© Vera Volkova, ShutterstockDespite Harold Camping's doomsday predictions, the sun has gone on rising.
California radio preacher Harold Camping was wrong when he predicted that the world would end Friday (Oct. 21). But his failed prediction puts him in good company.
Doomsday prophets have been around for thousands of years, according to sociologists, and failed doomsday predictions
rarely stop them for long. Camping himself originally claimed the world would end in 1994, later asserting that he'd gotten his Biblical math wrong and the real date would be Oct. 21, 2011.
In fact, Camping had also predicted Judgment Day, complete with devastating earthquakes and a Rapture of the faithful, on May 21 of this year. After that prediction failed, Camping stuck to his guns, claiming that a spiritual, non-physical, rapture had indeed happened on that day.
This has all happened before, and it will all probably happen again. It's extremely rare for a doomsday predictor to recant his or her apocalyptic views after a failed prediction, said University of Alberta sociologist Stephen Kent. Some groups fall apart, while others cling more closely together against the scorn of the outside world.
"There's going to be a crisis within Camping himself, an existential crisis," Kent told LiveScience. "His remaining followers will have their own crises."