Looks like it’s the doomsday season, again! Signs and newspaper ads across the U.S. and in other places around the world have been warning that the judgment day is coming, but the question remains whether it is on May 21, 2011 or December 21, 2012.

May 21, 2011 Doomsday

Harold Camping, the head of a Christian broadcast group called Family Radio, has been predicting for years that the day would take place on May 21, 2011, although he had claimed earlier that the world would end in September 1994. But when it passed without cataclysmic results, he said he miscalculated and that the end, saying instead that it would take place this Saturday.

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Harold Camping bases his strange, convoluted and idiosyncratic theory of apocalyptical flood on Bible, but it is obvious that he picks and chooses anecdotes, verses and Biblical stories conveniently so he can stitch together the theory of a flood that will happen in his own lifetime.

In the Bible, it is said that Noah had been given 7 days to prepare for the flood. According to 2 Peter 3:8, With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. Camping says the '7-day warning notice' has been in place and he has actually decoded it precisely. Camping says though, that instead of a 7-day warning, it's really been a 7,000-year-warning.

The Oakland preacher Camping's doomsday prediction stated that the apocalypse will unfold with a fierce earthquake in New Zealand at 6 pm local time, which will continue across the Earth at such a rate that every Richter scale in the world and every news organization in the world will have no doubt - Judgment Day is here. According to his theory, those who remain alive after May 21 will be the sinners whose turn of destruction will come six months later, in October.

But for Dr. Albert Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, the Bible explicitly forbid(s) Christians to claim the knowledge of such dates and times.

Camping claims to be basing his predictions on the scriptures. That sounds promising. 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. It is an act of incredible presumptuousness to claim that a human knows such a date, or has determined God's timing by any means, Mohler said in an interview with IBTimes.

December 21, 2012 Doomsday

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.

According to English archeologist John Eric Sidney Thompson of the Mayan calendar corresponded to the Julian date 584283, which equals August 11, 3114 BC in Gregorian calendar. This means that the end date of of the Mayan calendar, some 5,125 years later, is December 21, 2012 AD.

However, many researchers have disproved the theory. Gerardo Aldana, associate professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies at University of California Santa Barbara, has said the correlation of the ancient Maya calendar with the modern Gregorian is inaccurate by 50 to 100 years or more.

Aldana has challenged the accepted Gregorian dates of all Classic Mayan historical events, as well as the doomsday 2012 prophecies, in a book titled, Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World.

One of the principal complications is that there are really so few scholars who know the astronomy, the epigraphy, and the archeology, said Aldana. Because there are so few people who are working on that, you get people who don't see the full scope of the problem. And because they don't see the full scope, they buy things they otherwise wouldn't.

The supporters of doomsday theory say December 21, 2012 is the date that ends one precession of the equinox that began 26,000 years ago, the last time that the winter solstice sun crossed the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The Mayans believed that there were five great ages and we live in the last one.

The combination of each great age represents about 26,000 years, or one precession of the equinox, starting and terminating at the winter solstice when the sun conjoins the galactic center; an event that only occurs once every 26,000 years. The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator.

The galactic alignments, more generally speaking, occur in era 2012 (1980 - 2016) and every quarter precession cycle before and after era 2012. In terms of Mayan mythology, it can also describe the Galactic Alignment of era-2012 as the alignment of the December solstice sun and the Dark Rift.

However, scientists at NASA have said there are no planetary alignments in the next few decades and that earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence, NASA said.

NASA has also rejected the Planet X theory pitched in by the supporters of doomsday. Plant X is a planet that the ancient Sumerians referred to as ‘Nibiru’ that means ‘Planet of the Crossing’. The Sumerians gave it this name because every 3,630 years Planet X crosses Earth's orbit. The proponents of this theory say Planet X is headed towards the inner solar system and would cause massive earthquakes, volcanoes, tidal waves, the melting or shifting of the polar ice caps, sudden fluctuations in temperature and climatic conditions, and probably a shift in the polar axis of Earth.

NASA said Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye.

Researcher and author Patrick Geryl is of the opinion that the next (physical) polar reversal will take place in 2012. He says the North Pole will be changed into the South Pole and the earth will start rotating in the opposite direction, causing calamities of unknown proportions.

“A reversal in the rotation of earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-shift to fool people,” NASA said.

Some doomsday supporters also point out the similarity between Mayan predictions and the theories proposed in the ancient Indian Hindu epic ‘Brahma-Vaivarta Purana’. In the epic, Lord Krishna tells Ganga Devi that a Golden Age will come in the Kali Yuga - one of the four stages of development that the world goes through as part of the cycle of eras. Lord Krishna predicted that this Golden Age will start 5,000 years after the beginning of the Kali Yuga, and will last for 10,000 years.

According to the Hindu epic The Bhagavad Gita, we are now living in an age called ‘Kali Yuga’. The Hindu Kali Yuga calendar began on February 18, 3102 BC, according to Indian scholars.

They point to the similarity of the origination of Mayan calendar in 3114 BC and Hindu Kali Yuga calendar in 3102 BC. These calendars began at about the same time over 5,000 years ago and both calendars predict a totally new world and/or golden age after about 5,000 years into their calendars, they say.

But scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of catastrophe in 2012. Mainstream Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the existing classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the long count calendar ‘ends’ in 2012 misrepresents Maya history.

“We have no record or knowledge that the Maya would think the world would come to an end in 2012,” said Susan Milbrath, curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

“Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar,” NASA scientists categorically said in a statement on September 6, 2009.