Apr 132018
 

Every year or two, some jackhole pops up with a claim that that Earth is about to get either a close pass or an impact by the planet Nibiru.And every time lo and behold… no Nibiru. Mostly this is because Nibiru and it’s threatening orbit are nonsense, invented and propagated by crackpots and charlatans and hoaxers.

And now that thins in the world are getting, seemingly, increasingly nutty and fearful-making… oh, goody, here Nibiru comes again to lower our collective IQ. This time it’s associated with Christian numerology and Rapture-prediction, something that worked out so spectacularly for  Harold Camping.

No, the Rapture Isn’t Coming on April 23 Because of Nibiru (Which Doesn’t Exist)

You’d *think* that such a specific claim, so often made, so often proved false, would eventually disappear. But there’s something about the concept of Nibiru that seems to appeal to whackos.

 Posted by at 6:03 pm
  • Paul451

    Creationists campaigned on “Teach The Controversy”, by which they meant to use Creationist-written textbooks to teach “science”. But I do think that teaching the stupidity of alt-science should be a part of school science, because it allows you to demonstrated scientific principles to show how stupid most alt-science is.

    For example, Nibiru has been claimed for years, “hidden behind the sun”. It’s either meant to be in a distant eccentric orbit around the sun, approaching every so many thousand or millions of years, or it’s a prophesised one-off flyby. Either way, I think it would be useful to go through the possible trajectories and velocities, and working out with basic Newtonian mechanics how long it would take to get from, say, Neptune’s orbit to Earth’s. And therefore how long it could “hide behind the sun”, because of Earth’s orbit. Similarly working out how brightly it would reflect sunlight if it was a brown dwarf down to an Earth-sized planet. Maybe using simple simulators like Orbiter or Universal Sandbox to show the effect of a hypothesised Nibiru on the orbits of other planets.

    Same with Creationism, Flat Earth, etc. Get kids to throw the things they’ve learned at alt-science. IMO, it’ll teach vastly more skepticism and critical thinking skills than just mindlessly memorising sciency factoids.

    • Thucydides_of_Athens

      But people who are sceptical and use critical thinking to test ideas will not simply sit back and accept the “narrative”, but actually challenge the powers that be. Just read the previous post about students who have little understanding about basic facts like the spherical shape of the Earth…..

    • Scottlowther

      I’m all for teaching skepticism and questioning authority. But that kinda goes against the mission statement of a centralized government-run educational system. And the minute you decide to take some bit of goofiness that is actually accepted by a noticeable fraction of the public and your tear it apart in the classroom, you have to consider what all else to include. The claims that with just a smidgeon of muttering, a cracker will turn into humans flesh and booze will turn to blood? I’ve seen that go south real fast even on a skeptical discussion forum.

  • Herp McDerp

    And then there’s the ever-popular “This August Mars will pass so close to Earth that it will look as big as the Moon in the night sky!!!1!!” You’d think that after people kept getting these notifications year after year after year that they would catch on, but nooooooo …

  • James

    Meh people desperately want to feel part of something special. Always have always will.