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End of the World? History Says Don’t Worry

Mayan calendar suggests the end of the world is this Friday (Michael Kwan@Flickr)

Here we are counting down the days until the end of the world this Friday. We’re not exactly sure when it’s going to happen – at the stroke of midnight or at noon or during morning rush hour – the Mayan calendar doesn’t specify. Are you worried? I’m not because we’ve survived the end of the world many times before.

One of them was just last week. Instead of 12/21/12, some interpretations of the Mayan calendar said the end of the world would come on 12/12/12. And we got thru that one ok.

Do you know the name Harold Camping? He’s a Christian radio broadcaster who last year predicted Judgement Day would come on May 21, 2011. That day came and went without any trouble, so Camping revised his prediction to October, 21, 2011. Last I looked we made it thru that one too. But he’s been making these predictions since 1978.

Space debris – comets and asteroids. We’ve had many near misses. There was also some concern that a comet would collide with earth in October of last year. The Comet Elenin was scheduled to make its closest fly-by of our planet. Considering the size of the Comet, several million miles is pretty close, but we survived.

There was an asteroid that flew right by the earth’s path last February. We didn’t know about it until after the fact. It came within a distance of about five times the distance to the moon. But it’s returning on February 15th. It’s in an almost identical orbit around the sun as earth, but this next approach is going to be close – real close – like within 12,000 miles. That’s way close. Enough to worry about? Let’s get thru this Friday first.


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