The End of the World! Apocalypse Now! Species Extinction Events! Is this fear mongering or is there something deep in the human psyche that just wants us to extinguish not only all human life, but the planet itself? The hype around December 21, 2012, the latest in a very long line of predictions about the end of days, this time from the timekeeping scorecard or calendar of the ancient Maya of Central America, is the inspiration for The Doomsday Blog. Its author, David Mattison, has long had a fascination with not only issues around preservation of recorded information and the transmission of meaning over long periods of time, he's also been a devoted reader of science fiction, particularly the hard-core variety by scientists themselves, since his early teen years.
The Doomsday Blog then is his perspective on the scientific evidence for and examples of past global catastrophes as well as the wide variety of fictional accounts of how the world will end. You'll also find here posts about narratives drawn from various religious traditions that have been presented as both factual and fictional. An example of the former are dated predictions by religious figures of when the world will end. The latter would include the popular, best-selling Left Behind novel series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins and the TV series The 4400 (2004-2007).
Among the types of fictional themes you'll find here are Last Person or Last Peoples stories and novels such as Fredric Brown's "Knock" (1948) and George R. Stewart's Earth Abides (1949), apocalyptic scenarios of various sorts and their aftermath such as David Brin's The Postman (1985) and The Terminator movie franchise, astronomical objects that impact the Earth or events that affect the sun such as When Worlds Collide (1933) by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer, the 1998 movies Deep Impact and Armageddon or the 2007 movie Sunshine, and of course the many prophecies, none of which have come to pass, forecasting doomsday. No one takes Nostradamus' (1503-1566) prophetic quatrains seriously anymore since it is impossible to prove, due to their very obscurity, that they reference any real world events since his death.
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