Question: Does the story about the end of the world on Decemer 21st 2012 have any credibility?

  1. The answer is: No.

    Let me be scientific – I haven’t read the justification from the guy who made the prediction – so I haven’t checked how he worked it out. That’s why we share all our findings when we do science, so that other people can check what we have done. So what I ought to do is go and check what he said, then check all the things he found out by reading whatever he read, and think about all that stuff and make up my own mind, and talk about it with people I respect.

    This is the way we should all live, not just scientists – we all need to check WHY people say what they say. Sadly in the real world there often isn’t time. We call that “politics”.

    So there’s a CHANCE that this guy actually found something that made him think – Hey, the world’s going to end! But I doubt it very much. And because it’s very unlikely, I’m not going to spend too long thinking about it. Things in your life are always a combination of probability and importance. Would it be important if I was made King Jedi of the World? Yes! Is it likely? No, so let’s think about something else. Is it important I have a coffee this morning? Fairly important. Is it likely – YES, so let’s think about that.

    And even if he did find something in the things he was reading, you then have to ask yourself – is it likely that this is real? Is it likely that something someone wrote thousands of years ago would be able to predict the end of the world so precisely? How could they? What are the chances? Should I spend time thinking about this when I could be doing something more important like playing Portal 2 or reading books about quantum mechanics.

    So if someone comes up to you and says “The world’s going to end aaaaarrgghh!” just put on your science hat and calmly say “What’s your evidence?” and don’t just take their word for it. If they can’t tell you, ignore them. They’re probably nuts. Or want some money.


  2. As Matt has said: No.
    The rumour comes from people who like to play with numbers and it does make nice movie plot. But there is nothing special about 21-12-’12.
    Many of the Asian countries use a different calendar, which had the year 2012 a long time ago. Did the world end for them, and they do not know it yet?
    The same is true for other cultures. Will the world end for just some people who use our calendar and keep going for everyone else?
    Back in the middle ages, the Europeans thought the world would end in the year 1000, but it didn’t. More recently, many people thought the world would end in the year 2000, but it didn’t.
    No, there is no evidence that the world will end in 2012.


  3. I agree with Matt and Kieran.

    The short answer is: No.

    I am not 100% familiar with the current predicted events of the the end of the world in 2012. I do know that the 2012 doomsday story is a modified version of the prediction of the end of the world in May 2003. When nothing happened, the date was just moved back to December 2012.

    While wasting time on the internet while I was studying for exams, (yes, despite facebook and twitter not being invented at the time, this was still possible), I stumbled upon the 2003 prediction for the world ending. The prediction was that another planet was going to collide with Earth on May 2003. I did notice that this prediction wasn’t coming from someone who knew a lot about space like an astrophysicist or even NASA. It was some random on a message board.

    Instead of joining in the arguments on the message boards, I decided to go check out NASA to see what they thought of it. Surely, if a planet was going to slam into Earth in the next few years, someone would be making plans to prevent this. And this was when the story started falling apart. There was no planet heading toward Earth. In fact the planet that was said to be heading towards Earth was a star and it wasn’t heading towards us at all.

    In the mean time people made money by writing books about the end of the world and how to prepare for the end. The unfortunate thing is when people who don’t stop to ask for evidence hands over money to prepare for an end that just isn’t going to happen. I thought that in May 2003 when the world didn’t end it would call for an end to doomsday theories but instead they just keep happening. The world is even predicted to end later this year.

    Like Matt said, it is important that we check why someone is telling us something. Is it just to give us information or help solve a problem or is it something else entirely? We can’t read minds but we can ask why.


  4. After exhaustive investigation (a quick read of Wiki and the National Geo news page) I am satisfied that I need not fear the end of the world on 21/12/12. The end-of-the-world explanations lack evidence and seem to have picked that date because everyone else was doing it.

    The whole thing seems to have come from the Mayan Long Count calendar, which finishes a 5125 year cycle on about that date. However, the modern Maya and the people who study their ancient culture don’t believe the date to be of particular importance and certainly don’t predict the end of the world. All the other theories jumped on board this ‘predicted’ date of doom and provided explanations for how the catastrophic end might occur. A bit of scientific investigation showed that all of these things were VERY VERY unlikely because there is no evidence for them occurring, or they occur quite frequently and have never resulted in total destruction before. If another planet was going to collide with Earth, or the poles were going to rapidly reverse, then yes, I would be moderately concerned (totally panicking) about that. But I’m pretty sure that the scientists who study those things would know about it well in advance and give the rest of us a heads up. Unless you’re into conspiracy theories, but that’s a whole other website.

    My prediction is: IF the world does end, the only thing which will survive is the cockroach. I don’t know how or where, but even the apocalypse is no match for those creepy little insects.

    National Geo:


  5. According to Harold Camping, we may not even make it til then. Camping has previously predicted the end of the world twice – once in 1994 and again just recently on May 21 2011. Both obviously didn’t happen. He has now revised his prediction to October 21 2011.

    I have to agree with all the other scientists. There is no scientific evidence for the world ending on December 21st 2012 or October 21 2011 or on any other particular date.