Monday, March 28, 2011

World to End May 21, 2011

I was talking to a friend in Arizona this morning who told me of an RV she saw this weekend. It was shrink wrapped with a banner saying the end of the world is coming May 21, 2011! I knew about 2012 but how did I miss 2011?!? Even Time magazine talked about it.

So a little Googling and I found out that May 21st is Judgement Day but the world won't end until six months later on October 21.

Apparently the source of this (um nonsense) is 89 year old Harold Camping who owns a sizable non-commercial radio broadcast network called Family Radio.

Wikipedia says "Family Radio (aka Family Stations Inc.) began obtaining FM broadcasting licenses on commercial frequencies early in FM's history, and by 2006, was ranked 19th among top broadcast companies in number of radio stations owned. Currently, Family Radio's affiliates in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, and San Francisco are on prime commercial frequencies and the licenses of these stations alone may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars if sold today." They apparently have stations in 37 states, but (thankfully) Massachusetts isn't one of them.

So back to the Rapture. This San Francisco Gate article Biblical scholar's date for rapture: May 21, 2011 explains how he came up with the date:

"The number 5, Camping concluded, equals "atonement." Ten is "completeness." Seventeen means "heaven." Camping patiently explained how he reached his conclusion for May 21, 2011. "Christ hung on the cross April 1, 33 A.D.," he began. "Now go to April 1 of 2011 A.D., and that's 1,978 years." Camping then multiplied 1,978 by 365.2422 days - the number of days in each solar year, not to be confused with a calendar year. Next, Camping noted that April 1 to May 21 encompasses 51 days. Add 51 to the sum of previous multiplication total, and it equals 722,500. Camping realized that (5 x 10 x 17) x (5 x 10 x 17) = 722,500. Or put into words: (Atonement x Completeness x Heaven), squared. "Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story," Camping said. "It's the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you're completely saved. "I tell ya, I just about fell off my chair when I realized that," Camping said."

That's amazing because so did I!

It also threw me that he believes the creation happened in 11,013BC. I thought creationists thought world was only 6,000 years old! Fortunately again wikipedia can set me straight. "In 1970, Camping published The Biblical Calendar of History (later greatly expanded in Adam When?) in which he dated the Creation of the world to the year 11,013 BC and the Flood to 4990 BC. This was in contrast to Bishop James Ussher's famous chronology, which placed creation at 4004 BC and the Flood at 2348 BC. Camping argued that Ussher's dates "agree neither with the Biblical nor the secular evidence" and thus Ussher's methodology was flawed."

Family Radio apparently has more on the rapture computation but I couldn't really begin to make it through it. It's titled ANOTHER INFALLIBLE PROOF and that's a good thing, because Camping previously said the Rapture was going to happen on Sept. 6, 1994. Was that his previous infallible proof? I wonder what he did on September 7th?

So conveniently May 21st this year is a Saturday (and the day of the Preakness Stakes). I'm predicting a big end of the world party on Friday, probably lasting on into Saturday and followed by an even bigger party on Sunday.


Michael Critz said...

Failed doomsday predictions are like the discovery of Atlantis. These myths do not die despite having been proven wrong 100% of the time.

The Dad said...

Geez Howard I can't believe you missed this. I've been putting off as many bills as possible to May 22nd in expectation of not having to pay them.

Of course, the math you posted here was new to me. Had I realized how scientific the process of coming up with the date was, I would have bought more duct tape in preparation.