end-of-the-world-may-12-2011

World Ending on May 21? Don’t Count on It

Article Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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Why do some humans have a fixation on the world coming to an end? From ancient Nostradamus to Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate fame, there have been a myriad of ultimately failed predictions that the world will meet its demise. The latest prediction comes from Harold Camping, a preacher from California who says the Second Coming of Jesus will occur conveniently at 6 pm local time for each time zone around the world coming up this weekend, on May 21, 2011.

While he claims to have used math to predict this event, perhaps a better use of math would be to count how many times soothsayers and doomsday con artists have incorrectly predicted the end of the world in the past. So far they have all been 100% wrong. Camping himself is guilty of incorrectly predicting the end of the world back in 1994, so his track record is not very good either. So if you’re wondering – mathematically speaking — based on the number of past predictions of the end of the world being right, and the number of past predictions of Camping about the end of the world being right, the odds of Camping being wrong this time are 100%.

So sleep well, and enjoy your weekend!

Need some proof? Here’s a look at some past failed predictions, as well as an infographic from LiveScience.com about the many predictions of doom. Humans seem to like doomsday predictions so much that we even like to make movies about it.

And by the way, the end of the world predictions being pure nonsense goes for the 2012 prognostications, as well. You can read our series about why they are all wrong here.

Interestingly, many past predictions of the end of the world coincide with religious fanaticism (from the top image, above, it appears Camping’s prediction has the biblical seal of approval…) and/or trying to make money. (Camping has amassed $120 million in donations from fervent followers). One of the most recent was God’s Church minister Ronald Weinland who pitched his book “2008: God’s Final Witness” by predicting the world would end by 2008, with the “end times” beginning in 2006.

Before that, it was the Heaven’s Gate mess, where Applewhite’s followers actually did kill themselves so that they would be taken by an alien spacecraft coming along with comet Hale-Bopp in 1997, (I guess, unfortunately the world did end for them…). This prediction included accusations of a huge cover-up by NASA who supposedly knew the alien craft was hidden in the comet’s coma.

Televangelist Pat Robertson predicted Judgment Day would come in 1982. Scarily, Robertson later ran for president of the United States.

Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon church predicted the world would end by 1891, and a group that would eventually become the Seventh-Day Adventists predicted the end by 1843.

Some bad-science related predictions include the Y2K scare (which didn’t even burn out a light bulb), several “planetary alignment” predictions that would throw the Earth into tumult (including one in 2000 by Richard Noone), the return of Halley’s Comet in 1910 would envelope Earth in deadly toxic gases, and of course, all the 2012 predictions, which are based on very inaccurate science and the downright mean and nasty tactic of trying to scare people.

Nostradumus, a.k.a. Michel de Nostrdame has been one of the longest-running predictors of doom and gloom, and his vague, metaphorical writings have intrigued people for over 400 years. The vagueness allows for very flexible interpretations, allowing some people to claim that a number of Nostradamus’ predictions have come true. One prediction he gave included a year: “The year 1999, seventh month / From the sky will come great king of terror.”

I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen, just like all the other predictions. The ones listed here are just a sampling of the incorrect predictions throughout time.

 A brief history of doomsdays
Source:LiveScience

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154 Responses

  1. J. Major says:

    Although Armageddon was such a bad movie, it may have ended the world of cinema as we know it…

  2. Roman Sill says:

    Ha ha ha. Morons. Ha ha ha.

  3. well lets wait and see won’t we..

    • jo says:

      What a waist of money. If these believers were really Christ Like, they would have used this money to help the poor and sick. The earth will go on for many millions of years. Man, at some point will become extinct as do all species. We are no different when it comes to extinction. Are only difference is are individual and mass human ego, which is always wrong. Sheeple-people=SAD!

      • Michael says:

        “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians, they are so much unlike your Christ…” – Ghandi

      • Anonymous says:

        Perhaps you should use these last days to return to school and finish your obviously lacking education. “waist of money?” Please…..

  4. RobbT says:

    You’ve just got to love Google ads and it’s (mis)targeted advertising. At the top of this article are: “Ask a psychic a free question”, http://www.worldtocome.org (read the bible about 2012), http://www.theRCG.org (the “truth” about 2012), http://www.stealthstockonline.com (coming 2011 market collapse), and http://www.ChrstianPrayerCenter.com.

    I’m willing to give people 5 cents on the dollar for their cars and their houses, as long as we can complete it before Saturday.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What I want to know is, who paid for the 5 (yes count ’em, 5) identical RV’s wrapped with the graphics from this Judgement day logo that showed up all the way on the other coast at the Rhode Island state house? I was floored.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There are a number of doomsday ideas. One of them is certain. The universe in 10^{100} years will evolve into a de Sitter vacuum state, where upon after a far longer time period it will quantum decay into a complete void. Homo sapiens will not survive through that — guaranteed. I also don’t think there are escape hatches to other cosmologies. So the long term situation is one of doom. Much sooner than this we will most likely not exist a billion years into the future. A million years looks pretty bad as well. So hurray we are doomed! The average hominid species only existed a few hundred thousand years, and we are probably no exception. Accepting this form of doom is like accepting one’s personal death; it is inevitable so why worry that much about it?

    More immediate doomsday scenarios fit in two categories, physically plausible and eschatology. The first of these involves folly on our own part. There are then two main choices as presented in the movies “On the Beach” and “Soylent Green.” The first has us die out in a grand nuclear thunderclap, while the other has use fade out into the dark after we have rendered this planet unlivable. Neither of these is a certain doom, even if they do not look good — they are die off scenarios. Our species may survive either of these, though likely as a remnant population eking out a living on a depleted environment that has been modified by our selves in drastic ways. If we do so survive as a species then what might come after that is impossible to say.

    Eschatological doomsdays are funny, for they are not really doom. For those who believe the “right stuff” this ushers in an eternal Valhalla in the presence of God. It is only for those who do not believe properly, or “die in their sins,” that there is a claim of doom. In fact for these sinners it goes beyond just the end of life, but the start of eternal punishment. So the idea is a form of terror management, which frankly is a big component of religion. The point is to terrorize people into believing and thinking in certain ways, which is a good first step towards either gathering money from them or exploiting them in some way. From there various double think and crime-stop social psychologies of an Orwellian nature are applied to keep them in line. Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, trust not in your own understanding” is an example of how that works. The Bible is peppered with this sort of thing.

    The Book of Revelations is an idea of the future based on the writings of Daniel. Various beasts in Daniel are portrayed, a lion, a bear, a three headed leopard, which represent Babylon, the Persian empire and then the three headed leopard represents the three empires that emerged from the Alexander’s imperial conquest. These were probably written during the Macabean period after these events, and so symbolically represent what already happened. There is then a forth nondescript beast more ferocious than the others, which some think is the Roman Empire, though that is interpretation. The Book of Revelations takes off on the same motif, with the appearance of various beasts and whores which respectively represent future powers and corrupt Churches. They all emerge from the sea, where the sea represents the mass of humanity. The whole thing is meant to convey the idea that through all what may come in the future God is still in control and this process will end at some point.

    Interestingly there is a bit of astronomy, or really astrology, in this. The dragon (Satan) in the sky emerges at the time the Virgin on the moon appears in the sky. This is the constellation Draco, and the appearance of the Virgin is Virgo coincident with the moon. Look at statues of the Virgin in a Catholic Church and notice She is standing on a moon. Now compare this with the Hellenic myth of Dionysus riding a shell — same thing.

    Fundamentalist Christians often study hard Genesis from the Torah, read a bit of Exodus, then skip to the New Testament and get really hung up on Revelations. After all, the Gospels has Jesus doing a few miracles, saying some interesting things, but he dies on a cross and is resurrected with vague promises for the future. Revelations has Jesus coming back as the ultimate superman who really kicks ass. That is way more cool! The whole thing though is mythic-apocalyptic writing, and frankly we have no real clue as to what the presumed author, the apostle John on the island of Patmos, at all had in his head. He, or more likely those who wrote in his name, might have been sampling the local hallucinogenic mushrooms for all we know.

    LC

    • Anonymous says:

      LC, you are correct, sir. The Apostle John was banished to Patmos island during his authorship of Revelations. There are three explanations for is visions:

      1. He really was seeing the future or coming to conclusions after long thought.
      2. He went crazy.
      3. Hw had much more mundane ideas or statments, but hid them in metaphors in case the authorities got ahold of his letters. (Apparently, fundamentalists have no idea what metaphors are.)

      As far as the movies mentioned in the article, I say Terminator (minus time travel) is a good possibility. AI controlled war machines already exist, and a few have glitched and killed people.

      For a very realistic scenario (one that I think is darn-near prophetic), see “The Road Warrior”

      • Anonymous says:

        Without Revelations the Bible or NT would end with Jude, which is an inauspicious end to the whole thing. So Revelations was brought into the compilation because it basically has the “camp of the saints” prevailing in the end with the coming of Jesus. The Book of Revelations, which frankly I have little understanding of and it makes little sense to me, does have a lot of code in it. There are disputes over what they mean. Some thought is the number 666 is meant to represent the Emperor Nero, but about the time John is presumed to have written Revelations Vespasian would have been Emperor, so that is a bit odd. The various beasts and whores are symbols for crowns, powers and churches, and it is not clear whether they have much reference to the situation of the time with Rome at its ascendancy to an apex. The seven headed monster on the seven hills clearly does refer to Rome, and there are other alliterations.

        It is fairly clear that Revelations is mystical stuff, and is about what Plato called the “final cause.” The guy who really laid down the theology was Saul of Tarsus, and he writes in Romans about Jesus Christ as the foundation of the world and its end. John talks of the alpha and omega, initial and final cause, and so a lot of this is a mystical form of Platonic philosophy woven into this Hellenized form of Judaism that constituted proto-Christianty.

        People have been pounding this stuff ever since. The Catholic Church enforced the Nicene creed because by 350CE it was clear that without guidance or authority the Bible was a sort of literary atom bomb. People were going crazy over this stuff at that time, and there was a civil war between followers of Arias and Athenasius. This authority sort of kept this stuff under wraps. Yet in recent centuries it has burst forwards with the end of that authority and where any knucklehead can conjure up their own theology.

