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Special Report

Humankind's Enduring Fascination with the Apocalypse

The so-called Mayan apocalypse is just the latest in a long line of doomsday predictions

  • December 19, 2012

The 2012 Apocalypse, or why the world won't end this week

If you believe The Daily Mail , we’re all convinced that the world is going to end on 21 st December 2012. Apparently people are stockpiling food and weapons, flocking to remote villages and heading for mystical peaks from whence ‘an extra-terrestrial mothership’ housed for centuries in an alien temple inside the mountain ‘will pluck believers to safety’.

December 18, 2012 — Caroline Dodds Pennock

Doomsday, Apocalypse, and Rapture, Oh my!

With the end of the world behind us and another soon to come this October 21st, I thought it would be fun to write about dear old Harold Camping and his erroneous end-of-the-world theories.

October 7, 2011 — Jessica Fostvedt

Why We're Suckers for Stories of the Apocalypse

For rational people, dismissing the silliness around the supposed end of the world on May 21 is all too easy. In case you haven't heard, Christian radio broadcaster Harold Camping has done some questionable math based on Biblical writing to determine that the faithful will be "raptured" tomorrow and that nonbelievers will be left behind to fester to death over the next few months.

May 20, 2011 — Philip Yam

Judgment Day Math: The Numbers behind Harold Camping's May 21 Claim

Maybe you've seen the ads—on a billboard, on the subway, on the side of an RV. Maybe you've encountered the believers in person. However you found out, there's a good chance you've heard claims about something big happening Saturday, May 21.

May 19, 2011 — John Matson
The Nuclear Doomsday Clock Still Ticks

The Nuclear Doomsday Clock Still Ticks

As long as opportunities and excuses for nuclear aggression persist, the world will never be safe from annihilation

January 1, 2010 — Lawrence M. Krauss

Revisiting Doomsday at the LHC

We are currently holed up in Boston, bracing ourselves for the wrath of Hurricane Sandy along with the rest of the Northeast, and kicking ourselves for not having the good sense to stay home in sunny Los Angeles.

October 28, 2012 — Jennifer Ouellette
Doomsday Clock Moved 1 Minute Closer to Midnight

Doomsday Clock Moved 1 Minute Closer to Midnight

The Fukushima nuclear disaster and interest in nuclear power from Turkey, Indonesia and the UAE raised scientists' concern about the threat of humanity's destruction

January 10, 2012 — Stephanie Pappas and LiveScience

In 2012 neutrinos melt Earth's core, and other disasters

During an early screening of Roland Emmerich's latest disaster flick 2012, which opens today, laughter erupted in the audience near the end of the film thanks to corny dialogue and maudlin scenes (among the biggest guffaw getters: a father tries to reconnect with his estranged son on the telephone, only to have the son's house destroyed just before he could say anything).

November 13, 2009 — Philip Yam
Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

Apocalypse Soon: Has Civilization Passed the Environmental Point of No Return?

Although there is an urban legend that the world will end this year based on a misinterpretation of the Mayan calendar, some researchers think a 40-year-old computer program that predicts a collapse of socioeconomic order and massive drop in human population in this century may be on target

May 23, 2012 — Madhusree Mukerjee

The World Without Us: Suppose Humans Just Vanished--Then What?

In this episode, journalist Alan Weisman, Laureate Associate Professor in Journalism and Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona, discusses his new book "The World Without Us," a massive thought experiment about the aftermath of humanity's sudden disappearance. Plus we'll test your knowledge of some recent science in the news. For info on and articles by Alan Weisman, go to

June 27, 2007 — Steve Mirsky

End of the World [1999 Edition]

At the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Stony Brook University's Robert Crease talked about how a 1999 article in Scientific American on Brookhaven National Laboratory's Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and a future Nobel laureate got a few people thinking the planet was in jeopardy. Steve Mirsky reports

February 25, 2010

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