Bronze-level articleList of predictions of the end of the world

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Some dare call it


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What THEY don't want
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Sheeple wakers
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Jesus of Nazareth[1]
I saw one, one time, that said, "The next week, the world is ending." And in the next week's paper, they said, "We were miraculously saved at the zero hour by a koala-fish mutant bird." Crazy shit.
Tabloid-reading customer in Clerks

There's always been good business predicting the end of the world. The "end" of the "world" is pretty badly defined by most supernatural predictions. The rapture, for instance, is really just the beginning of the end, and signals civilisation being sent back to the Stone Age for a bit while The Chosen are whisked up to heaven. Meanwhile, predictions of the end of the world in 2012 were wide-ranging, from a comet just tearing Earth in half (the rest of the universe spinning on as usual) to the complete and total end of everything ever. The latter is less scary because it's not like anything will be around afterwards to care.

In the case of some of the science-based predictions for how the universe will go on according to our knowledge of physics, there's no "end" as such. Matter and energy still exist, but in their lowest energy and most uniform state: the rub being that this state precludes the interactions needed to produce emergent structures. This includes stars, planets, and intelligent entities capable of experiencing the universe.

Here are some examples, with the predicted date of the end of all things.


[edit] Unspecified date

  • Zoroastrianism claims that the end of the world will happen when a comet, called Gochihr, strikes the earth. It will cause all the world's metals to melt and will burn up the world. At the same time, sinners and the pious will pass through this river of molten metal. Sinners will have their sins burnt away and the pious will feel like they're "passing through warm milk."[2]
  • Norse myths say that Ragnarök will be the battle between the gods, killing all but two of the humans, who will then repopulate the earth.

[edit] 1st century CE

[edit] 7th century

  • Muslims believed in the Qiyamah (Last Judgement) during which time Jesus[4] will come to earth, end all wars, and kill ad-Dajjal — the Muslim anti-Christ. Then every person who ever lived will be bodily resurrected, before being judged by God. The faithful go to heaven, and the rest to hell. Apparently there's also room for some "People of the Book," i.e. Jews and Christians, though hopefully there won't be any wars between the lot in heaven.
A little grandiose, eh?

[edit] 16th century

  • circa 1504: Painter Sandro Botticelli believed he was living during the End Times/Tribulation, according to an inscription on his painting The Mystical Nativity.
  • 1533: Michael Stifel, Judgement Day.[5] A common saying in German for PIDOOMA is to "calculate" or "talk a Stifel."[6]

[edit] 18th century

  • 1719: Jacob Bernoulli: a comet seen in 1680 would return and collide with the Earth.[7] Said comet hasn't been seen since.[8]

[edit] 19th century

  • The "Great Disappointment": William Miller predicts the end would come in 1843... then 1844... oh. His many thousands of followers were not put off by this utter failure, and some became the Seventh Day Adventists. They're still waiting.
  • 1865: predicted by Edward Bishop Elliott, a Victorian Biblical scholar; he later revised this to 1941.[9][10]
  • 1881: according to an 1862 edition of the prophecies of Mother Shipton, who allegedly wrote "The world to an end shall come, In eighteen hundred and eighty one."[11]
  • Native Americans in Spring 1891: All the whites are gonna die really soon!

