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NASA On Full Court Press To Deflate Doomsday Prophecies

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the don't-worry dept.

Earth 286

coondoggie writes "Insidious unknown planets lurking behind the sun ready to slam into Earth, supernova set to engulf the planet and giant, unseen asteroids screaming toward our globe are all theories espoused across the Internet as to how we will meet our demise on 12/21/2012. Do any of these theories even remotely hold out a scintilla of evidence they could happen? Not even remotely if you look at the material NASA has put out which pretty much debunks any and all of the notions being floated in across the cybersphere."

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Thank God... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319335)

...we have NASA. I was really beginning to think it was The End.

Re:Thank God... (4, Funny)

durrr (1316311) | about 2 years ago | (#42319381)

The amount of stupidity will exceed the swarzchild limit, luckily nothing will escape from here after that.

Re:Thank God... (2)

meglon (1001833) | about 2 years ago | (#42319541)

That is indeed the probably cause of our destruction.

Re:Thank God... (4, Funny)

meglon (1001833) | about 2 years ago | (#42319553)

That, and misspellings with no edti button....

Re:Thank God... (4, Insightful)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#42319609)

So crazy. This whole Mayan doomsday prophecy stuff all amounts to nothing more than an ancient form of the y2k bug.

Re:Thank God... (4, Informative)

meglon (1001833) | about 2 years ago | (#42319697)

Yep. But yah know, if you listen to the wind you hear the same nonsense every year, often multiple times a year, usually from religious nutcases that just have to have a screw loose (or several). Where i grew up we had a large Jehovah Witness church not too far down the road, and several times a summer a couple little old ladies would come by preaching the end of the world was coming in the next couple months.

It seems there are a small number of people in the world who's only interest is to have the world end... i just don't get it.

Re:Thank God... (1, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about 2 years ago | (#42320073)

What is frightening is how many apocalyptics hold public office....

Office Space: The Mayan Edition (2)

zooblethorpe (686757) | about 2 years ago | (#42319739)

So crazy. This whole Mayan doomsday prophecy stuff all amounts to nothing more than an ancient form of the y2k bug.

I've often imagined getting together a crew to do a remake of Office Space [imdb.com] , only where everyone would be wearing Mayan outfits [google.com] , carrying chisels, and complaining about having to rework all these bloody great stone calendar wheels [google.com] .

If I only had the time, and the budget... :)

Cheers,

Re:Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319849)

But the secret hidden scrolls found only yesterday predict worldwide flattulosis will overtake us. This is entirely the will of Bob and will only find fatalities in particular high offices and targeted cultures. Prepare to gas up like balloons, fly like rockets and stink like a senator gaped by a gorilla.

Re:Thank God... (4, Informative)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 2 years ago | (#42320041)

The Mayan's I've talked to think this is funny; they equate the calendar ending like December 31st. The cycle then repeats itself.

Re:Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320051)

Even better .. it signifies the first (and possible only) time an employer contractor overrunning budget and cut it off :

-What are you doing there?
Making Calenders.
-I asked you to make calendars a week ago, how long does it take??
Well, we're up to the year 2012. How far do you want us to go?
-WTF. Really? Knock that off and go kill a mammoth.

Re:Thank God... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320061)

no, the 13th baktun ends and the 14th one begins. no problem. the calendar doesn't "end"

Re:Thank God... (2)

turbidostato (878842) | about 2 years ago | (#42320353)

"So crazy. This whole Mayan doomsday prophecy stuff all amounts to nothing more than an ancient form of the y2k bug."

Not even that. It amounts to looking at your wristwatch at five to twelve and saying "oh, my god, the world ends in five minutes".

Re:Thank God... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#42319571)

The rate of accretion of the stupidity unfortunately causes some of that stupidity to radiate outwards due to conservation of angular momentum. Luckily we have the likes of NASA to try to prod it back into place.

What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (2)

Dr_Ish (639005) | about 2 years ago | (#42319357)

This is all disinformation. I read on the Internet that it was going to be a zombie apocalypse. Hell, even the government has plans preparing for it!

