Friday, November 27, 2009

1st Place- The 2012 Turkey of Doom

I had to pick one single idea that qualified as the dumbest funking thing I’ve heard recently, and I knew immediately what to pick. It is an idea so monumental in it’s inanity that it transcended simple stupidity- it’s Super Stupid, and it’s 2012!
Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate the brigade of 2012 Doomsayers. The sheer ubiquity of 2012-Mayan-Doomsday-Apocalypse pisses me off. I can’t swing a moron without hitting another moron who’s talking on his iphone about 2012.
I do want to say one thing. I got several emails telling me how mean I am. They criticized me , essentially saying that while I’m free to express my disbelief in 2012 prophecy, it isn’t necessary for me to call believers morons. Or to refer to the morons ideas as being ‘stupid’. They felt that I could express my ideas on the subject without meanness…
Where’s the fun in that?
In all seriousness, where do we draw the line? Aren’t some ideas simply so stupid that there’s no other term to describe them? At some point, we have to decide that some notions are not worth entertaining and some ideas just don’t deserve serious consideration.
Their beliefs are not more deserving than alien abductees or big foot watchers (in fact, they feature a lot of similar components). No one would seriously demand that the lunatic fringe be treated as serious people, so why is it when a fringe idea takes root in the common imagination I am asked to treat it gingerly?
A line has to be drawn somewhere, and at some point nonsense has to be called what it is. What happens when we fail to draw a line demarcating what is and is not ridiculous is… well… what happens is the 2012 phenomenon.
I’ve already discussed how you don’t need to be an astrophysicist to understand that the events that will allegedly take place on Dec. 21st, 2012 are implausible (and that’s my nice word for it). All you need to do is a spin a ball and watch how it behaves. The ball will spin, wobbling on it’s axis, and as it slows down it will start to tip over and go ‘funny’. The earth just doesn’t slow down enough to flip over and go ‘funny’, so that scenario isn’t viable.
Also take note of the fact that the spinning ball doesn’t start spinning backwards for no reason. In order to spin the ball ‘backwards’ the ball would have to stop and then would need to be spun again, only this time going the other way. DO TRY THIS AT HOME KIDS. Try it again and again and again. The ball will behave the same when placed in the same conditions and subjected to the same application of force.
There is no event anticipated that will change the basic way our ball (the planet) behaves.
Which brings me to the final Doomsday scenario I hear again and again. We will be hit by another planet in 2012. The Mayans, first class astronomers, predicted it.
Yeah, tell me another one. There is no way that the Mayans knew we would get hit by a planet in 2012, and I don’t care how impressive their knowledge of the stars may have been- and here’s why.
Because we haven’t seen this planet yet. 2012 believers can go on and on about the Mayan’s advanced knowledge of astronomy, but when it comes down to it, the Mayans had no way to perceive a planet a trillion light years away. If they “saw” this planet it would mean that somehow their astronomical equipment rivaled NASA and it didn’t.
In order to believe that the Mayans foresaw a planet crashing into Earth, you’d have to believe that the Mayans were not only great astronomers, but that they were actually psychic. And they weren’t. Neither am I. Neither are you. And neither are the people who are selling you books about surviving the Apocalypse.
(For those of you who are afraid that the world will end in 2012, who’s really insulting your intelligence? The people who take your money and sell you fantasies, or me who thinks you’re smart enough to know better?)
I think America may be uniquely vulnerable to ideas like these. Our country was founded by Puritans and in order to be a Puritan you have to be willing to accept ideas that have no basis in fact. It’s a requirement for any religious belief. Faith, by definition, is believing in something that has no logical proof.
Though America has eschewed its puritanical heritage the tendency to believe in ideas that defy logical remains.
Well, that’s all folks. I’ve said enough about 2012 for now. I will see you again in December… provided of course that the world doesn’t flip inside out first.


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