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NASA On Full Court Press To Deflate Doomsday Prophecies 286

coondoggie writes "Insidious unknown planets lurking behind the sun ready to slam into Earth, supernova set to engulf the planet and giant, unseen asteroids screaming toward our globe are all theories espoused across the Internet as to how we will meet our demise on 12/21/2012. Do any of these theories even remotely hold out a scintilla of evidence they could happen? Not even remotely if you look at the material NASA has put out which pretty much debunks any and all of the notions being floated in across the cybersphere."
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NASA On Full Court Press To Deflate Doomsday Prophecies

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  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:18PM (#42319447) Homepage Journal

    This hardly seems like it's worth NASA's effort. You already know that the loons won't be convinced by it. A press release consisting of the single word "NO" is all it should really take.

    But it's also a great opportunity. Not on the 20th, but on the 22nd. When everybody wakes up, they say, "Wow, NASA got it right, and the kooks were kooks. Score one for science." It's nice to see science be able to just slam-dunk something without it getting balled up in revisionism, hedging, and accusations of malfeasance.

    And if people learn just a little bit more about gravity, seasons, the solar system, and the galaxy, so much the better.

    So kudos to NASA for seizing the day. "Proving that the world isn't ending" isn't really one of NASA's missions, but if it results in better support for NASA's real missions (both financially and in terms of having their results taken seriously), then I want to say "Good job" to their PR department. (Cheap, too!)

  • Re:Thank God... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Cryacin ( 657549 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @07:30PM (#42319609)
    So crazy. This whole Mayan doomsday prophecy stuff all amounts to nothing more than an ancient form of the y2k bug.
  • by jfengel ( 409917 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @08:50PM (#42320405) Homepage Journal

    You'll never fix the kooks, but it's nice to score points with people who aren't yet kooks but seem more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt than you or I would.

    In this case, I'm sure the kooks will find something to move on to, but with luck they'll move on to different things rather than all to the same thing. That's what's giving them so much media play.

  • Re:Thank God... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @09:31PM (#42320841) Journal
    Exactly. It's like seeing 999999 on the car odometer and thinking that the car will self destruct if you drive it one more kilometre (or mile, depending).

    Mind you... if your car has that much mileage, it might just self destruct at that.
  • Re:Thank God... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j-beda ( 85386 ) on Monday December 17, 2012 @11:13PM (#42321579) Homepage

    I personally think that it is convenient to have a fairly authoritative website to point people to who have concerns due to the woo-woos raising a fuss. Nothing is ever going to change the minds of the "true believers" but it is useful for those not yet completely bamboozled to have the opportunity to see a more reasonable world-view. I doubt very much that this cost NASA much in terms of resources.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Tuesday December 18, 2012 @06:01AM (#42323547)
    Let's guess what excuses the nuts will use on 22 Dec when the event conspicuously fails to happen:
    1. "We all suffered a spiritual death, not a physical one"
    2. "The space aliens decided to give us one more chance"
    3. "The calculations were wrong, it's going to happen in 2020 / 2021 / some other date I pulled out of my numerlogical ass."
    4. "The prophecy was actually referring to (insert-some-news-of-the-day-here)"
    5. "The end of the world has started but it doesn't happen overnight, it might take years, decades, centuries, enough time to write a series of books about it."
    6. "I never meant the prediction to be taken literally"
    7. "My positive mind beams averted the disaster"

    What you won't hear:

    1. "What a fucking ass I was to have believed this nonsense and promoted fear and possibly a few deaths through my ignorance."

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian