Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Enough said

Headline: "Balloon boy's father 'wanted TV fame before world ends in 2012.'"

Quote: "Mr Thomas's lawyer, Linda Lee, claimed: "Heene believes the world is going to end in 2012. Because of that he wanted to make money quickly, become rich enough to build a bunker or something underground, where he can be safe from the sun exploding.""

Just, staggering.

Next time your friend is going to invent an elaborate get-rich-quick scheme to gain glory and a supernova-resistant underground bunker (?), send him here first.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Is Nibiru located at RA 4h18m10.8s Declination 6° 18' 12" ?

Susan, the host of the MY2K blog, writes:
RA 4h18m10.8s
Declination 6° 18' 12"
Presumably, this is an assertion of where Nibiru can be located in the sky. Since she didn't provide any documentary evidence, only the numbers, I had to do the looking myself.

Here is what Google Sky sees at those coordinates:

Nothing. Nada. Blank space next to a star, not a planet.

But, perhaps Google Sky cannot be trusted. Lets see what the STScI Digitized Sky Survey sees:

More nothing.

Susan, explain. What am I missing here? Where did you get those numbers?

Monday, June 22, 2009

In which, to my great surprise, the media gets 2012 so very, very wrong

Yahoo! Movies has a cute little ball of fluff about the upcoming movie '2012,' which appears to be a work of complete fiction based on no facts of any kind whatsoever about the movie 2012. They run through all of the most popular bales of balogna circulating among the True Believers these days. Rather than bore you with further introduction, here is what Yahoo! says might happen to us all in a couple of years.

They start off with a zinger:
['2012' director] Emmerich taps into the angst of thousands of astrologers,
doomsday enthusiasts, and conspiracy theorists who fear that a massive cataclysm
will strike the earth on December 21 of that year. Yet unlike previous dates
tied to the Earth's expiration, this one has its roots in various sources
throughout history including interpretations of the Mayan calendar, astrology,
and the ancient Chinese fortune-telling text the "I-Ching."

Yeah, right guys. Of course no previous apocalypse predictions had ties to 'various sources throughout history'- everyone else was just guessing! But not us, we've got... the I Ching! Pathetic. Everyone treats their own pet delusions as special. Just because our current most popular modern-day apocalypse fantasy is propped up by extreme vagueries or complete falsehoods (see below) doesn't mean they're worth anything. It especially does not mean that our doomsday prophecies are any better than those of yesteryear.

But continue, Yahoo:
2012 gained the patina of doom with the best-selling 1966 book "The Maya" by
Harvard archeologist Michael D. Coe. He noted that the Mayan culture's famously
complex "Long Count" calendar simply ends on 12/21/12, speculating that
civilization might come crashing down on that date. Other scholars argue,
however, that the Mayan calendar would merely flip over like an odometer that
reached 100,000 miles.

Wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. How many times do I have to tell you people this? Repeat after me: THE MAYAN CALENDAR DOES NOT END IN 2012. The Mayan calendar does not end, EVER! This is a bit like saying that doomsday is coming this year because the Gregorian calendar "simply ends" on 12/31/09. That is to say, it is wrong. This is one of those points that I cannot belabor strongly enough because the point is so elementary and very nearly every 2012-obsessed crank on this planet gets it wrong. The amount of research required to figure out whether or not the Mayan calendar 'ends' in 2012 is so small that the only excuse in making this error with honest intentions of finding the truth is illiteracy. You would have to be unable to read wikipedia to get this wrong.

That or you are doing no research whatsoever, and are therefore unqualified to be taken seriously on this subject.

That or you are lying.

