The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

“We’re All Doomed… Or Are We?” Panel from Dragon*Con 2012

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! 🙂

We’re All Doomed, DOOMED!!! Or Are We?

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!

4 Responses to ““We’re All Doomed… Or Are We?” Panel from Dragon*Con 2012”

  1. John elliott said

    I have wittnessed the making of strange corn field messages with my own eyes,and not Alone.
    They are certainly not man made.

  2. Woody said

    Are there no Alien Zombie prophecys ….. wingnuts?
    I could use a laugh today.

  3. Woody said

    Hi John Elliot,
    That sounds like an amazing visual event that you witnessed. Wish I could have seen it.
    When I saw, in the sky, a huge symbol consisting of two long columns/straps of fire set in a certain symetrical shape, I stood looking for a while in case it was only a temporary effect (advertising or military jets which I had noticed above that desert town before), but it stayed in the same spot for a long time as I looked desperately around me to find someone else to confirm what I was seeing.
    I could find no-one else and no-one ever knew what I was talking about.

    It’s still a real curiosity in my mind and I still am no closer to knowing what was responsible for it. (I’ve even thought of having that very same flaming symbol tatooed on my back!)

    But the last thing I will do is let this world of speculation, myth, legend and much-loved but totally unsupported fairy-tails tell me specifically what it was.
    I feel as if the existing tales and theories and psuedo-sciences of this world are trying to answer these mysteries for me, when the truth could actually be much more interesting and maybe still natural.

    In truth I really dont know.

  4. […] at Dragon*Con 2012 this past Labor Day weekend, I did many things (check them out here and here) but one of the things of which I was most proud was an interview I did with Ted Meissner, who runs […]

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