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319419)

Clearly you haven't been to a mall for a few weeks...

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (3, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#42319629)

Remember, only 4 shopping days until the apocalypse.

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 2 years ago | (#42319685)

I am spending my time and money buying peoples houses. Spent every penny I have, but on Jan 1/2013 I take possession of 4 houses.

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about 2 years ago | (#42319475)

That wouldn't be the end of the world, right? Most of us /.ers have extensive training in keeping zombies at bay, so we'll be fine.

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (1)

corrosive_nf (744601) | about 2 years ago | (#42320153)

That wouldn't be the end of the world, right? Most of us /.ers have extensive training in hiding in our parents' basement jerking off to manga.

FTFY

Re:What About The Zombie Apocalypse though? (1)

BSAtHome (455370) | about 2 years ago | (#42319555)

We're doomed, doomed I tell you.

Sure enough, I will survive the dooming by dooming the doomed. Doomed be you all!

(saved my ass)

But....On the internets... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319361)

I saw on the google with the the youtoob thingy that it was the trooth!

(I'm surprised the Fox news isn't reporting 'The End')

Re:But....On the internets... (0, Troll)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#42319595)

I'm surprised the Fox news isn't reporting 'The End'

Fox only wants to frighten it's viewers if it aligns with their agenda. There is nothing to be gained by Fox if all their viewers think the end is nigh.

Re:But....On the internets... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319699)

durrr posted: "The amount of stupidity will exceed the swarzchild limit, luckily nothing will escape from here after that."

And here in two posts we have examples of that unthinking reactionary bloviation right here on Slashdot.

Re:But....On the internets... (1)

MonkeyPaw (8286) | about 2 years ago | (#42320451)

I'm surprised the Fox news isn't reporting 'The End'

Fox only wants to frighten it's viewers if it aligns with their agenda. There is nothing to be gained by Fox if all their viewers think the end is nigh.

Really? Where were you during the Presidential election?

Additional Sources (3, Informative)

Krazy Kanuck (1612777) | about 2 years ago | (#42319367)

In the event the world ends or the source is /.'ed here's additional linkage Article links to a NASA video via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QY_Gc1bF8ds [youtube.com] And NASA.gov has much the same information. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/yoemans20091110.html [nasa.gov]

Complete waste of time... (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42319591)

...you can't fix stupid.

At least, not yet. Science, genetics specifically, still offers us a little hope of finally leaving superstition behind us.

But it sure is difficult to watch the deluded go about their hand waving, crystal gazing, and ancient calendar worshiping.

or an Evolutionary Adaptation (2)

m.shenhav (948505) | about 2 years ago | (#42319665)

While I have make plans for the weekend, I do believe that a small measure of such paranoia might be an evolutionary adaptation. While any particular doomsday scenario seems unlikely - our species and life at large has faced many in its history. Perhaps this paranoia has dispersed and thus saved some humans or their ancestors from localized natural disasters.

Re:Complete waste of time... (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | about 2 years ago | (#42319733)

Science, genetics specifically, still offers us a little hope of finally leaving superstition behind us.

Have you not seen idiocracy?
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0387808/ [imdb.com]
It seems much more likely, to me, that the future depicted in that film is our future.

Re:Complete waste of time... (2)

fyngyrz (762201) | about 2 years ago | (#42320021)

Yes, I've seen Idiocracy. In fact, I keep the intro on my iPad. :)

But I rather expect that when you can specify you want a smart child, you're going to want to, and then you're going to get one with critical thinking abilities, a decent grasp on reality, and superstition will die out within a few generations.

I think the way it'll most likely go is that if you don't see to it that your child is well gifted intellectually, society will treat you (and probably your kid) as a pariah.

Just as those who don't see to it that their kids get decent nutrition are looked down upon today. Only more so -- because the competitive advantage for everything from mates to jobs will be enormous.

It's just speculation, of course, but I'm pretty comfortable with it.

Re:Complete waste of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320163)

Sure you can fix stupid, all it takes is recycling a plastic bag...over their head.

Re:Complete waste of time... (2)

waynemcdougall (631415) | about 2 years ago | (#42320283)

...you can't fix stupid.

