I watched the history channel. Three different shows, three different prophets, but one date. 2012. The world is going to end. Again. I think it ended in 1997 or 99. And before that. According to one of the shows, several cultures believe this is the fourth world, and that it will end for the fourth time, and then we'll be in the fifth world. So imagine Noah's ark, only five times. My mother was raised strict Catholic, and she was assured in her childhood that God promised to never destroy the earth by water again. That leaves fire, earth, air, atomic annihilation, poison, hostile alien take-overs, wars, massive meteor showers, and self-annihilation, and the return of the dinosaurs, to name just a few. So really, it's not a very encouraging promise. It's sort of like saying, "I'm going to destroy your world, but I won't sink it, so you don't need to worry about building an ark or anything."
Just think, only six more years before they need to come up with a new 'the world will end' date! But really, if we want to be honest, the world ends every day, and is reborn every day, just in stages. A typhoon here, hurricane there, little shift of the pole, change in the weather pattern, a big flood... It's constant. Catastraphoes of natural and man-made origin happen all the time on any given day in different parts of the world, and all those areas are changed forever. Their world ends violently and after a period of hardship and suffering over a period of years, their world is transformed to something else.
So what they REALLY mean when they predict the end of the world, is the end of our world, the Western world, the modern world, the world that includes the nations caught up in technology and economy, and they usually pin the cause of the end of this world as a result of a conflict between the mid-east and the rest of the net-surfing world. Oh there's a surprise.
I wonder what they will say the end of the world is going to be in 2063? Maybe dolphins will take over the world. Maybe there is an entire race of dolphins with opposable thumbs miles underneath the ocean that live in a big shiny city, called Dolphinville, and while we sit here on the net, thinking we are alone on the planet, they are browsing our net, learning our ways, and hacking into our computer systems until the year 2063, when they crash our servers, turn all the fresh-water lakes into salt, and kill us all, so they can move onto the surface, justified in their extermination of most of humanity because we've been selfish about the whole evolutionary process and have stalled, creating a back-log of creatures on earth that haven't evolved properly. The dolphins are getting fed up with waiting.
Anyone ever read Ishmael? Same principle, only with apes.