December 21st 2012 is less than 90 days away. Skeptics say, “So what?”by Don Lacey on Sep. 27, 2012, under Armageddon, Critical Thinking, Education, Faith, Freethought, Freethought Events, History, Logic, Nature, Question of the Day!, Reason, Sanity, Science, Skepticism, That's Life!
Would you like to bring up a webpage that will count down the hours, minutes, and seconds until the predicted end of the world? Click right HERE. I might bring up the countdown clock from time to time since that will the date of my annual Solstice party and it would be helpful to let me know how much time I have left to prepare for it. Someone I know bet $5000 that the date will actually be the last day of life on earth. That’s a dumb bet! If it is the end of the world and she wins, she can’t use the money but if she loses she’ll have to continue past that date with a little less cash. Oh well, she didn’t ask me. I had some questions though. I asked her why she was so convinced that the end of the world would actually happen on that day. Her answer was that she Googled the date and there were over 2 million hits. She believes that there MUST be something to it because of all the hits. I just Googled “December 21 2012 facts” and got 65 million hits. The first one involves numerology; the second one talks about the Mayan Calendar. The third one involves the Bible code and some scary information on the Iranian nuclear arms program as well as sunspot activity and a bunch of other scary stuff. The fourth is a 6 minute YouTube video that seems to poo-poo the idea of the end of the world.
Here’s where Skepticism is very useful. It could have saved her from making a stupid bet. Consider this a public service announcement from your friends in the SkeptiAtheHumanScientist community. Don’t bet on it! The world won’t end on December 21st, 2012. Let me list you a few “seeds of doubt” that may get you started in your research on the subject:
- There is no doubt that the Mayans were clever and their calendar was super cool. December 21st marks the end of the 12th B’ak’tun or 5,125 years since “creation.” If we are to accept the “end date” are we also accepting the start date 5,125 years ago? Only fundamentalist Christians believe the Earth is that young.
- Let’s not forget that the ultra smart Mayan civilization is a gonner. They left their beautiful cities in ruins and while their descendents didn’t totally disappear, their civilization is but a shadow of its former self.
- Their collapse had no explanation. Mild droughts may have hastened the collapse but they were “out of business” well before the Spanish invasion.
The interesting thing about the Mayan prediction is that there is no prediction about how it will happen. Not to worry, though, there are plenty of imaginative Mulders out there that really want to believe that can come up with at least a half dozen ways it could happen. It makes a lot of sense that the end would come as the result of some solar event since the date just happens to be on the winter solstice but few of the end of the world scenarios involve the Sun.
- A really big solar maximum could kill us all. It would take about 8 minutes. None seems to be indicated, though.
- A black hole could take us out but we’d be seeing some evidence of its existence by now.
- Asteroids are sometimes fairly stealthy but we’re keeping an eye on the ones of interest.
- The most far out theory is about the planet Nibiru (also called Planet X). No planetary object that fits its description is near. Sorry.
- Global warming may cause us some grief but it’s unlikely to take us quickly and well past the 21st of December, 2012.
- To be fair, a nuclear exchange between superpowers could end it for most but still unlikely to happen before next Christmas.
December 21st, 2012 is going to be a great day and I plan on waking up on December 22nd with a hangover and the remnants of a party to clean up!