Young Americans Grow Fearful, Suicidal Over December 21st ‘Doomsday’ Talk

“I think it’s evil for people to propagate rumors on the Internet to frighten children.”

-David Morrison, astrobiologist, NASA Ames Research Center

Ahhh. After publishing that post about North Korea, I decide to have some Korean sweet chili noodles for lunch. While I was preparing the meal in my kitchen (Annie Chun and Mr. Microwave lent a helping hand) a recent conversation I had with my girlfriend came to mind. “You better drink lots of water after eating that crap.” No, not that one. It was the one about her cousin’s 9-year-old son getting upset because he had heard the world was going to end on December 21, 2012.

Dang it. I told him not to read this blog.

Just kidding. Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know I don’t buy into December 21st “doomsday” theories. As I mentioned before:

As for me, whenever I hear these kinds of predictions, I think of the Bible (New Testament) and the First Book of Thessalonians, chapter 5, verse 2:

For you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

Well, “little man” and his mom will be happy to know that our government also does not think the world will end on December 21, 2012. But the feds are also hearing about frightened kids and suicidal teens as talk about this date continues to spread. And the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has leapt into action. Stephanie Pappas wrote on SPACE.com this Wednesday:

NASA scientists took time on Wednesday (Nov. 28) to soothe 2012 doomsday fears, warning against the dark side of Mayan apocalypse rumors — frightened children and suicidal teens who truly fear the world may come to an end Dec. 21.

These fears are based on misinterpretations of the Mayan calendar. On the 21st, the date of the winter solstice, a calendar cycle called the 13th b’ak’tun comes to an end. Although Maya scholars agree that the ancient Maya would not have seen this day as apocalyptic, rumors have spread that a cosmic event may end life on Earth on that day.

Thus NASA’s involvement. The space agency maintains a 2012 information page debunking popular Mayan apocalypse rumors, such as the idea that a rogue planet will hit Earth on Dec. 21, killing everyone. (In fact, astronomers are quite good at detecting near-Earth objects, and any wandering planet scheduled to collide with Earth in three weeks would be the brightest object in the sky behind the sun and moon by now.)

“There is no true issue here,” David Morrison, an astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, said during a NASA Google+ Hangout event today (Nov. 28). “This is just a manufactured fantasy.”

The SPACE.com article is a good read. NASA challenges “end time” interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the idea that a rogue planet (so-called Nibiru) is about to hit Earth, the fear that solar superstorms will fry the Earth’s power grids with the coming solar maximum, and concerns about a polar shift, among other things.

You can read the entire piece on SPACE.com here.

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Christopher E. Hill, Editor
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