When it comes to news value, journalists consider the impact of a story -- how many people does it affect. Given this metric, certainly the end of the world would rank high.
So it should come as no surprise that 'Doomsday' preacher Harold Camping would whip media and global citizens into a frenzy. But did anyone actually believe him?
The International Business Times conducted a survey of 17,000 readers on Friday to gauge sentiment towards what could be the biggest story in the history of the universe. But despite the hype, respondents overwhelmingly expressed disbelief in Camping's prediction.
Slightly over 3 percent of respondents stood by Camping's prediction that the world would end at 6pm on Saturday. But a resounding 79 percent of 17,000 people polled by IBTimes said that they do not believe the world would end ever.
How can anyone say anything about the end of the day, can anyone say anything about the end of his or her life, questioned respondent Claire Jay. I think it's beyond personal opinion and speculation. No one can say anything for sure about what will happen to the world just as they cannot say for sure about many things.
Camping, who leads the Oakland-based Family Radio Worldwide , based his work
from the Bible and ran the math to declare the end was absolutely going to happen.
Public opinion wasn't the only thing against Camping however. His predictions took criticism from Bible scholars, science and even the Bible itself.
Camping claims to be basing his predictions on the scriptures. That sounds promising, said Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
But the Bible does not contain hidden codes that we are to find and decipher. We are not to look for hidden patterns of words, numbers, dates, or anything else.
If it were Doomsday, rolling earthquakes would sweep across the earth, first starting in New Zealand at 6pm local time there, but there has been little unusual activity recorded around the world.
According to National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC), about 50 earthquakes each day, or about 20,000 a year, is recorded through seismographs. NEIC data showed only 12 earthquakes above a 2.5 magnitude on Saturday, May 21 -- well within norms.
But perhaps the biggest hurdle to Camping's prediction, or anyone else's for that matter, is an explicit passage in the bible that says about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father, according to Mathew 24:36.