Tuesday, 27 November 2012

How to prove to the world that you're a moron.

IT'S 2012 AND WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!!

Yep, the internet is awash with predictions of the end of the world. There's apocalyptic scenarios which include solar flares, reversal of magnetic poles, rogue planets, gamma ray bursts... you name it!
But you know, there's the Mayan calendar that predicted the end of the world in 2012! So what does this all mean? Is this the end of times? has the time of humans come to an end?
No, it's something even more disturbing. It means that logic and science still are a rare commodity.

First of all, there is no prediction of the end of the world in the Mayan calendar. The calendar simply clocks over, like ours.
"Oh, but they were so wise and knew so much about the heavens!" I hear you scream.
Were they? They though that for the sun to move across the sky they had to feed it blood. Sorry, but big fucking flaming balls of gas don't need blood. They eat hydrogen. Besides, the calendar is also inaccurate. They did not have a leap year, meaning that a predicted cosmic alignment for 2012 in the calendar actually happened in 1998.

Solar flare activity is another one doing the rounds.
Anyone who paid attention at school would know we have a defence shield which is the Earth's own natural Magnetic field. There's no evidence that our sun or any other sun-like star can produce a coronal mass ejection so large that can kill a planet. It's like expecting the sun to put on a top hat and then start tap dancing like Fred Astaire. It just doesn't happen.

"Oh, but 2012 is supposed to have increased solar activity! WE ARE DOOMED!!" I hear you cry.
Yes, but it's actually peaking in 2013. 2012 has not been and is not expected to be anything special.
And don't forget, increased activity only means frequency of sunspots, not the actual strength of the flares which can occur with or without sun spots.

And how about Nibiru, the killer planet!
Yes, some idiots are predicting that a planet called Nibiru will collide with Earth.
"OH MY GOD! IT'S TRUE! THERE'S HEAP OF STUFF WE DON'T KNOW ABOUT SPACE AND SHIT!" I hear you shout.
Let's all step back and think logically. Nibiru is a planet that apparently has a massive elliptical orbit which will put it into a collision course with Earth in 2012.
Right, this is the way I see it:
In order to maintain an orbit, the planet needs to be gravitationally locked in with our sun. This means it can't go too far away or it will simply fly off into space. So in order for us to have missed this planet previously, it would need to be travelling painfully slow. Considering that the space probe Voyager 1 took over 30 years to reach the edge of the solar system travelling at 60,000 Km/h, this mysterious planet would have been visible decades ago, even to amateur astronomers.
So far, nothing.

"Yo dawg! What if that shit is flying supa-fast?" I hear you rap.
Well, if this thing was flying so fast through it's orbit that it would give little or no warning, then where are the previous sightings of this planet? Remember, it can't go too far and it's flying fast enough so that it gives less than a few months warning then it should have come close to the inner orbit hundreds of time through our history. No recorded sighting of such a planet in the written history of humans. We've managed to see Pluto but we've missed the Planet racing around the solar system like an F1 race car at least a couple of times a decade? Not bloody likely.

And so on....
It's amazing what people do for attention. They prey on the ignorance and gullibility of people. It's almost criminally irresponsible.
There is even a case of a poor woman who took her own life because of the anxiety from believing the end of the world was coming.
That shit right there is not only sad but it's also the direct result of us being too lazy to think and learn for ourselves. Most people get out of school and are happy that they won't need to learn anything other than how to operate their smartphone so they can post on Facebook that their dog is licking it's balls.

Carl Sagan said "Better the hard truth, I say, than the comforting fantasy."
I say that in some cases, the hard truth is more comforting than the fantasy.