End of the World on Wikipedia:

As a "free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," Wikipedia poses problems for scholarly use. Anyone can contribute, and even acknowledged experts are anonymous to the average user. The texts change constantly, and revisions might range from the correction of typographical errors to a global reworking of tone and attitude. And yet, since its inception in 2001, Wikipedia has grown to contain over 13 million articles in multiple languages, and by accretion and intention, is an encyclopedia to be reckoned with. Although its text is unstable, it is possible to cite and access archived versions of articles; although it lacks named authors and peer review, there are many opportunities for collaboration and correction of individual entries. As an enclopedia whose articles are good places to begin a research project, Wikipedia can compare favorably with such publications as Encarta and Encyclopedia Britannica. The editors are also working hard to make Wikipedia a respectable reference. Incomplete, biased, or otherwise problematic articles are identified as such. There are policies in place to resolve conflicts, correct biases, and prevent controversial topics from becoming ideological battlegrounds.

That's not to say that there aren't problems with using Wikipedia as a source of information. This comic view of "citogenesis"(xkcd) indicates how easy it is for false information to become verified truths in the self-referential world of the internet. But the mature Wikipedia is a flexible and responsive source of information that can provide a useful starting point for a broad range of research topics, and authoritative information in many areas.

Following are annotations of a few of the many articles in Wikipedia that address end-of-the-world topics.

