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The world is coming to an end, or maybe not: debunking doomsday myths

By Brian StieglitzColumnist

For the past few years the idea of the world ending Dec. 21, 2012 has been circulating as a fear, wonder, entertainment gimmick and—in short—myth. By dissecting the core reasons why the world is said to end, we can conclude that we have no concrete reason why the world could possibly end at this point. Furthermore, looking at past trends of “End of the World” theories, we can clearly see the reason why the human race craves the possibility of a universal deadline.

Let’s start with the idea that the sun is supposed to explode this winter. NASA confirms that the sun will reach a solar apex soon, but it won’t come until later in 2013 and will not affect us save for some electricity trouble. Next theory: a Wisconsin woman predicted that the dwarf planet of Nibiru, spotted by the Sumerians, is said to crash into the Earth. Not only is this planet completely fictional, but it would also have been too far away for the Sumerians, who had no knowledge even of Uranus, to spot it. So much for that alien prophecy!

What about the fear of black holes opening due to Europe’s renowned atom smasher? This has also been looked into. The device has been active for three years and has been proved that it could not create black holes even if it tried. But what about the Mayans? There are many counter-arguments to this one, such as that they basically wrote, “etc.” after 2012 because they were about to be taken over by the European, the famous response that they didn’t take leap years into account, and that there was dirt covering the rest of it. The last one just seems like a cop-out. The world is going to end—oh wait, it’s just dirt; sorry guys!

There is a laundry list of dates at which the world was predicted to end. These predictions came from a variety of groups of people, ranging from Jehovah’s witnesses, priests and scientists to ordinary people on the street. Each past prediction follows themes of religious judgment or scientific turmoil. Either way, it is predicted that something will go wrong and that there is nothing for us to do about it.

Looking at the dates when these predictions were born, it might be hypothesized that these were dates in which chaos was happening in certain societies, whether it be war, economic crisis, technological greed, etc. It seems that the end of the world is just a warning for a change or a wake-up call. Especially in religious circumstances, I feel the people predicting these ends seek some reform and channel that urge into a dire prophecy.

All of the reasons as to why the world is supposedly ending this December can be scientifically disproven. Not only that, but following the trends of past theories, a false prophecy can be seen as an aching for reform. I find this all to be true and fascinating, which is why I say that the world can’t end.

Thinking about the many possibilities of “end-of-the-world” theories could lead us to finding some truth. The world may not end for millions and millions of years, but when you think about it ending tomorrow it may just change your outlook, make you live for today and lead you to pursuing reformation. Either that, or just drive you crazy! You be the judge!

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