You would think that the failure of countless silly predictions through the centuries would at least give us pause when the next doomsday is announced. But this one they say is different. It was after all predicted by the Mayans. So reviewing the supporting prognostications currently explained on many sites on the Internet:
First a planet called Nibiru, (or planet X …or Eris) purportedly originally discovered by the Sumerians, and since confirmed by NASA, is headed our way and is expected to coincide with the end of the current long cycle of the Mayan calendar 21 December 2012 .
It is also evidently “clear” that a planet alignment including one where the Earth aligns with the centre of the Galaxy is expected to have a serious effect on the Earth.
Substantial changes in the past to the core of the Earth show an expected change to the direction of its magnetism and even its spin some time in the “near future” with disastrous effects to life on Earth .
It is also “known” the Sun is approaching a time when it sends out flares any one of which might be headed our way.
And of course there is confirmation in that a host of psychics, many of them highly regarded, confirm the certainty that this time it will be the end.
I like science fiction as much as anyone but I would have to say I am absolutely convinced that all of the above is absolute twaddle. Many of the following points have already been made by NASA scientists although no doubt the conspiracy theorists will tell us that this is part of an expected cover-up to prevent wide-spread panic. However before turning to the information site let’s just do a quick review of what is known.
Let’s start with Nibiru. Yes, there was a planet so small it was not accorded full planet status. It was initially called planet X, then later classified a dwarf planet and assigned the name Eris. The closest it will get to the Earth is a comfortable 4 billion miles away. It is currently showing no signs of doing anything but staying in its current distant orbit.
There is no closer new planet spotted, and if one was going to reach us by 2012 it would definitely be visible to the human eye by now, let alone a telescope. The Sumerians were indeed known to be keen star watchers, but there is absolutely no record of them having telescopes, let alone the very powerful telescopes needed to spot distant extra planets. In other words we should not rely on any Sumerian claim for Nibiru, planet X or Eris. In case the psychics change tack and start expecting an asteroid collision as an alternative, we can take some heart that the astronomers have started a Space-guard Survey to spot any such asteroids heading our way. Thus far none have been spotted, at least anywhere near the 2012 date.
Planet alignments have long been falsely predicted to have disastrous effects on the Earth. In practice each time this has occurred absolutely no effects were noticed on Earth (apart of course the odd brief, and no doubt later regretted, outburst from various astrologers and psychics.) There is a physics reason why this should in fact be the case. Gravitational effects drop off greatly with distance so that for example even although the Sun is vastly bigger than the Earth by a factor of about one million, our small moon has a much greater gravitational pull on tides. Nor should we be in the slightest concerned about our relative position with the Galaxy in that every December we line up with the centre of the galaxy. We are of course well away from the centre of the galaxy and unless something totally unexpected happens we are certain to remain that way for at least the lifetime of our Sun.
As far as I know, there is no known or predicted way in which the Earth could change the direction of its spin. No doubt some astrologer knows otherwise.
Solar flares are always a possibility. However even if we could predict when the next giant flare was likely to occur, for the most part they only threaten certain types of electronics and since the sun is spherical, and since the flares only threaten planets in the direction of the flare, solar flares are simply not usually headed our way when they do occur as they do from time to time. They are currently impossible to predict. There is no indication that the Sun will be worse behaved than it has been for the last few millennia and certainly not expected to change character in the next two years.
Now, the magnetism of the Earth’s core….. Yes this does change from time to time and there are some rock records that show aprroximately every 400,000 years or so there has been a magnetic pole reversal. From the fossil record there is no sign that this wipes out life on Earth. Perhaps pigeons may be temporarily disoriented in that iron oxide particles in their brains reportedly help them magnetically navigate in cloud but because I am the proud possessor of a Tom Tom GPS I still think I should be able to find my way home should the reversal occur much sooner than currently predicted. If not, although I may not become extinct, my wife might at least ask some tricky questions.
If I told you the Earth will end because your kitchen calendar is going to run out at the end of December, I suspect you would look at me strangely. Even the Mayan Calendar doesn’t actually end at 2012. It finishes its current long cycle, then, as I understand it, starts again.
As for the psychics confirming the prediction of doom I am sure I will offend many when I say that given their past track record – eg 92% of the International Association of Psychics signing a statement saying they knew the world was about to end in 1997, I wish to be brutally frank and say – so what?
For those unconvinced, why not go to the NASA info site. It is at http://www.nasa.gov/topic/earth/features/2012.html
If you do insist that you are certain that 21 December 2012 is D (Dooms) Day, put your money where your mouth is and draw up the legal deed assigning your fortune to a charity of my choice as from 22 December 2012. If you are right, you have nothing to lose and can have a jolly good chuckle at my expense as we both fry in the holocaust.