…on Apocalypse Insanity.

According to  some people (who ought to know better if only they would stop and think for a moment), 21st December 2012 will see the of the world (or, for the more overly-enthusiastic out there , the universe itself).  It is not mentioned at which time the demise will commence, nor is it mentioned which timezone applies; the timezone ambiguity itself allows for a window of nearly 48 hours.

Of course, neither the universe nor Earth will cease to exist, and come 22nd December 2012 the inhabitants of this planet will all continue to go about their daily activities, just as they have always done after the many ‘End Of The World’ predictions and scenarios throughout history spectacularly failed to happen. This one will be no different.  But that doesn’t stop the irrational, the illogical and the delusional from clinging desperately to their false and unfounded belief that the End Is Nigh.

So how are we supposedly going to be wiped out this time?  Seems that we have quite a selection of options on offer to us this time round, each one even more daft than the previous.  So let’s take a quick look at the ways in which or the reasons why our existence will not be wiped out despite the erroneous beliefs of a few.

The End Of The Mayan Calendar.
This is probably the most common myth right now.  It claims that the Mayan Calendar runs out on 21st December 2012, because the Mayan calendar in long-count form reaches 12.19.19.17.19 on 20th which is the end of the B’ak’tun in the Mayan calendar, also referred to as the end of the Big Cycle.  From this people have decided that means the Myans predicted the end of the world.
Only, the thing is, the Mayans didn’t predict that the world ends then.  According to the Mayan calendar what happens after 12.19.19.17.19? The next day the date is 13.0.0.0.0 – just as our calendar will role to the next year every 31 December!  Yes, there have already been 13 B’ak’tun rollovers and the world has not ended (they were on November 13, 2720 BCE, February 16, 2325 BCE, May 21, 1931 BCE, August 23, 1537 BCE, November 26, 1143 BCE, February 28, 748 BCE, June 3, 354 BCE, September 5, 41 CE, December 9, 435, March 13, 830, June 15, 1224and September 18, 1618 respectively), this one will be no different.  There is nothing in any recorded Mayan writings which refers to the world ending when the Big Cycle ends. And in case there is any lingering doubt, the Mayans also recorded reference to dates beyond 13.0.0.0.0.  Therefore any attempt to claim that the world will end because the Mayan calendar ends are akin to claiming the world will end because 31 December is the end of the calendar on your wall…
Galactic Alignment / Alignment between Sol and Sagittarius A*
This myth states that on 21st December 2012 the Sun and our solar system will be in alignment with the Galactic plane, the Sun crossing the plane on that exact date, and this will lead to the end of the world or the immediate reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field or so other as-yet-unclear cataclysmic event which will spell the end of life as we know it.  Some myths go further and state that this will happen not only because we cross the Galactic plane at that point but at the same time all of the planets in our Solar System are in complete alignment which really spells disaster for us as the powerful forces wreak their havoc on our poor unprotected home-world – after all, we see the effect that the Sun and Moon have in alignment on our spring tides, imagine the whole solar system AND galaxy in perfect alignment!
Where to begin with this one?   There is so much wrong with it that it’s hard to know exactly where to start!  First things first, any such alignment will have negligible effect.  Gravity is, when all is said and done, a very weak force.  Double the distance and you drop gravity’s effect to a quarter.  10 times the distance, gravity has only 1% of its effect.  Now factor in this mindbogglingly large distances no only to the other planets in our Solar system but also to the rest of the stars in our galaxy, and it is readily apparent that even the most well aligned of Galactic Alignments will have no real noticeable effect.  Even Jupiter, which is larger than all the other planets in our Solar system put together, has less than 1% of the effect that the Moon has on us, for example.
Let’s add to that the fact that the planets in our Solar system will NOT be aligned this year, and we see this myth falls apart.  Indeed, there were planetary alignments in 2000 and 2010 (unlike 2012), with no effect.
The killer blow, however, is that whilst it is true that our Sun does pass across the Galactic plane right about now, it already crossed the middle of the plane in 1998, 14 years ago.  So any effects would have been felt by now.  And yet we are still here, very much alive!
And as for Sagittarius A*?  That’s the believed-to-be black hole at the centre of our galaxy.  It doesn’t do anything special at the end of this year, and it is too far away to have any meaningful effect on our planet at the best of times.
Magnetic Reversal
For various reasons, depending upon which myth is being promoted at the time, the Earth’s magnetic poles will reverse on  21st December 2012 with disastrous consequences for life on the planet, wiping us all out.  Some reasons for this are the non-existant Galactic alignment referred to above, or often solar flare activity reaching a peak on THAT day.  The disastrous effects are often dramatically described, almost always resulting in the extinction of all life on our poor planet.
There are only 3 things wrong with that myth.
