Friday, December 21, 2012

10 Proofs for the Continuation of the World

I wrote this short, lighthearted piece for Policymic, but I left out the most important part. 

The world could end on Friday. The world could end then, or Thursday or Saturday. Our bodies and our planet are fragile, and it is remarkable that any of us exist at all. So I hope that, instead of hunkering down in anxiety, we take this opportunity to love our neighbors and communities. If we survive we can congratulate ourselves on the perseverence of humanity over the apocalypse of isolation and fear. 

Apocalypse myths are popular forms of escapism. They can be fun, healthy ways to gain perspective on our daily routines. But if you have stocked up on duct tape and MREs then you are trading your emotional stability for emotional insecurity and giving your money to the liars who feed on paranoia. Get out of the bunker – physical or emotional – and live your life.  
1) There is no evidence that the end of the Mayan’s calendar should be associated with their  apocalypse mythology. According to cultural experts, the end of this calendar cycle would be the same as Dec. 31 on our (Gregorian) calendar – we have to buy a new calendar at the mall, not live in a bunker.

2) There is no reason to trust the Maya about anything. If we disregard their impressive building techniques, mathematics, and population, we see that the Mayan cultural beliefs were arcane and frequently wrong.

3) There is no “Rogue Planet”. If a planet was on an irregular, interstellar orbit, our own orbits would be demonstrably irregular, too. Based on our own orbit and that of our moon and neighbor planets, nothing could have disturbed our orbit pattern in at least a million years, and there is no evidence that our orbit has ever been tampered with.

Nibiru (artist's rendition)
4) There is no “Nibiru”. Some new-age groups claimed that a rogue planet named Nibiru would collide with Earth back in 2003. When it never materialized, they watched a few movies and backed the date to 2012. If a planet entered our solar system, we would know about it. If it was going to collide with Earth in four days, we would see it in the sky. Look up.

5) There is no “Planet X”. That is what astronomers call undiscovered planets that they are looking for, so even the name shows that it has not yet been observed in any way.
Laser point observing the center of the Milky Way, from afar

6) Earth will not collide with the black hole at the center of the Milky Way. The black hole is an estimated 28,000 light years from the Sun, so we would probably notice if we were to be there in four days.

7) There will be no special planetary alignment. These do actually happen, by the way, but astronomers can predict them years beforehand. Also, they have no apparent affect on the Earth. They do not cause blackouts or spiritual renewals.

8) Solar Flares occur regularly and cycle through periods of unusual strength. The next strong cycle is predicted for 2014. Also, no massive meteors are predicted for 2012.

9) New Age folks who popularize these myths have been walking back their claims with language of a “Spiritual Apocalypse” or a “Cosmic Awakening”. Whatever that means, you will still have work on Monday.

10) The world did end for nearly 30 innocent people at Sandy Hook. Their families and friends may wish for an apocalypse on Friday, but their grief will continue into the new Mayan calendar. You can help them here. 

No comments:

Post a Comment