For additional discussion on the scholarly usefulness of Wikipedia, see:
Lisa Spiro, "Is Wikipedia Becoming a Respectable Academic Source?" Digital Scholarship in the Humanities. Posted Sept 1, 2008.
Roy Rosenzweig, Can History be Open Source? Wikipedia and the Future of the Past. Essays on History and New Media. Originally published in The Journal of American History Volume 93, Number 1 (June, 2006): 117-46.
Alison Head and Michael Eisenberg, How today's college students use Wikipedia for course-related research. First Monday Volume 15, Number 3 (1 March 2010).
2012 Phenomenon, submitted by Robert Patterson
Overall, the article provides a myriad number of reliable sources such as articles by Penn State University, published scholars such as anthropologic Anthony Aveni and Mayan epigrapher historical Linda Schele, and reputable news sources such as USA Today. The entry takes time to divulge into the Mayan connection to the 2012 prophecy in addition to a number of theories concerning how exactly and what exactly is meant by the "end of the world", each time drawing parallels to the 2012 theory. This article meets Wikipedia's self described "verifiability" standards, along with being presented in a clearly defined and logically structured fashion. In addition, this Wikipedia entry contains neither broken nor outdated web links. Content is widely verifiable through constant reference listings; as mentioned above most references are from the works of well-known authors and news sources. (Accessed November 4, 2009)
Antichrist, submitted by Laura O'Campo.
Wikipedia is a well known and commonly used source that aids the process of attaining a non bias, informative, approach on topics such as the antichrist. This article provides individuals with ova clear overlook on the beliefs of different religions such as Mormon, Christianity, and Islamic. The Wikipedia article "Antichrist" contains biblical reference to the New Testament, Early Church, Post Nicene Christianity, and Pre- Reformation Western Christianity. The perspectives of Protestant reformers, Old Believers and Counter- Reformation are told. Every article in Wikipedia consists of four tabs (article, discussion, edit this page and history,) which provides researchers with information about acquired sources. (Accessed November 23, 2009)
Apocalypse, submitted by Meaghan Carr.
Updated usually a few times a day, the Apocalypse article on Wikipedia contains many topics. In the beginning of the article, the definition of Apocalypse is given, the unveiling of hidden things by God. Wikipedia explains how the term has changed from the unveiling of something, to the destruction of the world. The next topic discussed is characteristic features of the Apocalypse. Among this topic are the subtopics of dreams or visions, angels, and the "beast." Next, Wikipedia explains the end of the age. This section explains that it is more accurate to use the term "end of the age," rather than "end of the world." End of the Age explains what will happen to the dead who are waiting to be judged. It goes on to discuss different religions, like Christianity and Judaism. This article is verifiable because it has many sources with a considerable amount from the Bible. (Accessed November 3, 2009)
Asteroid Mitigation Strategies, submitted by Cleo Burnett.
The Wikipedia article is maintained by the Wikipedia Foundation, Inc. and contains information on the history of past asteroid strike events, planetary defense strategies, possible future asteroid strikes and asteroid in pop culture. Topics with their own pages mentioned in the article are linked. Sources and information can be added by any reader who wishes to change the article, with sources being linked at the bottom as well as other external links. The article contains a lot of information but is organized in an outline divided into subsections that allow the reader to quickly find the information specifically being searched for. This page is recommended for anyone looking for non biased information about asteroid mitigation. (Accessed 11 November 2009)
Book of Revelation, submitted by Bryan Benhart.
The page itself is very extensive, covering all aspects of the Book of Revelation. Careful not to present too much of one opinion of the other, each idea is presented equally and fairly, allowing readers to decide for themselves; this includes ten different interpretations of the Book of Revelation. The information presented includes both facts, and theories, notifying each time when doing so. However, this does not mean that everything that is verified resists opinion. Glancing through the footnotes, I happened to come across a topic that stated that not many people give reasons as to why the Book of Revelation is only said to be written by one author. While many believe this to be the case, not all agree. The footnotes handle this problem by citing some of those who accept the idea and some of those who reject it, making this article immune to opinion. (Accessed November 4, 2009)
Doomsday Argument, submitted by Galen George.
Edgar Cayce
The Wikipedia article on Edgar Cayce is a highly conclusive page on the so-called "Sleeping Prophet". Stylistically, the site is easy to follow, with a table of content directly after the short introduction, following with detailed information about Cayce's life. The site provides the facts clearly, in common language, and without bias towards belief or skepticism in relation to Cayce's talents, while still providing the general audience in-depth information on his recorded prophecies. The site would provide the basic background research of the prophet, but if the topic were to be further pursued, more research becomes necessary; Wikipedia states that more verification of the information is needed. The site also incorporates other topics and links to related sites of Cayce's so-called talents. The wiki page presents both the support and skepticism in equal amounts as to not diminish the neutrality of the rest of the page. (Accessed November 3, 2009)
End Times, submitted by Rudy DeStefano
This web article shows the different ideas about the world ending that are in the different holy books from the different religions. It first off talks about Judaism and the Jewish eschatology written in the Tenakh, the Jewish Bible and the Talmud, the Jewish laws and ethics. In Christian eschatology and other religions such as: Christian, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, and Jehovah Witnesses use the Book of Revelation to predict the end times. Even though they all use the Book of Revelation, there are some small differences between their predictions and what will take place when the end time comes. This article also touches on the eschatology in the religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Greek Mythology. They also briefly discuss the most famous of all of them the Mayan calendar which predicts the end of the world in the year 2012. (Accessed November 4 2009)
