I would hope that every single reader of this blog would know that the predicted Mayan calendar apocalypse, that some people (including the History Channel, as annoying as that is) will happen in 2012, is nothing but pseudoscientific junk. First of all, the Mayans themselves didn’t make that prediction, it’s based on the “end” of the Mayan calendar. The Mayan calendar just starts again, just like all modern calendars. Those Mayans were brilliant astronomers, which is more than I can say about the current gang of 2012 doomsday prophesiers!
Typical of nearly every single pseudoscientific pushing group, they either search for the evidence to support their claims, or even invent evidence based on just a thread of truth. In real science, we look at all the evidence, develop a hypothesis, test the hypothesis in controlled experiments, and then publish it in peer-reviewed journals. The Mayan doomsday pushers have a hypothesis that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world, so they go looking (while picking and choosing) for the evidence that may support their assertion. Of course, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and they don’t even have weak evidence. We shouldn’t even call it evidence.
NASA has published a response to the claims late last year:
Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.
Not much more to say than that. The apocalypse crowd also think there’s this huge planetary body, called Nibiru, that’s going to crash into the earth this year. There isn’t even imaginary evidence to support that belief. According to Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL,
This enormous planet is supposed to be coming toward Earth, but if it were, we would have seen it long ago. And if it were invisible somehow, we would have seen the [gravitational] effects of this planet on neighboring planets. Thousands of astronomers who scan the sky on a daily basis have not seen this.
Of course, there’s a worldwide astronomers conspiracy funded by Big Pharma and evolutionists to block this information so that we can store all the vaccines in deep caves….sorry, I digress. Yeomans continues debunking the conspiracy theory:
Can you imagine thousands of astronomers who observe the skies on a daily basis keeping the same secret from the public for several years?
No, since a lot of astronomers are amateurs also looking to make a name for themselves, so they would be all over the internet with photos of the huge planet coming our way.
Typical of the pseudoscience world, if one piece of evidence gets debunked, they just shake it off, and go to another one. Since they look for evidence of to support their theory rather seeing what theory is supported by the evidence. The next piece of evidence pushed by the apocalypse 2012 group is that solar flares are going to get us. But Yeomans pretty much demolishes the “solar flares” theory of the end of the world:
Radiation from solar flares can damage orbiting satellites, but Earth’s magnetosphere shields its inhabitants from the blasts, and the flares are not a health concern.
Oh, not solar flares, it’s a planetary alignment.
Then we have planetary alignments,” Yeomans said. Some doomsayers believe the other planets and the sun will align with the Earth in December and cause catastrophic tidal effects. “Well, first of all, there are no planetary alignments in December of 2012, and even if there were, there are no tidal effects on the Earth as a result. The only two bodies in the solar system that can affect the Earth’s tides are the moon, which is very close, and the sun, which is massive and also fairly close. But the other planets have a negligible effect on the Earth.
No no no no, it’s the magnetic poles switching.
The rotation axis can’t shift because the orbit of the moon around the Earth stabilizes it and doesn’t allow it to shift.
Yeomans then noted that the magnetic field do shift every half-million years or so, but
…there’s no evidence it’s going to happen in December, and even if it were to be shifting, it takes thousands of years to do so. And even if it did shift, it’s not going to cause a problem on the Earth apart from the fact that we’re going to have to recalibrate our compasses.
Yeomans then puts the figurative nail in the figurative coffin of the Mayan apocalypse believers:
Since the beginning of time there have been literally hundreds of thousands of predictions for the end of the world, and we’re still here.
At least these people are less dangerous than the anti-vaxers.