Predicting the end of the world has always been a losing bet. We were reminded of this once again when Oct. 7 came and went, and the world didn’t go poof.
It was supposed to. That’s according to the eBible Fellowship, a small online religious group whose leaders somehow interpreted the Bible as calling for Armageddon this past Wednesday, courtesy of the recent blood moon and last week’s total lunar eclipse. Never mind that we get a blood moon several times a decade, and there have had hundreds of them since the Bible was written.
There is a long history of end-of-times predictions, and to date, they have an absolutely perfect batting average of 0.0 percent. The utter lack of success of all who make these predictions doesn’t seem to deter others who try to notch a win — assuming you believe that getting the end-of-the-world forecast right is a win.
The Economist has done us a favor and assembled the major end-of-world forecasts. It goes without saying that if you are reading this, the most recent forecast didn’t come to pass.
Given this track record, one wonders why people still make predictions of this sort — or any other for that matter. We have discussed many times why ordinary prognostications by Wall Street strategists and economists are futile; a forecast of the demise of the Earth is the sort of thing that looks like a losing bet from the outset (never mind that if you were right, who would know)?
Despite all sorts of adversity, humans have endured 1 million years or so of plagues, famines, droughts, floods, plus plenty of self-inflicted setbacks like wars. Humans are so successful as a species that we have managed to occupy and dominate almost every corner of the globe.