Eschatology (Religious Movement), submitted by Molly Duerig
This Wikipedia webpage focuses on eschatology as defined by William W. Walter, an American writer who left the Christian Science church in the early 20th century to form his own organization. His teachings, eventually dubbed "eschatology", have much in common with those of the Christian Science church; however, they also differ in several fundamental areas. For example, both groups believe in the existence of psycho kinesis; however, unlike Christian Scientists, eschatologists do not believe in a personal God. The webpage outlines these and other crucial similarities and differences very clearly. It also provides a brief biography of Walter. Like all Wikipedia articles, it is a bit difficult to discern exactly who the author(s) of the webpage is due to ambiguous usernames. (Accessed November 24, 2009.)
Overpopulation, submitted by Jennifer Oskin
Using seemingly credible sources such as professors from prestigious universities, studies by the UN, New Scientist Magazine findings, etc., most subtopics pertaining to overpopulation are covered here, from population growth statistics to the effects of overpopulation. A content box at the top of the page allows the viewer to skip to whatever section is relevant to his needs, information is given in bullets wherever possible, and hundreds of words on the page are highlighted blue for easy access to definitions. Everything is updated quite frequently, except for a "High Population Density" Map calculated in 1994, which is arguably outdated. If looking for counter-findings on overpopulation don't expect to find them here; the majority of information is already biased towards facts that support the notion of overpopulation, but additional links are offered at the bottom of the page for further research. (Accessed 3 November 2009)
Rapture, submitted by Bryan Chavez.
The "anonymous authors"for this article in Wikipedia present the rapture in an easy and understandable way. This article does not say whether the rapture is true of false it simple gives the different thoughts and ideas. The purpose of the article is to inform people of the ideas that are backed with reliable sources. The article also gives the passages in the Bible that most people use to back up their thoughts on the rapture. It describes the differences between dispensationalist, amillennialists, postmillennialists, historic premillennialists along with description on pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, partial-tribulation and post-tribulation. It describes the important difference of how the rapture is interpreted. It also explains that the Catholics and the Reformed churches do not believe in the rapture unlike most Evangelical churches. It also talks about the timing that the rapture is believed to be started. (Accessed January 3, 2010)
Ultimate Fate of the Universe, submitted by Max Sosa.
This article aims to inform readers about the many different theories that exist as far as the end of our universe is concerned. This article includes reasons why it is believed the universe will end, end of the world theories, as well as other views on the end of the world such as religious and science fiction views. This article would interest anybody who is interested in the science behind why the world would end. The article gives us a wide variety of information and scenarios; there is the big crunch, the big rip, and the false vacuum effect. This article also has information about how scientists came to acknowledge such theories, from Albert Einstein's general relativity theory, to Edwin Hubble's observations of the expanding universe, and even the explanation of possible shapes of the universe. (Accessed November 3, 2009)
Water Crisis, submitted by Elizabeth Kremer.
This Wikipedia article centers on the idea of a water crisis, the major topics include health problems due to water shortages and pollution, the impact that a water crisis would have to the animals and wildlife, the economic and political impacts that would occur, and information on regions already suffering from a water crisis. The website seems to marginally cover the topic; it could add a lot more to the good information that is presented, like more examples or support. The information is logically organized, and sections are clearly labeled which helps you to find the information easily. This source has seems to be mostly fact and not that pressing with its biases. Reliability of this source could be questioned, since it is a Wikipedia article that means that anyone can correct or change the information on this page. (Accessed November 4, 2009)
Whore of Babylon, submitted by Bethany Cocchi.
Wikipedia's article, "Whore of Babylon", separates different scholarly theories regarding the woman in purple and scarlet in the Book of Revelations. The page firsts cites passages from the Bible regarding the woman. Then it lists the most agreeable and evidential places/religions that scholars have narrowed down to being the representation of the Whore of Babylon, and these are the Roman Empire, Jerusalem, and The Catholic Church. The evidence to support these theories comes from the Bible, historical proof, and scholarly writings. The section after the three theories is called "Other Views", which include Jehovah Witness, Latter day Saints, and the Idealistic view, which are not popular theories among scholars. The site points out the "Idealistic view" section as not verifiable, making readers aware of its lack of references. The site also offers a side bar titled "Christian Eschatology" that contains links to other religious theories. (Accessed November 12, 2009)
Zombie Apocalypse, submitted by Max Luskin
This page covers the range of zombie apocalypse scenarios. Zombie outbreaks are usually depicted as apocalyptic because of the complete breakdown of society that accompanies it. The page is divided into seven body sections, which discuss zombie apocalypses in movies, graphic novels, books, TV, video games, music, and theater. These sections contain links to other Wikipedia pages concerning the more specific subject matter (i.e. Night of the Living Dead). In addition to different media portrayals, there are also sections devoted to common themes and a breakdown of the different genres of zombie apocalypse story. The page is often updated several times a day, and links to most of its sources.

This page last updated 21 November 2011