Monday, 27 July 2009

Waiting for the End Times Part 1

End Time Watching is big business - just ask those preachers through the ages who have only been too happy to bandy the apocalypse about. There's nothing more likely to get the faithful handing over their precious cash like the thought that it might buy them a one-way ticket to Paradise.

But make no mistake about it, it's as popular now as it was when all you needed was the birth of a two-headed cat and a pulpit to stand in. At least now cynicism can make a rough stab at standing up to blind faith, and the vast majority of reasonable, logical people needing only to cite that last failed prediction to take the wind from the sails of your average Armageddon seller.

Yet even the boom in recent years of scientific scaremongering (which we've reported on here, there and everywhere), whether by scientists themselves or a headline-chasing media, has not meant the fervent have gone away. No, if anything they're even MORE convinced that the end is nigh - bending reality still further to support their claims.

But why do they continue to get away with it? Why do people still believe them? Why do they not listen to sensible, thought-out demolitions of these absurd ideas?

It's refreshing to see a deconstruction of the mechanics of modern religious doomsaying, even though it does strain its metaphors somewhat ...

"Academic dishonesty seems to be the norm when passages don’t coincide with what the prognosticator has already concluded about a topic. Doctrinal concepts, conveyed in actual verbiage, considered malignant to the purveyors’ point of view, are given a sort of theistic chemotherapy, while others are transplanted to help prop up preconceived opinions. The outcome of these tactics is that we find ourselves in an intellectual gymnastics match, with those holding to the sensational being the Romanian all-stars and those who adhere to more realistic views being a team of overweight Slovakians with uni-brows. The irony here is that the latter, despite appearing to be tremendously outmatched, eventually emerges victorious. Why? Because truth always trumps error, no matter how nicely adorned or well groomed that error might be."

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