Well, it seems that yet another end-of-the-world prophecy has bitten the dust. Dec. 21st, 2012 – dreaded day of “the end” as supposedly fortold by the Mayan Calendar - has come and gone just like every other doomsday. Beyond citing the obvious fact that we’re still here, I cannot help but poke fun by passing along this humorous photo of arch-skeptic James Randi while he was in Cozumel, Mexico just last week :)
Posts Tagged ‘Maya’
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 22, 2012
Posted in doomsday, humor | Tagged: 2012, alignment, apocalypse, armaggedon, baktun, calendar, cosmic, Cozumel, debunking, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, flare, flip, James Randi, judgement day, Long Count, magnetic, magnetism, Maya, Mayan, Mexico, NASA, New Age, Nibru, Planet X, planetary, planets, poles, reversal, solar, storm, Sun, tidal forces, tides, video | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on December 10, 2012
*Sigh* I’ve said it before, but it is worth saying again…
The World is NOT Going to End on December 21st!!!
[In case you know anyone who thinks it will, please refer them to willtheworldendin2012.com :) ]
Incidentally, if common sense isn’t enough, and you happen to have some poor deluded family member or friend convinced they cannot come out of the basement until after the planet has been turned into a mutant-populated, radioactive hell, you could consider sharing this well-written article with them:
NASA says world won’t end in 2012 despite Mayan calendar
We’re less than a month away from the so-called end of the world, but NASA says you don’t have anything to worry about.
Earlier this month, NASA posted a list of frequently asked questions about why the world won’t end in 2012, like some believe the Mayans calendar indicates.
The post explained that Earth has been getting along fine for the last 4 billion years and there is no threat to our planet this year. …
But how can those egghead geeks at NASA be so sure? Well, there are these things called “logic” and “reason” which tend to give validity to arguments such as this:
… But just as your desk calendar ends on Dec. 31 and world keeps going on, the same goes for the Mayan calendar, NASA explained. Just before you run out of pages doesn’t mean life as we know it will cease to exist. …
Personally, I cannot wait until December 22nd. Because then there are going to be a LOT of people with a LOT of egg on their faces, just like all the other times the world was predicted to end and it didn’t.
In fact, regarding all the doomsday predictions ever made in the past, there is one thing they all have in common: They were all dead wrong.
Posted in astrology, doomsday, space | Tagged: 2012, alignment, apocalypse, armaggedon, calendar, cosmic, debunking, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, flare, flip, judgement day, Long Count, magnetic, magnetism, Maya, Mayan, NASA, New Age, Nibru, Planet X, planetary, planets, poles, reversal, solar, storm, Sun, tidal forces, tides, video | 5 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 16, 2012
A couple of weeks ago I attended Dragon*Con 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia where I was heavily involved in the Science Track. I helped to run three panels and gave a lecture while there, and I wanted to share those with you here. The first panel I helped to run (I moderated it) was on the question of how real and/or dangerous are various doomsday scenarios. The panelists included me, Bad Astronomer Phil Plait, Bob Novella of the Skeptics Guide to the Universe, psychologist Barbara Drescher, and disaster researcher (and science consultant to the Stargate franchise) Mika McKinnon, and we had a wide-ranging and alternately funny yet serious discussion. I recorded the audio and share it with you below. Enjoy! :)
Killer asteroids, LHC-generated black holes, nuclear meltdowns, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse, global ecological collapse, financial recession/depression, the Mayan 2012 prophecy… AAAGGHH! Run for your lives! We’re all doomed, DOOMED!!! Or are we? What are some real or imagined doomsday scenarios, how dangerous are they really, and how likely is it that each could occur? If you’re looking for a good scientific look at these questions, with a few chuckles along the way, then this is the panel for you. Join us for a discussion of all things apocalyptic, because talking about the end-of-the-world is fun!
Posted in doomsday | Tagged: 2012, apocalypse, armaggedon, Barbara Drescher, Bob Novella, con, DC, discussion, doomsday, Dragon Con, Dragon*Con, end of the world, humor, judgement day, judgment day, Matt Lowry, Maya, Mika McKinnon, panel, Phil Plait, podcast, prophecy, science, science track, skeptic, skepticism, zombies | 4 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on July 6, 2012
The first day of Convergence 2012 involved the usual… checking into the hotel, getting registered for the Con, and so on. But for me it also included a very fun, late-night panel about various doomsday scenarios, including killer asteroids, massive solar flares, outbreaks of deadly infectious disease (think the Black Plague), the potential failure of the Internet, release of so-called “grey goo” nanites, nuclear war, and everyone’s favorite – zombies!