        Another movie about a post nuclear war world came out recently “The Book of Eli,” which even involves religion. The post collapse world is pretty grim, and a lot of people in a sense have gone feral.

        LC

      • Anonymous says:

        OMG, Mel Gibson is our lord and saviour?

    • Anonymous says:

      writing with “certainty” about the state of the universe in 10^100 years is my only gripe with the above post.

    • Anonymous says:

      writing with “certainty” about the state of the universe in 10^100 years is my only gripe with the above post.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe the word certain is a bit strong. The accelerated expansion of the universe does though indicate the vacuum state of the universe is a de Sitter spacetime. The existence of mass-energy in the universe is a perturbation on that configuration. However, the exponential acceleration will diffuse that out enormously and the spacetime cosmology will asymptote to a de Sitter geometry. So this scenario has in my opinion a pretty high level of confidence. It would require something highly extraordinary to change this. That extraordinary event might be some catastrophic singularity event, maybe associated with Dp-brane oscillation/collisions. If so the same conclusion holds, we will not get out of it alive.

        LC

      • Anonymous says:

        I still wouldn’t discount the possibility of a solution to the de Sitter vacuum state.

        There could be some exotic physics as yet unknown that would allow some form of escape route. History has proven that certainty is a shaky principal. Surely you recognize this. If the physics proves to be correct, and complete entropy is the ultimate fate of the universe, one could reasonably surmise that this is a problem some advanced form of intelligence/lifeform – past, present, or future – would tackle. Certainly the statistical odds are that lifeforms somewhere have survived and developed for milenia, even if they are rare. This might be one of the few things that we can assume some are/have/will contemplate.

        I refuse to believe that entropy is an unsolvable dead-end. Perhaps this is a futile thought – one based in my elementary biological need to survive and reproduce indefinitely.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think it was Gell-Mann who said that anything not forbidden by physics is mandatory. Physics can give contingencies for why something is forbidden, but not an absolute necessary and sufficient condition for something as forbidden. However, the problem with wormholing into another cosmology is that it is not that different from trying to escape a black hole. That is an extremely tough call. I think it is highly unlikely this can happen.

        Of course science is not about proving things. We can support a theory with data and evidence, but that never proves them as truth. So maybe we can tunnel into another universe. Maybe we can connect the interior of a black hole to the outside with a wormhole as well. However, this would reduce the entropy of the exterior configuration of the black hole by accessing interior data. This would be a violation of the second law of thermodynamics. It would also mean quantum states can be “Xeroxed” or cloned, which is forbidden by quantum mechanics. So by the same token, maybe somebody tinkering around in their garage will indeed come up with a perpetual motion machine. I would not wager a lot of money on it though.

        To be honest when it comes to our survival my concerns are much more immediate than anything cosmological. The possible default on this nation’s debt has my concern. If that starts happening at the end of July the economy of this nation and the world will come apart at the seams pretty rapidly. The EU has serious problems with debts of Portugal and Greece. Imagine a world where the US goes default! Also about every 100 years there is a pattern where some major region of the world goes collectively insane. The last such episode started in 1914 and ended in 1945, where we saw some really insane people rise to great power. The extreme demagoguery and politics popular these days, and blatantly broadcast on the media, has me considerably worried that we may be trending into the next episode of global chaos. In fact a US default might precipitate some type of Weimar episode, a la 1933 Germany. One might ponder why these far right winged idiots are sticking to their guns on this. Maybe they want a great default, it would usher in their goal of total power. A bit longer term concerns I have involve issues of the environment and global warming. These things have my worries far more than cosmological heat death.

        LC

      • Right-wing conspiracy isn’t necessary. Attempts at greater economic efficiency through technology pose tougher technical problems to ill-equipped politicians. Better leaders being unable to look better than demagogues, they are pushed aside as society at large gives up on problem-solving in favor of emotional security.

        The latter part of the above reflects the rise of European dictators, but I don’t see the parallel between now and 100 years ago. 1914 was only the middle of the period of upheaval including (widespread) industrialization, the end of monarchy, and the introduction of truly universal education.

        On the scale of things, an actual holy war between Muslim-majority nations and American demagogues desperate for job creation could happen. But it would have few consequences on average to Joe Earthling. Decentralization of the global economy out of the US could be seen as an effect and a cause.

        The entire world had a tension on the eves of the World Wars that today it does not, and the new global village might have put a permanent stop to that. Most people have the sense to look to their neighbors, and place demands on their leaders, not vice versa. Today’s revolutions are the popular revolts in the Middle East.

      • Anonymous says:

        The similarity is not with the particular political situation which occurred. The upheaval prior to 1914-1945 occurred during 1788-1815. The political situations with those two were completely different. So this is not about some historicity about conditions that existed at the time. The similarity is with social behavior. There are these violent events which occur where whole societies go crazy. The causes for these and how they play out may be very different. There have been some small local events of this nature in very recent history, Rwanda, Congo, Yugoslavia, Cambodia and so forth. Each of these had very different political and other driving causes behind them. The big ones occur about every century. I figure the time frame or periodicity has to do with the loss of the generation which lived through the previous one. The lack of that historical contact and direct memory may eliminate constraints which prevent these upheavals.

        There is clearly no reason for the US to let the nukes fly. However, there are some of these fundamentalists who think we need to do that to bring Jesus back. The political expansion of the religious right is not a source of comfort for me. There are other dimensions to this, and I think there is a trend for there to be a corporate hegemony in the US. Some of the craziness on the so called news, which is really infotainment nonsense which substitutes knuckleheaded opinion for news, is disturbing. What is most disturbing is that it has a popular following. We might be a society that is under sufficient duress that might cause us to go completely insane.

        LC

      • Anonymous says:

        True indeed. I realize our concerns should and must be more immediate.

        I doubt the US economy will collapse in July. Obama’s opponents would be crazy to force the US government into financial catastrophe. Doubtless, they are leveraging their current political advantages to press a president who’s more comfortable in the campaign chair then as he is as a tough dealing leader. Every time this debt ceiling has been reached, it’s raised again anyway. Perhaps the Republicans have a point, here – though they are just as guilty as any recent democratic leadership.

        Catastrophe, here we come.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says:

        Well, if eternal inflation exists the solution to your problem is simple enough; universes (re)produce indefinitely. You just need to get back up to an inflation state – “become one with the inflationary universe”.

        Not a very biological solution though, should you manage to do it.

      • Anonymous says:

        heh, sounds so simple.

        I rather like our biological answer to genetic immortality, don’t you?

    • Anonymous says:

      with respect, “certain” and “condition of the universe in 10^100 years” do not belong together.

  7. Emme Snnn says:

    Harold Camping is not a Christian. He is an Angry Old MAN spending a million dollars to hate the Church and says the world is ending May 21.

    HE WAS KICKED OUT OF CHURCH IN 1988 NO real Christian would listen to him, he is NOT of God

    HE WILL NOT GIVE A PENNY BACK TO HIS FOLLOWERS ON THE 22ND

    SEE HERE http://haroldcamping-21.blogspot.com/2011/05/harold-camping-no-money-refunds-on-22nd.html

    • Torbjörn Larsson says:

      Are we supposed to feel better about christianity, if it first inspires a person and on top of that there is no responsibility taken such as striking apocalyptic texts out of religious texts? He is still a christian preacher, just not of your (?) church.

    • Jon Voisey says:

      No True Scottsman anyone?

    • Anonymous says:

      How old do real Christians believe the Universe is? Do real Christians read Genesis literally or allegorically? How do outsiders decide who is and who is not a real Christian? Is this really an issue for an astronomy blog?

      • Ian Manson says:

        And if they do read it allegorically, how can they take some parts literally, and vice versa?
        Did God get confused half way through his Word and forget whether he was using metaphors? And what does that mean for his omnipotence?

      • Ian Manson says:

        And if they do read it allegorically, how can they take some parts literally, and vice versa?
        Did God get confused half way through his Word and forget whether he was using metaphors? And what does that mean for his omnipotence?

      • It’s omnipotence, not omnicompetence.

      • Anonymous says:

        Omni/Multi dimensional, diverse, including nano phenomenon that we are not privy to at this stage of our advancement. hence allegorical, metaphorical, are all part of the dynamics…GO FIGURE

      • Anonymous says:

        I think everyone should read the Bible, and fortunately I am rather familiar with it and have read it through a couple of times. My religious background is Judaism and Catholicism, so I know this from a couple of angles. The reason people should know the Bible is so these fundamentalist types can’t claim exclusive ownership of the bible.

        There is a little problem these people have. The problem is the story of the creation has Adam and Eve, or just adam = mankind (there are two interwoven creation stories), placed in a perfect newly created world, but where something still goes wrong. The serpent comes and tells Eve that eating the forbidden fruit will not kill her and further it will make her like God. So she and Adam eat it and they become aware, their eyes are opened. This changes everything and it places them outside the garden. Christianity interprets this as the introduction of sin into the world. Then there is the promise or prophesy that “He will come” and the serpent will bite His heel, but He will bruise the head of the serpent. The idea is that by some way the world will be restored, and the “He” is either God or some Messianic figure. This is the problem these people with evolution.

        There are a number of ways of interpreting this creation-fall narrative, but the metaphor is that of growing up from a child, and a child’s view of the world, to an adult with all the complexity that entails. However, for most fundamentalist Christians the “He” in story is most often interpreted as Jesus Christ. So Jesus had to come to save us from sin that entered into the world at that time. However, science pretty conclusively indicates that life on this planet evolved over an enormous time period, that our species evolved out of a lineage of apes or hominids and we did not come about by divine fiat. Further, death and pain associated with sin have existed all along. So the whole story begins to unravel. It gets a bit deeper, for the reason there is all of this pain and death associated with biology and evolution is that it all involves a grand selection process for the ability to access energy. The reason is the macroscopic world is thermodynamic. So a literal interpretation of the fall of the world in effect means the laws of physics changed, where before the first humans ate the forbidden fruit there was no entropy, or increase in entropy. So the whole mythology simply collapses in the face of what we actually understand. If the creation myth collapses, then what happens to the whole narrative about Jesus coming as “I am” and the salvation plan for humanity?