At least, not yet. Science, genetics specifically, still offers us a little hope of finally leaving superstition behind us.

But it sure is difficult to watch the deluded go about their hand waving, crystal gazing, and ancient calendar worshiping.

That's just the sort of thing a Capricorn would say!

Why? (2)

datsa (1951424) | about 2 years ago | (#42319409)

NASA already released a statement saying that they don't know of any significant astronomical events on Friday, and as far as they know, there's nothing to worry about. Beyond that, people are going to believe what they want to believe, and a "full court press" is not going to change that. Either that or they're in cahoots with Quetzlcoatl.

Of course they'd say that to avoid global panic (5, Informative)

SpankyDaMonkey (1692874) | about 2 years ago | (#42319429)

There's 2 options here:

1. Everything is fine, no gobal apocalypse

2. There's something on the way that's going to kill us all, but if we tell you about it the whole world will panic and riots will stop the government getting itself to safety along with a handpicked few 'key' people

Either way - they'll say it's safe

And on that note, I'm going to hang up my tin foil hat

Re:Of course they'd say that to avoid global panic (1)

plover (150551) | about 2 years ago | (#42319559)

3. The 'Pockyclipse is really on the way, but the NASA engineers are lying because they don't want to give up any precious engineer slots to save some useless politicians. Remember, NASA has all the keys to the escape rockets.

Re:Of course they'd say that to avoid global panic (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#42319737)

Actually, in some ways, we do that all the time.

If one of the active volcanoes go (e.g. Portland, Seattle), most people would die anyway, so no sense freaking them out.

Most people would just get on the highways, gridlock, and never have a chance to escape. Hot mud flows faster than you can drive, so you can't outrace it, or the ash scurf that would cover all the former flood plains, only way would be to drive on side streets up to the top of a ridge, and virtually nobody will do that, so what's the point? We don't even have enough helicopter lift capacity to rescue the schoolkids we're supposed to rescue when that happens.

Happy Doomsday!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319435)

A new international holiday.

Interesting propaganda campaign (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#42319447)

This hardly seems like it's worth NASA's effort. You already know that the loons won't be convinced by it. A press release consisting of the single word "NO" is all it should really take.

But it's also a great opportunity. Not on the 20th, but on the 22nd. When everybody wakes up, they say, "Wow, NASA got it right, and the kooks were kooks. Score one for science." It's nice to see science be able to just slam-dunk something without it getting balled up in revisionism, hedging, and accusations of malfeasance.

And if people learn just a little bit more about gravity, seasons, the solar system, and the galaxy, so much the better.

So kudos to NASA for seizing the day. "Proving that the world isn't ending" isn't really one of NASA's missions, but if it results in better support for NASA's real missions (both financially and in terms of having their results taken seriously), then I want to say "Good job" to their PR department. (Cheap, too!)

Re:Interesting propaganda campaign (1)

Delarth799 (1839672) | about 2 years ago | (#42319637)

What's really sad about all of this is that on Dec 22 all of those kooks will just scream about how they misinterpreted the information and they date is actually X years off or something about how their prayers to [insert deity here] were answered and the fact we are all alive is proof of his/her/its existence. Science might shine for a bit but it won't take long before everyone starts up with a new nutjob inspired notion of doom and gloom that science is again going to have to spend time showing wont actually happen.

Re:Interesting propaganda campaign (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319719)

In other words, never discount the ability of humans to run ahead of a tidal wave claiming to be leading it.

Re:Interesting propaganda campaign (3, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#42320405)

You'll never fix the kooks, but it's nice to score points with people who aren't yet kooks but seem more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt than you or I would.

In this case, I'm sure the kooks will find something to move on to, but with luck they'll move on to different things rather than all to the same thing. That's what's giving them so much media play.

Re:Interesting propaganda campaign (1)

the gnat (153162) | about 2 years ago | (#42320247)

This hardly seems like it's worth NASA's effort. You already know that the loons won't be convinced by it.

