World of Wonders

When we see things that aren’t, we miss the wonderful things that are.

Birthers, Deathers and the End of the World

I’m posting this on May 22nd 2011—which means the planet was not torn asunder by an  apocalyptic earthquake yesterday and the faithful have not been called up into heaven in The Rapture.

It seems Harold Camping, the president of the American Christian radio network, Family Radio, erred in proclaiming “THE END OF THE WORLD IS ALMOST HERE! HOLY GOD WILL BRING JUDGMENT DAY ON MAY 21, 2011.” As we all now know, God didn’t bring it, despite Family Radio’s confident declaration that “The Bible Guarantees It.”

Of course, Camping isn’t the first to wrongly foretell the Apocalypse (and he won’t be the last as we’ll see in December 2012); there have been countless dooms-days before this one. In 1954, a Chicago housewife named Dorothy Martin claimed she was in communication with aliens from a planet called Clarion. According to the extraterrestrials, a great flood would bring an end to our civilization on the morning of December 21st. But the Clarions also reassured Dorothy they would swoop down in a flying saucer at midnight on the 20th to rescue her and other “true believers.” Needless to say, the deluge did not appear—and neither did the flying saucer.

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Filed under: politics, pseudoscience, religion, skepticism

About me

CHRIS SASAKI
I am a Toronto-based writer, author and photographer who is inspired and fascinated by science. Science is our best way of understanding the natural world, but it is much more than that. Science is culture, and its pursuit ultimately leads to meaning, values and wonder.  My interests include evolution, Darwin, the Galapagos Islands, secular humanism, religion, skepticism, climate change, and science culture.  For many years, I wrote and produced astronomy programs for the McLaughlin Planetarium of the Royal Ontario Museum. I am author of many books for young readers (Sterling Publishing and Penguin Young Readers, N.Y.) and articles for children's magazines. I also write non-fiction related to the themes reflected in this blog. You can read some of my longer non-fiction and view my photographs at www.chrissasaki.com, and follow me at www.twitter.com/chrissasaki.

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