The End of the World

Exactly ten years ago, on Friday, 21 October 2011 the end of the world was predicted by American radio preacher Harold Camping.
That was not his first such prediction because in 1992 he had already published a book in which basing his complex calculations on numbers and dates found in the Bible he had proclaimed that sometime in mid-September 1994 Christ would return and the world would end.
When that failed to occur, he corrected the date several times until 31 March 1995, another day which passed without incidents.
In 2011 he once again warned that the world would end on 21 May, when the “rapture” by the Lord would bring about 3% of the world population to Heaven sparing them the period of scourges and horrors anticipating the end of the world, set five months later, on 21 October

When he proved wrong again, Camping and several other prognosticators were awarded an Ig Nobel Prize for “teaching the world to be careful when making mathematical assumptions and calculations”.

Time magazine’s website listed Camping’s predictions as one of the “Top 10 Failed Predictions”, a list compiled in his honour.

He died at 92, in 2013

Final note: the failed doomsday predictions did more than just damage Camping’s credibility because they led to tragedy. For instance, a woman in California, fearing her daughters would suffer terribly in the coming apocalypse, cut their throats and an elderly man in Taiwan killed himself by jumping out of a building, besides other unconfirmed reports of doomsday-related suicides around the world.

La fine del mondo

Esattamente dieci anni fa, venerdì 21 ottobre 2011, ci doveva essere la fine del mondo
Era stato predetto dal predicatore radiofonico americano Harold Camping.
Non era la sua prima previsione del genere perché nel 1992 Camping aveva pubblicato un libro che, basandosi su numerologie bibliche fantasiose ma in grado di convincere numerosi fedeli ascoltatori della radio, aveva proclamato che a metà settembre 1994 Cristo sarebbe tornato e ci sarebbe stata la fine del mondo.
Quando ciò non si verificò, corresse più volte la date fino ad arrivare al 31 marzo 1995 altro giorno che però trascorso tranquillamente
Nel 2011 avvertì nuovamente che il mondo sarebbe finito il 21 maggio, quando il rapture, ossia il “rapimento” da parte del Signore avrebbe portato in Paradiso circa il 3% della popolazione mondiale a cui sarebbe stato risparmiato il periodo di flagelli e orrori che doveva precedere la fine del mondo, fissata cinque mesi dopo, il 21 ottobre-

Quando si smentì di nuovo, Camping e molti altri pronosticatori ricevettero un premio Ig Nobel per il merito di “insegnare al mondo che bisogna stare attenti quando si fanno ipotesi e calcoli matematici”

Il sito web della rivista Time elencò le sue previsioni sulla della fine del mondo come una delle “Top 10 previsioni fallite”, lista compilata in suo onore.

Morì a 92 anni, nel 2013

Nota finale: le previsioni sbagliare del giorno del giudizio non danneggiarono solo la credibilità di Camping, ma crearono anche situazioni tragiche. Ad esempio, una donna in California, temendo che le sue figlie avrebbero sofferto terribilmente nell’imminente apocalisse, le sgozzò e un anziano di Taiwan si uccise gettandosi da un edificio, oltre ad altri episodi non confermati di suicidi legati alla paura giorno del giudizio a livello mondiale

Image: Billboard predicting of the end of the world. © O’Dea at Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

75 thoughts on “The End of the World

  1. I had a wise teacher that was born in 1900, met him when he was 72 years of age, and he said when he was only ten years old, he realized that every day the Moon, and the stars will appear on the horizon at different hours, and set progressively as well on the horizon. At the time In 1910, for the appearance of Halley’s Comet, the great astronomer Camille Flammarion, he believed the gas from the comet’s tail “would impregnate [the Earth’s] atmosphere and possibly snuff out all life on the planet”.

    Of course a lot of people were all fearing the end of the World was at hand, his own father reunited his family around him, and did not let them go to sleep that doomsday night, my teacher already wise for his years told him not to be worry about Flammarion’s prediction, he just told his father:

    “Nah! This evening will see the comet set on the horizon, but early in the morning will rise by the East, and the World will not be destroyed.”

    His father rebuked him: “Hum, hush, hush child, now you know more than Camille Flammarion?”

    Well everybody sat around the table in front of the open garden, and spent the night on vigil, by early morning, his father was already asleep leaning his head on the table by sunrise, and my teacher woke him up, and said to him:

    “See father there’s the comet rising by the horizon, and we are alive.!”

    The father, tired and in no mood to argue, just said: “You are a smart ass child!”

    My teacher liked to tell this anecdote, every time people will come with the demise of our planet. And wonder how people at every point in time predict a doomsday for our planet, that particular day was gorgeous, nice weather, blue skies, nature blooming in the garden, butterflies doing their work, and instead of enjoying it, people talk about doomsday!

    The 1910 approach, which came into naked-eye view around 10 April and came to perihelion on 20 April,[64] was notable for several reasons: it was the first approach of which photographs exist, and the first for which spectroscopic data were obtained.[16] Furthermore, the comet made a relatively close approach of 0.15 AU, making it a spectacular sight. Indeed, on 19 May, Earth actually passed through the tail of the comet.