Stupid question: how many of these loons actually exist? Maybe I'm an out-of-touch elitist or don't visit the right websites, but the only discussion of the apocalypse that I recall seeing is in news articles about the phenomenon and/or debunking it. Which leads me to believe that it's at least 90% a media-created phenomenon, with only a mere handful of nutjobs actually believing this stuff. (A more intriguing possibility is that the entire thing really is bullshit, just someone's social engineering experiment, or perhaps a viral marketing campaign.)

Re:Interesting propaganda campaign (2)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#42320367)

I can tell you that I encountered a fair number of them online, about a year ago. I expected it to ramp up, but at least in my experience, it actually largely evaporated.

Idiots (5, Funny)

Mr2cents (323101) | about 2 years ago | (#42319455)

I'm postponing my doomsday-device test until December 22, just so I can laugh at those idiots who believe all that nonsense.

Reverse Psychology? (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | about 2 years ago | (#42319467)

I guess they think that if they don't try to debunk something that is important to only a very small percentage of the public, that that group will then assume NASA's silence is "proof" that Nibiru is on its way to smash into us.

Hey, I'm all for a good conspiracy theory but this is utter horseshit.

Humanity has so many things on its plate that coming up with a contrived pseudo-history doomsday event is just ridiculous. Hey, Nibiru nuts,I've got some brand new black-and-white Nike Decades athletic shoes [wikipedia.org] for you to try on.

one of these days...... (2)

m.shenhav (948505) | about 2 years ago | (#42319709)

...... some Black Swan will hit. We can't know when or how big it will be, the only certainty is uncertainty.

We've got them now! (4, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | about 2 years ago | (#42319471)

They wouldn't deny it unless it were true!

Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319483)

...and we should trust NASA over everyone else because?

Re:Really? (3, Informative)

Sperbels (1008585) | about 2 years ago | (#42319581)

Smart people know things that dumb people don't?

Or... (2)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#42319487)

<PARANOID-CONSPIRACY-THEORY>
It's the supernova, because there's no way that NASA could know about it in advance!
</PARANOID-CONSPIRACY-THEORY>

Re:Or... (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about 2 years ago | (#42319647)

Actually, there is a way to know courtesy of Neutrino spikes caught via the detectors in the SNEWS [wikipedia.org] . Only gives a few hours warning though.

Re:Or... (3, Informative)

Immerman (2627577) | about 2 years ago | (#42320123)

Except that they could. Obviously they wouldn't have any warning before the energy front hit, but assuming they correctly understand the physics behind supernovae they can make a pretty solid prediction as to which stars are capable of going supernovae, as well as how close the resulting explosion would have to be to cause damage to the Earth. And none of the stars close enough to cause damage if they exploded is capable of doing so.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Whoosh.

Re:Or... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#42320395)

There's no danger of a supernova either.

To pose even the slightest threat, a star would have to go supernova within about 50 light years of our star system. All the stars that close to ours are known and cataloged, and not one of them is massive enough to be capable of going supernova in its lifetime. The nearest star capable of going supernova is IK Pegasi, which is about 150 ly away.

Re:Or... (1)

dido (9125) | about 2 years ago | (#42320413)

To cause significant danger to earth's biosphere, a supernova would have to occur within about 100 light years in order to cause any kind of significant harm to the biosphere, and there isn't any supernova progenitor object within that distance at this time. Supernova progenitors are not that hard to find: you'd need either a very heavy white dwarf orbiting a more massive companion star that is gaining a lot of mass from accretion (to produce a Type Ia supernova), or a massive star nearing the end of its life cycle (Type Ib/Ic or Type II supernova). Of Type Ia progenitors, IK Pegasi is the closest, at 150 light years, but at the rate it's going, it probably won't go off for another several million years, but it's also moving away from us, and by then it'll be a lot further away than it is today. Alpha Lupi is the closest Type II supernova candidate, at 550 light years, followed by Antares at 600, and those are all much too far away to cause any significant harm. Geminga was only 550 light years away and it went supernova 300,000 years ago, and that wasn't associated with a major mass extinction. A hypernova from a really big star would of course have longer destructive range (perhaps 50 times more), but there aren't any stars capable of exploding like that which are near enough to cause any significant damage. The really big stars like VY Canis Majoris and Eta Carinae that could become hypernovae are all more than 4000 light years away, far too distant to cause any real harm given the kind of explosions they could conceivably produce.