        The “KultureKampf” our age reflect how a monotheistic trend that has dominated civilization for 15 to 17 centuries has really been found to have all the factual content of any mythology from anywhere in the world. In effect it boils down to a problem with lot of magical thinking, where in the last several centuries it has become increasingly clear that existence is not organized by magical or supernatural means. As a result a lot of these people are pretty angry, and a lot of this religious activity in N. America is of a pretty authoritarian and angry nature, and it is associated with a right winged political trajectory that is beginning to assume proto-fascist properties and pathological demagoguery. We live frankly in rather dangerous times because of this.

        LC

      • Kenneth Carrell says:

        I think you are missing the point. I agree that the creation story is a metaphor, and therefore, trying to constrain it with current knowledge is meaningless because we don’t know the details of the similarities between the stories.

        When you were a child and asked what the twinkling things in the night sky were, I’m sure your parents didn’t go into the complexities of nuclear fusion, the p-p chain and CNO cycle, opacities all the way through the photosphere and then a discussion on E&M to explain the propagation of light. You were told in simple, easy to understand terms that sufficed for that time and place in your life.

        Similarly, in Genesis we are told that the heavens and earth were created by God. To a person writing this inspired word down thousands of years ago, would any of it had made any sense if God began relating thermodynamic principles, GR, and particle physics to explain entropy, galaxy formation and CP violation which is required to have the asymmetry needed to have matter in the first place? These people were more concerned about basic necessities and therefore required a simplified view of the creation of their universe. Anything more would not have made sense or been passed down for us to know about today.

        And how do you know if when God said ‘Let there be light’ He didn’t express Maxwell’s equations in some form? To me, learning the physical principles of our universe and the way everything works and interacts is seeing the beauty and complexity that God used in creating everything around us. It is getting closer to the actual meaning of the metaphor expressed in those books written centuries ago. It truly is like a child playing with some unknown object until they figure out every little detail about it – and if you are a parent you know the feeling you get when you see your child figure something out on their own and the sense of accomplishment they exude. How much more proud God must be when He sees His children learning about the universe He created for them. Acknowledged or not, the parent is still proud of the child.

      • Trent says:

        Or, just maybe it’s all utter bullshit.

      • Anonymous says:

        Or there are no gods at all. Given the fact that we can neither prove nor disprove deities, they are really irrelevant to the physical world – Maxwells equations et al.

        I have no reason to assume Gods exist outside our minds and the colorful prose of our literature. Gods make an interesting topic for educational studies.

        Nothing more.

      • Anonymous says:

        To K. Carrell et al:
        The problem that I point out is largely with fundamentalist. One can consider the creation story as symbolic in some ways. There are other meanings to it, and it does involve the separation of dual entities, light from dark, dry land from sea, and so forth. This reflects the Jewish idea of Kodesh or separation, and that the distinction of categories is an aspect of a rational world, a world based on law given by God. Of course the 10 Commandments later has law given to man by God, just as God formed the world by law. However, the fundamentalist do have their point, or at least it can be understood even if it is completely flawed. The stories of Jesus, which is a Hellenic notion of a god becoming human, are framed around the Genesis story of the so called fall. BTW the god becoming man idea was very common in the Hellenic world and impacted religions throughout the Alexandrian conquest region. Without a real literal fall, how can one claim there was a literal Jesus EHYEH (I AM), the Jesus Christ Son of God who was sent to redeem us from the sin of Adam if that whole story is ultimately mythology?

        The god YHWH is some kluge between Ba’al (al or el = god, Ba a short for lord) of the local region in Canaan with the Amun-Ra or Aten religion of Akhenaton and the Babylonian Marduk and Tiamat city state gods. Further, the creation story of Genesis, or should we say the two stories, are retellings of the Sumerian creation story. In that story Marduk slays the dragon-god of Tiamat and uses the body to construct the firmament and Earth. The Genesis story has God (Adonai = Marduk) move his face across the deep (Tiamat) and creates order out of chaos. The Genesis story is then derived from this, and references to the “leviathan” are echoes of the Sumerian story and the dragon which is slain.

        Judaism has its pedigree in both the Sumerian and Egyptian worlds. Canaan was a backwater region and buffer zone in between these two powerful regions, and so the stories from the two regions made their way around. It also brings bragging rights, and the Torah clearly demonstrates connections to the two regions. Abraham according to the story came from Ur in Sumeria, and his grandson Joseph and followers settle into Egypt. The Egyptian connection is also seen in the Hymn to Amun-Ra with the line “Lord of truth, father of the gods, maker of men, creator of all animals, Lord of things that are, creator of the staff of life, … ,” where Psalm 104 is a revision of the same thing. Akhenaten was the Pharoh who ejected the Priests and rose the Amun-Ra to the Aten, the supreme one God. The Amun-Ra was the sun god, and this was elevated to the status of a supreme deity. The Aten cult was abolished with the death of Akhenaten and its priests dispersed. Doubtless some of them made their way to Canaan, while there were small cult followers who lived in Libya. The description of the Ark of the Covenent in Exodus and Deuteronomy has two angels with their wings bent over the ark. The throne of Aten was depected with two angelic-like eagle figures doing the same.

        One can play the role of a “premise keeper,” which is to uphold the core idea of Jesus and salvation and the rest, while acknowledging what science tells us about the world. On the other hand, we ultimately have to ponder whether existence is at all framed around supernatural or magical ideations.

        LC

      • Torbjörn Larsson says:

        Interesting (thanks for the Ba’al (el) explanation btw, wasn’t aware of that and it explains a lot), but I’m not sure monotheism only appeared once and the proposed connection seems tenuous.

        A simpler explanation is that it was an idea that was timely (it concentrates power for one) and/or communicated around, like atheism originally.

      • Anonymous says:

        If you read first and second Kings and Chronicles, there is this endless problem with Ba’al. BTW Ba’al should be pronounced in two syllables as Bah all, and not as commonly said as Bale. Ba’al was a male god, in a sense the brother of YHWH, which impregnated the Earth goddess Asharte, or Ashtareth etc, and the rains were that impregnation. The rain was seen as the semen from Ba’al which on the first or second rains would fertilize the Earth (Ashtarte) and bring forth life. The Ba’al religion had its base in the Phoenicians, and their southern relatives in Canaan held to largely the same religion. The god YHWH is some kluge between Ba’al of the local region with the Amun-Ra or Aten religion of Akhenaton and the Babylonian Marduk and Tiamut city state gods. The bleeding in of Ba’al into the ancient Israeli belief system is marked particularly by this intrusion of the Earth Goddess into the belief system, where YHWH in effect had a “wife-goddess” or Ashtarte. After the Babylonian captivity there was a final “divorce.” The story of the binding of Isaac is a rejection of Ba’al which required human sacrifice and the sacrifice of a first born son. So this sets up the separation from Ba’al (separation = Kodesh), which is a critical aspect of Judaism.

        The Sumerians had this idea of a personal god, a bit like the idea of a guardian angel. Abraham in effect made his personal god, GOD, which assumed the character of Marduk. Now Abraham is most likely a narrative archetype and not a real person as such, just as with Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. However, the story has Abraham leave Ur for Canaan. There is an Egypt connection, with one journey into Egypt where he called his wife Sarah his sister, thus telling a lie that causes disfavor with YHWH and so forth. He has a child Ishmael with the handmaiden Hagar from Egypt and then later Isaac from Sarah (at the tender age of 99) and so forth. The story almost screams at you that this is a kluging of various god-ideas.

        We have little explicit data on what was believed at the time of David to Solomon, which is the time of the first Temple and the height of ancient Israel. There are these copper codex’s that form pieces what might be called a pre-Torah. Recently a copper plate codex (written stuff was stamped on these thin copper plates) was found with the Lord’s spoken words to Moses in Numbers 6, 24

        The Lord bless you and keep you;
        The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you
        The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

        which is one of the canonical phrases in the Bible from the Torah. Other pieces have been found which bear a resemblance to parts of the Torah. However, the Torah was written down more or less in its current form by Jewish scribes in Babylon much later, around 600BCE.

        LC

      • Kenneth Carrell says:

        I agree that the problem does seem to be with fundamentalism. However, this is not exclusive to Christianity, and hatred and extreme views are also not limited to religion. A look at some of the comments here show that fact quite plainly – according to some people, anyone who is Christian or believes in God is automatically attacked or labelled in some way.

        In your post above you make it sound as if every Christian in America is a fundamentalist and is pissed off that people don’t believe in God or the Bible. From my view (as a Christian) that is not the case at all. And further, the problem seems to be exacerbated not by Christians promoting the word of God, but by scientists who continue to insist that science excludes religion. In my mind, the two answer completely different questions. Science tells me ‘how’ and religion tells me ‘why’. One without the other is an incomplete picture, and both are enhanced when taken together.

        Further, it is always the empty can that rattles the loudest. Some people think all Christians are like this guy promoting the end of the world or like the guy burning the holy book of another religion. This is definitely a fringe minority. Are all (or even most) Muslims terrorists because a handful of them have those extreme views? Do all (or even most) Christians believe that the world is going to end this weekend? Most definitely not, but in America they seem to all get grouped together by those who are too arrogant or apathetic to understand the truth. Which again, this group is probably a minority but is the empty can.

        I am not saying that anyone is wrong or stupid for believing what they do. Every person on the Earth (for the most part) has the freedom to believe whatever they wish. I am simply providing my point of view as both a scientist and a Christian. God loves each and every one of us and welcomes any and all into His love and grace.

