There is no truth to Mayan cal­en­dar end of the world pre­dic­tion

North Penn Life - - Opinion -

Fri­day is the first day of win­ter up here in the North­ern Hemi­sphere in 2012. We hope to live to en­joy the first day of win­ter in the coming years.

Of course those among us who use a Mayan cal­en­dar will ar­gue that this Fri­day is also the day the Earth and its more than 6 bil­lion in­hab­i­tants will have their fi­nal day. In their mis­read­ing of the Mayan cal­en­dar, Fri­day will be the end of life on our planet.

Ac­cord­ing to the be­liev­ers, a planet Niburu is about to col­lide with Earth. They over­look the fact that no one has seen a rogue planet head­ing our way in­clud­ing the thou­sands of as­tronomers who spend the nights ob­serv­ing the sky. Other pre­dic­tions, in­clud­ing a so­lar storm, align­ment of the plan­ets and a shift in Earth’s axis, are con­sid­ered im­pos­si­ble and none of this will oc­cur.

The sci­en­tists who study th­ese things do not ex­pect a day any dif­fer­ent from any other. In sum­mary, noth­ing will hap­pen to Earth and its in­hab­i­tants.

Many ex­perts like to scare us as they think about ex­tremely rare but pos­si­ble fu­ture ways life could end here mil­lions and bil­lions of years in the fu­ture. A gi­ant me­te­orite known as an as­ter­oid could hit Earth. Although one hit the Yu­catan Penin­sula 65 mil­lion years ago and killed the di­nosaurs, we have a one-in-a-mil­lion chance of this hap­pen­ing again in our life­times.

Global warm­ing is an ac­cepted fact. This can cause se­vere trop­i­cal storms, sud­den heavy rain and a rise in sea level de­stroy­ing the homes of most peo­ple who live near oceans and rivers. Ac­tu­ally, Hur­ri­cane Sandy might have devel­oped as a con­se­quence of our global warm­ing world.

A global pan­demic might oc­cur if cer­tain viruses be­come more vir­u­lent and spread death around the world.

Most epi­demi­ol­o­gists be­lieve this is very un­likely com­pared to the days of the plague and other in­fec­tious dis­eases. We must get im­mu­nized to pre­vent the spread of in­fluenza with the tak­ing of mil­lions of lives as it did in 1918.

Hu­mans may speed up un­ex­pected death on our planet. Nu­clear war­fare would de­stroy lives. Ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence could get out of con­trol in which com­put­ers and ro­bots be­come more in­tel­li­gent than peo­ple and take over our planet. Also, chem­i­cal war­fare could have na­tions killing off na­tions.

The neg­a­tive side of the world of as­tron­omy might end life here. So­lar flares, the fi­nal stage of a planet known as a su­per­nova, gamma ray bursts or a re­cur­rence of one of the past 12 ice ages might snuff out life at the hands of Mother Na­ture.

cor a civ­i­liza­tion to be wiped out, an in­com­ing me­te­orite would have to be 2 to 6 miles across. Sta­tis­ti­cally this is un­likely be­cause even a half-mile me­te­orite im­pacts Earth on av­er­age about once in a half-mil­lion years.

You will have to wait a while for the most ex­plo­sive crash of all time. Our Milky Way galaxy of pos­si­bly 400 bil­lion stars is on a col­li­sion course with the An­dromeda galaxy which is cur­rently lo­cated 2.5 mil­lion light-years away. An­dromeda is ap­proach­ing at 240,000 mph. There is no rea­son to panic as the col­li­sion won’t oc­cur for 4 bil­lion years.

With all the pos­si­ble causes of death of Earth’s in­hab­i­tants, none is in our near fu­ture as long as hu­mans re­al­ize that peo­ple are more likely to bring on an end to civ­i­liza­tion long be­fore Mother Na­ture does us in.

We must put pol­i­tics on the back burner and just learn to get along with each other.

Health & Sci­ence Dr. Mil­ton Fried­man

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