Re:Or... (1)

sconeu (64226) | about 2 years ago | (#42320477)

Obviously, everyone in this subthread missed the PARANOID-CONSPIRACY-THEORY tags.

We know the real story.. (2)

MaerD (954222) | about 2 years ago | (#42319495)

The truth is that Desmond Miles saved us all at the last minute. Otherwise it would have been much worse. However, he let out some sort of demi-god thing that's going to make ubisoft lots of money for the next few years.

21th month? (1)

loufoque (1400831) | about 2 years ago | (#42319515)

Good thing there are only 12 months in a year then!

Re:21th month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319611)

MM/DD/YYYY, it's a format that irrational people use. I see it frequently from my fellow Americans. Personally, I've always liked YYYY/MM/DD, because it can't get confused for the other two common formats, and because it sorts nicely in ls.

Re:21th month? (1)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | about 2 years ago | (#42320155)

MM/DD/YYYY, it's a format that irrational people use. I see it frequently from my fellow Americans. Personally, I've always liked YYYY/MM/DD, because it can't get confused for the other two common formats, and because it sorts nicely in ls.

Not an American by the way, but it's hardly irrational. It's the numeric representation of the way dates are usually spoken. "February 14th, 2003 was notable because while an exceptional number of normal people were busy getting laid, most Slashdotters weren't." The closest similar format adds a superfluous word. "The 14th of February 2004 was no different with regards to the carnal delights not enjoyed by Slashdotters." Nobody except voice-overs in movies use your preferred format in speech. "2005... February 14th... all over the world human beings are overcome by erotic satisfaction... except one man. That man is... Anonymous Coward."

The best way is to stop being moronic and insist every date needs to be expressed numerically. I prefer to never write months numerically. I use "Feb 14/2006". If your hard drive is too full of porn to fit those extra bytes, well, you're beyond help.

Re:21th month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320339)

The proper format is YYYY-MM-DD, not YYYY/MM/DD.

21..? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319533)

what month is the 21st?

Re:21..? (0)

interval1066 (668936) | about 2 years ago | (#42319563)

This and our complete inability to embrace the metric system are one of the few things I'll accept that Europeans are right about.

Re:21..? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#42319693)

This and our complete inability to embrace the metric system are one of the few things I'll accept that Europeans are right about.

Metric system?

Heck, we don't even have high speed trains.

NASA did not mention... (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about 2 years ago | (#42319545)

Alien invasion
Stargates
Wormholes
Radiation (cosmic or otherwise)
Thermonuclear war
Dinosaurs
Or atlanteans.

My vote for likely events on friday are : wormholes and or aliens.

Re:NASA did not mention... (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42320377)

Alien invasion: Mars Attacks!
Stargates: Stargate
Wormholes: see "Stargate"
Radiation (cosmic or otherwise): Hulk
Thermonuclear war: Terminator
Dinosaurs: Jurassic Park
Or atlanteans: Why do you hate people from Atlanta?

A day as any other (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 2 years ago | (#42319587)

These crackpots do have some entertainment value though, my employer is throwing a party as a result on that day. But other than that, the usual: Stupidity, self-aggrandizement,... . Human scum at work. I think if the right 5% died, this planet could be a peaceful paradise.

Re:A day as any other (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319745)

These crackpots do have some entertainment value though, my employer is throwing a party as a result on that day. But other than that, the usual: Stupidity, self-aggrandizement,... . Human scum at work. I think if the right 5% died, this planet could be a peaceful paradise.

No doubt an enlightened person such as yourself should be the one deciding who the 'right' 5% are, eh? If only you could get rid of 'those' people.

