From the Twitter waterfall today comes a servicable summary of how I feel about the 2012 meme.
- Nostradamus, who famously “predicted” this event, was a fucking charlatan. He came up with literally thousands of entirely wrong predictions, and has predicted the end of the world more times than all the SyFy Channel original movies combined.
- The Mayan calendar, which is supposed to “end” on 21 December 2012, is cyclical, just like ours. Rather than being based off of the revolution of our planet around the sun, however, their calendar takes the long view, and is based off of the alignment of certain planetary bodies—the same ones supposed to cause the end of the world.
- They did not predict the end of the world. They predicted that their calendar would start over, like ours does on January 1st.
- There are a lot of theories about what will happen when all of these planets, stars, and other celestial objects align. Many of these go into things like a sudden, catastrophic realignment of our north and south poles, gravity turning off, earthquakes, the world splitting in half, that movie directed by the Independence Day guy, et cetera. None of these things are going to happen.
- Do you know how I know? Because this “alignment” (which isn’t really an alignment) happens all the time, in one form or another. All the planets (and Kuiper belt objects, like Pluto) in the solar system pass one another at fairly frequent intervals, and nothing happens. Even tonight, Monday the 20th, there’s going to be a lunar eclipse, and all that does is look pretty. Unless they’re into astronomy, most people don’t know this.
- NASA does, though. How about we believe them, rather than some arsehole who wants to make a quick buck off of people’s fear?