Friday, May 27, 2011

WIRTW #178 (the “…and I feel fine” edition)

When the world didn’t end last Saturday, I got curious. What could have possibly gone wrong? So, I did a little research. Here’s what I found.

The 2011 end times prediction is attributed to Christian radio host Harold Camping. According to Camping, Rapture and Judgment Day were to have taken place on May 21, 2011, with the end of the world occurring five months later. He previously predicted that the same would take place in 1994, and blamed its failure on a mathematical error.

How did Camping arrive at his 2011 prediction? He offers two different mathematical explanations (c/o Wikipedia’s 2011 end times prediction page).


Camping dates the Great Flood to 4990 BC. Taking the prediction in Genesis 7:4 (“Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth”) to be a prediction of the end of the world, and combining it with 2 Peter 3:8 (“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day”), Camping concludes that the end of the world will occur in 2011, 7000 years from 4990 BC. Camping takes the 17th day of the second month mentioned in Genesis 7:11 to be May 21.


  1. According to Camping, the number 5 equals “atonement”, the number 10 equals “completeness”, and the number 17 equals “heaven”.
  2. Jesus is said to have hanged on the cross on April 1, 33 AD. There are 1,978 years between April 1, 33 AD and April 1, 2011.
  3. 1,978 multiplied by 365.2422 days (the number of days in a solar year) equals 722,449.
  4. There are 51 days between April 1 and May 21.
  5. 51 plus 722,449 equals 722,500.
  6. (5 × 10 × 17)2 or (atonement × completeness × heaven)2 also equals 722,500.

It’s hard to believe that such a certain prediction failed.

For his part, Camping now says that May 21 was a “spiritual” Judgment Day. The Rapture and the destruction of the world will instead both happen on October 21, 2011, a Friday that will coincide with WIRTW #199. If you subtract 178 (this week’s edition) from 199, you get 21, the date Camping predicts. Wow, this end of world stuff is easy.

Here’s the rest of what I read this week:


Social Media & Workplace Technology

Wage & Hour

Labor Relations

HR and Employee Relations

Until next week:

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