December 15, 2012 9:16 am

The Mayan Apocalypse Is Coming? Not Really.


Artist's depiction of asteroid hitting Earth

Artist’s concept of a catastrophic asteroid impact with Earth. An impact with a 500-km-diameter asteroid would effectively sterilize the planet.
Image Credit: NASA (Artist: Don Davis)

One of the best things about StarTalk Radio is that, while we’re totally willing to discuss pop culture items like ghosts and Mayan apocalypses and killer meteors and whether Santa could actually visit houses around the world in a single night, we do so from a place of scientific fact, experimentation and indisputable data.

Take this Sunday’s upcoming new podcast on the “Mayan Apocalypse” and other doomsday fears and predictions.

It’s hard to listen to astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discuss these fantasies in sober, rational tones and not wonder why people are just so obsessed with predicting the end of the world.

In this Cosmic Queries episode, Neil and comic co-host Chuck Nice take on some of the popular, prevailing doomsday scenarios, helpfully and playfully provided by our fans on Facebook, Google+ and right here on the website. Does the Mayan Calendar actually predict anything extraordinary at all? Could a solar flare cause an extinction level event here on Earth? What exactly is the likelihood that a meteor will wipe out humanity? And what about the possibility of an attack on humanity by intelligent, dinosaurs living deep under the surface of the Earth?

It’s a show designed to use facts to put people’s apocalyptic fears to rest… but if you find it funny, too, that’s okay with us.

And for those of you who want to defend these predictions, feel free to do so in the comments below, although for the sake of discussion, it may work better if you save them and add them to the comments on the show archive page Sunday night. That way, they’ll become part of the conversation for everyone who visits the show archive page. I expect that conversation will end up being a lively one…

Cosmic Queries: Mayan Apocalypse & Other Disasters will be available right here on our website and on iTunes this Sunday, December 16, 7:00pm ET.

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!

–Jeffrey Simons

  • joey

    Thank you guys! P.s. you rock more than the music on the radio, please keep it up, and I love you kristen . hear ya later!

  • Darrell Stahl

    Mr. Tyson,I enjoy listening to your program,you are obviously a very intelligent person and very learned.
    My Question is:Why oh Why do you not give credence to the Bibles explanation of what is now happening
    to this beloved Earth of ours in these (last days) Look please at what the Bible says about the time we now
    live in at 2nd.Timothy 3:1-5,does this ring a bell with you?

  • joey

    There is no science in the bible. Only moral truth. Don’t get it twisted.

  • Tre Gibbs

    @Darrell – The Bible has nothing to do with science. Why would you want an educated scientist to give credence to ancient texts that man, ignorant of science, wrote about while there was very little understanding of the world (and cosmos) around us? It’s similar to comparing astrophysics to Harry Potter (not really – lol, Harry Potter is MUCH better)

  • Brian

    @Darrell- people have used the bible to predict the end times since that horrible book was ever written. Thankfully none of it holds any water. Google Harold Camping and see how many times he’s predicted then end based on biblical nonsense.