I have never been partial to doomsday scenarios. End-of-the-world prophecies always seem to leave their proponents in the throes of revisionary confusion, manically adjusting their calculations and hoping to get it right the next time, and the time after that, ad vomitatum. Mark Biltz and John Hagee have belabored the blood moon event, but lunar tetrads of no overwhelming significance have occurred before. Population gurus promise mass starvation while the food supply defiantly increases. Flood experts inform us that the entire eastern seaboard will soon be under water but ocean levels remain insolently stable. Global warmists predict an atmospheric inferno while the temperature refuses to comply and the next Ice Age gradually but inexorably approaches. And so it goes.
Real threats to our wellbeing and even existence—a wayward asteroid, an EMP attack neutralizing the electrical grid, or the cultural debacle of unrestricted Islamic immigration—are exigencies that can be met, given the mental alertness and political will to prepare for and defuse them. Doomsday scripts and warnings are another matter, figments of the realm of theological speculation or pathological fantasy. Yet one must always allow for a possible exception to the general rule, if only to avoid the intellectual rigidity of epistemic and ideological dogmatism.