Saturday, October 22, 2011

...And We All Just Wink at One Another

The world didn't end yesterday as Rev. Harold Camping had predicted, nor did it end in May when he made his previous prediction, nor has the world ended on any of the days predicted by Biblical scholars going back to the time when Abraham thought that killing his own son was a perfectly reasonable instruction from God. The end of the world is a certainty, but predicting the exact day of this destruction from biblical interpretation has proven to be an exercise with a 100% failure rate. In science, if a hypothesis or prediction fails 100% of the time, the scientists change the methodology. In religion, the believers always press onward with strengthened resolve. I personally believe that being wrong is how religious fundamentalists get their kicks since their adherence to flawed notions can be seen as a sign of their faith.

The more interesting question is why do mainstream media outlets give news coverage to these "end-of-the-world" predictions when the track record on these is as bad as it is? I like to think that news people in this scenario are like circus trainers who keep feeding the trained bear so the bear will keep doing tricks to entertain the public. The media keep covering the morons who predict the end of the world so the morons will keep making predictions, and all of us who are in on the joke get to wink at one another and enjoy the fact that some absurdity in life can be perfectly harmless entertainment.

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