Sunday, May 22, 2011

Apocalypse

I wish everyone would grow up and stop believing fairy tales. May 21 came and went with no rapture and no earth quakes. 2012 will come and go, then we'll see 2013. What will the next prophecy be then?
I'm watching "7 Signs of the Apocalypse" on the History channel. Apparently, a book written two thousand years ago predicts a number of events that herald the end of times. It's hilarious!
Of course, anyone who knows how prophecies really work also understands why this is hilarious. People are taking events that have happened over the course of many years and saying they are evidence. Every time a plague happens, that's one of the signs. Every time a natural disaster strikes, that's another sign.
What no one considers is that the world is big. Very big. We dropped nukes on Hiroshima and the world is intact. Cholera, AIDS, and the Black Plague have spread and killed millions of people and yet, somehow, the world population continues to grow. The reality is that diseases are easier to contain and cure due to advances in communication and science. Atomic warfare is scary, but still relatively nonthreatening considering the sheer size of the world.
The statement they keep repeating in this show is "even scientists agree." This is not convincing evidence even if it is true. A more truthful statement would be "some scientists agree." But then it would be less authoritative.
I'm not surprised that some of the things that the book of revelations "predicts" have occurred (many times in several cases). In fact, the events would have to happen all at he same time and in a magnitude of thousands of times worse than has already happened for any significant impact on the world. The thing no one is keeping in mind is that the end of the world was supposed to have happened already. Two thousand years ago! The events in the prophecy were supposed to have happened during the author's lifetime.
Every generation believes they will witness the end of the world. The reality is that if life is wiped out on earth it will be the result of an asteroid or other cosmic event (basically a roll of the dice) or the ultimate death of the planet (about 7.5 million years from now).
So relax and enjoy. You won't be around to see the end of the world. As Thomas Jefferson wrote to General Alexander Smyth, the book of revelations is "merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams."

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