While evidence is lacking... (1)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | about 2 years ago | (#42319605)

...I'm going to laugh my ass off if the apocalypse DOES happen on Friday. I mean, I'll laugh as long as I'm able to...probably with quite a few swearwords and an "about damn time"

Re:While evidence is lacking... (1)

tolkienfan (892463) | about 2 years ago | (#42320019)

You're going to laugh at all those rational folk who correctly based their plans on available evidence?
That makes sense.

Works for me - fewer people taking my wave (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 2 years ago | (#42319679)

The more of you believe there is no Mayan Apocolypse, the fewer people crowding me from pole position when I catch the wave after the Mayan Apocolypse and surf safely to land.

Oh, and if you could keep it down when you're dying, I'd appreciate it, cause screams really harsh my mellow.

All in fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319741)

You guys understand that the vast, overwhelming majority of people are having fun with this Mayan thing, right? That there are only a teeny tiny number of conspiracy nuts and other wackos that actually think the world is going to end? And you know what's the MOST fun for these people? Reading about Slashdot and NASA news postings "debunking" their fun.

Hee hee. Haven't had this much fun since Hale-Bopp

Why is NASA spending even one second doing this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319755)

I can think of better things for them to be doing with my money. Let the wackjobs hide in their basements and bunkers. Who gives a flying fsck?

Re:Why is NASA spending even one second doing this (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 2 years ago | (#42320297)

Because it gets them headlines.

I'm convinced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319763)

I'm convinced that the threat is real, and as a result I have signed up for the maximum amount of debt I could and, frankly, I'm in the process of blowing through every last penny I have. I can't point to any particular proof, but I'm certain this entire planet will be "reset" in a matter of days.

Re:I'm convinced (1)

Iamthecheese (1264298) | about 2 years ago | (#42320007)

sell me your stuff for cheap, have more money!

Mayans were stupid. (2)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about 2 years ago | (#42319783)

No offense intended to Mayans. I am sure they were very smart relative to other primitive people, and are probably not more stupid than a lot of people living today (i.e. the people that defer to Mayans for modern doomsday predictions). The fact remains that science is by far the best tool available for explaining the universe and making predictions about future events. The Mayans and a lot of other ancient civilizations did a lot of things that could be considered scientific (like noticing patterns in motion of celestial bodies), but this is more of a proto-science that was mixed in with religion and other superstition. Looking back on Mayan civilization the only things we actually learn are about what the Mayans knew. This is interesting for anthropological reasons, but they didn't have any scientific knowledge that we don't already have. They didn't know anything about Newtons laws, relativity, Maxwell's equations, Quantum Mechanics, etc. They don't have any of the tools necessary TO predict any kind of astronomical doomsday. We (i.e. modern society + our current scientific knowledge) might not be able to either, but we are orders of magnitude more likely to be correct. Even if by some strange coincidence the world ends in 2012, it will be just that, a coincidence. There are 7 billion people in the world. Every day has no doubt been singled out as a doomsday by one nutjob or another. Picking an entire year increases your odds of being right by 365 times, and it will still be wrong in 13 days. It is not even accepted that the Mayans even predicted the end of the world, much less that they predicted it to happen in 2012. All I am saying is that whatever predictions the Mayans (or anyone else with their level of scientific understanding) may have possibly made about the end of the world, are almost certainly wrong.

Oh Dear... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#42319791)

I hope the weather's nice so I can get in a skydive before or better yet during the apocalypse. I bet it'd be quite a sight to see from 12,000 feet. I guess I'll just have to keep skydiving all that day in the hopes that I can catch it at exactly the right time!

Anyone want to freak out some poor grocery store clerk by buying like 40 pounds of kool aid and rat poison? A couple of those simpletons have already mentioned the impending doomsday to me, so I'm sure they'd know what they thought you were up to! Take a video and post it to youtube!

Report from December 23rd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319801)

I jumped into the trusty time machine and went to December 23rd, 2012. Everything is still here.

Re:Report from December 23rd (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42320417)

You dumbass, you should have gone to the 25th to see what you're getting for Christmas!

Nothing to worry about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319805)

Even if there's a giant planet coming down to hit the Earth, we all know that Korben Dallas and Leeloo are going to save us all!

