December 21, 2012: Doomsday



...Just kidding.

It's about that time of the decade where we have another 'end of the world' conspiracy. Rumor has it that this December marks the end of the Mayan calendar, which also means the end of the world. There is even reports of astrophysicists purchasing survival shelters that are buried 20 ft in the ground claiming that on 'doomsday' we are scheduled to be hit with solar flares and radiation.

                If these smart and educated individuals believe that the world really going to end, should the rest of us? Not according to NASA. NASA recently published an article addressing these frequently asked questions and concerns about this December's doomsday.



     The origin of this prediction originates from a claim that a planet discovered by the Sumerians, called Nibiru, was headed to collide with Earth. The initial collision date of this catastrophe was predicted to happen in May of 2003, which was pushed until December of 2012 when nothing happened. It was pushed to this December because it aligns with the Mayan calendar winter solse tice in 2012.

                This brings me to the next issue on my chopping block: the Mayan prediction theory.  The prediction originates from an inscription on a tablet in the Mayan temple of Tortuguero. The inscription refers to Bolon Yokte, a god associated with war and the underworld, descending from the sky in 2012. This table is controversial because we could simply be misinterpreting this god's descent to be apocalyptic, and also the tablet is partly illegible. Also, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. It just marks the start of another long-count period on the Mayan calendar.

                In order for the world to end, a disaster would have to happen on a huge scale, which would probably come from outer space. NASA addresses this point, saying that there are no major meteors headed our way. The last major meteor disaster was 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs became extinct. These are rare occurrences and there are scientists monitoring any large asteroids near Earth. We would be aware of them long before we would be in danger. NASA also states that there are no special risk associated with 2012 for solar storms. Solar activity runs on a regular cycle and peaks every 11 years. We are not due for a major storm.


                According to NASA, the Earth is in no danger. Do you believe this? Will you sleep soundly on December 20, 2012? Have you heard of any other theories of how the world is supposed to end?


I watched a TVdocumentary on this. It showed some of people who believe in this theory and how they were preparing for the doomsdays. One of the guy lived inside the cave on the top of a mountain. He was away from home and all of his family. It was ironic for me to see how he wants to survive all by himself, not with his wife and children. Like the NASA's opinion, some of the data are not proven well enough. Also, I remember the Mayan calendar did not end at 2012 acutally just like you said! It was deciphered incorrectly according to the experts on the Mayan studies. (link to the documentary I do not believe the world will end on december 20th 2012. I will come back and enjoy my college life in 2013.

The simple fact that "you never know" resonates in the back of my mind. I'm no skeptic when it comes to Mayan doomsday predictions. However, people don't realize that a global catastrophe could occur any day, not just December 21, 2012. People will think "we're out of the woods" for a while after December 21, but based on this Earth's history, anything could happen on any given day with no warning. One thing I know for sure is we definitely won't be out of the water after December 21. NASA estimates that a 60-meter asteroid will come dangerously close to Earth around February of 2013. It's expected to fly within 27,000 km of our planet which is reportedly closer than some satellites orbit the Earth. While we may not experience any dangers on December 21, we may get dangerously close to a 2013 doomsday.

Let's all take a moment to reflect on all of the previously disproved "doomsday predictions." An article in Live Science ( reviews 10 of them. These include predictions in 1806, 1843, 1891, 1910, 1982, 1997, 1999, 2 different dates during 2000, and even one just a few years ago, in 2008. If you are interested in reading about these false predictions, you should check out the link that I posted above. It is certainly interesting when looking at the end of the world predictions the way that people do believe so strongly that they make intense preparations. I am optimistic (as the last student to comment is) that we will all be returning after the semester break!

This example really showcases the importance of taking scientific theories - even those that claim to be based on reputable research - with a grain of salt. There are so many theories out there that even so-called "2012ologists" don't always agree with each other.

Personally, I don't believe we're more at risk of a major disaster happening at the end of this month than we are on any other day of the year. It seems as though doomsday speculators pick and choose a combination of historical observations, geological research, and ancient prophecies that will fit with their predictions. The fact is, no amount of scientific research and observation will be able to accurately predict WHAT will happen in the future, let alone the exact date on which it will happen.

I completely agree with Carolyn. These theories arise every couple of years and never once has a catastrophic event occurred on that day. Basically the media blows these stories out of proportion even though there is no real science behind these assumptions. I understand that anything is possible but people are basing this on the fact that a calender made thousands of years ago ended on that date. This was a theory blown out of proportions and even created a popular documentary television series in the process. I would feel pretty stupid if something really bad happened on that day in a couple weeks but the chances are the same as any other day on the calender.

I think it is crazy how far people are taking this. In scientific terms there is no scientific evidence that proves the apocalypse is about to dawn upon us. I think that if this was set to happen thirty years ago people would have not cared nearly as much as they do now a days. In todays time we have social media, the internet, and a boat load of people in hollywood who love to make doomsday movies. All three of these aspects have made this turn into such a bigger deal than it should be. Everytime something like this is suppose to happen it never does and then everyone just laughs at it. Look at Y2K, 2003, and last year. I think the same will happen on he 21st. What baffles me is that people somehow still believe this even with zero evidence besides the mayan inscriptions. Most of the people above me have the same opinion, and if they didn't i don't think they would be be blogging, an instead getting their pointless shelter prepared. In a few weeks hopefully the day will pass through and maybe people will finally give up on this whole apocalypse thing. If we are all here on the 22nd, although this class would be finished it would still be interesting to see a follow up blog on peoples reactions towards the event compared to what they really thought was going to happen.

The apocalypse happened over a year ago. The Mayan calendar never took leap days into account. Roman emperor Julius Caesar invented the Leap Day in 45 BC, meaning that between then and now, there have been 515 Leap years, and thus, 515 extra days. If you were to take out the Leap Days from our calendar, what we know as December 21, 2012, would actually be September 2, 2013. Source

To say the world is going to end December 21st is completely absurd to me. Not for a second of my life have I believed the world will end. I'll come straight out and say if you believe the world is going to end I'll laugh in your face. That's not to say you aren't entitled to your own opinion. However, it seems like every year there is a new end of the world. From Harold Camping in 1994, Y2K, Harold Camping again twice in 2011, and now the mayans. I have zero reason to believe the world will end. And if it does so be it, we'll all be dead.

I actually found an article which thoroughly debunks each and every one of the popular apocalypse myths. Also, I don't remember where I heard it from, but I've heard that the fact that the Mayan calendar was created before the invention of leap years, the actual Mayan apocalypse (which according to the article is just the end of a calendar cycle), would have happened almost a year ago. Personally, I plan on sleeping my butt off after my last final on Friday, and just in case, crossing my fingers before I go to bed.

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