Meanwhile, on Yahoo:
Astrologers have also pointed out that...
Maybe we'll just skip ahead a bit.
And then there's counterculture thinker Terence McKenna, whose Timewave Zero
theory -- drawing off of elements from the "I-Ching," the teachings of
philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, and modern fractal mathematics -- determined
that 12/21/12 is, you guessed it, the exact date of a profound change in world.
Roughly speaking, the Mayans, astrologers and McKenna are all predicting global
doom or the dawning of the Age of Aquarius.
Ooooookay then. I mean, Terence McKenna said it, so it must be true. Never mind that the article doesn't even take a stab at what a "profound change" is (in my opinion, whipping around the sun at several miles a second for an entire year is a profound enough change). Never mind that they give us no reason to believe Terence McKenna's uneducated guess. Lets just talk about this "Timewave Zero" "theory."

It claims to measure how much ingenuity exists in the universe at any given time. McKenna thought he had a mathematical demonstration of how much creativity exists in the universe.

If you are wondering why this concept should not be taken seriously, perhaps you should read the wikipedia article a bit. I do not want to bore the rest of us explaining why trying to mathematically quantify a completely 100% subjective (lets just say, I'm assuming that McKenna counted his own works as 'novelty') phenomenon is not a good idea. Perhaps I could refer you to a chart measuring the amount of bullshit that exists in the universe at any given time, and you will see that it spikes each time McKenna publishes a book

Zipping right along:
So if the apocalypse is set just in time for holiday shopping season three years
from now, how exactly will the world end? One theory that actually has some
traction in the scientific community is that a solar flare will cause a sudden
shift in the magnetic orientation of the Earth's poles, causing all kinds of
planetary problems like volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. NASA is predicting
strong solar activity around 2012 and there's evidence that the magnetic poles
are slowly weakening, something that reportedly presages a reversal. Of course,
most scientists think that this reversal will take centuries, not days, to

Well, it was nice of them to debunk this one for me. I should probably mention for legal purposes that I added the emphasis above. I might also want to drop a link explaining that a pole shift is not the end of the world, nor has it been the past several hundred times it has happened.

Sadly, the "Jonathan Crow" who wrote the Yahoo article I just finished tearing to shreds does not list his contact information. A pity. Suppose he'll just have to wait until 2013 to learn how silly this all is.

EDIT: Someone in the comments section noted that I was a little lackluster with the references this time around. They are correct. I often simply get tired of posting the same links and the same references to the same solid scholarship to make the same points every single time. I have gone through and added additional links where necessary, but I fear it will do little to assuage those who are so bad at research that they even need to be told by a guy like me that the Mayan calendar never ends.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

David Wilcock: nothing in "the 2012 Enigma" is real

So, I sent my extensive facepalm over David Wilcock's "The 2012 Enigma" to Mr. Wilcock himself, and here is his rather terse reply:
2012 Enigma is a collection of 'extras' and is not a scientific presentation. That's why I released it -- it didn't infringe on the REAL stuff.
Good to know. So now everyone who once believed in the tripe proposed by "Enigma" knows the truth: it is not scientific and nothing in it is real, and I have a signed confession by the author saying so.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A word on David Wilcock's "The 2012 Enigma", or, a paradigmatic demonstration of why I do not fear for my $5,000

2012 is about a new birth.

-David Wilcock

When I first set out to write this post about David Wilcock's "The 2012 Enigma," I was optimistic, even excited. I thought, here's a big name in 2012 apocalypticism. Here's a guy who's going to give me some real meat to chew on. He has a following. He has a slick website where he sells books and magazines. I thought, surely this guy will prove a worthier adversary than the scattered cranks who just sit around plagiarizing each other all day. Surely this guy will be above flaunting his own ignorance as brazenly as the other True Believers do. We're going to really get some good analysis of what is going on, I told myself.

So I pressed play on Wilcock's video. And within five minutes, my eyes had glazed over with tears. I wept, dear reader. I wept for the beleaguered state of rational discourse in the 21st century. I shed tears of darkest despair when I looked mad David Wilcock's image on my laptop square in the eye, and thought: this is the best they can do?

Or maybe those were tears of laughter. I can't remember exactly.