First of all, such reversals have happened often throughout our planet’s history, with 184 known to have occurred within the last 83 million years alone.  Including ones when our ancestors were around, such as the most recent a mere 780,000 years ago.  There is no evidence of any correlation between magnetic reversal and mass extinctions of any species.
Second, when these magnetic reversals do happen, they take between 1,000 and 10,000 years to happen; they are not instantaneous.  So even if one was triggered on THAT date, it would be generations before much was even noticed.  Certainly it would not be the end of the world overnight.
The third problem is with the claim that this will be triggered by a massive solar flare during the height of solar flare activity on THAT date.  The next solar maximum is May 2013 not December 2012; the next solar maximum is forecast to be a fairly weak one with a relatively low number of sunspots and hence lower solar flare activity; and there is no evidence that magnetic reversal is triggered by solar flares anyway, it is purely driven by mechanisms internal to the Earth.
Niribu
A spectacular doomsday event, this is supposed to be triggered by the planet Niribu (sometimes enigmatically called Planet X) either colliding with or near-missing Earth on THAT date.   The idea was first put forward in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, founder of the website ZetaTalk, who describes herself as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extra-terrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain.  Yes, quite.  She originally claimed that Niribu would sweep majestically across the plains, sorry I mean sweep through the Solar system, in May 2003, halting the Earth’s rotation for exactly 5.9 days before Earth somehow (in a manner never explained) restarted its rotation again (completely contravening the laws of physics on the process).  Of course, Niribu failed to materialise in 2003, so now it is due to hit us on   21st December 2012.
Before we delve into this one too deeply, it is worth remembering that Ms Lieder also stated that “The Hale-Bopp comet does not exist. It is a fraud, perpetrated by those who would have the teeming masses quiescent until it is too late. Hale-Bopp is nothing more than a distant star, and will draw no closer.”, and that the Hale-Bopp story was manufactured to distract people from the imminent arrival of a large planetary object, “Planet X”, which would soon pass by Earth and destroy civilization.  Of course, Hale-Bopp not only appeared on schedule, but was one of the brightest and best observed comets of the 20th century.  Unlike Niribu which has so far steadfastly remained completely hidden –  a pretty impressive feat for a planet 4 times the size of Earth which is due to hit us in 3 months; any such body would have been visible in the night sky for a long time even to the naked eye.
There has been no such sighting.
Primarily because Niribu does not exist, of course.
Nostradamus
No discussion of apocalyptic prophesied disasters would be complete without mentioning good old Nostradamus.  According to increasing numbers of people online, Nostradamus not only accurately forecast many things which have already happened, but he also foretold the end of the world on, yes you guessed it, 21st December 2012 (or at least during 2012 for those slightly less sure of their convictions).  And who are we to argue with the great Nostradamus?  After all, he successfully predicted Hitler (no, he didn’t; he did mention Hister which was the classical name for the Danube in Nostradamus’ day, but he never mentioned Hitler) and the 9/11 attacks (again, no he didn’t – that was a well crafted Internet fake).
Well, regardless of whether any of his many predictions actually came true (and there’s really nothing concrete to suggest they did), there are two very important things we need to remember when considering Nostradamus’ predictions of the end of the world on THAT date.  The first is that he never mentioned 2012 in any of his predictions; the second is that he never ever prophesied the end of the world!

Now, having read through all of this, having seen the scientific evidence, and having seen the various myths debunked, the hardened Apocalypse Acolyte will still ignore reality and cling to their chosen belief in the world and or universe ending on 21st December 2012.  Logic, reasoning, facts and trivial matters like the truth and reality do not figure highly in the decision to chose to believe these myths in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary (that might sound harsh, but the reality is that if one were to pay attention to facts, logic and reason, then they would not believe these demonstrably false myths – remember we should never take things that others tell us at face value, not even if they say it on the Internet.  We all have brains, let’s use them and do our own research and fact-checking before making up our own minds; yes that includes doing your own checking before believing what I have written here of course)

So, I am willing to make an offer to anyone reading this who still genuinely believes that the world will end on 21st December.  A chance for you to show how committed you are to your belief.
A chance for you to put your money where your mouth is. An offer which you will have absolutely no qualms of hesitation about accepting if you do genuinely truly believe your Apocalypse forecast, because if you are right then you really do have absolutely nothing to lose.

That offer is simply for you to sell all your possessions and give me all your money, or legally transfer ownership of all of your possession and money, investments etc for midnight of 20th December 2012.

Because let’s face it, if you are right, then you are not going to need them anymore anyway, so what have you got to lose?