IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College


End of the world not gonna happen

Matthew Gerding, IV Leader editor

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Here we are in the last month of the year. December is the month of Christmas,  Hanukah and Kwanza. This year December has another momentous date. If you are one of the ones who believe in such predictions, Dec. 21, 2012, will be the end of the world as we know it, according to the ancient Mayan calendar.
Now, anyone with even a half logical view point will point out that this is ridiculous. Especially when you consider that the Mayan calendar ending at Dec. 21 means nothing more than the rolling over into a new age.
What everyone perceives as the end of the world is really just the end of another Mayan Bak’tun, which is a 400-year long period in the Mayan long count calendar. They in no way were predicting the end of the Earth. Mayans loved the end of the Bak’tun; it was a huge celebration in their culture.
Why the need for humans to automatically start crying “Doom!” and preparing for the apocalypse? Well, it’s nothing new is it?
Think back just 12 years to the upcoming new millennium. What was the one topic on everyone’s lips? Y2K. The thought that as the computers clocks reset at the ticking over from 1999 to 2000 all chaos would break loose. Missiles would be set off by computer glitches, banks would shut down and lose all the money, the stock market would crash and it would basically be hell on Earth. The new millennium approached and passed and nothing happened of course.
End of the world predictions go back as far as stories have been told. We all know Nostradamus, right? Famous predictor of world changing events, he predicted the end of the world on more than one occasion. But since his predictions go all the way to the 40th century, how could that be true?
Some popular apocalypse theories have been comets hitting Earth and obliterating us, another even more devastating ice age, global warming, zombies, and of course the biblical apocalypse of Revelations.
Chances are high that the world will be just fine come Christmas this year, so don’t worry. Scientists predict the end of the world will happen after the sun finally burns out…about 5 billion years from now.
Humans have a need for doomsday predictions, I believe, as self-inflicted moral lessons. We live our lives in ways that seem detrimental to the world around us and we need a reason to think we will be punished. Self-flagellation, if you will.
So buy presents for your loved ones and make those 2013 travel plans because tomorrow will always be here.
Wait…is that a zombie behind you…

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IV Leader is the student newspaper of Illinois Valley Community College
End of the world not gonna happen