Doomsday in 2012: Science-Lite

Doomsday = Fear = Money

Doomsday = Fear = Money

Something pretty cool has just happened over at that “2012 Comet” doomsday site (I won’t link to it, I can’t stomach sending any traffic to it, but here’s my Universe Today article about the subject).

I’ve had equal measures of praise and criticism for my most recent “No Doomsday in 2012″ article. Most of the praise came in the form of: “I’m really glad you addressed the 2012 comet scenario, those ads were p***ing me off!“. However, it did get criticised for chasing after a “small website” with “very little written on it” which “obviously confuses” what a comet is and what Planet X is.

However, this “small website” (which actually receives an awful lot more traffic than Astroengine.com), has decided to comment on my views on the subject. And you know what? I think it has enhanced their content ten-fold.

Here’s my reply

I’ve probably received the most emails asking me about the 2012 comet scenario, and to be honest, I’ve found it hardest to explain. The critics were right, there was little information on the 2012 comet site, and only one piece of flimsy evidence was used to foretell an Earth-shattering comet (i.e. the “missing data” from a patch of Google Sky). So, why bother? Obviously it’s not something worth exposing, let alone argue against with real science… usually.

The one thing that makes this website (plus forum) different from the others is the sustained advertising campaign. I’ve never seen such a prolific Google ad, flooding any website that mentions the year 2012 or anything astronomical. Is it any wonder people are getting concerned about a comet impact in 2012 when they keep seeing a bad animation of a huge lump of ice smashing into Earth?

As I’ve addressed in previous articles (2012 Doomsday Fabrication: Abusing Science and Making Money), doomsday in 2012 is turning into a hype-mongering cash cow for unscrupulous authors trying to make fast money from people’s fear by using inaccurate science (and yes, publishing a website with lies about science fact is still not right — Internet traffic generates revenue). At this stage, I’m not talking about ancient prophecy, Nostradamus, Bible Codes or Mayan calendars, I’m focusing on doomsday scenarios that depend on scientific fabrication to give the impression of some kind of authority on the subject.

There is no comet approaching Earth, and there is no Google/NASA/Government cover-up. Case closed. I’ll leave the conclusions to my Universe Today article.

However, the 2012 comet website is apparently focused on the prediction from the Bible Code that a comet will hit Earth in 2012 (they even go so far as specifying December 21st, 2012), so we are pretty science-lite at this stage.

In reply to my article, a forum post is displayed on the front page saying, “You’ll notice that the [Universe Today] article barely mentions the Bible Codes and the writer did not even know that the 2012 Comet prediction came directly from the Bible Codes.” Actually, I did know that, but it doesn’t stop the website from citing the end of the Mayan calendar, Nostradamus’ prediction of World War III and Zecharia Sitchin’s Nibiru to “strengthen” their reasoning. The Bible Code is not a scientific analysis of the Torah, it is a glorified word-search puzzle. The reasons why the Bible Code is so hopelessly flawed deserves an entire article, but I’ll leave this little nugget of information that sums up my thoughts on the matter pretty well:

“[The Bible Code] book states that the codes in the Torah can be used to predict future events. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no scientific or mathematical basis for such a statement, and the reasoning used to come to such a conclusion in the book is logically flawed. While it is true that some historical events have been shown to be encoded in the Book of Genesis in certain configurations, it is absolutely not true that every similar configuration of “encoded” words necessarily represents a potential historical event. In fact, quite the opposite is true: most such configurations will be quite random and are expected to occur in any text of sufficient length. Mr. Drosnin states that his “prediction” of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin is “proof” that the “Bible Code” can be used to predict the future. A single success, regardless of how spectacular, or even several such “successful” predictions proves absolutely nothing unless the predictions are made and evaluated under carefully controlled conditions. Any respectable scientist knows that “anecdotal” evidence never proves anything.” — Harold Gans, a retired Defense Department cryptologist, excerpt from The Skeptic’s Dictionary.

The rest of the arguments used for the evidence of an incoming comet are based purely on the belief that something will happen on 2012. There is no actual evidence cited, just prophecy. So, in some regards, this website isn’t quite as malicious as many of the doomsday publications that use scientific misinformation to fool people into believing their pet doomsday theory. But the 2012 comet website is still intended to make money by shouting as loud as possible (via Google ads) about their flawed beliefs. How can a forum have a balanced debate when the outcome of 2012 is already decided in the ads portraying a comet destroying Earth?

I have no problems with discussing 2012 concerns, but this site is still using fear to generate income via an irresponsible advertising campaign.

