The end of the world has been predicted and anticipated as far back as recorded history. Since our creation, we have gone to sleep at night, uncertain that the dawn was guaranteed. Doomsday and apocalyptic scenarios have existed in every culture and through every time. Whether the end of humanity’s days is because of biblical prophecy or scientific events or a combination of both fulfilling each other, will never be foretold.
In this blog, I’ll examine two contemporary indicators meant to provide us a snapshot of how bad things are getting compared to how bad they have been in the past. Both devices are supposed to inform us of how close we may be to an end-of-day scenario. One is the scientifically-based Doomsday clock, which sits at a mere one-hundred seconds until midnight or “zero” hour. The other is the evangelical-based Rapture Ready Index designed to measure the types of activity that could act as a precursor to the Rapture– a religious teaching which believes there will be an ascension of believers to heaven at the Second Coming of Christ. While I try to avoid interjecting religion into this channel, I think looking at this Rapture Ready Index at least gives us an awareness to a belief system many in the U.S. hold. And let me be clear: I don’t think these 2 are exact predictors of a future event. Still, I think the types of activities they look at are indicators of future threats and worthy of examination, and at a minimum, you’re aware of their existence. As a whole, the Doomsday Clock and the Rapture Index may not mean much to us, but their common parts can help us to make sure that we’re aware of potential disasters, even global disasters, that others are spending a large amount of time to research. So let’s take a look.
The Doomsday Clock
The Doomsday clock was developed in 1947 by the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. This non-profit group has been composed of many of our times’ leading philosophical and scientific minds, including Bertrand Russel, Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Paul Weiss, Edward Teller, George Brock Chisolm, and many more. From Nobel Prize winners to nuclear physicists, to botanists, medical experts, and philosophers, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists considers existing and emerging global threats to determine how close humanity is to annihilation. The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic representation of the likelihood of a predominantly human-made global catastrophe. The global catastrophe to occur at midnight on the clock is measured in the distance from that time in “minutes” and “seconds.”
When it was first established in 1947, it was set to seven minutes to midnight. The most significant threat was considered to be atomic warfare and the proliferation of atomic weapons. The first time the symbolic minute hand of the clock leaped forward was in response to the first Soviet nuclear test in 1949. It moved one full minute closer to midnight. Over the years, as atomic threats increased or decreased, other weapons of mass destruction proliferated, hypersonic glide vehicles, ballistic missile defenses, and weapons-delivery systems were developed, the climate became more erratic, politics or international relations became strained, natural resources became threatened, disruptive technologies emerged, artificial intelligence grew, and biological threats like pandemics emerged, the minute and seconds hands of the symbolic clock have moved forwards and backward–mostly forward. At the beginning of 2020, the clock’s hands moved to a mere one minute and forty seconds before midnight– just 100 seconds. That makes the seven minutes seem like forever. This was based upon increased global nuclear threats, politics, climate activity, and an emerging pandemic threat. Surprisingly to me, the time was left the same, still 100 seconds before midnight, even a year into the COVID-19 crisis. In the Bulletin’s own words, they indicated:
“Though lethal on a massive scale, this particular pandemic is not an existential threat. Its consequences are grave and will be lasting. But COVID-19 will not obliterate civilization, and we expect the disease to recede eventually. Still, the pandemic serves as a historic wake-up call, a vivid illustration that national governments and international organizations are unprepared to manage nuclear weapons and climate change, which currently pose existential threats to humanity, or the other dangers—including more virulent pandemics and next-generation warfare—that could threaten civilization in the near future.”
The Doomsday Clock is a great metaphor to help us assess looming threats, but its efficacy as an accurate tool is questionable. One of the biggest complaints is that it is merely a theoretical tool to help scientists and world leaders visualize threats, and it encapsulates “humanity’s tendency toward historical pessimism.” The Bulletin is also criticized for being so theoretical and neither explaining nor attempting to quantify their methodology, which is the very hallmark of good scientific analysis. If we take it at its face value, though, as it was intended–merely a theoretical tool to illustrate our current position on the timeline of human existence–we would still be wise to heed some of the same indicators that these leading scientific minds use to develop their theories.
