As I expected, I woke up today on 12/21/12 at the same time as yesterday to a bit of rain hitting my bedroom window. I yawned, stretched, and went downstairs to make coffee, remembering there were people in the world that thought the apocalypse was supposed to have arrived.
This isn't the first time the end was nigh, and it certainly won't be the last. As seen in this comprehensive list of predicted apocalypses there have been upwards of 50 times in my 32 years of life that I should have been witness to doomsday. Other than the confusion over the Mayan calendar, Y2K was probably the most hyped.
I recall spending New Year's Eve of 1999 in a drunken haze...partying like it was 1999, but we were not gathered as a last hurrah. I was with my friends, home on break from college as if it was any other holiday. At midnight, the closest we came to a worldwide meltdown of computers and technology was when my friend shut off the lights and music and screamed, "Y2K!" For the people that didn't have their tongues and lips occupied or weren't previously engaged in one of the upstairs bedrooms, we laughed and cheered and resumed our celebration.
That's not say I believe life on earth, specifically human life, is eternal. Earth itself is not eternal. There are plenty of things in the universe that are not supernatural capable of wiping us out: nuclear war, a global-killer meteor, an enormous volcanic eruption (I recently read this might be what did in the dinosaurs), and a pandemic. I'm sure there are others as well not coming to mind. Of course, assuming humanity somehow survives for millions of years without a catastrophe, either our sun will feast on us or a collision with the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy will end our planet--maybe we'll have colonized other planets by then, but suffice to say, life and earth are finite. If, against all logic, earth and humanity remain beyond our sun's duration, there's always that pesky, supermassive black hole in the center of the Milky Way, ever-growing and sucking us all inward to places unknown.
Is the end near; can it be predicted? I'm skeptical of both. I'll remain so, until there is either a zombie at my door or the trumpets of angels blast from the sky.