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The Apocalypse of 2012

November 11, 2009

Brit Trogen

According to a conspiracy theory that's coinciding nicely with the release of the big-budget hollywood movie "2012", an ancient Mayan Calendar indicates that the world will come to an end on either Dec. 21 or 23, 2012.

Normally, this wouldn't quite fall into the realm of what rational people call "science." The theory can't even keep straight exactly how the apocalypse will arrive. Some claim a geomagnetic reversal is underway, in which the north and south magnetic poles will flip. Others believe we're going to collide with a planet called "Nibiru" or Planet X, which was allegedly detected by the Sumerians and has been hiding behind the sun for several years, but will soon swoop out and destroy us.

But this weird and intangible theory is somehow gaining popularity, even outside the usual fringe. So much so, in fact, that even NASA has stepped in to debunk it (To summarize, there's no scientific evidence to back up any of the 2012 claims).

So why is this theory so catching? Well for one thing, both the Discovery Channel and the History Channel have been airing programs for the past three years portraying these ideas as scientifically sound.

Now, I understand the need for good ratings; conventional media is undergoing an apocalypse all its own. But when even our "educational" television programs are selling out for the sake of sensationalism, can we really be surprised at the growing mistrust of science by the general public?

Seriously. If you're going to air programs on the approaching doomsday, at least mention that its biggest supporters heard about it from an alien implant in their brain.

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