Yes, suffice it to say, David Wilcock is no different from the numerous schizoaffective pencil-peddlers (the link is just one example) who dominate the 2012 / New Age cultural milieu. I expected an intellectual sparring partner; I got a guy who looks for hidden messages in movie posters. I wanted somebody who would put up a fight (not even Gregg Braden would answer my questions, and I sent him everything over a year ago); I got a guy who uses a book that he read when he was seven years old as evidence for ESP. I wanted a challenge, and I got a guy who is very, very seriously challenged.

But please, do not think me merely dismissive. Watch "The 2012 Enigma" yourself. If you can go more than three minutes without squirming, weeping, laughing uncontrollably, or vomiting, you will have proven yourself more restrained than I. Then, after you are finished, I double-dog-dare you look me in the eye and say, "I take David Wilcock very, very seriously." Let me explain. Here I will not give you an exhaustive list of everything that Wilcock does wrong, because such a list would take longer to read than the movie would take to watch. I will instead explain why Wilcock is such a disappointment- because he is just like all the others. His grasp of logic is so terrible, his fundamental research skills are nonexistent, and his willingness to draw ridiculous overarching conclusions from tiny, specific amounts of (often unverifiable or simply flat-out incorrect) 'evidence ' all conspire towards an unmistakable conclusion: David Wilcock is just not worth the time it would take to explain every single mistake he makes. Instead, we can tell him that his very thought processes themselves, the very way he evaluates evidence and arguments, is completely broken.

David Wilcock genuinely disappointed me, but at least he will be a helpful textbook for how not to get yourself a place at the table.

"The 2012 Enigma" is a wandering, meandering, unfocused whirligig complete guided tour through every single piece of bunkum, flim-flammery, hocus-pocus, nonsense, fluff, prattle, bullshit, and chicanery that exists in the established canon of 2012 apocalypticism. We get psychics. We get reincarnation. We get energy crystals. We get quantum this-and-that. Aliens. Ancient Mayans. Wormholes. Screenshots from the movie "Contact." It's all there. But if you asked me what "The 2012 Enigma" was about exactly, I wouldn't be able to tell you, even though I've watched it a dozen times right now. It's just an aimless rant that tries to squeeze as much disconnected nonsense into a semicoherent narrative as possible.

And if you asked me about Wilcock himself...

There are certain modes of behavior or tendencies that people have that should make us suspicious straight from the outset. People who routinely make casual errors that could be corrected by even token amounts of research typically are people who have not done the research and who have no interest in doing the research. People who make sweeping generalizations about complicated topics in physics or mathematics (but who do not even once get into specific details about those topics) are probably trying to cover up the fact that they don't know what they're talking about; they speak quickly and casually to make it seem like what they're saying is totally obvious and very simple, even if it is total crap. People who habitually cite crappy, discredited research without explaining why are people who are ideologically committed to an "everything we know is wrong" mentality. They want you to believe without question that "the Establishment," meaning usually accepted solid science, is hiding something serious from you and that only the crank in question has The Truth.

And when they start telling you that they're the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, you know that you will never even be on the same planet, much less the same playing field. And if you've watched "Enigma," you know just what Wilcock thinks about himself vis-a-vis Edgar Cayce. It ain't pretty.

[Timecodes I cite below are minutes and seconds from the movie, so if I say that Wilcock said some thing x at 1:45, I mean that Wilcock said x one minute and 45 seconds into the movie. If it reads something like 1:10:10, that means that Wilcock said it one hour, ten minutes, and ten seconds in. Also, for the sake of space, I haven't included any pictures from Wilcock's presentation here on the blog, I have linked to them elsewhere. You will see a link that says something like "hey, look at this" and that will take you to a picture of "this."]

I knew I was in for a long ride right around 1:45 when Wilcock told us what 2012 was all about: "a new birth." A new birth of what? Birth from where? People? Souls? The universe? What was wrong with the old birth? What was the old birth? Is this literal or figurative? Why would you gloss over something as crucial to the rest of your movie with such a wanton disregard for the details of your own hypothesis? Is it because you have no details? It is the same everywhere- 2012 apocalypticsts are more than happy to describe 2012 as "a new birth," "a shift in human consciousness," "a spiritual transformation," anything like that, but they are simply too cowardly to venture forth any details that could actually be confirmed or watched for in 2012. If your expectation is specific then it can be disconfirmed, but if it is uselessly vague and broad, you could point to literally anything that happens in 2012 and claim that it was the "new birth" you've been talking about all along.

