Tuesday 01 January 2013

Surviving The False Apocalypse

Throughout human history, many false prophecies had been made about the impending end of the world. Most commonly, the supposed apocalypse was to be preceded by some significant calendrical date, religious event, or cosmological phenomenon. Indeed, the practice of eschatology (the study of doctrines concerning the end of the world) was prevalent historically in many cultures. The oldest such recorded prediction, made by the ancient Assyrians, prophesied that the world would end not by a catastrophic heavenly strike but by the inevitable corruption of men. Millennia later, German astronomer Johannes Stöffle foretold that a massive deluge would ravage the world as predicted by an obscure planetary alignment. Likewise, French astronomer Camille Flammarion warned that the reappearance of Halley’s Comet would bring upon destruction to the world by bathing the planet in a cloud of toxic gas stemmed from the comet’s tail. In recent years, many unscrupulous self-proclaimed soothsayers falsely touted other oncoming catastrophes, ranging from holocaust to judgment day. Most recently, the Mayan apocalypse was supposed to herald the end of the world, coinciding with the last day of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar used by the Mayans. In reality, the alleged date simply signified the end of a calendar cycle and the start of another. In fact, the original Mayan scriptures contained no doomsday predictions, the latter of which were entirely myths created by popular culture. In other words, the world would never end simply on a man-made falsehood.

By Philip Jong • At 12:01 AM • Under Column • Under World
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