The 'End of the World' Is Today. Here's Why We're Still Here.
Today is the day.
It's the beginning of the end, according to practiced doomsday diviner David Meade. On April 23, 2018, Meade says, the sun, the moon and Jupiter will line up in the constellation Virgo (in actuality, they will not be in that constellation) — an alignment that has biblical disaster written all over it.
In the Bible, Revelation 12:1-2 speaks of a "woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head," who labors to give birth to a dictator who will ultimately bring about the world's end.
Meade did a lot of numerical and cosmic gymnastics to come up with today's apocalypse — one that, of course, will not come to be.
The same passage used for today's prediction was also the basis for Meade's end-of-the-world prediction last year, when he said the sky would essentially fall on Sept. 23. It did not. [End of the World? Top 10 Doomsday Threats]
And, in fact, his current forecast seems to have long roots: Baptist preacher William Miller made multiple failed doomsday predictions, and one of them was for April 23, 1843.
Sadly, perhaps for Meade, the planet Jupiter will appear not in Virgo but in the constellation Libra from Earth's perspective; the sun will appear to align with Aries, while the moon will lurk in the constellation Gemini today, according to The Sky Live.
This celestial alignment is, according to Meade, just the beginning of the cosmic catastrophe. From there, a rogue planet called Planet X will supposedly pass by Earth in October and cause a planetwide mess (worldwide volcanic eruptions) that will culminate in the return of Jesus Christ — also based on the Book of Revelation.
There are a few problems with this part of the prediction. For one, Planet X, also called Nibiru, is fictional. And whereas scientists are looking for an Earth-size planet that they sometimes refer to as "Planet X" or "Planet Nine," this is a different world altogether from the one described by Meade and others.
Nibiru, in fact, is the baby of conspiracy theorist Nancy Lieder, who floated the idea in the 1990s. This rogue planet — a body that astronomers who stare at the skies, looking for actual alien worlds, would not miss — was the basis for the failed 2012 Maya apocalypse, among others.
Besides Nibiru being a made-up world that has been debunked repeatedly, the Revelation passage also has some issues.
"The author of Revelation was wrong in his predictions, so neither this book nor any other ancient book is of much relevance for predicting the future," Allen Kerkeslager, a professor of ancient and comparative religion at St. Joseph's University in Philadelphia, told Live Science earlier this month.
All this is to say, the doomsday prediction is bogus. Happy Monday.
Original article on Live Science.
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Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
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