      • Anonymous says:

        ken, i feel you nailed it on the head… people fail to realize the connection between both (science and religion) and fail to admit that GOD does exist in ALL of our lives and in EVERYTHING period regardless!!!! GOD is there no matter what!!!!!!! PEOPLE CHOSE TO IGNORE that god exiss for a variety of reasons and they are entitled to those reasons, however GOD is the only person each and everyone of us WILL CALL OUT TO when tough times are thrown at us!!!!! i don’t go to church, i don’t study the bible everyday, but in every breath i take i know that i am able to because GOD is allowing me to… People blame and curse GOD because of something awful that happend in their lives, failing to take comfort in the fact that HE was right there with them through it all only wanting them to have the faith of a mustard seed that one day they will receive their rewards… IT’s all about the freedom of will (in which GOD gave) all of us that gives anyone the right to disbelieve the only thing in our lives that are REAL, CONSTANT, and TRUE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        The role of religion has not been entirely bad. The rise of monotheism, in particular Judaism, brought about the notion that the world operated by laws. The Genesis creation story does indicate that the world is in some ways rational.

        The flip side with respect to science is that religion entails a completely different mode of thought from science. Religion is primarily about faith, and science is about testing hypotheses. Hebrews 11 (I believe the chapter is 11) has faith is the certainty of things unseen. I am a bit too tired to get to by Bible to look it up for the exact quote. Science is about the opposite idea, we scrutinize things.

        The other problem which happens with science is that the claims about the world based on religion are just simply wrong. There are clear conflicts when it comes to our knowledge of the universe.

        A big part of religion is as a terror management system. It promotes a system that exploits cognitive dissonances in people’s minds. It then sets up an implausbile system of thinking with various thought-crime elements and the rather terrifying notion that God is reading our minds and recording on a divine DVD of some sort. The whole concept is rather horrid, in fact Orwellian.

        I suppose in some ways the modern prophet of our age George Carlin might say it better than me.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzEs2nj7iZM

        LC

      • Kenneth Carrell says:

        Religious claims about our universe can be wrong if the text is taken literally. But as we both agreed on earlier, much of the Bible speaks in metaphors, so it is not surprising that the literal interpretation of certain things in the Bible don’t match our current understanding of the universe – any metaphor would not hold up to such scrutiny.

        And most of the first several books in the Bible reflect very much the audience they were intended for. These people required laws to tell them what was good and bad for them to eat (for example) because modern concepts of bacteria and disease were unknown at that time. So why would knowledge of the universe as we know it today be passed on to them? Why wouldn’t these ideas instead be related in a way that they could understand? Adam made from the dirt of the Earth? We know that the atoms inside our bodies really are dust, albeit from the explosions of stars, from which our Earth and ourselves have been made.

        As an aside, I think many people believe we are very close to completely understanding the universe we live in scientifically. This is obviously untrue. And the same logic in the above article applies here – every time science has believed they have figured everything out, a new theory/idea/concept comes along that completely revolutionizes things. So, 100% of the time scientists have been wrong when they believe they are approaching a complete set of scientific knowledge. Therefore, our ideas about the universe now are not completely true. And don’t tell me that there isn’t some amount of faith involved in science. A Higgs field that pervades all of space and bestows mass on all things? Multiple universes and string theory? These are all leaps of faith that at the moment are no more testable than the presence of God. Does that mean that they are ‘BS’ and shouldn’t be investigated as some people have alluded to in these comments?

        Finally, I am not terrified by the fact that God is watching, I am overjoyed at the fact that He has filled both you and I with His holy spirit. It is not fear of retribution, it is elation at His presence. It is not Orwellian at all because you have the freedom to accept this fact or not. No Thought-Police will show up at your door for questioning God, but as soon as you are ready to accept Him, the door is open. In some respect it is the opposite of Orwellian, the only way to come to God is through love and not fear, and the choice is made willingly, not forced upon you. We are not saved through acts but through grace. God is only terrifying and Big Brother-like to those who don’t know Him.

      • The god which you know is a product of your own mind and local culture, and is a forgiving one who allows religious freedom.

        Doomsday cultists would mostly disagree. Folks who get sucked into such groups do end up closely monitored, not by God but by their peers and leaders who interpret God’s word.

        You need to accept the diversity of religions labelled “Christianity.”

      • Anonymous says:

        I write my reply in a fresh start, for these columns are becoming too narrow. LC

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree with the notion that science involves belief. Take your multiverse point for instance. Certainly a part of me would like to “believe.” The idea that a counter version of me is somewhere sipping a latte reading a forum is amusing. However, if evidence mounts to the contrary then I will need to reevaluate this theory. There may not be a multiverse- and I am complete fine with that – I welcome it. You put it best when you said knowledge and ideas change with time.

        Can you say the same for yourself in relation to the Judaic god? Why is your belief so firm in such an entity’s existence? Could you in fact, if evidence permitted, change your ideas about this god?

        Of course, this would never have to happen. There is no way to prove or disprove a god. It is all a matter of personal belief.

        Do you ever ask yourself: is there any real world basis for any of it? Could it in fact, given no way to prove religion, all be a fantasy reenforced by collective culture and the institutions that maintain it?

      • WaxyMary says:

        @Carrell

        These people required laws to tell them what was good and bad for them to eat (for example) because modern concepts of bacteria and disease were unknown at that time.

        The reason given for these dietary laws at the time was to distinguish this group of people from the ‘crowd’ to make them special, a designed separation.

        It is also true that some of what we see happening then was healthful for the times. Much like the laws governing the members of the common gypsy tribe, any of them including the sea gypsy. The same can be said of any law which requires followers (only) to obey.

        Those laws which require non group members to submit are of a different design, inclusion vs exclusion, with exclusion mostly equating to death rather than banishment.

        Mary

  8. Phil Jones says:

    IMHO – these people (Harold et al.) are engaged in a form child abuse too. I recently saw these people preparing for the end of the world in Jamaica (one last vacation before the big end?). I noticed their colorful t-shirts (the world is ending, etc) before I realized they were serious and actually believed this crap. I have been following along ever since ;.)

    At any rate, every morning I saw the children of these morons being indoctrinated and preached to by Harold and others: “The world is ending next month, only the pure go to heaven, etc, etc, etc”. It was sickening.

    I have no problem if someone wants to spout a bunch of craziness to fellow adult believers and I would defend anyone’s right to hold their beliefs (right or wrong) but I do take a little exception with treating children this way. Children are apt to believe what their parents tell them and often don’t have the tools to logically criticize what they have been told.

    What a terrifying time be a child amongst these people. I hope they realize they were lied to on May 22nd.

    • Anonymous says:

      The same could be said for taking your children to church, enrolling them in a Catholic school, or dropping them off at Sunday school.

      It’s all just in the degree of parental ideological indoctrination.

      • Phil Jones says:

        Uncle Fred makes a good point but most religious people aren’t terrifying their children to this degree?? At least I hope not, I don’t have much experience or time for this so I really don’t know.

        Anyway, I felt bad about my initial post… too negative?? I am still hoping that later today (or perhaps tomorrow) these people realize they got caught up in a lie. I really hope they don’t move on to some future date, which is no doubt the way out of this… Ooops, I got the calculation wrong, it’s actually 5yrs from now!!

        p.s. My initial post says that I saw HAROLD preaching. After seeing him on TV I have to correct myself. I saw some other nutbar scaring kids in Jamaica. It was definitely this group though: they were all wearing “the end is coming May 21” t-shirts… geez. At least one little girl I saw looked like she was not buying it :.D

      • Anonymous says:

        It was not too negative at all. One could say any activity exposes yourself to ideological indoctrination. I would say the media has a habit of sensationalism. These extremists were in a Jamaican school probably because their were few opportunities to worth within the American school system.

        I grew up in a religious community and I assure you that most are not extreme as this group. However, time has shown me that any stagnant beliefs system gives rise to a false world that seems perfectly normal to the believer but utterly removed from reality to those that don’t subscribe.

  9. Torbjörn Larsson says:

    I presume the infographics is to illustrate failures, but the science motivated risks sound alarmist. Most of those risks have been around long without problem, some of them have happened repeatedly (climate change, supervolcanos, even galaxy collisions).

    On that list the current climate change is unprecedented in speed, so that is a bit outside known risk estimates. It is not the end of humanity, but maybe the end of the world as we knew it (new climate zones, mass extinctions, et cetera).

    the Y2K scare (which didn’t even burn out a light bulb),

    Well, people did work to prevent it. Documented problems were a bit more serious than a broken light bulb, including service interruptions and security problems.

    But yeah, hugely inflated risk.

  10. Rev. Daniel Blair says:

    I am very sad for those who have been following this lie that the rapture will occur on May 21st. Even if they attempt to explain away “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven nor the Son, but only the Father” (Mark 13:32), they cannot explain away that most every Christian, theologian, scholar, and prophet from the first Century until the Nineteenth Century all believed that the church would go through the Great Tribulation and not escape through some secret rapture that would leave the world paralyzed. I pray that they will take a moment and read my book, “Final Warning” because the hour of is His judgment has come. http://www.revelation-truth.org

    • Hard to tell from the website, but it looks like you wrote a book of general advice with an apocalyptic spin, or an attempt to capitalize on pre-existing fear of judgment.

      People who want to be good will try to be good. People who want to believe the world will end tomorrow, usually do so because they want to be judged just as they are, or simply want their actions to be without consequence. These interests do not correlate will with self-improvement.

  11. Aqua4U says:

    The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan is a close as I want to come to ‘the end of the world’… too close.

  12. HelloBozos says:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1rXfu81U3M&feature=channel_video_title

    This guy missed it, He was on the moon April,28,08

  13. IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE says:

    Camping has amassed $120 million in donations from fervent followers.

    Religious cults can be summed up thus: Never in the field of human [capitalism] was so much [given] by so many to so few.