    Astronomers know that before the end, all life on the Earth will be extinct. The most probable fate of the planet is absorption by the Sun in about 7.5 billion years, after the star has entered the red giant phase and expanded beyond the planet’s current orbit.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh, you just brought back some harsh memories. Have you heard about the movie 2012 which is about the Earth ending in 2012? I was about 5 or 6 years old when that movie came and a cousin of mine who watched it told me about it and said she knew for sure the Earth was ending in 2012. On the last day of 2011, I cried my eyes out and prayed to god that our doom shouldn’t arrive. Dec 21, 2012 was the predicted day. I cut school on that day. My friends and I discussed who we’d save and how we’d protect ourselves and our families. Yeah, quite a drama 😅 Apparently, the prediction was made for 2000 too.

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    1. From time to time there are similar predictions that the skeptics take with irony, the gullible with terror and those who, like children, do not yet know how to distinguish scientific reality from fiction, panic.
      Thank you for sharing this personal story with us❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I heard of one of these guys but don’t recognise the name of Camping.
    When my guy’s world didn’t end the first time, he cited a miscalculation, I think something about Julian and Gregorian calendars, and came up with another date. Guess what happened when that date came around?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Quanta ignoranza trionfa nel mondo e quanto male provoca in persone altrettanto ignoranti. Ricordo d’aver avuto notizia di quella previsione del ’92. Ma altre previsioni attribuite agli Etruschi, agli Egizi, agli Aztechi e qualcuna formulata da una qualche pazza visionaria cattolica, hanno infestato il mondo. Luisa hai la possibilità di rintracciare l’elenco delle previsioni fallite compilata dal Time? Non sarebbe male avere una visione abbastanza completa della stupida credulità dell’uomo.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Grazie, cara Luisa. Il tuo link funziona e rimanda all’articolo che hai citato, ma quello del Time che dovrebbe rimandare all’elenco rimanda a una pagina “that doesn’t exist.”. Pazienza. E grazie ancora!🌹🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Mi manda alla prima di 10 pagine, che comincia così
        Harold Camping predicts the world will end today — he’s said that before. Here’s hoping the world does not actually end today, because TIME rounded up 10 spectacularly wrong predictions in his honor

        Prev 1 of 10 Next
        It’s the End of the World as We Know It
        By Claire SuddathFriday, Oct. 21, 2011
        Lance Iversen / The San Fransisco Chronicle / Corbis
        Harold Camping’s prediction that the world will end Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, is not his first such prediction. In 1992, the evangelist published a book called 1994?, which proclaimed that sometime in mid-September 1994, Christ would return and the world would end. Camping based his calculations on numbers and dates found in the Bible and, at the time, said he was “99.9% certain” that his math was correct. But the world did not end in 1994. Nor did it end on March 31, 1995 — another date Camping provided when September 1994 passed without incident. Or earlier this year on May 21, when Camping spurred a nationwide marketing campaign to warn people that the world was ending. “I’m like the boy who cried wolf again and again, and the wolf didn’t come,” Camping told the San Francisco Chronicle in 1995. “This doesn’t bother me in the slightest.”


  5. Periodicamente ritorna la favoletta della fine del mondo. La prima di cui ho memoria è quella predetta dai Testimoni di Geova nell’anno 1960, in cui un certo numero di seguaci di rifugiò da qualche parte sul monte Bianco. Ero bambina allora, ed attesi quella data con un filino di paura, nonostante le spiegazioni dei miei genitori, passata immediatamente il giorno dopo.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Io non so veramente come commentare, nemmeno nel Medioevo erano così creduloni, o almeno dalla loro parte c’era l’ignoranza dei meccanismi della natura e della scienza. Mi pare che davvero attraversiamo un’epoca di ottenebramento retrogrado e reazionario che non so se si avvantaggia dalla o produce la creduloneria babbea delle masse. Io veramente non riesco a credere a quello che leggo e vedo. Io mi ritengo una persona anche spirituale, ma davvero: rimpiango un po’ di sano materialismo illuminista.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. La ragione su cui si basava l’illuminismo sembra diventato un optional facilmente scartabile. Molto più semplice bersi tutto come babbei, per pigrizia, per mancanza di intelletto, o in malafede
      Grazie di cuore per la tua bella riflessione

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Certi uni, pur di avere un pò di notorietà non importa se positiva o negativa, sono capaci di fare e di dire di tutto, trascurando tranquillamente che potrebbero danneggiare il prossimo… Certo che anche le persone che ci credono beh, non ho parole!!!


  8. 💜 Unfortunately These Number Obsessed Humans don’t Understand “The End” is a Path to a Beginning; that an Apocalypse is “An Ending” that Begins SomeThing Else, a Re-Birth


    Liked by 1 person

      1. 💜 YOU!!! ARE Most Welcome SupaSoulSis; it’s a Pleasure to Share and Serve, Stay Strong and Serene



    1. I’m perfectly agree. with you.,
      Some accept what they are told without any questions. it is clearly less tiring than thinking, but sometimes the results are tragic
      Thank you for your comment 🙏


  9. Il mio pensiero è che: come si può credere a tutto ciò o altro?
    Eppure spesso queste “profezie” hanno portato all’annientamento di intere culture religiose. gruppi familiari o piccole comunità.

    Liked by 1 person

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