It’s not what you think.
While we’ve all heard the portents of doom surrounding December 21, 2012, it’s really surprising just how many apocalyptic scenarios have been attached to the date.
Strange prophecies, hidden planets, cosmic doom. Pole shifts and solar flares. We have a lot to choose from.
But maybe we can put some of those doomsday fears to rest with SETI Institute’s Doomsday 2012 Fact Sheet. In it, NASA Senior Scientist David Morrison goes down a checklist of potential end times scenarios, explaining why each one will fail to end the world.
“The idea of the sudden end of the world by any cause is absurd. The Earth has been here for more than 4 billion years, and it will be several more billion years before the gradual brightening of the Sun makes our planet unlivable. Meanwhile there is no known astronomical or geological threat that could destroy the Earth.”
Of course, I don’t imagine this (or other recent efforts by NASA) will assuage any true fears of the apocalypse. I doubt the average person has really given it too much thought, either, despite the fact that “one in ten Americans” (or was it one in seven?) are concerned.
But for those who do believe, their minds are made up, and an official list of why they shouldn’t worry probably won’t do any good.
Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/SDO.