[edit] 20th century

  • 1910: Halley's Comet's tail crosses the Earth and people think that the world will be gassed to death by cyanogen gas.[12]
  • 1914: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1915: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1918: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1920: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1923: Wilbur Glenn Voliva: Flat Earth to end[14]
  • 1925: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1927: Wilbur Glenn Voliva[14]
  • 1930: Wilbur Glenn Voliva[14]
  • 1934: Wilbur Glenn Voliva[14][15]
  • 1935: Wilbur Glenn Voliva[14]
  • 1941: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13]
  • 1941: Victorian scholar Edward Bishop Elliott, based on his interpretation of the Book of Revelation, came up with this date after his earlier predictions in the 1860s proved untrue.[16]
  • 1975: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[13][17]
  • mid-1970s: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression.[18]
  • 1977: William Branham: Destruction of the U.S., termination of all governments into a world government, Second Coming.[19]
  • 1977: Pyramidologist Adam Rutherford: Beginning of the Millennium.[20]
  • 1978: Jim Jones took his cult with him.
  • 1979-1980: John Todd: Installation of a world government ruled by the Illuminati, with Jimmy Carter as the anti-Christ.
  • 1980: Pat Robertson: "A year of sorrow and bloodshed that will have no end soon, for the world is being torn apart, and my[21] kingdom shall rise from the ruins of it."
  • 1981: Hal Lindsey: Pre-tribulational rapture.
  • 1982: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 1982: R.E. McMaster: World War III and/or economic depression, based on cyclical theory.[22]
  • 1985: Pat Robertson: Worldwide economic collapse.
  • 1988: Hal Lindsey: Second Coming.
  • 1988: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming.[23]
  • 1988: Colin Deal: Second Coming.[24]
  • 1989: Edgar Whisenant: Second Coming.[25]
  • 1990: Elizabeth Clare Prophet: Global thermonuclear war.
  • 1991: Louis Farrakhan: The looming Gulf War would be the "War of Armageddon which is the final war."
  • 1992: Rollen Stewart: Second Coming.
  • 1992: Mission for the Coming Days: Second Coming.[26]
  • 1992: First end of the world prediction from collision with the Pleiades star cluster (a.k.a., "photon belt")
  • 1994: Harold Camping: Second Coming.[27]
  • 1994: Some Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[28]
  • 1997: Heaven's Gate: Earth changes and a UFO abduction coinciding with the Hale-Bopp comet. Mass suicide in the hopes of hitching a ride on said UFOs.
  • 1997: Jehovah's Witnesses: Armageddon.[17]
  • 1998: The Church of the SubGenius: the Rupture. Every year on July 5th, they meet and party in reverence, certain that it will happen this year. (Recent writings have inverted the year to "8661.")
  • 1999: according to some interpretations of Nostradamus[29]
  • 1999-2000: David Wilkerson: Worldwide economic depression.[30]
  • 2000: Y2K: Collapse of civilisation. Christian preachers in Papua New Guinea predicted the end.[31]

[edit] 21st century

  • 2005-2026: William Strauss and Neil Howe: A crisis period in the U.S. comparable in effect to the American Revolution, Civil War, and Great Depression/WWII.[32]
  • 2007: Hal Lindsey: Second Second Coming.
  • 2007: Pat Robertson: Great Tribulation.
  • 2008 — whenever she dies: Sarah Palin: believes she is of the "Final Generation" and will see the End Times during her lifetime.[citation needed]
  • 2008 — whenever it shuts down: The Large Hadron Collider will destroy the world with black holes, strangelets or something similarly scary and sciencey.[33] (You can keep up to date with whether this has happened yet here.[34])
  • 2009: David Wilkerson: Earth-shattering calamity engulfing the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America experiencing riots and blazing fires.[35]
  • 2011: Harold Camping tries again: Third Second coming/rapture. May 21st, to be precise.[36] He put up billboards![37] Later postponed to October 21st, but again nothing came of it. Camping will hold on to the money people sent him for the time being or for good,[38] though followers were encouraged to drain their savings for Camping's campaign funds and many are deeply disappointed.[39]
  • 2011: Ronald Weinland: Second Coming on the 29th of September. Strike one!
  • 2012: But of course! Un-naturally failed apocalypse, NASA pushed away space rock expected to hit in series of attempts to bombard asteroids in previous years.[40] (They even did this to the moon!) The following trail fell to/passed Earth in early 2013.[41] ;)
  • 2012: Ronald Weinland: Second Coming on the 27th of May. Strike two!
  • 2012: Last known end of the world prediction from collision with the Pleiades star cluster
  • 2013: 2012 was just a warm up, the real bad stuff starts 2013 or something and it seems Isaac Newton predicted it.[42]
  • 2013: Ronald Weinland: Second Coming on the 9th of May. Strike three, you're out!
  • 2014 (February 22nd) Ragnarok The end of the present world according to Norse mythology.[43]
  • 2014 (March 21st) Asteroid?[44]
  • 2014: World War III, resurrected Nostradamus prophecy of a fire in the North for the reference of the end of the age of the fifth sun,[45] believed to be a specific Northern region of a country, current speculation is North Korea, as relative to the resolution of a Pope prediction.[46] Oh, and the Rapture. [47] And a giant asteroid hitting the Caribbean.[48]
  • between April 2014 and October 2015: A tetrad of lunar eclipses (or blood moons) will signal the start of the end times, according to megachurch pastor John Hagee. [49]
  • Unspecified time during the reign of Pope Francis, the pope succeeding Benedict XVI. Mediaeval Saint Malachy supposedly predicted Peter the Roman (Petrus Romanus) would be the last pope, Rome would be destroyed and a terrible judge would judge his people, The end.[50] Doomsayers have already started shoehorning the new pope into the prediction.[51]
  • 2015: Solar flare.[52]
  • 2015: September 23rd (some references give a margin of September 18th to September 25th) Asteroid.[53]
  • 2015: October 7th. eBible Fellowship, an organization vaguely related to the late-Harold Camping, is confident they've got the date right this time.[54]
  • 2016: Tom Wattkins[55]: He had a vision of the Great tribulation claiming to have met the beast of revelation, etc. Turns out the same day is a solar eclipse.[56], though of course he'll mention that.[57]
  • 2016: April 6, Warren Jeffs, in no way due to a contemporaneous arraignment[58]
  • 2016, Fall: Bible student and computer scientist Nora Roth on claims as much through a lot of numerology surrounding seventy "sevens".[59]
  • 2017: Various Christians: We'll be chipped, and the Great Tribulation begins.[60]
  • 2017 to 2113: Asteroids.[61]
  • 2018: Hal Lindsey: Third Second Coming.
  • 2018: The Bible guarantees May 20 2018 Pentecost
  • 2026: More asteroids.[62]
  • 2028: Fred Clark: A tongue-in-cheek offer guaranteeing 15 years of Bible-prophecy hucksterism for four easy payments of $39.99.[63]
  • 2030: Approximate date of a mass extinction event predicted by Bob Geldof. Myles Allen, of Oxford University claims "Competing hyperbole" are unhelpful in understanding real climate change. [64]
  • 2035: Even more asteroids.[65]
  • 2036: Yet more asteroids.[66]
  • 2037: Hal Lindsey: First Third Coming.
  • 2038: Deterioration of the fundamental older technology that still underlies the most crucial systems today.[67]
  • 2039: End of life, the universe and everything. Also known as the Ascension.
  • 2040: Still more asteroids.[68]
  • 2041: March 35th (sic) Not another asteroid.[69]

