Nowadays, when you drive around you may encounter billboards saying that May 21, 2011, is the judgment day. You can't avoid this even in small towns like mine. The message is clear: The end of the world is near.
This is not the first time such predictions have been made. The silly spiritualists have betted on many dates in the past and they are as surely off base this time around as well. However, it surprised me to see, Isaac Newton, the father of modern science tempted to make one such prediction.
Newton's theological and mystical writings were on display at an exhibition titled "Newton's Secrets," at the National Library of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2007. It was the first time that Newton's theological manuscripts, in Israel since 1969, were presented to the public. In one of them, Newton calculated that the world will end in 2060, based on a phrase from Daniel 12:7 "for a time, times, and a half." Newton interpreted this phrase as meaning 1,260 years would pass from the establishment of the Holy Roman Empire by Charlemagne in 800, until the end.
It is not clear whether this was an attempt by Newton to put an end to, in his own words, the rash conjectures of fanciful men who frequently predicted the end of time, and by so doing discrediting sacred prophesies, which commonly fail. I have come under the sway of that explanation.
The neo-prophets and doomsday sayers draw their energy from Biblical passages or similar ancient texts virtually adding their own interpretations. As Einstein wrote, "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Probably,due to folks waiting to see the end.
None of the end of the world prophecies have come to pass. But the end of our universe is inevitable, according to cosmologists. But fear not, because the end will not come for trillions and trillions of years from now. Cosmologists debate over the diverse ways our universe could end, but there is no doubt in their mind about the ultimate destiny of the cosmos. In other words, there is no "forever" forever. The eternity we describe is a borrowed concept granted mercifully by the forces that govern the cosmos. A complete article is here.
On the other hand, it has been estimated that the earth's continents will collide in 250 million years, and the sun will fade away as a white dwarf in about 6 billion years. For modern-day scientists, many causes could bring an end to this dynamic planet and the life that it harbors. A huge asteroid impact, a super volcano or man-made disasters, such as global warming or nuclear war, all are capable of creating global calamity.
But, on May 21, I can't find anything other than my friend's birthday.