Stuart Robbins - The End of the World as We Know It

December 26, 2011

Host: Karen Stollznow

Dr. Stuart Robbins is a postdoctoral researcher in astronomy at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His work focuses on planetary geophysics, and he’s currently researching craters on Mars, and on the moon. Stuart received his PhD in Astrophysics through the Geophysics program from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Stuart has a special interest in astronomy education, especially correcting myths and misconceptions about astronomy. To that end, he has a blog entitled Exposing PseudoAstronomy, and a podcast by the same name. Since 2012 is supposed to be our last year on earth, again, Stuart dispels some claims about the Mayan Prophecy.

In this interview with Karen Stollznow, Stuart provides a rundown on the Mayan Long Calendar, and discusses the different calculations and end dates. He talks about the link, or lack thereof, between the calendar and the end of the world. Stuart talks about the many ways in which the world is supposed to end in 2012, via planetary lineups, galactic alignments, pole shifts, crustal displacement, solar flares, or the mysterious Planet X.

Stuart delves into metaphysical claims that 2012 isn’t the catastrophic end of the world, but represents some kind of beginning, or new age of transformation. Finally he tells us, when December 21, 2012 has come and gone, when is the next Armageddon?

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Exposing PseudoAstronomy
Exposing PseudoAstronomy Podcast

Comments from the CFI Forums

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I really enjoyed this episode. Karen and Stuart kept the tone light, which is appropriate for this subject, but I did get enough information to point people the right direction when they spout 2012 nonsense! Thank you!

Posted on Jan 08, 2012 at 8:58am by joannebb Comment #1

An excellent interview. I appreciated especially the detailed and thorough analysis Stuart Robbins made of each of the alleged “apocalyptic” claims, no matter how absurd they are: the planetary alignment, the crossing of the solar system through the galactic plane, the coming into sight of planet X… I think thats the proper way to tackle unscientific claims in an interview, however ludicrous. On a debate, perhaps some other incisive weapons could be used, particularly irony. Congratulations.

Posted on Jan 10, 2012 at 4:08pm by Excelentrik Comment #2

Good stuff.
Dr. Robbins also touched on a subject which I had seen on a tv presentation, i.e reversal of the earth’s magnetic field. Apparently this would weaken the magnetic shield and leave the earth vulnerable to the effects of solar flares.  I would have liked to hear a little more about that, but perhaps he did not want to sound alarmist. Every astrologer would have claimed proof of their predictions.

He also mentioned the Serpent rope. To anyone interested, below is a link for the mysticists about the Mayan Serpent rope and wormholes with pictures. It even mentions Carl Sagan, which proves a scientist can never be careful enough to be cited as confirming woo.

also a recent article on Discovery News regarding updates in the ‘Doomsday clock’

Posted on Jan 11, 2012 at 4:46am by Write4U Comment #3

Dr. Robbins, you said “[you would need] ...starship Enterprise… ...and tractor beam… [to change the Earth’s precession]”

Please don’t encourage the nut cases with comments like this.  These people eat this stuff up.  In fact, almost ANYthing you say in jest is bound to be used as fact to back up their nutty ideas.  (tongue in cheek)

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 at 5:32am by jdevola Comment #4

also a recent article on Discovery News regarding updates in the ‘Doomsday clock’

What does the Doomsday Clock have to do with Doomsday predictions/prophesy?  Only the word Doomsday.

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic representation of a conscience, speaking against Man’s propensity to destroy (doom) himself.
Whereas, Doomsday predictions/prophesies are predictions or prophesies of the end of the world (the world is doomed irrespective of Man’s involvement).

The article is horribly written, also.  It seems to have been written by a junior high school student, grammatical errors beginning with the very first sentence (the gist of the article, I guess).

My point is that you could have made a comment about the Doomsday Clock if you had some point to make in relation to the interview, but in any case, you should have passed on including the link to the Discovery article.  It does not add to the conversation (regarding the interview with Dr. Robbins) in my opinion.

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 at 7:48am by jdevola Comment #5

This was a great episode about a somewhat lighter subject than recent episodes dealing with political topics. Very entertaining and still highly informative. Definitely one of my recent favorites.

Posted on Apr 26, 2012 at 10:48am by Eero T. Eloranta Comment #6