  14. TomN says:

    The site that I refer people to is “A Brief History of the Apocalypse”. It goes back 4800 years to the earliest known prediction of “The End”
    http://www.abhota.info/end1.htm

  15. chrismonty says:

    Technically, Harold Camping says that only The Rapture will take place on May 21st. They don’t believe doomsday will actually occur until October 21, 2011…

    http://www.blippitt.com/update-may-21st-is-judgment-day-but-world-will-end-on-october-21-2011/

  16. Steven says:

    I have to correct the above information about 2008 God’s Final Witness written by Ronald Weinland. 2008 was supposedly Gods final witness to man. This period didn t end in 2008 but had just began September 30,2008. There was originally a belief that the 7th seal would open in April 17,2008 but Mr.Weinland claimed he had been given new revelation called the 50 truth of God that really makes anyone wonder how such timings could happen by fluke. You can read about this from his website publications section 57 Truths of God. The new timing is called the 50 truth
    http://www.cog-pkg.org/publications/truths.aspx
    Sorry to have to correct you but I have been keeping up with this situation and more than not people have twisted Mr.Weinland s words in a number of situations.
    The ending of this timing comes May27,2012.
    The book 2008 Gods Final Witness is free from one of the websites Ronald Weinland presides over, the-end.com . Free deliver also in any country in the world. Read it for your selves.
    the-end.com

  17. Aaron Carey says:

    Harold Camping’s guarantee that Jesus will come back on May 21, 2011 only shows his ignorance of the scripture. He wrongly assumes that Christ’s coming will be 7,000 years after Noah’s flood, something the Bible doesn’t say at at all. So he has no basis for his prediction even if his dating of the flood and its seven thousand year mark are correct.

  18. Pavel Smutny says:

    Why people think, that doomsday, or big cataclysma would come during one day? If, so it is sequence of changes what are graduating within one,..year. Look at senmut.webs.com/apps/blog/

  19. Anonymous says:

    What an absolute load of drivel that is being written here! First the stupid 2012 nonsense, now this.
    One thing is almost certain. If the world does end, he’ll take all these dipsticks out in one fell swoop.
    Just automatically sterilise the lot of them I say. At least then they wouldn’t pass this rubbish onto their offspring.

  20. Coincidentially, a 21st May 2011 Doomsday ‘video’ by Google Ads turned up at the top of the page =D

  21. Anonymous says:

    Lol I can assure you everybody here who reads this is going to have a good laugh Sunday morning. Same for the morning of December 22nd 2012

  22. PolishBear says:

    Let me see if I have this right: According to most evangelicals, a “Rapture” and a “Tribulation” and a “Second Coming” WILL eventually occur, it’s just that no one knows exactly when. In fact, a significant number of people actually believe that a “Rapture” will happen during their own lifetimes, and they will be beamed up to Heaven, leaving little more than their clothes and their dentures behind.

    So far it sounds pretty nutty. So why is it that Harold Camping is somehow NUTTIER because he’s determined a DATE for all this mumbo-jumbo?

    I find it extremely disturbing that so many people, even many elected officials, think in such Apocalyptic terms. How it must cloud their long-term view of the future! Imagine: All of our science and technology and exploration and investment in the Advancing Modern World is all for naught, because it will simply be swept away in some grand battle between the armies of Heaven and Hell! How utterly depressing and nihilistic!

    Maybe it would be far better if people would just grow up, get over their fairytales and superstitions, and learn how to live in the REAL WORLD. Trust me, you can enjoy a perfectly happy, decent, and meaningful life without having to worry about “The Rapture.”

    • Trent says:

      Indeed. I dare you to find any politician in higher office these days who would openly say, “You know, I think it’s a fairy tale that’s led to the deaths of billions over the past two millenia. Not only is there zero evidence for any of it, there’s counter-evidence for a ton of it. And let’s not EVEN talk about Islam…”

      Yeah. I’d vote for that guy. Too bad, like Yahweh and Allah, he doesn’t exist.

    • Anonymous says:

      I used to have a bumper sticker with “In case of rapture may I have your car?” I removed it after a couple of incidences where hot steamed religious types went after me in parking lots. I figured I did not want my car vandalized, and these types will do that sort of thing.

      If you think about it, we have a polity that is quite against any investment in the future of this nation. There is in effect no future consideration or direction to this nation, or the world. We are in many ways adrift. This attitude about the ephemerial quality of this world already has an influence on things.

      There are a number of variants on the rapture theme. The rapture is mentioned in Paul’s Epistle to the Thesselonians, where on His second coming those in Christ and who died in Christ will be carried up to the clouds. Revelations does not mention this, so there is a merging of stories or prophesies here. There are different ideas as to what tribulations mean. Some say that after the rapture there will be a handful who will witness for Christ. Others say the door to any salvation is closed completely. If a lot of Jesoid types disappear one day I could at least get a clue! However, it would to tough to know which of these interpretations is correct. So one would be faced with a form of Pascal’s wager.

      I know a second generation Iranian young man who is active in the Young Democrats. He is an atheist, but has big political aspirations. I have mentioned that without some positive lip service to this nonsense, no matter how dishonest, one’s political fortunes in this country are about nil.

      LC

    • Wallace says:

      u know you are abosoloutley rite i like that response in the bible its says no one will know the time or day when the world is going to end

  23. Ian says:

    $120 million in donations. I gotta get into this racket.

    Hey everyone, the world is going to end April 15th, 2020. Send me money!

  24. Emme Snnn says:

    HAROLD CAMPING IS NOT A CHRISTIAN!

    No True Christian would follow this man. He is an arrogant Old fool who believes his own Bible translations.

    His followers are the worst, they trust “HAROLD CAMPING INTERPRETATION OF THE BIBLE…NOT THE BIBLE!

    Harold Camping is a horrible Bible teacher. HERE IS HIS JIM JONES CULT LINK http://haroldcamping-21.blogspot.com/2011/05/how-ex-bible-teacher-became-cult-leader.html

  25. Dagrun Nordmark says:

    Maybe he misspoke… and May 21st is actually the end of Christianity? *crosses fingers*

  26. Dagrun Nordmark says:

    Maybe he misspoke… and May 21st is actually the end of Christianity? *crosses fingers*

  27. S K says:

    Look, of course the world will never end and I will never die either, I mean after all, I haven’t died yet so therefore I never will. People have said to me, “eat right, take care, watch out or you will die” and they have been wrong %100 of the time so therefore it will never happen. Meteor strike, ecological disaster, war, just ludicrous…don’t worry or plan or take care because everything is just plain dandy

  28. S K says:

    Look, of course the world will never end and I will never die either, I mean after all, I haven’t died yet so therefore I never will. People have said to me, “eat right, take care, watch out or you will die” and they have been wrong %100 of the time so therefore it will never happen. Meteor strike, ecological disaster, war, just ludicrous…don’t worry or plan or take care because everything is just plain dandy

  29. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I like the discussion here, although it has very little to do with astronomy and science. Nevertheless, I would like to make my points:

    The world (as we know it now) will eventually end in catastrophe. We just don’t know when, but it will. Some people believe it will be supernatural (i.e. armagedon brought on by a god of some sort), while others believe it will be natural (i.e. mass extinction caused by global catastrophe). I personally believe that it will be the later, but I’m not getting too upset about it. A guy has to live, right? I’m certainly not giving my money away (except to some charities and the beer store).

    I’m confused as to why people in this thread are trying to reason with a man like Harold Camping, his followers or others that believe in an imminent supernatural apocalypse. Harold Camping is either crazy, and won’t respond to reason, or he is doing this to make money, in which case he will ignore your arguments while running to the bank to deposit his checks. Sometimes arguing with a guy like this makes people believe he is more legitimate. Let’s all ignore him and pretend he doesn’t exist and he will eventually go away. Please DONT send him any money. I hope we can collectively ignore him and limit the attention he gets, so that we can limit the damage that he does to people who believe his nonsense.

    • Torbjörn Larsson says:

      My beef with this is that it is rather facilely (sorry!) trying to compare myth with theory, and catastrophe events with processes over geological times.

      For good reasons from observations of stellar evolution we believe that Earth will eventually heat so the oceans will vaporize and the biosphere be sterilized. That is more akin to a swimmer that will cook to death without noticing it as the water temperature rises, it is that slow; life will shrink in biomass and diversity until nothing is left. No sudden catastrophe event, just natural process over eons of time.

      This is, to my mind, a common feature of culture around religion. It doesn’t matter how widely different it is from nature and natural explanation, people persist in trying to see the same pattern. But it is not, one is myth based and one is fact based, and they say different things.

      • Anonymous says:

        I’ll give you that I was “facile” in my comparisons and you and I might see the contrast quite clearly between myth and science. The reality is, however, that if a person believes something to be true, it is reality for them and there are real consequences of their belief (Jonestown is a great example of a myth having real consequences). So we can look at the situation and see clearly that one is myth and the other is not, but they will look back at us and see that their’s is real and ours is a myth. Even though in this area of your life you see the science and the theory and believe it to be true, there are probably other areas in your personal life in which you believe things that haven’t been tested by science and aren’t based on well tested theories. Our innate psychology is anti-scientific because it is more efficient than constantly testing things and we have to actively work to understand scientific theories. I am amazed that so many people can understand science, just knowing about our innate psychological biases and the amount of woo we are taught and exposed to in our lives.

        BTW, I seriously doubt that humans will be around long enough to survive until the Earth is sterilized by the sun. I’m guessing an asteroid strike, a global catastrophe or human made disasters will kill us long before the sun bakes our asses.

      • Torbjörn Larsson says:

        So we can look at the situation and see clearly that one is myth and the other is not, but they will look back at us and see that their’s is real and ours is a myth.

        There you go again, equating science with myth, while pretending you do not.

        And yes of course, humans will not be around for certain. The average life time for a mammal species is ~ 1 My, before it evolves into one or several other species.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree that science and myth are different and I am not equating the two. My point is that a person’s reality is subjective and socially constructed. It is not that science and myth are the same thing, but a person may believe that a myth is a reality, regardless as to whether it really is or not.

  30. Amy Landa says:

    And if the world does end this guy will finally be able to shut his mouth.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Well I am luckily not a Christian. My religion does not have a rapture so it will be a lovely day for me.

  32. John Stepp says:

    The Rapture comes; the Aliens land; the Singularity happens.

    Not this sh*t again.

    I Really wish that there was some law on the books that gave us a year or two of rest every so often.

    But we are human, so from the most gullible to the most intelligent we tend to think that our time is important; well it isn’t, we are boring and then we get laughed at; such is life.

