Enough with the fearmongering about December 21, 2012. Remember when the world didn't end those others times, as predicted by Harold Camping? Well, the world probably won't end on December 21, 2012, either. Why? Because we’ve been there, done that with failed doomsday predictions, and -- if history is any indication -- it’s time to stop packing the ark and start appreciating our lives.
Prophets and preachers have been predicting the end of times since the beginning of time, and all of these predictions have one thing in common: They didn’t happen. Our own Master Astrologer Jeff Jawer says 2012 is just a beginning, and not an end at all.
True, it’s important to honor the fact that we all have differing beliefs. Respecting one another’s faith or lack thereof is just good Karma, right? But it’s equally important to not let unhealthy fears interfere with one’s mental health and happiness.
So, let’s take a look at some of the world's most famously failed doomsday predictions to help put things in perspective. Then you can get back to life’s real challenges and triumphs, which is what makes the world so beautiful, right?
Here are the Top 10 failed doomsday predictions of all time:
- A.D. 79: Mt. Vesuvius -- In A.D. 65, a Roman philosopher predicted the world would go up in smoke and “burn in the universal fire… so when Mount Vesuvius erupted 14 years later, ancient Romans saw it as a sign of the coming apocalypse and fled the city.
- 1835: The Mormons -- In 1835, Joseph Smith founded the Mormon Church, and claimed he knew about the end of the world. Smith told his followers that God had spoken to him, and that the world would face a painful end within the next 56 years. By 1891 that day had not come, and it still hasn’t.
- 1843: The Millerites – After years of studying the Bible, New England farmer William Miller concluded that God would destroy the world sometime between March 21, 1843 and March 21, 1844. His preaching and publishing gathered thousands of followers, known as the Millerites, who decided the actual end date was April 23, 1843. When the end didn’t come, the group disbanded and some members formed what is now the Seventh Day Adventist church.
- 1910: Halley's Comet -- In 1881, an astronomer discovered that comet tails include a deadly gas. Later, folks discovered that the Earth would pass through the tail of Halley’s comet in 1910, and speculation began that the planet would be consumed with a deadly gas that would snuff out life on the planet.
- 1914: Jehovah's Witnesses -- Since being founded in the 1870’s, the Christian offshoot called the Jehovah's Witnesses predicted the world would end in 1914 and handed out religious literature saying so. Since then, they continue to pass out literature saying the world will end soon.
- 1982: Pat Robertson -- Televangelist and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson alarmed many in May of 1980 when he told his 700 Club TV show audience that he knew when the world would end. "I guarantee you by the end of 1982 there is going to be a judgment on the world," he said.
- 1999: Nostradamus -- Filled with riddles and code, the works of Michel de Nostrdame are nearly impossible to translate. That said, one of Nostradamus’ most famous quatrains read "The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror." Nostradamus believers interpreted this as a vision of Armageddon, which did not come to pass. Other Nostradamus believers continue to think the world will end in 3797.
- 2000: Y2K -- For much of 1999, panic grew about the possibility that computers might bring about the end of the world when the century came to a close. It was thought that computers might not be able to determine the difference between 2000 and 1900 dates, and that the technology breakdown could cause everything from blackouts to nuclear holocaust. People built bunkers and bought guns, but Jan. 1, 2000 came and went without a hitch.
- 2000: Planetary Alignment -- Hot on the heels of the Y2K doomsday predictions, author Richard Noone’s book "5/5/2000 Ice: the Ultimate Disaster" worked the world into another state of fear. Noone said the planets would align on May 5, 2000 in a manner that would cause a global, ice-related catastrophe.
- 2011, The Rapture -- California-based Christian ministry leader Harold Camping has been causing the latest media buzz, narrowing the end of days to May 21, 2011. That’s this Saturday, folks, and you’ve probably seen all the Rapture related ads on the radio, Internet, pamphlets, billboards and bus benches. Try to relax. May 21 is not the end of the world. It’s just the Sun in Gemini.
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