Saturday, January 09, 2010

IIPM News - The Doomsday 2012 hoax

NASA scientist, professor David morrison dispels the myth surrounding the apocalyptic prophesies of 2012

Stories circulating on the Internet about the “end of the world” or various disasters in December 2012 are a hoax. Nothing will happen in 2012. There is no science behind any of these doomsday claims.

One widespread assertion is that there is a planet or brown dwarf or perhaps even a “second sun” (called Planet X or Nibiru) that will hit the Earth or pass close by in December 2012. But there is no evidence that such an object exists. If it did, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least a decade, and by now it would be visible even without a telescope. This is not something that could be kept secret, since even amateur astronomers from all over the world could see it. The idea of a large nearby planet that remains invisible is just silly.

Other doomsday stories concern so-called alignments. Many in the public think that when planets line up, something terrible will happen. But astronomers know that such alignments don’t have any effect on us. Besides, there are no planet alignments in 2012. What does happen is that every December, the Sun, as seen from the Earth, is in the direction of the centre of the Milky Way galaxy. There is nothing mysterious about this, as it happens every year. The galactic centre with its black hole is 30,000 light years away, and it has no effect on the Earth. Others claim that the solar system will pass through the plain of the Milky Way galaxy, and that this will release some dangerous forces. But the solar system is now far from the galactic plane, and we won’t cross it again for more than 10 million years.

Many of the disaster predictions for the Earth are absurd. Some say that the rotation of the Earth will suddenly reverse, with the Sun rising in the west. This “pole shift” has never happened and never will. Others are worried that the magnetic poles of the Earth will reverse. This is something that happens every 400,000 years on an average, but there is no reason to expect such a reversal in magnetic polarity in 2012.

One legitimate but exaggerated concern is over solar outbursts. The Sun goes through an 11-year activity cycle. Near peak activity, there are solar flares that can cause some damage to space satellites, although engineers have learned to design their electronics to withstand such events. The next solar maximum is predicted for 2013, and it is expected to be unusually weak. There is nothing about the Sun to cause a doomsday fear.

None of the doomsday predictions has any scientific validity. Yet many people are still afraid of December 2012. The only reason this date is selected is that it represents the end of one of the large cycles in the ancient Maya calendar. Scholars who study the Mayan culture say that this calendar event does not predict anything, let alone a global disaster.

It is sad that so many people are falling for this doomsday hoax. Many who write to me are genuinely frightened. Children are especially vulnerable. I think, it is ethically wrong to promote a hoax that causes so much distress.

For Complete IIPM Article, Click on IIPM Article

Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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