[edit] 22nd century

  • 2106: Asteroids never seem to stop.[70]

[edit] 87th century

  • 8661: Updated end of the world date for the Church of the SubGenius (from the original 1998).

[edit] 112th century

  • 11103: The Doomsday argument, first stated in 1983, predicts that there is a 95% chance that the human species will go extinct within 9120 years.[71]

[edit] 400th century

[edit] 8,000,000th century

  • According to current models, the Sun is expected to increase in luminosity by 10% in the next 800 million years. This will cause several changes to the climate that will make the continued existence of life on Earth impossible, starting with photosynthetic organisms and eventually killing off all life.[72]

[edit] 40 millionth century

  • The galaxy Andromeda (currently 2.5 million light years away) is expected to collide with our galaxy, the Milky Way. Actually, we don't quite know if this will be the end of the world per se, but it promises to be eventful. Watch this space.

[edit] 50 millionth century

  • 5 billion years from now: According to accepted models of stellar evolution, the Sun will eventually run out of hydrogen fuel to fuse into helium and will expand, becoming a red giant as a result. This red giant might get large enough to swallow the Earth's orbit, but even if it doesn't, the Earth will be roasted to a cinder crisp.[73] One school of thought predicts that the drag from the Sun's outer gas envelope will cause the Earth to spiral into the sun and crash into its core; but as with all things scientific, there is another school of thought that says this won't happen.[74]

[edit] 200 millionth century

  • 20 billion years from now: If the current rate of universal inflation — the rate at which the expansion of the universe is accelerating — grows, in 20 billion years, the universe could be expanding so rapidly that atoms will no longer be able to hold on to their electrons. This predicted event is known as the "Big Rip." Blame dark energy.

[edit] 3×1041 st century

  • 3×1043 years from now: estimated time for all nucleons in the observable universe to decay, if the proton half-life takes the largest possible value (1041 years).[75] This is the Total Existence Failure of the entire universe, anything complex enough to be considered life that would care about it would likely have evaporated to nothing long before this. Out of all the above, this is the most likely.

[edit] 1 Googolth century

  • The heat death of the universe is a scientific prediction that states that eventually the universe will expand to grow so large that it will no longer be capable of supporting entropy. The stage at which the universe will no longer be able to support entropy is called the "Dark Ages". During these dark ages matter will only exist in the form of photons, and leptons.[76]

