Late to the Doomsday Party: NASA Denounces 2012

nemesis

As we have probably all guessed by now, the Institute for Human Continuity is a viral campaign designed to generate a huge buzz around the upcoming November 13th movie called 2012.

Ever since I started writing about 2012 (way back in May 2008 with “No Doomsday in 2012“), I’ve been inundated with emails, tweets, comments, even phone calls about the 2012 doomsday phenomena. These messages have ranged from mild curiosity to outright panic. I’ve also had many crackpots trying to convince me that my scientific reasoning is not valid (which it is).

There’s also been a few bonuses, including guest appearances on the outstanding “Apocalypse” episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit! and most recently, the upcoming Discovery Channel documentary on the same subject.

However, in the run-up to a perfectly timed movie about the “Mayan prophesy,” Sony Pictures kick-started the mother of all viral campaigns in January. The movie 2012 will be a huge event, but basing an entire marketing ploy on fear and disinformation left a lot to be desired. So for the last 10 months, I’ve been busy writing not so much about the bad science being used in these wacky 2012 theories (check out my 2008 “No Doomsday in 2012” series for the science), but about the various advertising campaigns for the movie.

However, up until this point, there’s been little official comment from NASA about all the nonsense that has been stirred up. This seems surprising as most doomsday theories involve butchered astronomical objects, surely the US space agency should take a stance on the whole matter?

Now, NASA astrobiologist Dr David Morrison has gone on the record to say the 2012 doomsday theories are bunk. It turns out that Dr Morrison has also been flooded with messages from people worried that all the hype might be real.

Interestingly, in response to accusations that Sony Pictures’ viral campaign was irresponsible, Sony’s publicity director said, “It is very clear that this site is connected to a fictional movie. This can readily be seen in the logos on the site.”

However, in January when the Institute for Human Continuity went live, indications that the site had anything to do with a fictional movie could only be found if you dug very deep into the well-polished Flash website depicting Planet X causing death and destruction on Earth. I don’t recall any logos.

In an attempt to allay any doomsday phobia in the run-up to November (and for the next 3 years), Dr Morrison has issued a nice guide about every reason why you shouldn’t be concerned about 2012 (and that it’s just a movie).

Source: Telegraph. Special thanks to Fraser Cain at the Universe Today for pointing me to David Morrison’s publication.

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14 responses to “Late to the Doomsday Party: NASA Denounces 2012

  1. “2012: Time for Change”projects a radical alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee Joao Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 will herald the birth of a regenerative planetary culture, where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.Interviews with design scientists, anthropologists, physicists such as Dean Radin, Barbara Marx Hubbard, John Todd and Paul Stamets and celebrities such as Sting, Ellen Page and Gilberto Gil. http://www.2012timeforchange.com/

  2. Ok, so if 2012 is not going to be the mother of all destruction and devastation, it's going to be a rebirth, a paradigm shift nor change of consciusnes?, why to waiting for the 2012 to do so?, we're so dummy to wait change until 2012? LOL, and if noting happens we have to wait to another doomsday theory (mmm, let me guess, 2029 nor 2036?) to change?… we're putting our hope and energy in just a myth instead of do something, is sad :(. By the way, I'm Mexican, proud of my ancestors but realistic about their “prophecies”. To Ian O'Neill, greetz for this great web page, and for dedicating your time to debunking all this crap.

  3. Why should we believe anything NASA says; it's not that they are that bright.Look at the space shuttle disasters; would you explain exactly how you screwed up?

  4. Why do they say that NASA is talking bullshit about its nonsense about 2012…ohh they just want to avoid mass panic, they have been lying all the time….they are a part of an conspiracy with the goverment…holy shit….is that true?…are this fearmongers right about this or is it just me?

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