No doomsday in sight, yet

Ok, so the world didn’t end last Saturday, as Harold Camping said it would. Consequently he has realised that he made a mistake in his original calculations, and has now offered a new rapture date, sometime in October later this year. Well, we’ll see about that.

Doomsday prophets are a funny lot. Even funnier are their followers, as evident from this Yahoo News piece:

The classic study of “doomsdays gone bad” took place in 1954. A Chicago woman named Dorothy Martin predicted a cataclysmic flood from which a few true believers would be saved by aliens. Martin and her cult, The Seekers, gathered the night before the expected flood to await the flying saucer … as the appointed time passed with no alien visitors, the group sat stunned. But a few hours before dawn, Martin suddenly received a new prophecy, stating that The Seekers had been so devout that God had called off the apocalypse. At that, the group rejoiced — and started calling newspapers to boast of what they’d done.

So even when a prophecy fails, it is taken as positive proof of the prophecy. How about that.

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