Are We Alone, 2012 repeat

By Phil Plait | November 9, 2009 3:00 pm

The "Are We Alone" SETI podcast this week is a repeat from August, but in case you missed it the topic is 2012 and other Hollywood movies where science is abused, and I talk about the real ways the world might end. Listen before going to see the movie!


Comments (20)

  1. Fluffmachine

    Man, i’m never going to give the people behind anything tagged 2012. especially the movie =.=
    good post on Carl Sagan earlier today!


    Thanks for the reminder, Phil; I had totally forgotten about that podcast.

  3. Glenn

    I don’t know how to submit a link to you that I think you would like, so I’m just putting it here. You and your man-crush Wil Wheaton should like this. Personally I would run the electrical wire down on of the supports aso it would be less obvious.


  4. Chris A.

    Unfortunately, National Geographic’s treatment of 2012 last night was about the most credulous thing I’ve ever seen on Nat Geo. It made me sad.

  5. I think that I happened to catch part of that show too Chris. I couldn’t bear it and turned it off.

  6. What’s the harm? Last week my sister called me about my 11 year old nephew. He suffers from clinical anxiety. For the last few weeks he hasn’t been eating or sleeping. It turns out he and his friends at school have been discussing the Mayans and 2012. The poor little bugger was stressing about the end of the world. So big ol’ skeptical me had a chat about history, prophecies, the internet, myths, liars and why people make stuff up, calendars, conquistadors, Mayans, science and doing research and reading good books in a way that was hopefully palatable to a 11 year old. Apparently since our chat he has been sleeping and eating. The very next morning, after a good nights sleep, he wolfed down half a dozen weet-bix and then wanted to hit the library to do research. A good outcome for this kid luckily.

    So you 2012 proponents can take your prophecies and go and get… far away.

  7. Crux Australis

    Shane, is it wrong that I’m in love with you?

  8. All well and good. However, Amanda Peet, the pro-vaccine spokesperson for Every Child By Two, and the friend of vaccine scientist Paul Offit, is in the movie. The anti-vaxxers love to comment about her career, implying that it is in the toilet, so I do feel an obligation to see the movie, just to make sure they get it stuck to them.

    The Blonde Botox Boob last made a movie when?

  9. Mike

    Awesome story shane. =D

    As for the movie, I’m far too fascinated by big budget disaster porn to miss this one.. I’ll be there opening night. I just hope the director has figured out not to allow attempts at things like “story” and “dialogue” to get in the way of the disaster effects.

  10. I should mention I love disaster porn and I am looking forward to seeing 2012. I’m not too worried by movies. Kids will accept that “it’s just a movie”. The problem is with the credulous “news” reporting and the like. That sort of misinformation is harder to counter.

    Having recently read about Apolinario Chile Pixtun, a Mayan elder, helped. Mentioning that not even Mayan elders believe this BS was handy. He has popped up in a few articles and here is just one…
    Our own Dr Phil is quoted in the aforementioned article too but the article still is trying to be too even handed to the “something could happen” crowd.

    Unfortunately the BBB was in an episode of Chuck in the lastest season. Fortunately she played a baddie.

  11. comment removed by author because he thought his previous post had been swallowed by the spam filter. Obviously not.

  12. Dan I.

    @ 4. Oroboros

    Read the NASA site very nice, linked it to my facebook. What’s very cool is Phil’s old blog on “Niburu” is linked at the bottom.

  13. Alexrkr

    The movie does look epic but there’s just too much BS around the subject. I’m afraid of what I’d hear coming out of the mouths of people before/after the movie.

  14. Ian

    … and folk slated the Catholic Church for insisting ‘Angels and Demons’ was nonsense and that it didn’t reflect the Church’s position on science and reason. Interesting.

  15. To all the fools that believe the 2012 thing: Can I have all your stuff? ūüėõ

    @Ian, I think the thing that got to me at the catholic church regarding Da Vinci Code, and Angels and Demons is that they wanted to put a “warning statement” in front of a clearly fictional movie. That people are gullible enough to fall for a Hollywood production at all resembling reality is what makes rational people sad… Do we need to put those sort of labels at the start of Star Trek? The catholic church is notoriously wimpy when it comes to any sort of criticism, even in fiction. Bunch of wimps who may know their brand of delusion is on the out? (One can hope!)

  16. Buzz Parsec

    But wait! It’s all true! The world is going to end in a little over 3 years! You should liquidate all your assets and spend like there’s no tomorrow, because there isn’t one! If you are short of cash, but have property, I’ll happily buy it off you for 10 cents on the dollar. You should have one last chance to enjoy life before it ends. Send deeds, certificates of title, etc. to me courtesy of this blog. Please enclose an SASE.

  17. Gonzo

    @Shane and others: Nice debunking good skeptic. I would note that this is a serious problem when it comes to children (or adults for that matter) who lack the cognitive abilities of “normal” folks. A friend of mine who works at a therapeutic day school with autistic children, as well as children who have serious mental health issues brought up this issue just today. Some of these children put faith in the idea that everything on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, NatGeo etc. is true and factual. Thus they see these credulous programs about 2012 and literally think that the world is about to end. That’s the damage these irresponsible hucksters are doing to people who are already damaged. They may not think about who they hurt and how, but the effects are there, and real people are really hurt by nonsense and woo.

    Tragically, we see all too often the consequences of buying into this off-the-wall nonsense. Phil talked about the dowsing wands for bombs, then there was the steam clinic outrage in Arizona, people died, and will continue to die. That aside, who knows the long term consequences of pedaling misinformation and outright lies to children, let alone children who cannot think on a level that enables them to rationalize other people’s assertions. Again, they may not think about it, but these charlatans are destroying people’s lives and they ought be held to account for it.


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