Not off to a good start, David, but what else ya got? Oh, I see, at 2:15 it looks like you have a picture of Santa Clause holding a billy club and wearing a "New World Order" satchel. Now this I have a hard time getting into. If you believe in a global conspiracy of well-connected politicos, industrialists, bankers, etc., who all work together to unify our globe under a single massive invisible government, don't you think you should spend more than four seconds convincing us of its existence? A revisionist history of a thousand years of global political developments surely merits more than a dropped name set against a childish caricature of a good political cartoon, doesn't it Dave? Of course not. Scarcely a word on it. The impression we get is simple: the "New World Order" obviously exists, and it's so obvious that we can give it a mention and that's that. Forget explaining yourself. Forget justifying yourself.

Wilcock does this sort of thing throughout the presentation. In fact, he does it right again a minute later. At 3:09, he just sort of fires off the factoid that "The underlying fabric of this universe is consciousness, which is what all the old mystics and all the old religious traditions have been saying for thousands of years." Really? Every single religious tradition and every single mystic, ever, says that "the underlying fabric of this universe is consciousness?" Even a single example here would have assuaged my confusion. As little as five seconds could have been spent directing me, the viewer, to a high-quality independent source for that. (And he does give out the names of books he uses as sources for his presentation, but... we'll get to that in a bit.) Nothing. Not a peep of backup, just a premise that we're supposed to accept and swallow wholesale.

And then the reincarnation stuff started.

David Wilcock seems to think that he is the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce. Why does he think this? Well, because they look sort of like each other and some of Cayce's friends look sort of like Wilcock's friends. I am not kidding and this is not a simplification of the matter. Watch the movie from 3:32-4:15 and tell me that I'm being unfair here. He literally shows slide after slide of people from his life who look like people from Edgar Cayce's life and expects us to believe it.

That Wilcock is either massively self-deluded or a deliberate scam artist is apparent in his selection of the photos he has used for comparison. Notice for example that he used this photo (Cayce is on the left, Wilcock is on the right) and not, say, this one. The photo Wilcock used is black and white, so we can't compare eye color, hair color, or even skin color. They are just photos of the face, so we can't compare height or build. They are also both pictures where they both happen to be looking in the same direction with their mouths open the same amount. He even picked one where Cayce is wearing a hat so we can't compare what their hairstyles or hairlines are like.

The same is true for every other photo on this point that he shows. What's even funnier is that some of his pictures genuinely do not look similar. Consider the physical similarities he sees between his (Wilcock)'s brother (anonymous) and Dr. Ketchum, who was a close associate of Edgar Cayce's. They don't even look like each other! The only thing they have in common is that they both wear glasses and they are both vaguely Caucasian. Wilcock was trying his best, and he still failed on this point.

But the worst part of this whole, agonizing segment is what it says about Wilcock as a person. His grandeur is so profound that, of the six billion or so people that world-renowned fraudulent huckster Edgar Cayce could have been reborn as, he had to choose David Wilcock. Forget that Wilcock's only evidence is that he thinks that certain, perfectly-angled photos look like each other. Just think of what kind of rocks it takes to say, with a completely straight face and full confidence, that one of your subculture's heroes lives inside your brain.

And lets not forget that, where Wilcock lauded the brilliance of "all the old religious traditions" for agreeing with him on the nature of the universe, but he now gives us a reincarnation doctrine that no religious tradition on Earth teaches (I invite you to leave examples of exceptions to this rule in the comments). What religion teaches that when you reincarnate, you reincarnate as someone who looks like you did? Who says that your physical traits are heritable by magic and not by genetics?