There is no denying that the threat of mass destruction weapons and nuclear proliferation has increased in the last decade alone. The possibility of a large high altitude electromagnetic pulse attack has risen exponentially as Iran and Korea have developed longer-range missile capabilities. Extreme and erratic weather patterns have become more prevalent in recent years, defying modern records and forcing us to turn to scientifically assessed core samples to find a rivaling time. Today’s conflicts between nations are not as transparent as the Axis and Allied forces of World War II. Clandestine operators, state-sponsored terrorist organizations, organized hacking endeavors, even sabotage are all the behind-the-scenes weapons of many nations as they struggle to bring themselves power by destroying their perceived enemies. Technology continues to marginalize humanity through automation and Artificial Intelligence. Precious resources are consumed and not replenished at the same rate of consumption. And, socio-economic disparities grow exponentially year-over-year, which leads to an increasingly more disillusioned and desperate population.
One of the most striking additions to the Doomsday Clock’s Bulletin is what they are calling an “Infodemic.” That is, the proliferation across all mediums but particularly the internet of so much information, both false, true, and hypothetical, that people turn away from scientific-based inquiry and determine their facts from contradictory narratives based upon ideological lines. While that’s not an existential threat to humanity, it does portend an intensification of future events. The Bulletin considers it a “threat multiplier.” The misinformation in the Infodemic throws fuel to the fire of conflict and increases partisanship and the violent threat to social order through the dehumanization of political rivals and the radicalization of the mentally unstable. They write in the Bulletin that “Social media, search engines, always-on mobile computing technologies, and other technology applications have exploited human cognitive propensities to be misled and enraged and to react impulsively, exacerbating political and ideological differences.”
That’s much to process, and I have indicated where I think the Doomsday Clock isn’t the most accurate of indicators. Still, the threats it addresses, both new and old, are reliable indicators of the immediate threats we face. While they may not lead to an actual Doomsday scenario and tomorrow is always another day to perchance side-step disaster and circumnavigate our collective fates, the threats the clock highlights are a real danger and something for which we should prepare.
The Rapture Ready Index
The Rapture Ready Index is a non-scientific, evangelically-based assessment of how close we find ourselves to the Christian Rapture event. The Rapture, as it is foretold in the Christian belief systems, is where the living will be taken up to heaven, and those left behind–the leftovers–will face the sudden aftermath of the instant disappearance of millions of believers and year upon year of future tribulation until the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I will not engage in a theoretical discussion of this in this video, as much as I want to look at the indicators used in the Rapture Ready Index, where it came from, and if any of it can be useful to our own prepping.
Rapture Ready is an Evangelical Christian website, originally a Usenet forum, founded by a man named Todd Strandberg in 1987. The Rapture Ready Index promotes the belief that the rapture will occur in the near future, with true Christians being taken up to Heaven and non-believers left behind to suffer. The site tracks the real-world occurrence of events that Strandberg believes are prophesied in the Bible, and uses these to calculate what Strandberg sees as the rapture approaching. Originally, Rapture Ready (then called “Rapture Index”) consisted of threads in Usenet newsgroups. In 1995, Rapture Index became a website.
The apparent shortcomings of the Rapture Ready Index are that it is faith-based and not scientifically based. That wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the conclusions the Rapture Index made were achieved through a consortium of religious leaders. Still, here it is just one person determining what they perceive to be the real threats that signal an end-of-time Second Coming and Great Tribulation.
The Rapture Ready Index seems scientific enough as it scores on a scale of 1 to 5, 45 different indicators that range from the usual like volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods to the more esoteric like the Gog and the kingdom of Magog (modern-day Russia), false prophets, apostasy, Beast government, and the Tribulation Temple. The totals of these 45 indicators are then compared to a scale ranging from 100 and below, meaning “Slow prophetic activity” to Above 160, meaning “Fasten your seat belts.” The all-time high of the index was 189 in October of 2016. The all-time low was 58 in December of 1993. Right now, the index sits near its all-time high of 185, so I guess we better fasten our seatbelts.