While it was a serious discussion, there was also much humor involved (I will never forget Jason Thibeault’s quip: “I tried to start a nuclear war, until I took an arrow to the knee” :) ), and the audience Q&A was very lively. If you’d like to listen to the panel discussion, just click the link below to hear my recording:
The zombies are right outside the door. Which geeks do you keep close and which to you push into the parking lot as bait. Surviving apocalyptic scenaries convention style! Panelists: Jason Thibeault, Adam Whitlatch, Robert Smith?, Matt Lowry, PZ Myers
Posted in doomsday, humor | Tagged: 2012, Adam Whitlatch, apocalypse, armaggedon, con, Convergence, Convergence 2012, discussion, doomsday, end of the world, humor, Jason Thibeault, judgement day, judgment day, Matt Lowry, Maya, Minneapolis, panel, prophecy, PZ Myers, Robert Smith?, science, Skepchick, SkepchickCon, skeptic, skepticism, zombies | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 18, 2012
No doubt, unless you’ve been living in a hole, you have heard about the supposed end-of-the-world coming this December 21st, 2012 – at least, that’s what some New Age whackadoodles and apocalyptic doomsayers would have you believe. Why do they believe this? Because, according to them, the Mayan calendar predicts it.
Unfortunately for the doomsday prophets, the Mayan calendar predicts nothing of the sort. Take, for example, the fact that recently the discovery of the world’s oldest Mayan calendar seems to have thrown the whole “Mayan 2012″ prophecy of armaggedon into serious doubt:
The oldest-known version of the ancient Maya calendar has been discovered adorning a lavishly painted wall in the ruins of a city deep in the Guatemalan rainforest.
The hieroglyphs, painted in black and red, along with a colorful mural of a king and his mysterious attendants, seem to have been a sort of handy reference chart for court scribes in A.D. 800 — the astronomers and mathematicians of their day. Contrary to popular myth, this calendar isn’t a countdown to the end of the world in December 2012, the study researchers said.
“The Mayan calendar is going to keep going for billions, trillions, octillions of years into the future,” said archaeologist David Stuart of the University of Texas, who worked to decipher the glyphs. “Numbers we can’t even wrap our heads around.” …
Oops. That’s embarrassing. So the Mayan calendary doesn’t predict the apocalypse? Why exactly is that?
… The Maya recorded time in a series of cycles, including 400-year chunks called baktuns. It’s these baktuns that have led to rumors of an end-of-the-world catastrophe on Dec. 21, 2012 — on that date, a cycle of 13 baktuns will be complete. But the idea that this means the end of the worldis a misconception, Stuart said. In fact, Maya experts have known for a long time that the calendar doesn’t end after the 13th baktun. It simply begins a new cycle. And the calendar encompasses much larger units than the baktun.
“There were 24 units of time they actually could have incorporated into their calendar,” Stuart said. “Here, we’re only seeing five units and they’re still really big.”
In one column, the ancient scribe even worked out a cycle of time recording 17 baktuns, the researchers found. In another spot, someone etched a “ring number” into the wall. These notations were used to record time in a previous cycle, thousands of years into the past. The calendar also appears to note the cycles of Mars and Venus, the researchers said. Symbols of gods head the top of each lunar cycle, suggesting that each cycle had its own patron deity.
“There was a lot more to the Maya calendar than just 13 baktuns,” Stuart said. …
Of course, another reason to doubt the claims of the doom-mongers, despite the structure of the Mayan calendar, is the fact that no matter what the source for the supposed end-of-the-world prophecy, every prophecy of this nature in the past has had one thing in common: THEY HAVE ALL FAILED SPECTACULARLY! This includes at least one high-profile prediction from last year!
It’ll be interesting to see what the doomsaying believers have to say on December 22nd, 2012 when we’re all still here :)
Posted in doomsday | Tagged: 2012, alignment, apocalypse, armaggedon, baktun, calendar, cosmic, debunking, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, flare, flip, judgement day, Long Count, magnetic, magnetism, Maya, Mayan, NASA, New Age, Nibru, Planet X, planetary, planets, poles, reversal, solar, storm, Sun, tidal forces, tides, video | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 4, 2012
Straight out of the “What the f**k?!” files comes this little gem about people’s beliefs concerning the supposed end-of-the-world…
(Reuters) – – Nearly 15 percent of people worldwide believe the world will end during their lifetime and 10 percent think the Mayan calendar could signify it will happen in 2012, according to a new poll.
The end of the Mayan calendar, which spans about 5,125 years, on December 21, 2012 has sparked interpretations and suggestions that it marks the end of the world.
“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.
“Perhaps it is because of the media attention coming from one interpretation of the Mayan prophecy that states the world ‘ends’ in our calendar year 2012,” Gottfried said, adding that some Mayan scholars have disputed the interpretation.
Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely with only six percent of French residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina. … [emphasis added]
I want to just make note of the bolded text above: apparently, according to this poll, over one-fifth of the population of the United States – the most advanced and powerful industrial nation on the planet – believes in this 2012 end-of-the-world hooey. Oh… my… FSM…
Wow, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. But one thing’s for sure: I predict that we’ll be here in 2013 to show that this Mayan doomsday prophecy is just a load of crap; and I say that not just because NASA recently crushed these stupid prophecies.
After all, people have been predicting doomsday for thousands of years, with supposed divine revelation or prophecy to back them up, and all that time there’s been one thing common to all those predictions: they’ve all been dead wrong.
I have just one question for all of these people who claim to believe “the end is near”: Can I have all your stuff? ;)
Posted in doomsday | Tagged: 2012, alignment, apocalypse, armaggedon, beliefs, calendar, cosmic, debunking, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, flip, judgement day, Long Count, Maya, Mayan, NASA, New Age, Nibru, Planet X, planetary, planets, poles, poll, reversal, solar, storm, survey | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 14, 2012
The fine folks at NASA have put together a nice, quick video debunking the claims of doomsday related to the supposed end of the Mayan calendar on Dec. 21, 2012. Check out the video over at Life’s Little Mysteries…
by Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have put out a new video to address false claims about the “Mayan apocalypse,” a non-event that some people believe will bring the world to an end on Dec. 21.
In the video, which was posted online Wednesday (Mar. 7), Don Yeomans, head of the Near-Earth Objects Program Office at NASA/JPL, explains away many of the most frequently cited doomsday scenarios. [See video]
Addressing the belief that the calendar used by the ancient Mayan civilization comes to a sudden end in December 2012, and that this will coincide with a cataclysmic, world-ending event, Yeomans said: “Their calendar does not end on December 21, 2012; it’s just the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new one. It’s just like on December 31, our calendar comes to an end, but a new calendar begins on January 1.” …
Posted in astrology, doomsday, space | Tagged: 2012, alignment, apocalypse, armaggedon, calendar, cosmic, debunking, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, flare, flip, judgement day, Long Count, magnetic, magnetism, Maya, Mayan, NASA, New Age, Nibru, Planet X, planetary, planets, poles, reversal, solar, storm, Sun, tidal forces, tides, video | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 23, 2011
Rather than waste any more electrons on seriously analyzing the most recent doomsday Rapture silliness and how the followers of that particular religious cult are attempting to rationalize away the spectacular failure of Judgement Day to manifest itself, I would like to offer up this humorous portrayal of why it is the Rapture did not come to pass this last Saturday… :)
Posted in doomsday, humor, religion | Tagged: 2011, 2012, 5-21, 5/21, 722500 days, after rapture party, apocalypse, armaggedon, atheist, Bible, calculation, calendar, Christ, cosmic, delusion, doomsday, end of the world, fantasy, fundamentalist, funny, God, Harold Camping, humor, Jesus, Jesus Christ, judgement day, looting, Macho Man, math, mathematics, May 21, Maya, Mayan, national mall, New Age, Nostradamus, numerology, prediction, Randy Savage, Rapture, religion, return, Revelation, the rapture | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 19, 2011
I know that I’ve blogged a couple of times already (here and here) about the supposed impending “Rapture” coming up this coming Saturday, May 21st. But while I’ve written there about how loony of an idea this whole Christ-is-returning-so-it’s-the-end-of-the-world is – mostly because there are so many failed doomsday predictions that were supposedly ironclad before they failed epically – one thing I haven’t yet done is to actually seriously analyze the claims made by the would-be prophet of this weekend’s Armageddon festivities, the good Rev. Harold Camping.
It’s Judgement Day!!!
In the following Livescience.com article, the rationale (such as it is) for Camping’s predictions is outlined. Let’s take a look at the argument and then take it seriously just long enough to show the logical flaws within it, right before we piss ourselves with laughter…
The May 21 Judgment Day meme is the brainchild of an 89-year-old radio evangelist named Harold Camping. Using a mathematical system of his own creation to interpret obscure prophecies in the Bible, Camping originally predicted that Sept. 6, 1994 would be Judgment Day, or the day of the “Rapture” when Christian believers will ascend to heaven, leaving the rest of humanity to its deservedly dreary fate.