Hilariously, at the end of the doomsday comet website, the author summarizes: “Let’s pray that the Mayans & Nostradamus were wrong and nothing happens in 2012!Hmmm. How about reading my “No Doomsday in 2012” articles? You might start feeling a little better… unfortunately, I don’t think the comet site is intended to make anyone feel better. Just so long as the Internet traffic keeps on coming…

About these ads

14 responses to “Doomsday in 2012: Science-Lite

  1. Thanks for this article. I have linked to this and your previous one on my website, http://www.2012predictions.net which I set up three years ago, just to monitor the many and various predictions relating to 2012. I intend it to speak for itself and so include everything (or almost everything) that I come across. I retain an open mind about what might or what might not happen in 2012, but I fully endorse your comments about people making money out of the phenomenon. I find it totally obscene and unethical. My site does not advertise for that very reason, although, in the interests of non-judgementalism, it does link to some sites that do get people to part with their money. I hope there are plenty of counter-arguments on my site for people to think twice, but somehow I doubt they will hold much sway with some people. Recently average daily hits on my site have leapt to over 17,000 per day, which just shows the level of interest in 2012 at the moment. I can’t see it decreasing somehow.
    Jackie

  2. Hi Jackie,

    I really appreciate websites such as yours, thanks for stopping by. The whole 2012 doomsday phenomena needs to be followed (no matter if you believe *something* is going to happen or not). As I’ve said many times before, I’m not knocking people’s personal views, religion, spirituality etc., I just want to challenge unscrupulous authors using bad science (deliberately or accidentally) to push their point across.

    I have become very interested in 2012, as it has ignited our society in a deep way. Having lived through several predicted doomsday events (lol), 2012 appears to be different as the end of the world is coming at us from all directions! Is there some kind of sociological psychology behind this, or is it just hype? A sign of the times I suppose. Either way, I’ll be planning an end of the world party on Dec. 21st 2012 :-D My opinion is pretty solid.

    Thank you so much for linking to my articles, I really appreciate it. I’ll be sure to return to check out your new additions. Wow, 17,000 hits?? Totally dwarfs Astroengine! Good luck.

    Cheers, Ian

  3. Pingback: 2012 Is Coming… And All I Got Was This Lousy Fridge Magnet - Astroengine.com

  4. Pingback: John Cusack? Airlifted Giraffes? Please Tell Me It’s Doomsday | Astroengine.com

  5. Pingback: Public-Science Disconnect: Science Bloggers Must Fill the Gap | Astroengine.com

  6. Does science = fact. Haven't there been unexplainable events in the past. If there was something coming in 2012 science may not be able to prove it. However , we all now that humans are naturally greedy and may use an event like this to generate income. This is wrong but doesn't change anything. Pseudoscience has been right before, and only then is it allowed to be called science. Can you imagine being the guy who first said that the moon causes tidal shift, or the guy that said the earth is warming up too much? You are gonna get bashed and checked for everything you do. There will also be people that will exaggerate what you say in attempts to make a profit. There will be people that present your facts inaccurately and post your name to it. My prediction to this whole thing is, something will happen late 2012. Will it happen suddenly? No. Will everyone die? Most likely not. Will our outlook on life become different? Hopefully. The Mayans were too smart a culture to be completely discarded as accurate. They may have known more than we think. When the Spanish came to the new world they destroyed much of the Mayan culture including their astrological research. Through careful study and observation we have discovered much of what the Mayans had thousands of years ago. We often ignore the fact that their math skills may have unlocked the key to future sight. Through science we now have meteorology and we know whether it's going to rain or not next weekend. Is it possible, even probable that the Mayans saw something that our technology and intellect missed? Maybe our science is accurate with the info that we have now but what info have we missed? What variables did we have to put aside to get the scientific “facts” that we have today. To say that nothing is going to happen in 2012 is just as serious as saying that something will. Truthfully we don't know. We can speculate, throw facts and theories back and forth, even “proof” through religion can be a factor, but the truth remains (and I will venture to say that this is fact) we don't know.

    • what ever is going to happen is going to happen nothing no one can do about it if its the end of the world then its the end just be ready for god and if it was ment to be then it was ment to be only one knows when the end of the world will come it was ment to be that way for a reason .so why wait ur energy and life over something u cant change.

  7. Does science = fact. Haven't there been unexplainable events in the past. If there was something coming in 2012 science may not be able to prove it. However , we all now that humans are naturally greedy and may use an event like this to generate income. This is wrong but doesn't change anything. Pseudoscience has been right before, and only then is it allowed to be called science. Can you imagine being the guy who first said that the moon causes tidal shift, or the guy that said the earth is warming up too much? You are gonna get bashed and checked for everything you do. There will also be people that will exaggerate what you say in attempts to make a profit. There will be people that present your facts inaccurately and post your name to it. My prediction to this whole thing is, something will happen late 2012. Will it happen suddenly? No. Will everyone die? Most likely not. Will our outlook on life become different? Hopefully. The Mayans were too smart a culture to be completely discarded as accurate. They may have known more than we think. When the Spanish came to the new world they destroyed much of the Mayan culture including their astrological research. Through careful study and observation we have discovered much of what the Mayans had thousands of years ago. We often ignore the fact that their math skills may have unlocked the key to future sight. Through science we now have meteorology and we know whether it's going to rain or not next weekend. Is it possible, even probable that the Mayans saw something that our technology and intellect missed? Maybe our science is accurate with the info that we have now but what info have we missed? What variables did we have to put aside to get the scientific “facts” that we have today. To say that nothing is going to happen in 2012 is just as serious as saying that something will. Truthfully we don't know. We can speculate, throw facts and theories back and forth, even “proof” through religion can be a factor, but the truth remains (and I will venture to say that this is fact) we don't know.

  8. Where is the best-selling hat! Of course is
    in this link, might as well you click to see luo

    baseball hats

    Here is the weight
    loss products website, to ask what the most effective drug effect, of course,
    is the best medicine reducing weight, they were gathering here, don’t look at
    the click

    slimming capsule

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s