If we remove the more esoteric and religious references from the index, we are left with some empirically measurable things to look at. Separating the wheat of scientifically measurable events from faith-based interpretive events is counter to the Index’s beliefs, but doing so lets us compare some of its indicators to those of the Doomsday Clock. The measurable indicators on the Rapture Ready Index are debt and trade, unemployment, inflation, interest rates, the economy, oil supply and price, financial unrest, drug abuse, crime rate, nuclear nations, arms proliferation, climate, volcanoes, earthquakes, wild weather, civil rights, famine, drought, plagues, food supply, and floods. Those 21 indicators sit at a little over 90 points on the scale or almost ½ of the total final score.
If we just look at those indicators with a top score of five, we can see the Doomsday clock’s parallels and a good indicator of what we should continue to prep for. Debt & Trade, inflation, the economy, and financial unrest are all at a five on the scale. If you have followed this channel for any amount of time, you know that I often point out our financial systems’ fragility, the likelihood of collapse, and what precautions you should be taking. Though related only from a civil perspective, a score of 5 for both the crime rate and civil rights seems to foretell continued civil discord, the possibility of heavy-handed policing or government intrusion upon the citizenry, and threats of martial law or continued civil unrest. All of those I encourage people to prep for the possibility of occurring. On an international stage, a top score of 5 for nuclear nations and arms proliferation indicate the continued high probability of global conflict. From nuclear weapons to EMPs, to biological weapons and terror attacks, these indicators closely align to the indicators corresponding to the hands on the Doomsday Clock. Finally, while many ecological indicators have a score of 4, only plagues and floods have a top score of 5 on the Rapture Ready Index at this time. For many years, this channel has encouraged people to prepare against the obvious natural disasters that absolutely will occur in your lifetime and your area and for the tangible disasters like pandemics and biological infectious agents that could dramatically impact society.
What Does it All Mean?
Can either the Doomsday Clock or the Rapture Ready Index be taken seriously? They are what they are. They are indicators of troubles that are increasing, challenges we continue to face, and coming hardships. I think they both overlook or barely factor in some things like the real threats of artificial intelligence, automation, and over-dependence on technology. They ignore the planetary threats of near-Earth objects and geomagnetic storms like the Carrington Event. What they do both indicate, though, has an alarmingly high total score. That alone should trigger some red flags for us. Not red flags that we should prepare for the end of times, perhaps, but they should trigger red flags enough to get our houses in order, our supplies in stock, and to look at the world with a sober view. You do not have to agree with the conclusions of either the Doomsday Clock or the Rapture Ready Index, but you would be wise to assess for yourself the strengths and weaknesses of their parts.
Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. The worst are the apparent indicators on these two scales. The best is that we can either avert these catastrophes or prep enough to make our way through them. Cultivate your skills, prep an adequate inventory of food, water, supplies, and tools, and sure, fasten your seatbelts, but get prepared, so you aren’t at the whim of whatever disaster befalls you.
Do you agree with the findings of the Doomsday Clock or the Rapture Ready Index? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below or by taking one of the surveys on this CityPrepping channel’s community tab. I’ll put links to both in the comments section below for you to explore further. Whether you agree or disagree, I hope you are prepping and getting things in order, including getting yourself in order. Whether the end of humanity’s days is because of biblical, prophesy, or scientific events or a combination of both fulfilling each other, or not in our lifetimes at all, should not determine our readiness. Prepping goes beyond just storing up the necessary supplies and equipment. Successfully surviving any cataclysmic event starts and ends with you and your capabilities.
If you found this video informative and helpful, please feel free to like and share it with your friends, family, and community. If you would like to be notified when other videos become available, join this channel’s community by subscribing to it. When you click subscribe, you will be notified of future videos, and it helps us reach more people and boosts our positive message.
As always, please stay safe out there.