Nearly one in seven people worldwide think the world will end this year.

It’s amazing how stubbornly people will cling to a stupid claim long after it’s been debunked. One example is the myth that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world on December 21st of this year. It doesn’t predict any such thing, but no matter how many times its debunked there is still a not insignificant number of people who believe it does.

The number is around 15% of the world’s population, or roughly 1 in 7 people, think this year will be the year according to a recent poll:

“Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,” said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.

“Perhaps it is because of the media attention coming from one interpretation of the Mayan prophecy that states the world ‘ends’ in our calendar year 2012,” Gottfried said, adding that some Mayan scholars have disputed the interpretation.

Not surprisingly, the younger and less educated you are the more likely you are to believe this nonsense:

Gottfried also said that people with lower education or household income levels, as well as those under 35 years old, were more likely to believe in an apocalypse during their lifetime or in 2012, or have anxiety over the prospect.

“Perhaps those who are older have lived long enough to not be as concerned with what happens to their future,” she explained.

I think some people just need something to worry about no matter how stupid it is. I can sympathize with that as I used to be like that when I was younger. If I didn’t have anything to worry about I’d worry that it meant something bad was about to befall me. These days I don’t tend to have worries like that. I have entirely different things to worry about, but I try to keep worries to a minimum and at least semi-realistic. I’m definitely not worried about the world ending this year or within my lifetime. I’d like to be pleasantly surprised if it does happen.

6 thoughts on “Nearly one in seven people worldwide think the world will end this year.

  1. This is exactly why the expression “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” has always annoyed me.

    The Mayan’s predict that the world will end (they didn’t) during the same year that many or all planets align (they don’t) and therefore…clear evidence that the world is going to end.

    But…why would both of those end of the world scenarios say those things (they don’t) if there wasn’t SOME truth to it?

    This kind of thinking is the next illogical step from “If I say it often enough, then it’s true.” If enough wrong things are said near some subject, there must be some truth to the subject.

    Forget math, science, english…start teaching kids logic from a very early age. Teach them to reason and problem solve. Teach them to think outside the box, while still acknowledging the existence of the box.

    Otherwise, we are doomed to an eternity of “so many people believe the world is going to end, then it must be” (with a side dish of “he produced a birth certificate, so there MUST be a conspiracy.”)

  2. One in seven worldwide isn’t so bad. Living in the U.S. we’re used to at least thirty percent of people being certifiably insane on any given subject.

  3. That seems like a weird interpretation: ” Perhaps those who are older have lived long enough to not be as concerned with what happens to their future.”

    Wouldn’t it be more likely for older people to have a ” been there, done that” sort of attitude? You can only spend so many years of your life waiting for the imminent end of the world before you start thinking that you have miscalculated the probabilities. If you think there’s a 25% chance of the nd of the world and 25 years go by without it happening then the probability is probably not 25%. Maybe it’s 1%. With a 1% prob, I’d have to say “no” if someone asked me if I thought the world would end this year. Even though that is an extremely alarmingly shockingly high probability.

    Why would you be pleasantly surprised if the world ended? Do you have a bunch of survivalist gear? I live in fairly urban area so if I’m not lucky enough to die instantly then I’d go from sickness, radiation, starvation, dehydration, exposure to elements, or violence. None of that sounds pleasant.

  4. The world may not be ending in 2012, always the chance of a rogue asteroid sneaking up without anyone looking in the right direction, depends on who you believe but Earth is either overdue a “BIG ONE” or we could go thousands of years with nothing too big hitting (ELA … Extinction Level Event).

    The other main concern is that a significant proportion of the planets population will be killed off in the next world war, again it’s a case of take your pick as to where and how it could all kick off; the usual suspects like the middle East to the less obvious such as N. Korea attacking China (such a wackadoodle culture, leader/people it could just happen). Or a sudden flashpoint start such as China (ROC:Republic Of China)invading Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)(PRC:Peoples Republic of China) and the U.S.A. are brought into the conflict.

    Another very real prospect is the U.S. defaulting on it’s debts to China or having to devalue it’s currency to such an extent that China demands payment by other methods.

    Then there are the potential areas of conflict that many people don’t consider such as Africa, where China is investing heavily in it’s search for natural resources.

    But never mind all that … smile, be happy, you only die once ❗

    PS Just read through what I wrote and China figures quite prominently, don’t forget the Russians too 😎

  5. 2 things:
    1) New Mayan Calendar just found gives another 7K years after 2012.

    2) Fukushima. It is said by some that some of the spent fuel rods contain some kind of fuel called MOX Plutonium(?) and that if they go up they could cause an extinction level event. The hon. senator out of Oregon reports a danger yet unreported from Fukushima and his letters can be read on his website (easy google).

    Me, well I’m livin for today. cheers!

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