Sunday, November 15, 2009

Nostradamus 2012

I dragged my ass out of bed for another lazy Sunday, turned on the History Channel, and what to my wondrous eyes should appear? A new documentary about Nostradamus, the ancient Mayans, and the year 2012. I was fascinated with the prophecies of Nostradamus when I was in high school, back when Nostradamian Scholars were predicting with unequivocal certainty that 2/3 of the world's population would die in July of 1999. That never happened, and I became a skeptic.

His prophecies are written in a vague form of poetry that can be filtered to fit virtually any significant historical event. He wrote vague predictions on pieces of paper, and for the rest of time historians would take these predictions and fit them to events that best suited their argument. Yet the probability that a man looked into a crystal ball 400 plus years ago and saw Kennedy being shot is virtually zero. Who am I kidding, it is exactly zero. The Zapruder Film was not pre-screened in 16th century France.

This documentary that I have been watching for the last 45 minutes ties Nostradamus into the Mayan calendar. The Mayans of course being among the first experts in astronomy and designed an elaborate calendar that has proven very accurate, and the calendar stops in Dec 2012. Coincidently, in Dec 2012 the sun, the earth, and the center of the Milky Way galaxy line up; an event that only happens about once every 26,000 years. I did score a B+ in Introductory Astronomy as a University freshman, so I do have a basic understanding of the key principles. I believe 95% of Astrology is bullshit. That you could say "you are going to meet a new person today because Aquarius and Jupiter are in zero". There is no direct correlation between where star constellations are in the sky and whether or not your boss will give you shit of Tuesday. Oh my Lord, that star is there and that star is there, I need to go bet on the Rams! That is just stupid.

In Astronomy, all the fundamentals are based on the observed rules of physics. We know that our planet is floating around a sun, and that our solar system is floating around the Milky Way. Our sun has a mighty gravitational pull which keeps our planet circling around at a fixed distance. At the center of our galaxy is a massive force of gravity strong enough to pull millions of stars into orbit. If our tiny little planet fell into a straight line with these two massive forces of gravity, it is possible that we could feel a measured effect on our planet, however small or however large that might be. Maybe it just adds 20 yards to my drive and we get minor satellite disruption, or maybe we feel no effect at all. While I am a mathematician, I am not qualified to predict the effects of this cosmic alignment.

Did the Mayans stop writing their calendar because the world was going to end? Or did they just get tired of carving it into stone? Do you think two masons just looked at each other one day and said "well we've gone up to 2000 years in the future, what do you say we call it quits and go shoot some ball?" The stars travel through the sky in a predictable geometric pattern. Once you isolate the algebraic formulas, you can say with absolute certainty the coordinates of all stars and planets at any moment in time in the past or future. If you would like to be able to map the stars in the sky in perpetuity, the software package you need to buy is Starry Night designed by a pair of University of Guelph Physicists (this would make a fantastic Christmas gift for amateur astronomers).

What has other academics concerned is that there does appear to be a confluence of events leading towards this rare solar gravitational alignment. The first being that global warming as introduced to us by Al Gore, that driving cars drives world temperature is bullshit. It was always the sun. Lots of solar activity, earth gets hot, low solar activity, earth cools. Solar cycles are indeed cyclical, and right now we are in a low cycle. Solar scientists predict that in 2012 we will be back into a high activity cycle. Does a peak in the solar cycle when matched with this rare gravitational alignment mean that the noticed effects on earth will be magnified? I suppose it is possible, however improbable. Who would have thought that world temperatures were affected by that great ball of fire in the sky, and not whether or not I take the bus to work?

Then you have Obama, Pelosi, and Frank setting global economic policy for the next few years. They will be desperate to rush through their agenda before next year's midterm elections, and they may place destructive restrictions on economic activity. The American withdrawal from Iraq while Iran is mobilizing for a showdown with Israel could destabilize the region. I fully expect Obama to pull American soldiers out of Mesopotamia by the end of his first term. The government of Pakistan seems increasingly vulnerable to radical Islam, and it is frightening to think what those nut jobs would do if they got their hands on the leadership of Pakistan and its military. So long as NATO has a 2nd front open against these revolutionaries, the probability of them sacking Islamabad is significantly diminished. NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan would remove a check and balance on a fundamentalist movement that endeavors to control the real prize in the Himalayan region, Pakistan.

Then you have the large declines in the bee populations, which we are dependent on to pollinate crops and wild plans, meaning that our food supply could be vulnerable. The collective works of Geldoff and Bono over the last 20 years have facilitated an unsustainably high population growth rate in the impoverished world; where populations have far and away outstretched their ability to feed themselves. If the grain transfers stop, all hell breaks loose. Bob and Sonny, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

Do I think that Armageddon is coming? No. It is possible, but I believe the smart bet is that in the end, modern civilization is extremely intelligent, adaptable, productive, and creative. I am a fan of man! I just wanted to take the opportunity to riff on Nostradamus and End of Days philosophy while the History Channel is hosting some kind of Nostradamus marathon.


  1. I voted for a very Merry Christmas in 2012.

  2. And before I incur the wrath of the Astrology community, let me say that even a broken clock is right twice a day!

  3. I think we have the second one happening as we speak.

    Rob C

  4. Good Read. Thank you.

  5. What about Edgar Cayce? He went into trances and very accurately prescribed medicine to cure diseases. Check out his "earth changes" predictions, they are at least as accurate as The Nost. Plus he predicted mankind would come out just fine, so if I had to pick a prophet, Cayce is my guy.

    Mostly, I'll just go on with my life and ignore the doomsayers.

  6. Astrology, palmistry, pyramid power, and the prophesies of Nostradamus are all crutches for the feeble minded who have so little self confidence that they need some sort of crutch to sustain their hopes for a better outcome to their futile, aimless existence.
    However, I do believe in the prophesy that Obama, Pelosi, and Frank will bring the U.S. to its knees if their nutty policies are enacted.

  7. Hunter, if you believe that Cayce is the man to place your bets on, then you may want to check out David Wilcock. On the other hand, if you believe in Roland Emmerich's version of 2012, check out patrick Geryl. I don't worry about the predictions of either; I'm sure I'll know the answer by New Years Day in 2013. (or shortly thereafter!)