Re:Nothing to worry about (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42320433)

Even if there's a giant planet coming down to hit the Earth, we all know that Korben Dallas and Leeloo Dallas Multipass are going to save us all!

FTFY

You think that's stupid and pointless (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | about 2 years ago | (#42319809)

The university I went to put something on this nonsense in one of their mailings to shill for donations. (Something about how one of their archeology professors looked into this and proved it wasn't going to happen.) My reaction? If you've got enough money to blow on this horseshit you obviously don't need a donation from me and would probably blow it on something just as rediculous if I did give it to you. (Yes, this is at a legit university that is normally well respected.)

Epoch Fail (3, Funny)

guttentag (313541) | about 2 years ago | (#42319831)

Eschatology [wikipedia.org] is simply a matter of your particular brand of religion.

Every Unix user knows [wikipedia.org] the world doesn't end until January 18th or 19th, 2038.
Mac users know [forensicswiki.org] the world doesn't end until February 6, 2040, at 6:25:15 a.m.
Windows users know that the world ended at the dawn of the Ballmerzoic Epoch in January 2000.

(I couldn't remember when the Ballmer Epoch began, so I asked Google and somehow got "Did you mean: when did batman take over Microsoft?")

Vogons (4, Funny)

DaveAtFraud (460127) | about 2 years ago | (#42319835)

Of course NASA doesn't know that the Vogons will destroy the Earth on 22 December 2012 to make way for an intergalactic bypass. They missed the notification. The Vogons will miss their originally scheduled date of the 21st because, as usual, the construction project is behind schedule. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Cheers,
Dave

An Accurate Statement (1)

KalvinB (205500) | about 2 years ago | (#42319871)

"The world isn't going to end because the Mayan Calendar says so."

Science cannot predict world ending/mass extinction asteroid strikes much in advance.

Science cannot predict catastrophic earthquakes or volcanic eruptions.

The world is going to end when the world is going to end. We simply don't have technology to predict when really bad things are going to happen.

"As of the end of 2004, astronomers had discovered more than two thirds of the larger Near Earth Asteroids (diameter greater than 1 km). None of the known asteroids is a threat, but we have no way of predicting the next impact from an unknown object. "

http://impact.arc.nasa.gov/intro_faq.cfm [nasa.gov]

NASA isn't debunking anything. The world is as likely to end on the 21st as any other day.

Re:An Accurate Statement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320429)

Actually, from astronomical sources at least, we can be very confident in our predictions. A mass extinction level asteroid would be something we'd see many, many years in advance. Worst case, we'd see it just before it hits us - that is, a few years. More likely, we'd see it tens or hundreds of years early, and be constantly refining its trajectory until we could tell you which satellites it'd knock down on its way to impact.

Similarly with supernovae, stars don't just explode all of a sudden. The only nearby one that's remotely close is Eta Carinae, and even when that one goes it'll be nothing more than a bright light in the night sky.

So you're mostly right - but I'd say there's even less of a chance of the world ending on the 21st than any day in the future.

Proof the end in nigh... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#42319877)

The W3C announced a finalized HTML5 Spec. Yep it's the end of the world.

NASA makes it obvious we are doomed (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#42319879)

Judging from NASA, you would have to think we are quite doomed.

The fact is NASA is trying WAY too hard for what should be a non-event. If they really believed what they say, they would not produce a long video then release it early, nor would they go through so much effort to keep everyone calm when no-one was really panicking.

At this point they look to be calming the masses while the elite are shipped to secret off-planet doomsday shelters on the moon. Nuts of course but they are making it look that way.

P.S. I apologize for any delays in responding to replies, moncrete is awfully tough on WiFi signals.

