One fringe Christian group has whooped the world into a frenzy as supporters around the United States declare the end of the world to be this May 21 -- just hours away from the publishing of this article.
The Oakland-based Family Radio Worldwide said they have crunched the numbers and have done the math, with the groups president Harold Camping declaring the event absolutely going to happen.
But a poll conducted by The International Business Times shows the vast majority of global respondents do not believe any end of the world will come, and of those who do, more think it will happen next year, not this year.
Of the 10,000 respondents poll by IBTimes.com, 8.7 percent believe the end of the world corresponds to the Mayan prediction of December 21, 2012, versus just 3.5 percent believing Harold Camping.
Earlier, several scientists and speculators had proposed numerous astronomical alignments hinting at the planet's demise, based on the view that the calendar of the ancient Mayan civilization ends on December 21, 2012.
There is a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan long count calendar.
Camping, however, quotes various bible passages and makes calculations of his own, and arrives at none other than tomorrow.
Needless to say both calculations have been met with heavy criticism.
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.
Scholars also chimed in.
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.
A resounding 79 percent of respondents that do not believe the world would end ever.