, watch out for Daleks.

200 millionth century

  • 20 billion years from now Judging from the current rate of universal inflation — the rate at which the expansion of the universe is accelerating — in 20 billion years, the universe will be expanding so rapidly that atoms will no longer be able to hold on to their electrons. This predicted event is known as the "Big Rip." Blame dark energy.

3×1041 st century

  • 3×1043 years from now: estimated time for all nucleons in the observable universe to decay, if the proton half-life takes the largest possible value (1041 years).  This is the Total Existence Failure of the entire universe, anything complex enough to be considered life that would care about it would likely have evaporated to nothing long before this. Out of all the above, this is the most likely.

 

 THE SECOND COMING

 

    Turning and turning in the widening gyre
    The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.

    The darkness drops again but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

 

What a negative waste of time.