  33. Anonymous says:

    In effect it is all about Santa Claus is coming to town. He also knows who’s been naughty or nice, he’s got a list and checking it twice. This all has lots of what Orwell would call CrimeStop, where if one even thinks things that deviate from the Gospel, and presumably the whole 9 yards of biblical theology, they will end up facing the flamiing fire of vengence. Cool, what a nice way to control people’s minds — absolute eschatological terror. Yet in the end this has all the logic, or lack thereof, and magical ideation of Santa Claus.

    LC

    • Anonymous says:

      “Cool, what a nice way to control people’s minds — absolute eschatological terror.”

      I think this is the best sentence I’ve read all week..

      Well said.

      • Anonymous says:

        I still want to know where all those virgins come from and where they end up after the honeymoon.

  34. Anonymous says:

    xkcd has a good take on this:-)

    http://www.xkcd.com/

    LC

  35. Brandon Molyneaux says:

    Why do people assume the world is coming to an end soon? Some say this weekend and some say in October. Some even say 12/21/2012. If the world is going to end this weekend, so what? There are people going around in R.V.’s trying to get people to believe the world is going to end TODAY. And people won’t get just “beamed” up to heaven. What are you going to say? “Beam me up, god”? No. I want quotes from the bible to show your going to get “beamed” up to heaven. Half of this stuff is bull. I’m not declining the bible and saying its wrong. I just want
    scientifical proof that the world is ending in either this weekend or Dec 12, 2012. But, like most of us say, we don’t know when the world is going to end and how it is going to end. Just hope for the best and live life as if it were to end TODAY.

  36. Anonymous says:

    This is all crap….yes we all know the world is coming to an end but it sure as hell aint the 21st of May or anytime in 2011!!!!!!!
    How many times have we heard this nonsense before and will continue to hear it??????????
    We shall all know when exactly the world is coming to an end nd all i know that it is not in 2011 and it certainly is not the 21st of May 2011!!!!!!!

  37. Anonymous says:

    Well what’s going to happen on May 22nd? http://www.aftermay21.com/

  38. Anonymous says:

    Well what’s going to happen on May 22nd? http://www.aftermay21.com/

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why does UT continue to toss raw meat to these whack jobs? Nonetheless, some insightful counter arguments here.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Without giving this much merit, it seems to me that talking about the odds of this being true has one overlooked variable and that is that ALL predictions have to be 100% wrong until the correct one comes along…..You only get 1 correct prediction.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Without giving this much merit, it seems to me that talking about the odds of this being true has one overlooked variable and that is that ALL predictions have to be 100% wrong until the correct one comes along…..You only get 1 correct prediction.

  42. Timbo Evanchick says:

    Know a believer in the may 21st prophecy? Thinking about it yourself? Check this out: http://apologeticsblogger.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/thinking-about-may-21st-read-this/

    -The Apologetics Blogger

  43. Timbo Evanchick says:

    Know a believer in the may 21st prophecy? Thinking about it yourself? Check this out: http://apologeticsblogger.wordpress.com/2011/05/18/thinking-about-may-21st-read-this/

    -The Apologetics Blogger

  44. Anonymous says:

    The bible tells us that no man knows the day or hour. Instead of freaking out about when the end will come, Jesus warned us in Matthew 24 to keep watch and be ready. We must become both physically and spiritually prepared for the things to come. How? http://www.endtimesolutions.com.

  45. JayaKumar says:

    hey guys i am anju of 13 years old i don “t believe in all these duplicate prophecies i believe in god according to the bible only our heavenly father knows exactly the time.

  46. JayaKumar says:

    hi

  47. Anonymous says:

    I think there is a world of difference between thinking there is a Higgs boson field, with a quartic potential one can compute things (quantum amplitudes quark masses etc) with, versus religious ideas. The theoretical Higgs field is calculated to behave in certain ways by its coupling to other quantum fields. Because of this we can experimentally test whether this exists or not. That is what ATLAS at the LHC is set up to do. In contrast there is no “holy spirit” detector.

    The kashrut dietary laws did not have much to do with health. They were imposed to make a distinction, or separation = kodesh, between the early Israelites and the other people around them, and because of vital force ideas. When it comes to the second reason it is much in line with an ancient idea that consuming the flesh or blood of living things involves assuming their life force. So eating the flesh of a pig means one assumes the life force and character of a pig. So certain animals were restricted out of dietary rules because of their character.

    One thing about Christianity which clearly indicates the Christian God is a different God from the Judaic God is the christiological notions of God being human, and the notion that one consumes the blood and flesh of Jesus Christ. The communion is basically a form of ritual cannibalism. This is utterly outside of Judaic thinking. Jesus Christ is the “Agnus Dei’ or Lamb of God that serves as the final sacrifice for the remission of sins. That is in a sense human sacrifice, which is rejected by Jews. The further idea of consuming the flesh and blood of a human, a God made human, is further a grave violation of Judaic law. The Mosaic Law strictly prohibits that sort of thing. Yet it is something which was done in the Bronze age to Iron age world by people in other cultures. By the time of the late Hellenic to Roman age such cannibal rituals were largely symbolic, but still regarded as abhorrent by the Jews of the time.

    The idea of a god becoming man was popular in the late Hellenic period. Apollonius was the incarnation of the god Apollo, Mithras the incarnation (indeed birth incarnation) of the god Osirus (where the Hellenic idea impacted Egyptian religion) and this idea made its way to India with the Hindu god Krishna as the avatar or incarnation of Shiva. These ideas involved some sort of blood ritual, where Mithras was a “bull-god,” analogous to Jesus as a “lamb-god,” and there was a drinking of blood and so forth. By doing this the ritual cannibalism confers the character and qualities of the god onto the ritual participant.

    No matter how much one takes Christianity and massages it into some modern form, it is all based on ancient ideas that we no longer really take seriously. One can of course move various goal posts around to try to make a religious system conform to the modern world, in particular intellectual or scientific modes of thought. However, this amounts to forms of whitewashing over the fact these ideas are based on ancient superstitions.

    LC

    • Kenneth Carrell says:

      My reference to the Higgs mechanism was not meant to imply that it was not measurable or testable, rather, one should easily see its similarity to religious ideas and the fervent nature to which its supporters believe it must be true – what if there is no Higgs found? The Tevatron had a good chance of discovering the particle associated with it but has thus far found absolutely nothing and preliminary results from CERN are not looking very promising either (at least for the simple ~115 GeV case). Increasing the energy and luminosity opens the door a little more, but I think it will be much more interesting if the Higgs is not found. The whole idea reminds me too much of ether and we know how that turned out. It seems like in both cases, we don’t know what is going on, so we refer back to the religious concept of filling all of space and time with a ‘stuff’ in order to make things work. Surely you see the parallels?

      If religious ideas were static it would have surely died long ago. As I said before, the world was explained to people in a way they could understand thousands of years ago. Naturally, the collective intelligence of humans has increased over time and that means a more complex and therefore different view of religious ideas become necessary. The exact same thing happens in science. When new evidence is presented, our view must accommodate the new information. It also does not mean that the people who believed the previous information were idiots for believing what they did, it was the best available at that time. The only idiots are those who completely reject those who came before them and do not appreciate the process involved.

      Also, by your logic, the only things we should have ‘faith’ in and recognize as ‘real’ are those things which can be quantified and measured in some fashion? What about things such as human emotion, thought and memory? Since I can not ‘detect’ these does that mean that I should also not believe them to be true? Granted, with advanced medical imaging I can see the effect these things have inside by brain, but where do these things come from? Chemical responses to my environment inside my brain may cause me to behave in certain ways but do not explain the full complexity of consciousness. Why have I been given the ability to reason, think, believe, love, etc when similar species to me have not? Can this not be the breath of life given to me by my Creator?

      And the burden of proof is always on believers in God to ‘prove’ that God exists. Since I can not come up with a ‘holy spirit detector’ then that must mean that there is not one, right? Prove to me then, that love is real. Surely you believe that there is such a thing as love, yes? Can you create a device that measures my level of loveness? Or thoughts. Surely you have those, right? Create me a device to measure my thoughtfulness and where these things come from – not *how* my brain reacts to them, *where* they come from. If you can not quantify these things for me in some way (either theoretically or experimentally) then I must assume that you are not capable of any thought or any love.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a difference between scientific and religious thought. The Higgs theory is testable. It might be false in the end, but at least the concept can be tested to see if nature behaves that way.

        There are things in this world which are not easily testable. When it comes to love, that is a subjective perception of our consciousness. In general I can’t prove that anyone besides myself is indeed conscious. Yet solipsism is not a very workable worldview.

        Gods are in effect projections of our selves. This is something we humans are pretty good at doing, we project ourselves in a variety of ways, from fictional characters in stories or books of fiction, to religious ideas. We in effect project our conscious selves onto the foundations of existence. This ability might stem from the evolution of language, which involved story telling. So this projection of ourselves onto the natural world in stories of spirits and nature gods might have been a way of communicating information about the environment from generation to generation.

        LC

      • Kenneth Carrell says:

        Eureka! “There is a difference between scientific and religious thought.” That is what I said from the very beginning – science tells me ‘how’ and religion tells me ‘why’. The two need not be mutually exclusive and in many ways their combination can be much more satisfying than their separation. It seems many assume that one contradicts the other – you either believe in ‘science’ or you believe in ‘religion’ but you can’t believe in both. And in recent times people on both sides seem to look at the other in contempt. Historically this was not the case, however. Religion was a major proponent and catalyst for scientific discovery until then last century or so.

        Now I hear people tell me that because I can’t prove that God exists with current understanding and technology that He therefore does not exist. I hope you realize, however, that many things exist without our ability to know or prove them. The Sun has been happily fusing H for billions of years without any man knowing anything at all about it until very recently – and we still don’t have direct proof that is what occurs, only indirect. By your logic, since I had no way of ‘knowing’, much less ‘proving’, that is how the Sun made its energy, then the Sun could not make energy in this way before it was discovered and quantified by science. By your definition, existence=scientific proof, how do you account for the fact that there are obviously many things in this universe that occur on a regular basis that no one on our planet has even an inkling about? Further, why can’t there be something that some people know to be true even though science isn’t able to definitively prove it at this moment? New discoveries, such as antimatter and quarks, have been numerous in the recent past and were a great surprise to the scientific community. It is therefore a scientific certainty that there are things in our universe that we currently can not understand.

