In a few more days we can laugh at those that got caught up in the 2012 Mayan calendar nonsense. As far as I can tell it was just a publicity scheme that helped sell books and a movie. However, I believe there is an end coming. We just don’t know exactly when.
I am talking about the time of chaos before the second coming of Jesus Christ. The Bible (Matthew 24, Revelations) warns of war, famine, plague, and natural disasters. People who look to science as the only reliable source of truth perhaps see Bible predictions for the end times as of no more consequence than the present Mayan calendar predictions. In contrast, I see support for what the Bible predicts in applying the findings of science to the present course of our world civilization.
Possible drivers for end time chaos include: massive climate change, exhaustion of farm land and critical resource materials, pandemics, and large-scale natural disasters. There is scientific evidence to support the inevitability of the first two if the world does not make large changes in its use of fossil fuels and other natural resources. The second two are part of Earth’s history. The flu epidemic that followed World War I spread relatively slowly but killed millions. Air travel now makes it possible for a new pandemic to spread so rapidly it may overwhelm any capabilities to treat it. We now know that there have been ice ages, asteroid strikes, and massive volcanic eruptions that could cause worldwide disruption to civilization.
In addition to the physical threats to civilization, there is the spiritual threat that widespread disregard of God’s commandments will unhinge civilization. For example, sociology has ample evidence that children do best in a traditional family where they live with both their parents, but an appalling fraction of children born in the United States have single mothers. While some do well like that, on average they are at a significant disadvantage in learning to be honest and productive citizens.
Almost two hundred years ago when Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon and received the revelations needed to restore primitive Christianity (Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price) little of the science I just mentioned was available. Yet, his revelations say that we are entering the end times and reinforce and clarify what the Bible said about them. In addition the Book of Mormon describes the destruction of two civilizations because of their wickedness, and provides us warning of what happens to people who abandon God.
I am a scientist, and I am not embarrassed to say I believe the end is coming and the laughing will soon stop.