The point I am trying to establish here is that David Wilcock is practically inviting us not to take him seriously. How am I supposed to engage rationally with someone who thinks that his dad is Edgar Cayce's dad (apparently your facial hair choices are preserved in the reincarnation process)? What kind of calm dialectical process can I work through with a guy who thinks that his college friend was Edgar Cayce's principal investor?

A callow disregard for even very basic detail is bad enough. He insults your intelligence by trying to summarize the theology of all major religions in a single sentence. He is assuming that you are as gullible as he is when he shows you that Edgar Cayce reincarnation crap (a point that, by the way, he never does anything with). Just being straight-up wrong is also a bad sign.

When you get to do a presentation like this, you usually have pleeeeeenty of time to do research. The fact that David Wilcock gets some minor, nitpicky stuff wrong wouldn't be a problem (everybody makes such errors) if such small mistakes weren't overshadowed by the horrifyingly grand factual mistakes he makes over and over again in his presentation. Am I going to go over every such error here? No, because there are simply not enough hours in the day to give every mistake that Wilcock makes its due attention (though if you really want me to, just say so in the comments and I will set myself to making a complete catalog of Wilcock's errors). The point I want to make here, with just a few examples, is that Wilcock is simply sloppy- he uses bad (even nonexistent!) research to make his points, and betrays a less-then-elementary understanding of the subjects on which he wants us to believe he is an expert. To wit:
  • Throughout the profoundly sleep-inducing section from 6:20 to 10:00ish, Wilcock is making a big deal about... pictures of crop circles. Without getting into the fact that most of the pictures he uses of crop circles are also conspicuously present on professional (human) "circle-maker" artists' websites, Wilcock also makes a curious factual error around 6:41 that I'm glad I caught. He says that a Silbury Hill, Wiltshire, England crop circle has "symbols from the Mayan calendar" that point ahead to the magic year 2012. Now, wait just a second there, Mr. Wilcock. Here is a complete glossary of every single known Mayan calendar glyph in existence. I invite Wilcock to point out exactly which Mayan calendar glyphs can be seen in his photo (since he does not tell us in his video), and to then explain how these glyphs can be expected to point to the year 2012 since there are no Mayan glyphs for mathematical operators in his photo. Here, he is simply wrong about Mayan calendar glyphs and he builds a lengthy argument atop a foundation of something that is untrue. I consider it a total waste of three minutes.

  • While he is sprinting his way through the section on why all modern physics is wrong (he moves with unbelievable speed, with unbelievably little detail, towards several rather unbelievable conclusions), he brings up as evidence for one of his crank hypotheses something called "The Kaznachayev Experiments." He says that it is an experiment that proves that disease effects can be transmitted via quantum effects, thereby reinventing all of physics and biology in a single sentence.

    I have run this name "Kaznachayev" through countless searches, including libraries, JSTOR, Academic Search Premier, Scopus, basically everything that my local college library has access to (which is hundreds of academic journals and tens of thousands of peer-reviewed articles, and that’s not even getting into how many books they have). There is no reference to this experiment anywhere in any literature. Internet searches reveal only credible sources repeating, often line for line, descriptions of this experiment with no actual confirmation that it has ever been performed, much less repeated. I cannot even confirm the existence of the person who conducted this experiment. The diagram he provides has terms like “graviton lattice,” a term that I can only find being tossed about on 2012 true-believer websites. Here, Wilcock has essentially either fallen for a 2012 apocalypticism hoax, or he knows he is giving us bad data. That is to say, he is either too lazy to look up his own data or he is dishonest. Either way, he is not qualified to lecture on this subject.

    Furthermore, the conclusions of this so-called Kaznacheyev experiment are so profound that we would expect a global, overnight revolution in medical science. The experiment basically goes like this: Kaznacheyev supposedly passed a culture of healthy tissue, and a culture of diseased tissue, through a quartz screen by using “gravitons” in a “structured harmonic lattice” to create a “disease or disorder template.” In short, Kaznacheyev’s experiment, if it had ever happened, would show that diseases can be transmitted via quantum effects. Ridiculous, David. Shouldn't Wilcock have at least looked into it first before telling a room full of people that all of physics is wrong? He of course goes on to build several conclusions from the Kaznacheyev experiments. And they are all a waste, because the experiment he cites does not appear ever to have happened.