Re:NASA makes it obvious we are doomed (3, Interesting)

GiganticLyingMouth (1691940) | about 2 years ago | (#42320351)

On NPR a while back there was an interview with a NASA scientist about the doomsday predictions. He runs the Q/A column "Ask an Astrobiologist" responsible for answering questions posed to NASA, which as of late have mostly centered around Dec 21st. He was incredulous that anyone would believe these stories, but as the same time took it very seriously; he mentioned that many of the people writing to him were of the younger generations (i.e. schoolkids) genuinely concerned about whether the world was going to end. This was the demographic that concerned him. One such excerpt -- "Though some of the questions may seem frivolous and outlandish, Morrison receives queries from people who are legitimately concerned and contemplating suicide. "Another extreme one ... I got was quite touching. It was: My only friend is my little dog. When should I put her to sleep so she won't suffer in the cataclysm?" It's easy to dismiss the doomsday people as loons (and most are), but some of them are just kids so we should focus more on taking them seriously and helping educate them to understand that it's a myth rather than dismissing the entire thing offhand. This can be a very good opportunity to show the community that science > superstition. Interview is at http://www.npr.org/2012/11/26/165928588/as-dec-21-draws-nigh-the-facts-about-doomsday [npr.org]

NASA scam for more budget (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319921)

Perfectly Logical for them to fake non-extinct of the world - If the world ends in december 12th, why give taxpayer money to NASA?

In scientific and engineering terms, Mayans, despite their pre-existence which predates NASA by far, were more accurate and precise in space observation and exploration, and their publishings beat NASA by at least 1000 years. The only advantages NASA have over Mayans are a few space probes and rockets which are resulted from literally pouring astronomic amount of taxpayer money for more than 50 years, which is already a shame even without mentioning that about half of them had gone self-destruct by design flows/human errors/misplaced colons/etc. If you are a reasonable man who have records of Mayans and NASA both, there is no ground in falsely believing that NASA have enough evidence to disprove what Mayans have claimed.

Voyager.... (2)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#42319979)

Is going to break some intergalactic 'no fly' zone. The council will be held and they will be shown grainy black and white pictures of our Weapons of Galactic Destruction manufacturing facilities. We're screwed.

they'll sure look stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319987)

when the world does end. too bad no one will be around to laugh at them.

understandable, these are scientists... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42319991)

This may be their last chance to get some, so a panic would ruin their chances for any hope with members of the opposite sex.

NASA Mission Directorates expand... (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | about 2 years ago | (#42320011)

According to their list of Mission Directorates [nasa.gov]

1. Enable a safer, more secure, efficient, and environmentally friendly air transportation system.
2. Operate the International Space Station and prepare for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit.
3. Exploring the Earth-Sun system, our own solar system, and the universe beyond.

They should now add:
4. Protection of Humanity from hysteria due to mythical threats said to originate from space.

Re:NASA Mission Directorates expand... (1)

gatfirls (1315141) | about 2 years ago | (#42320039)

#4 sure does open can of worms!

Re:NASA Mission Directorates expand... (1)

AlienSexist (686923) | about 2 years ago | (#42320083)

Yes but just think of all the new taxes we could have the privilege of paying to fund it!

That's OK, even if the world doesn't end (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 2 years ago | (#42320059)

NASA will fake it just like they did the moon landings. That's the real secret behind Area 51 - it's a giant sound stage.

The fine print: (1)

spcebar (2786203) | about 2 years ago | (#42320159)

I don't think anyone who firmly believes in the Mayan doomsday is going to be swayed by a little organization like NASA. You'll always have people saying "there's things they can't predict!"

12/21/2012 (-1, Redundant)

philj (13777) | about 2 years ago | (#42320325)

I've always wondered if others find US date formats hard to read. 12/21/2012 is silly. It's not in the correct order! Month/Day/Year? As a database person I prefer 2012/12/21 or 21/12/2012 or similar. I'm not trying to troll. It's caused problems before when exchanging emails around the world - Is the date format restricted to the US, or is it more prevalent? A friend had a messed up birth certificate because the UK and US documents both had days 12 and the moths and days got mixed up.

To play devil's advocate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42320373)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50165912/ns/technology_and_science-space/

"A newfound asteroid gave Earth a close shave early today, zipping between our planet and the moon just two days after astronomers first spotted it...
Astronomers estimate that 2012 XE54 is about 120 feet (36 meters) wide — big enough to cause substantial damage if it slams into Earth someday."

How good is NASA's ability to detect asteroids or space colonies full of space zombies and facehuggers?

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