Monday, August 4, 2008

December 21, 2012: The Day The World WON'T End

According to many, the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. This is when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. Personally, I always thought the Mayan Calendar came to an end at that point because the Mayans weren't planning on going to anyone's birthday party or attending any business meetings hundreds of years after the collapse of their society, but I could be wrong. And many New Age-y types have decided that this is when civilization is going to collapse, because that's when Nibiru comes back.

"Nibiru comes back?" The miniskirt making a comeback, sure. But what the hell is "Nibiru"?

According to Zecharia Sitchin, who claims to be an expert in Ancient Sumerian studies (but got his degree in Economic History), Nibiru is a giant planet, the size of Jupiter or larger, on an eccentric orbit that brings it into the inner Solar System about once every 3600 years or so. His decoding of ancient Sumerian and Mayan texts apparently confirm this. The story is that Nibiru will be returning soon... making its closest approach to Earth on December 21, 2012.

Those ancient Sumerians and Mayans... they couldn't hold their empires together, but apparently they were waaaay better astronomers than we are.

I'm not fluent in Mayan or Sumerian, so I have no place criticizing Sitchin's archaeology. But others have, and there is a fairly exhaustive rundown of Sitchin's errors here. But astronomy and astrophysics? Those are subjects I do know a little about. And I can tell you with great confidence that THERE ARE NO GIANT RAMPAGING PLANETS OUT THERE COMING TO EAT YOU. Honest.

Consider this: everything with mass in the universe has a gravitational field. The greater the mass, the stronger the field. That's why apples fall to Earth, and why the Earth doesn't fall towards apples. The Earth orbits the Sun. If the Earth were travelling faster, it would achieve "escape velocity": the speed needed to fly away from the Sun and off into the Cosmos. If the earth were to slow down, it would fall into the Sun. Every planet in the solar system has a gravitational effect on every other planet, though (relative to the huge mass of the Sun) the pull that, say, Neptune has on Venus is pretty weak.

Put another way: when you were born, the mass of the obstetrician had slightly more influence on you than the planet Mars did... but slightly less than that of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.

If two bodies of sufficient mass pass close enough to each other, they will have an effect on each others orbits around the Sun. Many asteroids have had their orbits affected by the occasional(relatively) close brush with Jupiter: picking up speed and moving out into more distant, less circular orbits around the Sun as a result.

Even though Niburu has such a long orbit, given the age of the Solar System (about 4.5 billion years), it would have passed by Earth (and all the other planets) about one and a quarter million times in the life of the Solar System. And yet despite all these close brushes with a giant planet, Mercury through Neptune remain in relatively stable, circular orbits. The odds of that being the case with a Niburu whipping through the neighborhood that many times is comparable to the odds of making your first break in a game of pool by throwing a bowling ball onto the table... and having all the pool balls drift elegantly back into their original triangular configuration. Try it sometime... with someone else's pool table, ideally.

Furthermore... you'd think that with something that big in our own Solar System, there would be some kind of observational clues... after all, we found Pluto, and it's a tiny, insignificant little thing compared to Uranus and Neptune. Uranus, in turn, is much smaller than Nibiru allegedly is; and Uranus was discovered in the 1700s. As far as observational data for Nibiru: there was a misidentified sighting of a distant galaxy by the IRAS satellite in 1984 that has gotten a lot of coverage as being "Nibiru," and the occasional misidentified sun dog.

The primary reason all of this bothers me... other than it being a sign of how damned bad public education really is these days... is that there seem to be a lot of people out there exploiting the fear of Nibiru Doom for profit.

Like these people. Or these people. Or this guy. But most of all: THIS guy.

And regardless of which religious tradition one follows, or which ancient texts on bases one's beliefs on... most faiths agree that hoodwinking the gullible for profit is a bad thing. And I agree.

So: no need to panic. The only threat to the world in 2012... or now... is human nature itself.

Okay, in light of that... maybe you can panic a little.




Loonsounds said...

Nice post, who is that video by please?

Anonymous said...

Ha. Thanks for debunking this. Excellent choice of video, too. The Song is by Public Image LTD (PIL), Johnny Rotten's band.

Anonymous said...

