According to the latest YouGov Omnibus survey, 85% of Americans have heard about the Mayan end-of-world prophecy that predicts we shall be snuffed out on December 21st 2012; all but those living in the French village of Bugarach, perhaps.
Only a tiny minority of respondents believes that the world is likely to end on Friday. 24% don’t believe it will happen but do believe that it is possible, and 73% are sure that we will still be here to enjoy the New Year.
If Friday 21st seems likely, for most people, to lead to Saturday 22nd, more Americans are uncertain if humanity will outlast their own lifetime. 4% were certain that a cataclysmic event would decimate human life before the end of their natural lifespan, 8% agreed but were not absolutely certain and only 42% were confident that human life would continue beyond their own departure.
We asked if human life were to end, what was the likely cause. Nuclear war was the most feared at 21% followed by a natural catastrophe at 14% or environmental catastrophe at 11%. When we asked the same questions back in May 2011 only 15% of responders cited nuclear war.
If asked whether an apocalypse would be caused by God or man, 28% said God (the same percentage as 2011), 21% replied that it would be God who ended the world because God causes all things. 37% think that it will be a human caused disaster.