Hold on, right there. Camping has made such a prediction before? Yes, he did – he predicted the world would end almost 17 years ago… and the world is still here. Also note this key phrase: “… Using a mathematical system of his own creation…” – what this basically means is that Camping has created a system of numerology which would allow him to manipulate the numbers of his calculation in such a fashion as to give him whatever result he wants. In other words, using such a system, folks like Camping can’t fail… that is, until they actually fail, which is what happened to Camping on Sept. 7, 1994 when we were all still here. But that’s the beauty of using slipshod and ad hoc mathematical systems such as Camping’s: since they are essentially made up out of whole cloth with the express purpose of “never failing”, a missed prediction can easily be discounted when “corrections” to the calculations are magically uncovered after the fact. This, like the thinking driving conspiracy theorizing, shows that such a system is clearly unfalsifiable: it is always right, even when it’s wrong.
The article continues:
… Here’s the gist of Camping’s calculation: He believes Christ was crucified on April 1, 33 A.D., exactly 722,500 days before May 21, 2011. That number, 722,500, is the square of 5 x 10 x 17. In Camping’s numerological system, 5 represents atonement, 10 means completeness, and seventeen means heaven. “Five times 10 times 17 is telling you a story,” Camping said on his Oakland-based talk show, Family Radio, last year. “It’s the story from the time Christ made payment for your sins until you’re completely saved.”
Okay, once again note that these numbers only make sense “in Camping’s numerological system” – which he made up. What is the rationale which justifies Camping’s numerological system as being superior to that of other failed doomsday prophets (such as Nostradamus and those claiming the Mayan calendar portends The End on Dec. 21, 2012)? And why does Camping settle on 722,500 days? Why not 722,500 seconds, minutes, months, years, or centuries? What is so special about days in Camping’s system which distinguishes them from any other unit of temporal measurement? And, assuming there is some kind of reason (whatever that could be) for using days as units, why is it that you have to multiply and subsequently square 5, 10, and 17? Why not simply add them up? Or just multiply without squaring? Or add them up and then square the result? Why not raise the product of these numbers to the third power? What is the rationale behind this calculation which explains why it could be considered trustworthy – other than, of course, the fact that it just happens to give a “prediction” of the world’s end, conveniently, during Camping’s lifetime?
And last, but not least, here’s a good question to ponder: if the Rapture is supposed to come on Saturday, May 21st, on which side of the International Date Line is that going to happen? Will the Rapture follow the rotation of the Earth, seeing as how some parts of the planet will still be on Friday night time while other portions will be on early Saturday morning time? Or is it supposed to just kind of go “poof!” all at once? But if it does that, then it can’t all happen on the same day – and why doesn’t Camping take this into account in his calculations? You can see the problem here.
Now that I’ve taken this stupidity seriously for a bit, it is now time to treat it as the utter silliness that it most certainly is: I’m off to go get ready for the After Rapture Party & Looting ;)
Posted in doomsday, mathematics, religion | Tagged: 2010, 2011, 2012, 5-21, 5/21, 722500 days, after rapture party, apocalypse, armaggedon, atheist, Bible, calculation, calendar, Christ, cosmic, delusion, doomsday, end of the world, fantasy, fundamentalist, God, Harold Camping, Jesus, Jesus Christ, judgement day, looting, math, mathematics, May 21, Maya, Mayan, national mall, New Age, Nostradamus, numerology, prediction, Rapture, religion, return, Revelation, the rapture, Washington DC | 6 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 22, 2010
Of course, the notion that the end of the Mayan “Long count” calendar predicts the end of the world is downright silly – does anyone get worried when December 31st on our modern calendars approaches? But just to show how idiotic this whole notion really is, it seems that some archaeological research has – pardon the pun – dug up a correction to the Mayan calendar. The result is that the big date, December 21st, 2012 according to various doomsayers & New Age gurus, is probably not the right date…
It’s a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan “Long Count” calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn’t end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will – or if it has already.
A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.) …
This is hilarious! Various folks have been jumping on the doomsday bandwagon ever since this 2012 nonsense became part of the social consciousness, claiming alternatively that it will be the end of the world or some kind of revelation of cosmic wisdom or other similar goofiness. Charlatans have made a LOT of money selling books and all manner of claptrap to the gullible who are swallowing this stuff. But even if they were right about the supposed apocalypse coming to destroy/enlighten us, they screwed up the date!
Of course, this is nothing new. Historically, when those who make these kind of bold predictions are clearly shown to be wrong (and they’re ALWAYS wrong, because we’re still here), they simply tweak their estimates & calculations and make another set of predictions that the credulous folks want to believe in. And so it goes… I wonder what the next end of the world fad is going to be? Whatever it is, I’m going to make a prediction which I’m certain will come true: they’ll be dead wrong, again :)
Posted in astrology, doomsday | Tagged: 2012, apocalypse, armaggedon, calendar, cosmic, Dec 21, December 21, doomsday, end of the world, judgement day, Long Count, Maya, Mayan, New Age, Nibru | 3 Comments »