Hi, what an EASY, scared response.
I heard about this 2012 prophecy way back when everyone was worried about Nostradamus back in the late 90's. Although I didn't believe the world would end way back when notra'd predicted it I did feel there was something odd about the 2012 prophecy so I started looking into it. The evidence out there for something big to happen in 2012 is huge. I'm not going to list all the evidence here because it would take too long and it's all on the internet if you investigate it yourself. I will mention a couple of points to maybe encourage you to look into it further before you continue taking the EASY, can't be proved wrong Stance (This means if the world does end there will be nobody there to say I told you so [hence, can't be proved wrong stance])

First point - Three separate, unrelated, unconnected cultures predict exactly the same date! Wow what a coincidence. We also have SOLID proof that these cultures were a lot more advanced in astronomy than originally believed.

Second point - We are finding more and more PROOF nearly every week that there used to be one or more technologically advanced civilizations long, long before our history books say so.

Third Point - If you know astronomy then you will know that the last sun and galactic centre line up for the summer solstice some 13.000 years ago matched perfectly with a huge event on earth. This time it’s the winter solstice’s turn.

Final point and believe me I could go on so instead I will give you stuff to research:
1. Precession of the equinox
2. Our sun in a binary system
3. 19.5 degree spot on a planet (using tetrahedric measurements)
4. Consciousness
5. 1000s of underground systems being built by governments all over the world right now.
P.s London already has it built and I have personally SEEN proof.(entrances by every tube station in Clapham, South London)

Finally I just want to point out the flaw in your insight that the planets were never affected in the past by a Jupiter size ‘Nibiru’ passing. Well, how on earth do you know that? Maybe all the planets ended up in these positions after it passed last time. You shouldn't state what you can’t prove.

It’s not right to call people gullible. You could prevent people from looking into it a bit more. Its people like you that make this threat so taboo in the first place because you make people worried about ridicule. Just because it’s hard to conceive and because it could mean the end, let’s all put our head in the sand and pretend it’s not true. Or do you really believe your invincible and you’re so important that noting in this galaxy poses a threat to you?. Open your eyes man, and for one second scrap all your religions and beliefs and try to look at the big picture. It must be horrible living a life with seeing eyes while still being blind to the world around you. The proof is all available on the internet so do yourself a favour and wake up because nobody’s going to come wake you up if you don’t do it yourself. Why do you think the Governments are not doing anything? (And believe me they know) Because they will lose power, they won’t have control anymore. The proof is there, it’s real. If the same amount of proof was presented in any trial, investigation or any other type of assessment then the evidence would be undeniable.

Matthew The Astrologer said...

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

-I have no problem with the notion that "something big" will happen in 2012. "Something big" happens every year. What I object to is unscientific fear-mongering being use to sell things.

-"Can't be proved wrong"? Isn't the safest argument, therefore, to argue for an Apocalypse every single day?

-That three cultures all end their calendar with the Winter Solstice is hardly a coincidence, since the solstices and equinoxes are what most cultures base their calendar on. That three of them "end" on the same date is interesting... but if Western Civilization ended today, all our calendars would still go on for at least another 9 months. That three of the literally hundreds of calendrical systems would end on the same solstice is statistically unusual, maybe... but did all those calendars end with a drawing of a mushroom cloud, figuratively or literally?

-If we're still uncovering evidence of advanced ancient civilizations, it's fair to say we are still uncovering proof of what they knew. Therefore, we can't really say they knew we were doomed December 2012, can we?

Western European culture and Japanese culture both have tales of little people who live underground. That doesn't mean "Lord Of The Rings" is a documentary.

-If this huge event was so important 13,000 years ago... what was it?

As long as we're talking astronomy, look up what the effects of a Jupiter-sized body on a highly elliptical orbit passing through our neck of the woods every 13,000 would be on the orbits of the other planets, then tell me why NONE of them show those effects.

No... just because it's hard to conceive and could mean the end of the world... let's look at it logically. I did. It is theoretically possible for a planet to return to a stable (albeit different) orbit after a close pass from another massive body. Remotely, theoretically possible. Not with every Mercury through Neptune all at once, every 13,000 years. Find me ONE Astrophysicist (or physicist, or grad student) who says it can.

Seriously. I challenge you. One Name.

Anonymous said...

But surely back then there is no way they could have been so advanced. They would not have been able to predict something like this bang on...

Matthew The Astrologer said...

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Matthew The Astrologer said...

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Matthew The Astrologer said...

Oh, and when I said...

"Find me ONE Astrophysicist (or physicist, or grad student) who says it can.

Seriously. I challenge you. One Name."

I meant it and I still do. And I'm still waiting.