I made a presentation about geophysics and the Japan earthquake to 7th graders at a local middle school last week. One student asked if I thought the world would end in 2012. My answer, not surprisingly, was no. Read NASA's response to that popular belief.
There have also been stories about the end of the world beginning with the rapture on May 21. That's in 3 days! This is supposed to be accompanied by huge earthquakes. One website states "On Saturday May 21st, the world will experience what Harold Camping has predicted a Global Earthquake to be the Greatest Earthquake ever. Camping’s Prophecy Predictions have been proven incorrect in the past, but he has learned from the mistake he made in 1994, and is confident about the date of May 21 2011. If the earth starts to shake on May 21 Doomsday, how will you react?"
Why would anyone believe this? I'd like to say the spiritual diversity of people is one of the things that makes our species beautiful, but I'm not sure I can.