The predictions of the demise of the world have been many and varied. They have also all been wrong. Still, people seem to want to believe the end is near. Why? When I was a student, the end of the world sounded like a great excuse for not doing my homework. The failures of the predictions made at those times have left me somewhat skeptical. Further, it occurs to me that it is much more profitable to oppose these predictions. If they come true, who is going to be able to tell me “told you so.” Not only that, but anyone else skipping homework is probably not going to be taking my job.
So there must be some other reason for people to believe we are all doomed. I think for some people it makes them seem special. Hey, after 4 billion years of Earth history, a million years of human evolution, 50,000 years of homo sapiens, several thousand years of written human history, you must be special if you happen to be alive when everything goes dead. I guess.
But the 100% failure rate of destructive deductions means that we are not likely to be so special. Still it seems to fall to astronomers to explain why the latest predictions fit into the same category: 100% wrong.
The latest predicted date for our sudden disappearance is December 21, 2012. There are reasons for this date. There have been reasons for all previous predictions. Let’s look at some of these reasons.
1. The Mayan Calendar says so. What the Mayan calendar actually does is it shows a cycle ending December 21, 2012. Remember Y2K. That was our calendar ending a cycle (and beginning a new one) on January 1, 2000. But Mayans, they still do exist you know, don’t think their own calendar is predicting the end of the world. See Anthony Aveni’s book “The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2012.” or see http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09317/1013051-60.stm
2. Nibiru is coming. In 2003, the world was supposed to end because of a rogue planet called Nibiru. When that failed the planet took a 9 year non-victory lap. Along the way it picked up friends like the dwarf planet Eris, a Pluto-like object that was recently discovered. Suffice it to say that any planet with malevolent 2012 intentions would have been spotted by amateur astronomers a long time ago. But for more details on why Nibiru is a total myth see the first link on page 6 under “More 2012 Links”.
3. Galactic alignment. The biggest lies work best if they have some truth to them. On December 21, 2012, if you look from the Earth toward the Sun you will be looking near the center of the universe. You may also get temporary spots on your eye from looking at the Sun so stop that. But this “alignment” shouldn’t come as a shock. Sagittarius is one of the zodiacal constellations and that means the Sun passes through it. Sagittarius is also the location of the galactic center, just follow the “smoke” that rises from the teapot. So that “alignment” occurs every year during the current epoch. Nothing special about the alignment in 2012. Now, it turns out that sometimes this alignment is a bit closer than others but even those most interested admit that 1999 was the best of these alignments. See http://www.gaiamind.org/whynot2012.htm
4. Brown Dwarfs. It might be that large rogue planets would be spotted but what about the brown dwarf. Aren’t they too dark to see? Well, they are dark in their current locations but what about one heading for us? Well, a brown dwarf is many times larger than Jupiter. And if it was inside of our solar system, it would be extremely bright just from the reflected sun light. Furthermore, that much mass would have gravitational effects that we would have noted long ago. Last June, a two-part miniseries called “Impact” looked at this possibility and talked about how a piece of a brown dwarf could hit the moon. They said that it would incredibly dense matter but how could that be?! A brown dwarf is only dense because it has so much mass. If it broke into pieces, it wouldn’t have anywhere near the same mass. But the star of the show, Natasha Henstridge explains it this way “... there happens to be a brown dwarf, which is sort of like a meteor”. Okay, science isn’t her thing.
5. NASA is trying to hide this. Notice how NASA is NOT hiding 99942 Apophis. This is an asteroid that will come closer to Earth than the satellite that brings your TV signal. And we know a date, Friday the 13th, April 2029. There is still a chance it could hit the earth in 2036. There is no data being hidden, see Wikipedia. NASA knows that it could get unlimited funding for decades if the danger was clear enough. So why aren’t the doomsayers worried about 2029 or 2036? Are they trying to hide something? No, they’ll be back. After the money-making opportunities of 2012 have passed (probably on the morning of December 22, 2012), the show will move down the road just like the snake oil salesmen of old did when the available clientele have caught on. Of course, there will be intermediate dates between 2012 and 2029 - just wait and see.
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