        It is the arrogance that science explains all that keeps God out of the hearts of so many. So many scientists are exactly like Thomas and require the ability to see, feel, (and because the senses can’t be trusted) carbon date and forensically analyze Jesus’ wounds from the cross. The wonderful thing is that God is always there waiting for you and will welcome you with open arms. It only requires the knowledge that there are currently things unexplainable by science, and the small leap of faith that God is one of them.

        By the way, I have enjoyed this back and forth with you. I hope you realize that I am simply providing my point of view (which seems to be grossly underrepresented, especially in formats such as these) and not intending to belittle or berate anyone or any particular group. Without dialogue there can be no progress. I do hope you find the love that is in Jesus, but I am not going to force it upon you or tell you that you will surely burn in Hell if you don’t.

        Obviously, I’m not into the whole ‘doomsday’ thing, plus it is Saturday and everything seems to be right with the world. Of course it is still a couple of hours from 6pm local time… I’ll report back in a few hours, if I’m still here/able. (I am usually quite sarcastic, don’t know if this last paragraph came across that way, but that is how it was meant.)

      • Anonymous says:

        This is really a form of the “is-ought” fallacy David Hume pointed out. Your argument is that there are things which science observes indirectly, so there ought to be this unobservable entity called God, or “why can’t there be?” The only plausible answer to the question or “why portion” is the “ought portion.”

        It might be of some discomfort to people, but these types of why questions may simply not have answers of any kind. There may simply be no “why.” There certainly does not appear to be any reason to suspect that this type of question has any answer. As best as we can see the universe simply “IS.” Or better put, the vacuum state from which the universe emerged just is. The observable spacetime universe is then due to a bubble nucleation, or a Dp-brane interaction, or …, I will not go into the specifics. However, the basis for the universe is likely a timeless quantum vacuum, a sort of void, which “just is.”

        Of course one can get into mysticism over this void, but frankly I think the Tao Te Ching has a more interesting take on this than western monotheistic ideations. To presume there exists a God is to say that consciousness or a more nebulous concept of a will, here being an infinite divine will, is the foundation for existence. Yet with respect to our own consciousness, something of a nature we have only a dim idea about, appears to be derivative from atoms, molecules, biology and so forth. So the picture appears to be upside down.

        This is one reason for the Kulture Kampf of our age. Our beliefs based on our deepest hopes and fears simply appear to be utterly irrelevant to what we actually observe and understand. There were inklings of this when Galileo pointed a little telescope to the heaven and these suspicions grew into the 19th century. Darwin was the guy who blew a big hole in these theistic ideas, and from that time forwards these things generally fell out of intellectual interest. Of course people still believe these things, far more in their numbers than the population of people who understand quantum physics, relativity or string theory. Yet these things are not entirely democratic. Yet we have seen an upsurge in religious belief and ideas that challenge everything about the modern world.

        I heard on NPR a minister talk about the rapture and how we do need to be constantly prepared for it and so forth. Largely I am free of these concerns and worries. I do not particularly worry about issues of mortality, immortality and eschatology. There is a sort of “quantum immortality” from the many worlds interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics. Yet this is really bizarre and leads to some ideas most people would find disturbing. However, I am not an ardent upholder of MWI or any so called interpretation of quantum mechanics. So I will defer discussing that issue, and it is not at all the sort of immortality religious people look towards.

        LC

      • Daniel says:

        I was following you up to the point in which you said…

        …There may simply be no “why.” There certainly does not appear to be any reason to suspect that this type of question has any answer. As best as we can see the universe simply “IS.” Or better put, the vacuum state from which the universe emerged just is. The observable spacetime universe is then due to a bubble nucleation, or a Dp-brane interaction, or …, I will not go into the specifics. However, the basis for the universe is likely a timeless quantum vacuum, a sort of void, which “just is.”

        I had two problems with the above paragraph. One being with the no “why” part. From my interpretation of that, you state that the universe needs no reason to exist, it simply “DOES”. By putting this point up, you remove all reason to find a answer, BUT, from what appears to be your views, you wanted a reasonable proof of a deity creating the universe. This thinking leads to you (most likely with out you realizing) placing yourself above others who do not share your belief, by asking them to provide reason while you don’t.

        Secondly, I had a problem with the “timeless” part. By the definition of timeless, meaning without begging or end; synonymous with infinite, the vacuum which iscontains the universemultiverse has always been. Again by this definition, with infinite time to develop, expand, and become destroyed; I should not be around to realize that I exist, let alone type this reply.

        Now, a random thought which some may or not know: The word “universe” can be broken down into “uni” (one) and “verse” (which is a spoken sentence).

      • Anonymous says:

        I wrote my reply in a new column, for this one is getting to narrow.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wrote my reply in a new column, for this one is getting to narrow.

      • Anonymous says:

        I wrote my reply in a new column, for this one is getting to narrow.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is not at all certain that there is a reason for existing. I agree with LC when he poses that the very question itself is a human one. We have a desire to find meaning in life and justify our existence.

        If we conclude that there is no deities then it is logical to assume that there really is no meaning. It just is. That physics is complex enough that an infinite time will spawn infinite possibilities. It’s a cold answer but one worth considering all the same.

      • Daniel says:

        I was following you up to the point in which you said…

        …There may simply be no “why.” There certainly does not appear to be any reason to suspect that this type of question has any answer. As best as we can see the universe simply “IS.” Or better put, the vacuum state from which the universe emerged just is. The observable spacetime universe is then due to a bubble nucleation, or a Dp-brane interaction, or …, I will not go into the specifics. However, the basis for the universe is likely a timeless quantum vacuum, a sort of void, which “just is.”

        I had two problems with the above paragraph. One being with the no “why” part. From my interpretation of that, you state that the universe needs no reason to exist, it simply “DOES”. By putting this point up, you remove all reason to find a answer, BUT, from what appears to be your views, you wanted a reasonable proof of a deity creating the universe. This thinking leads to you (most likely with out you realizing) placing yourself above others who do not share your belief, by asking them to provide reason while you don’t.

        Secondly, I had a problem with the “timeless” part. By the definition of timeless, meaning without begging or end; synonymous with infinite, the vacuum which iscontains the universemultiverse has always been. Again by this definition, with infinite time to develop, expand, and become destroyed; I should not be around to realize that I exist, let alone type this reply.

        Now, a random thought which some may or not know: The word “universe” can be broken down into “uni” (one) and “verse” (which is a spoken sentence).

  48. My_Name_Is_Brittany_ says:

    Christians are crazy….. just saying….

  49. My_Name_Is_Brittany_ says:

    Christians are crazy….. just saying….

  50. Jennifer Favela says:

    well i dont really think tat the world is going to end this saturday….because no body know when is going to end just god and the dude who is saying that is going to end tell god to forgive u because thatz na big lie

  51. Versaries says:

    137,615 Seconds to go! there’s a Live Countdown.
    http://vrsry.com/endoftheworld

  52. Anonymous says:

    You are all wrong…the Bible says man wil not know when it is time……LOL

  53. Anonymous says:

    You are all wrong…the Bible says man wil not know when it is time……LOL

  54. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  55. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  56. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  57. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  58. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  59. dmcvonpimp says:

    the bible says that god will not destroy his earth…people will destroy it!

  60. That is not what Joseph Smith said. He said it wouldn’t end BEFORE 1891, not BY 1891.

    • Anonymous says:

      What a thing to say!!! Wow he must be a prophet!!! I too am a prophet!! I too have seen some stone tablets that god showed me! Yes ahem you cant see them cause they will burn your eyes out, so don’t ask me to show them to you…and erm yers ahem they are gone now anyway…i predict the world is going to not end before 13th dec 2011. If this prophecy comes true i am the messiah, not just a naughty boy! Oh and god told me woman can have more than one husband at the same time, but men can’t wives…hahahhaa

  61. Tiana says:

    You know whats confusing? Why would “God” even want to kill everyone off?I thought he was only getting rid of the sinners and evil of our world to protect his “children”. And by that logic, everyone who told us the world was gonna end is a LIAR now and so why would God just beam them up to heaven? And what about all the other species of our planet? Do they not get a ride to Heaven as well? I just don’t get why people have to waste their time coming up with these ideas. If we were meant to die then we die. Not everything lasts forever, so the end of the world COULD possibly happen. But panicing about it will just ruin your life. Enjoy the present, not the future. It’ll do you wonders.

  62. Richard says:

    if the Mayans predicted the world is ending in 2012 then why couldn’t they predict their own extinction. HMMMM. Think about it the worlds been around for trillions of years and all of a sudden all this end of the world nonsense is happening in the 2012 years weve been here. Everyone enjoy your weekend and the many years to come and don’t listen to these nutbags who has nothing better to do with their lives.

  63. John says:

    I’m not sure I understand….if he is going to be taken up to heaven, why does he need $120 million dollars? Mansion renovations?

  64. Jes-Jes says:

    People obviously have issues if all they do is predict the end of the world. Honestly, why can’t anyone leave it? If the world ends, it’d be better if it was a surprise for all of us so we’re not panicking and crying over such idiotic people rambling about their crazy delusions.
    People are being born everyday. If you have any religious beliefs, you’d surely have the brains to ask “Why would God send new life to Earth if he’s just going to end the world?” Jeez, think for once. People like this Harold Camping should have the intelligence to realise these things considering he’s a Preacher.
    2012 the world will end? Yeah, right. The world will become better after 2012. People will be more aware of the important things and be on a higher spiritual level. Stop doubting God; if he could end the world, he would have done it by now, considering all the murderers, the war, the terrorists, etc.
    Harold Camping, if you ever correctly predict the end of the world, I tip my hat to you. Until then, shut up and live your life the way you’re a meant to.

  65. Sean Leslie says:

    Well, it’s well past 6pm local time, and… We’re all still here.

