It’s the end of the world as we know it … or is it? For months now, Howard Camping has been loudly proclaiming that the end of the world is happening on May 21, 2011 at 6 PM in each time zone as the universe allows earth to make its final free-throw orbit around the sun. It’s after 6 PM in nearly every time zone at the time I am writing this and it would seem that the world is very much as it was yesterday at the same time. In other words, it’s still the world as we know it.
I know that Camping said he worked out the mathematics on this and that this time he got it right. For those who aren’t up to speed on this subject, 18 years ago Howard made an identical claim about the end of the world with the exception that the end times were happening in September of 1994. He even wrote and published a 500-page book about Judgement Day 1994.
So, what we have here is a very poor mathematician and an even worse researcher who thinks he knows better than any other living being in the Universe the exact date that Judgement Day will fall on. I’m willing to bet that the Mayan are really annoyed that they had scheduled the end times for December 2012.
The media has had more than a few goes at Camping without providing a lot of background on who this man is.
Camping has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from UC Berkeley. Relying on his analytical engineering background, he poured over the Bible, made some amazing leaps in logic, and came up with a very unique mathematical equation that — according to Camping — cracked God’s secret code. Yes, it would appear that in Camping’s world God is no match for the genius of Howard Camping and his Bachelor or Science degree in civil engineering.
The secret code was this:
5 x 10 x 17
That’s not a very good secret code. It’s a little like using 1-2-3-4 as a computer password. It’s a little like having a phony alarm system sticker on your door and your neighbours who know about this deception are gossiping about your phony alarm system sticker with their friends and acquaintances. Silly omniscient being! He should have chosen a much more difficult secret code than 5 x 10 x 17!
From my understanding, civil engineering has to do with the design, construction, and maintenance of such structures as bridges, roads, canals, dams, and buildings. If my understanding is correct — and it may not be, so please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken — then it stands to reason that math should be a civil engineer’s strong suit. If not, then how could we trust that the bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings that are part of our day-to-day existence are safe to use?
Oh my! Maybe some of those bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings aren’t safe to use after all.
On various social media networking sites, parents and caregivers of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder have had to deal with their children suffering great anxiety over the end of the world prophecy for today. A number of parents and caregivers became so frayed at the edges themselves trying to calm their children that they were at a loss as to what they could possibly do to stop the madness.
The solution, however, was simple. Maybe not as simple as 5 x 10 x 17, but simple and effective and truthful.
I suggested that they tell their children that some people are good at math and some people are not so good at math. The people who are good at math don’t make very many mistakes in math because they check and double-check their work. The people who are not so good at math make lots of mistakes. The people who are not so good at math who make lots of mistakes also don’t check and double-check their work. And the man who said May 21, 2011 was the end of the world … well … he’s not so good at math.
Let’s hope that none of us will be using any bridges, roads, canals, dams and buildings that Howard Camping engineered. It’s not up to someone with a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering to determine when the end of the world is for others with or without his Biblical equation guiding him.