  • At 11:00, Wilcock gives us the final confirming evidence that he knows nothing about the physics he describes throughout his video. Does he say something wrong? No, not exactly, just something ridiculous. He throws up the biggest red flag in the industry: the "I am single-handedly reinventing physics now, using a complicated jargon that only people deeply entrenched in my subculture even use and that I will use without explanation so that you, the audience, get accustomed to just accepting as fact anything I tell you without giving you time to think about it" flag. And he does it throughout the video!
Sigh. I hang my head in shame. To think I came to this guy for a fight...

But, wait, what's this? Something interesting happens around 13:23-25. He just casually tosses off the factoidthat his ideas about physics have been confirmed by "black ops people." Excuse me, what? Say that again maybe? Maybe you could explain who you're talking about there- United States Special Forces are looking over your scribbles and agreeing with them?

It's things like this that make me think that Wilcock has a callow disregard for his audience. He treats them like idiots (and based on how many hands go up when at 15:40 he asks who in the audience has ever performed Reiki, most of the people in that room probably are idiots) and he leads them around by the nose on his information. At 19:56, he tells them that Stonehenge and the Pyramids were constructed for "psychic purposes" without a shred of detail. At 20:04 he starts trying to convince them that ESP exists because of unsubstantiated anecdotes from a decades-old trashy screed that Wilcock read and believed when he was 7 years old. He expects his audience to believe literally anything he tells them, and doesn't burden himself with explaining why they should believe it.

See my point here is not (merely) to point out that David Wilcock is either a total fraud or so utterly academically sloppy that he is unqualified to lecture on these points. Notice that I have been able to make my entire indictment of Wilcock merely on examples from the first twenty minutes of his movie or so. The whole thing is that bad.

I won't waste your time explaining how Wilcock gets the Mayan calendar wrong (he makes precisely the same errors every other 2012 apocalypticst makes, by the way). I won't waste your time explaining what Wilcock gets wrong about galactic alignments, pole shifts, or DNA. Why? Not because the mistakes he makes are complicated, nitpicky details of real egghead subjects. Quite the contrary! Wilcock makes mistakes of the sort that can be corrected literally by five seconds on Google. If he had bothered to google the famous double-slit experiments and read about it from an objective party instead of (probably) just lifting his argument wholesale from some other 2012 propagandist (in my experience, these guys plagiarize each other as a matter of habit), he would have known that the experiment was about light and not about atoms. See? His error wasn't complicated. It was insultingly basic.

Wilcock misleads you with his childishly thin consideration of detail. He insults you to your face by tossing out sweeping generalizations ("some people believe HIV is synthetic;" 15:20; "your consciousness has more [energy] than could ever be beamed at you;" 15:27) based on nothing or close to nothing. He confesses to us that he is a total sham (either as a deliberate fraud or as an incompetent buffoon) when he makes clear, simple mistakes. He has told us that he doesn't proofread his own evidence when he told us at 6:41 that his crop circle looks like Mayan glyphs for '2012,' even though any Mayan number higher than 19 would have been written vertically when all of the little shapes that Wilcock has mistaken for Mayan glyphs are horizontal.

Wilcock showed us from 7:00-8:00 that he will say literally anything he wants based on nothing. He points to a picture of a crop circle that looks sort of like a worm and says that it's actually a picture of "broken chromosomes" and that it means "Obviously, the circle-makers are saying, you know, 2012, pay attention to your DNA." Yeah, obviously, even though there's nothing in the picture about 2012, DNA, or paying attention. But the connection between crop circles, aliens, 2012, DNA, and paying attention serves Wilcock's pet theories about the future, and I guess that's all that it takes for him.

