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SKEPTOID BLOG:

What to say when you are told the (Mayan) end is nigh:

by Jon Connell

December 14, 2012

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Donate What to say when you are told the (Mayan) end is nigh:

History is jam-packed with examples of populations believing that the end is nigh... and responding to that belief with very unfortunate results. In fact the occurrence is so prevalent in history that in my humble opinion this is likely a fundamental characteristic of being human — that is "a willingness to believe that the end is coming... and coming soon".

Personally I find the presence of what on the face of it is a perplexing behavior is entirely understandable — it may even have a scientific basis:

Given that we each of us have an inevitable end at some point and that we are each capable of putting that end off by acting in the appropriate ways... that fact plus the evolutionary necessities of survival in past epochs likely means that those with a high level of paranoia possibly survived hard times slightly more successfully than those that did not posses that characteristic. (Storing for winter, running from danger, avoiding risky situations etc) All in all, those that have a fundamental belief in the imminent possibility of catastrophe perhaps passed their genes along better than those that didn't. End result, for some people news of a pending disaster generates an immediate need to believe in and respond to it.

All well and good. The problem comes when people respond by selling their houses and standing on a hillside waiting for the apocalypse on xx date... history is packed with these incidents. More often than not these incidents are promulgated by one person or one group. In pursuit of keeping everyone off the mountainside next week I thought it would be useful to repost the following links from the NASA site.

( If my Darwinian evolutionary behavioral theory is correct then the best way to influence the influencable would be to deliver a more convincing story to them... and one that assists in their survival)

..So read on - and be convincing if ever the subject comes up. By topic.

by Jon Connell

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