Perhaps the fuel in the belief that our world will end lies in prophets, seers, and theories.
Prophets have claimed to have divine knowledge. The source of their divination is unclear, although many have claimed to be in direct contact with their deities in order to validate their knowledge. Many modern day prophets have extolled the end of the world. Many of these modern day individuals were able to convince others to enjoin their beliefs. These groups, often referred to as cults, have been responsible for the deaths of hundreds of followers (in some cases). The cult leaders were so charismatic that many people were convinced to follow them.
Seers , like prophets might claim to be a clairvoyant, prophet, oracle, or diviner. The Free Dictionary defines a seer as a person who can supposedly see into the future; prophet. Personages who fall into this category have been well known (some throughout time) for their predictions. Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, and Mother Shipton are well known for their prophecies of death, destruction, and the end of the world.
Supposition in relation to the end of the world can be most often related to artifacts (and stretching of facts). The Maya Calendar is often linked to claims that the end of the world draws near. It however, is nothing more than a calendar, and the date that it ends (12/12/2012) is nothing more than the end of a cycle, that will continue into another calendric cycle. When the clocks ran from 1999 to 2000, the thought was that Y2K (as it was referred to) would signify the world coming to an end, missiles being launched due to clock failure, hailing the beginning of a thermonuclear war while Wall Street would come down with a crash as every computer in the world froze up. Yet, here we are. There is another claim that a mysterious Planet, called Nibiru, Planet X or Eris is on its way to seal our doom…soon so smash our world into clusters of meteoric fragments. NASA however, has stated that if there were such a planet, they undoubtedly would have seen it long ago. NASA’s take on these theories and claims has been nonplussed, relegated to two web pages on their site.
After all the evidence, and the fact that we are still here after Y2K, I can only surmise that we are going to be on this earth for a good time to come. My only fear being the fact that sooner or later, we will come in contact with either a good-sized meteor or rogue comet. Global warming, the loss of arctic and antarctic ice has me worried, as does the current weather patterns for coming years. Though severe weather is cyclic, I do often wonder if the possibility lies in the formation of extreme weather, spawning super storms as the norm, rather than rarities due to our brash continuance in burning fossil fuels. Will the world end? I can only feel that we can determine whether it will end for us, and if our ignorance, or our arrogance will be the death of us.