I remain disappointed. I remain in search of some real scholarship that can take my money. Stop sending me people who think that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012. Stop sending me people who think that 13 baktuns make up one Long Count in the Mayan calendar. Stop sending me people who use meager anecdotes from their own life to establish huge revolutions in gigantic fields of inquiry (as Wilcock does to medicine when, around 15:40, he tells us that Reiki therapy works because he claims he once felt some pain sort of like the pain an unnamed person in some undisclosed location an indeterminate amount of time ago felt while being treated by an anonymous Reiki dolt, therefore, "so this is real stuff" says Dave word for word).

Start sending me the goods, guys! You only have three years left to take my money!!

Look, David, one final word if I may. If you want a serious place at the table of medicine, cite experiments that really happened. If you want a serious place at the table of physics, don't cite a single, discredited crank who sells pamphlets titled things like "The Mythical Universe of Modern Astronomy." (See 16:37 for the amazing tale of a lone nut named Dewey Larson working against all of physics, whose conclusions Wilcock is more than happy to regurgitate without even a token explanation as to why he prefers Dewey over thousands of real scientists). If you want a serious place at my table, don't infer from the premise "there are some squiggles in the desert" the conclusion that "superadvanced aliens want us to be afraid of the year 2012, and the most obvious way to think they could do it was to drill some pictures into cornfields in England rather than just, you know, telling us."

Seriously. Come back when you've got the evidence, guys.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Wired" magazine totally blows it

I like "Wired" magazine. I like tech news. I like science.

So imagine the velocity at which my jaw dropped when I read this HORRIBLE interview, with this HORRIBLE opening question asked of a MODERATELY REASONABLE person about a truly RIDICULOUS subject: Do you think it’s coincidence that the Mayans predicted apocalypse on the exact date when astronomers say the sun will next reach a period of maximum turbulence?
I will give "Wired" magazine any three bones in my body if they can identify any significant Mayan tradition that identifies 2012 with "apocalypse."

As I've said before, and doubtlessly will be forced by my shame-faced disdain for my fellow man to say again, the Mayans did not predict "apocalypse" in 2012, ever, period. The Mayans predicted that their calendar would start over. This would be like "Wired" warning that the world will end on January 1st, 2010, because the Gregorian calendar 'ends' on December 31st of 2009. Way to blow it, "Wired." Consider my subscription canceled.

And, if you please, could you stop poisoning popular culture with this crap? You are either lying about the facts, or you are woefully underqualified to report on the facts, because you completely dropped the ball on this one, guys. In either case, you do not have the academic or moral authority to report on this issue ever again.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The $100 Nibiru Challenge is now the $5,000 Nibiru Challenge!

Blogger Naturally Selectable writes:
Upping the Ante: Win $5,000!

I personally have just written a check in the amount of $4900 that will be made payable to the person who satisfies this challenge. To reiterate, you must provide the right ascention and declination of the object called "Nibiru." In order to qualify, this object must meet the followeing criteria:

1) It must have sufficient mass to cause widespread havoc on earth. I will be generous here and allow any object with a mass equal to or greater than 6.0 x 10^25 kg, which is about ten earth masses.

2) It must have an orbital period between 2000 and 11000 years, consistent with the supposed orbital period of "Nibiru" according to various internet sources.

3) It must pass near the earth between 22 Jun 2012 and 21 Jun 2013 (within six months of 21 Dec 2012). I will again be generous and define "near" as "within 5.0 astronomical units."

(To these, I must add a criteria zero for the scientifically retarded: It must be observable by repeatable physical means, i.e. looking through a telescope.)

Send your entry to me at All entries must be received before doomsday. The person who first e-mails me the position of this object will receive from me via certified mail a check for $4900 USD upon verification of all four criteria. Combined with GoodNewsAtheism's offer, this brings the total prize fund up to $5000.

Good luck!
So, come and get it, you Nibirunauts. Just bring us the absolutely bare minimum for having a seat at the table of normal astronomy- the location of the objection over which you obsess day and night.