Is 2012 the end of the world as we know it? From 2012 to global warming to worldwide pandemics, doomsday scenarios play an increasingly large role in our lives. Do any of these apocalyptic scenarios pose a real, urgent risk? Why does our modern culture continue to embrace these bleak beliefs, and how are they affecting our world?Separating hype from truth, J. Allan Danelek scrutinizes the ancient Mayan calendar's end date of 2012 and takes a hard look at whether it spells the end of the world--or a new beginning. Danelek also delves into other doomsday beliefs past and present, from biblical end-times prophecies to biological warfare, and discusses the predictions of world-famous prophets such as Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce.With piercing logic, Danelek objectively explores the apocalyptic threats that have captured our imagination . . . and reveals startling insights about what kind of future--dire or dazzling--awaits humanity.