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] Footnotes

  1. Matthew 24:35-36
  2. Chap 30 of the Bundahishn
  3. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
  4. Yes! That Jesus.
  5. In his book Ein Rechenbuchlin vom EndChrist. Apocalyps in Apocalypsim, he put the date and time at 3rd October 1533 at 8 am. When the world did not end, he was ejected from his quarters and flogged in the streets. (Eeek.) [1]
  6. See the Wikipedia article on Life of Stifel.
  7. Jacob Bernoulli Deciphered
  8. See the Wikipedia article on Great Comet of 1680.
  9. Victorian Apocalyptics: Three Schools of Interpreting Daniel and the Book of Revelation, Victorian Web
  10. See the Wikipedia article on Horae Apocalypticae.
  11. Mother Shipton, Mysterious Britain
  12. Fantastically Wrong: That Time People Thought a Comet Would Gas Us All to Death by Matt Simon (01.07.15 6:30 am) Wired.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 American Atheist, April 2010. "Separation of Armageddon and State — Freethought at the Polls." Michael B. Paulk, pp 14–15. (Note that this gives 1874 as a predicted date of Armageddon, whereas this was merely the year the 1914 prediction was made.)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Gardner, Martin (1957). "Flat and Hollow". Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science (Second Edition ed.). 
  15. Voliva's 1934 end of the world prediction August 16, 1934 The Racine Journal-Times .
  16. See the Wikipedia article on Horae Apocalypticae.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, Brooklyn: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 1966. P. 29. says Fall 1975. Pp. 27-28 of the same book uses a different date counting method and says 1997. Both are based on estimates of when the earth was created of 4004 BCE and 4026 BCE respectively. So they hedged their bets but you still have to believe in YEC to believe either one.
  18. Wilkerson, David. The Vision. Spire Books 1973
  19. Branham, William. The Seven Church Ages, p. 322.
  20. [2]
  21. God's, not Pat's, we hope
  22. McMaster, R.E. Cycles of War: The Next Six Years. Timberland Trust, 1977.
  23. Whisenant, Edgar. 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be In 1988, World Bible Society 1988.
  24. Deal, Colin. Christ Returns By 1988: 101 Reasons Why. Self published, 1979.
  25. Whisenant, Edgar. The Final Shout: Rapture Report, World Bible Society, 1989.
  26. This was the South Korea-based Hyoo-go (rapture) movement, who put billboards up all over the U.S. predicting October 28, 1992.
  27. Camping, Harold. 1994? Vantage Press 1992.
  28. "Some Witnesses interpreted Psalm 90:10 as defining the length of a generation to be 80 years. Since 1914 plus 80 equals 1994, they predicted Armageddon would occur around that year. This prediction came from the grassroots level of the organization. The WTS itself did not officially proclaim it." B.A. Robinson. "Jehovah's Witnesses' end of the world predictions: Predictions for years after 1975. Will it happen in our future?" Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance.
  29. "King of Terror: 1999". Morgana's Observatory. 2006.
  30. Wilkerson, David. God's Plan to Protect His People in the Coming Depression, 1998.
  31. Papua New Guinea in 1999-2000 The Journal of Pacific History 36(3): 285, 2001
  32. Strauss, William and Howe, Neil. The Fourth Turning: An American Prophecy, Broadway Books, 1997. Dates are approximate and based on their analysis of social cycles.
  33. Worries about LHC black hole resurface, Scientific American
  34. Comment from page HTML: "If the LHC actually destroys the earth & this page isn't yet updated please email to receive a full refund."
  35. Famed pastor predicts imminent catastrophe, WingNutDaily
  36. Judgment Day believers descend on Joburg
  37. [3]
  38. Ed Brayton: Camping's Explanation: It Did Happen!
  39. Suckers.
  40. Stardust
  41. See the Wikipedia article on Chelyabinsk meteor.
  42. End of the world in 2013? New book recalculates Newton's endtimes clock
  43. What to Expect from the Viking Apocalypse
  44. [4] (subscription required after 5 story reads)
  45. [5]
  46. Eerie accuracy!
  47. [6]
  49. Tuesday’s ‘blood moon’ eclipse signals the end of the world
  50. Are We About To Witness The Rise Of Petrus Romanus?; Petrus Romanus: 900 Year Old Prophecy Says Next Pope Will Oversee End of Days; Is the last pope waiting in the wings? St Malachy seems to have said so.
  51. Peter the Roman and Pope Francis. Above Top Secret. 2013 March.
  52. plus on the webshite
  54. [7] Christian group predicts the world will be 'annihilated' on Wednesday: Over a week after blood moon doomsday forecasts were proven wrong, eBible Fellowship leader Chris McCann says ‘the world will pass away’ on 7 October] by Adam Gabbatt (Tuesday 6 October 2015 07.30 EDT) The Guardian.
  58. Rumors of apocalypse ahead of FLDS leader’s detention hearing
  62. 2026 (dead link)
  63. The money-making opportunities of Bible prophecy
  64. Why do people make bold predictions of doom?
  65. Russian Scientists Warn Of Asteroid Impact Hazard In 2035
  66. Business Insider says so
  67. See the Wikipedia article on Year 2038 problem.
  71. [Wikipedia: Doomsday argument]
  72. Future of the Earth — Climate impact
  73. The Sun's death
  74. Red Giant Sun May Not Destroy Earth
  75. Exasecond and longer[wp] and Future of an expanding universe[wp] have a pile of similarly apocalyptic events that actually have some scientific basis.
  76. See the Wikipedia article on Heat death of the universe.
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