  66. thierrylatour says:

    wow look am only 17 and have always been interesting in the 2012 world end prediction the mayan people were some of the best mathematician ever and have been the best at predicting things that would happen space wise with all their calculation and they have predicted things that would happen until 2012 and thats when their calender ended no one really know why but who ever came up with the idea that this would be the end of the world i dont know i wouldn’t say he/she is right but the mayan people have always been the best at predicting thing astronomy wise

  67. **** MisS MaNd!! khang *** says:

    I wonder, if is is true, if the world ending… why people say it end and some say it dont end…

  68. 6:07 PM and no sign of the end of the world.

  69. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit tough to convey, but I will try here. Suppose there is a vacuum which has a certain type of space associated with it we call a moduli space. This is a sort of space of spaces, where every point on this moduli space (called a moduli) corresponds to a type of space. Each one of the moduli has a certain time direction. Further each one of these has a quantum amplitude in the vacuum, which is a nilpotent orbit. Well what is that? It means that under a finite number of symmetry operations something about this vacuum configuration (eg a phase etc) returns to itself. Now we reduce the dimension on this moduli and there is a parameter which transforms these reduced moduli in such a way that one recovers the moduli. Think of a page in a book which in a foliation fills out something of one dimension higher. Then a page evolves through the book in a way so as to generate the “book,” or there is a map form one page to the other to generate the book. The entire book is this moduli or a space which has nilpotental orbit structure. These pages evolve according to what we call semisimple orbits.

    Now all of this is just a quantum vacuum. It is rather complicated, for the group structure involves exceptional groups and lots of weird math. However, that is all so that these transformations keep the vacuum a vacuum. Nilpotency is an aspect of this: transform the vacuum in any possible way and you get nothing but the vacuum. A quantum virtual cosmology comes about from the transformation between the pages in this “book.” So each book has a quantum virtual spacetime cosmology, a spacetime with the physics we observe in our spacetime, but this is not a real cosmology — something else must play a role.

    However there is a funny little thing. This vacuum contains virtual quanta that have all wavelengths. This set of transformations connects very high frequency virtual modes with very low frequency modes. It turns out the very low ones involve masses which break this symmetry. This involves the Higgs field and some stuff with conformal field theory. At this low frequency end you get a cosmology, such as the spacetime cosmology we observe. It also has a time direction, which we measure with a clock. Another way of thinking about this is that the mass serves as a sort of potential energy “hill” or barrier, and long wavelength quantum wave functions can quantum mechanically tunnel through it. The portion of the wave which tunnel through is what corresponds to a real spacetime cosmology.

    So our universe has a time that is really a local direction. There exist other spacetimes with opposite time directions, and the vacuum all of this is embedded in really in effect timeless. So of course people might ask where this vacuum came from. Yet if that question has some operative value it is beyond our ability to question. Also if it is timeless it did not really need to come, come being a tensed verb, from anything. Of course there is also the Tao issue, where this can be said to not be the eternal Tao. The Tao is the “void” in a sense, and the Tao Te Ching is about the paradox or mysticism of that. However, this approach with physics, or something similar to it, is pretty darn good. We may even get some experimental or observational evidence to at least obliquely support this or something like it in the next few decades.

    If you read some of my posts here on the anthropology and history of monotheism you might garner a sense that what I just spelled out here is a long way from the ideas that form the basis of Abrahamist religion. The basis of Abrahamist religion is the same stuff that all other Mediterranean mythologies came from. These are things which have their origin in our inner psychology. It is for that reason this issue is very touchy. The existence of gods strikes at the core of our need for purpose, which involves our ability to project ourselves outside of ourselves. We humans have a theory of the mind, where we have a sense of each other has being conscious, which is sort of the core of this. We also project our being-ness onto about everything else, certainly living things, we do so with fictional characters, and we has a penchant for doing this with spirits and gods, and the whole host of things that include devils, angels, ghosts, goblins, and … . I think it came from our evolution of language. This probably involved story telling, and stories about the natural world in character format or anthrotypic projection. This permitted survival skills to be handed down generations. If there is some grand consciousness behind existence it is clearly a long way from our ideas about things which emerged from the Bronze Age and assumed their more recent form around the same time our species got it figured out that the Earth’s surface was a sphere.

    LC

  70. Anonymous says:

    This is a bit tough to convey, but I will try here. Suppose there is a vacuum which has a certain type of space associated with it we call a moduli space. This is a sort of space of spaces, where every point on this moduli space (called a moduli) corresponds to a type of space. Each one of the moduli has a certain time direction. Further each one of these has a quantum amplitude in the vacuum, which is a nilpotent orbit. Well what is that? It means that under a finite number of symmetry operations something about this vacuum configuration (eg a phase etc) returns to itself. Now we reduce the dimension on this moduli and there is a parameter which transforms these reduced moduli in such a way that one recovers the moduli. Think of a page in a book which in a foliation fills out something of one dimension higher. Then a page evolves through the book in a way so as to generate the “book,” or there is a map form one page to the other to generate the book. The entire book is this moduli or a space which has nilpotental orbit structure. These pages evolve according to what we call semisimple orbits.

    Now all of this is just a quantum vacuum. It is rather complicated, for the group structure involves exceptional groups and lots of weird math. However, that is all so that these transformations keep the vacuum a vacuum. Nilpotency is an aspect of this: transform the vacuum in any possible way and you get nothing but the vacuum. A quantum virtual cosmology comes about from the transformation between the pages in this “book.” So each book has a quantum virtual spacetime cosmology, a spacetime with the physics we observe in our spacetime, but this is not a real cosmology — something else must play a role.

    However there is a funny little thing. This vacuum contains virtual quanta that have all wavelengths. This set of transformations connects very high frequency virtual modes with very low frequency modes. It turns out the very low ones involve masses which break this symmetry. This involves the Higgs field and some stuff with conformal field theory. At this low frequency end you get a cosmology, such as the spacetime cosmology we observe. It also has a time direction, which we measure with a clock. Another way of thinking about this is that the mass serves as a sort of potential energy “hill” or barrier, and long wavelength quantum wave functions can quantum mechanically tunnel through it. The portion of the wave which tunnel through is what corresponds to a real spacetime cosmology.

    So our universe has a time that is really a local direction. There exist other spacetimes with opposite time directions, and the vacuum all of this is embedded in really in effect timeless. So of course people might ask where this vacuum came from. Yet if that question has some operative value it is beyond our ability to question. Also if it is timeless it did not really need to come, come being a tensed verb, from anything. Of course there is also the Tao issue, where this can be said to not be the eternal Tao. The Tao is the “void” in a sense, and the Tao Te Ching is about the paradox or mysticism of that. However, this approach with physics, or something similar to it, is pretty darn good. We may even get some experimental or observational evidence to at least obliquely support this or something like it in the next few decades.

    If you read some of my posts here on the anthropology and history of monotheism you might garner a sense that what I just spelled out here is a long way from the ideas that form the basis of Abrahamist religion. The basis of Abrahamist religion is the same stuff that all other Mediterranean mythologies came from. These are things which have their origin in our inner psychology. It is for that reason this issue is very touchy. The existence of gods strikes at the core of our need for purpose, which involves our ability to project ourselves outside of ourselves. We humans have a theory of the mind, where we have a sense of each other has being conscious, which is sort of the core of this. We also project our being-ness onto about everything else, certainly living things, we do so with fictional characters, and we has a penchant for doing this with spirits and gods, and the whole host of things that include devils, angels, ghosts, goblins, and … . I think it came from our evolution of language. This probably involved story telling, and stories about the natural world in character format or anthrotypic projection. This permitted survival skills to be handed down generations. If there is some grand consciousness behind existence it is clearly a long way from our ideas about things which emerged from the Bronze Age and assumed their more recent form around the same time our species got it figured out that the Earth’s surface was a sphere.

    LC

    • Daniel says:

      Now, by the use of complicated mathematics, you present a mathematical probability of the quantum vacuum existing. That can also be said for the Mandelbrot Set (Z(n+1)=Zn(squared)+C) which, to my knowledge, has never been recorded outside of a computer program.

      Plus the moduli space when used in physics is part of string theory, which is currently considered controversial. And when you said that the quantum vacuum has operational value, therefore making it beyond our questioning. This can be applied to anything a person puts value into whether it be space, politics, or even religion.

      Abrahamist religion, while having the same “origin” type as the other religions in its area (a god making the race of men out of clay), had a very different start. The Mediterranean religions had the gods just being there, not starting anything except man and earth. In the Abrahamist view, having God lay down the basis for lights, land, water, etc…

      Now, very few religions have a “start to the universe, not just earth and people” tale, and even fewer are specific in the order it happened. Now the interesting part of the Abrahamist religion is that, while very basic, it describes what is now the accepted start to the universe, the formation of stars (light); the formation of the the planet and water (separation of earth and water); and even the evolution pattern of our planet (plants, animals, and the people).

      Now if you tried to explain the currently known ways of the universe to a man from Abraham’s times, he would be completely lost. The best way would be to explain it to him in an almost storybook style.

      • Anonymous says:

        I am arguing in a generic way with regards to moduli spaces, which any mathematical system of principal bundles has. Something of the nature probably underlies the nature of our observable universe.

        I have written about the nature of Abrahamist religion quite a bit on this blog page. Some other religions at the time had origin stories. The Genesis story of the origin of the world is a version or re-edit of the Marduk-Tiamut story of the Babylonians.

        LC

  71. Gnaell says:

    Who would believe all this stuffs. Oh come on a lot of people is making up all these doomsdays and it never happened? The only one who knows when the world is gonna end is,GOD. Last time they said that the world is gonna end in 2001, well did it? No, and now they are saying that the world is gonna end on May 21st but it didn’t.

  72. Anonymous says:

    May the 22nd, i’m still breathing… It is windy….maybe he got confused and he really meant it will be quite windy? hahahaa can’t wait for 2012, i’ve been making friends with people for that day. On the morning of doomsday i’m gonna ask them all for their stuff, i wonder who really really believes it, and will give me their stuff?

Comments are closed.