People unclear on the concept, Part II

People unclear on the concept, Part II

People unclear on the concept, Part II

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 9 2008 12:01 PM

People unclear on the concept, Part II

In a related note to my earlier post, I keep getting a MySpace friend request by someone who is shilling books about death and doom in 2012. I marked the request as spam, but this person has resent it twice. On the third try, he said (paraphrased) "I am a fan of your work and would like to be your friend here."

Are you kidding me?

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  


Look, I'm a nice guy, and I like having friends. But let me be clear; people who write books only to scare people about nonsense doomsday predictions are among the lowest and worst forms of slime on this planet.* Scaring people to make a buck is just evil, plain and simple. Prosecuting someone like this bonehead who is writing antiscientific garbage about 2012 would be very difficult -- fraud is hard to prove -- but it's too good for them. I have no doubt he'll find a ton of folks all too willing to feed from the slop he's swilling, but I'm not quite so gullible. And I certainly won't befriend him. I don't know which possibility I find more offensive -- the idea that he is such a chucklehead that he thinks I would actually agree to add him to my friends list, or that he thinks I'm such an idiot that I won't check up on him before I click "accept", even when his MySpace avatar is the cover of one of his antiscience books proclaiming we're all gonna die in 2012.


So let me say this here, as loudly, publicly, and clearly as I can: if you are an antiscientist, if you are a doomsday crier, if you abuse science and specifically astronomy to sell books, videos, pamphlets, websites, or get on the radio, TV, and podcasts, trying to scare people or funnel money into your scam, then I am your worst enemy. I will expose you for what you are. I will mercilessly and unrelentingly tear apart your arguments, shine the light of reality on the noisome offal you peddle, and do everything I can within reason to make sure that people understand just how ridiculous, offensive, and downright wrong your claims are. And that includes people who promote the Moon hoax, creationism, selling star names, astrology, Mayan prophecies, Sitchinism, Velikovskiism, the Electric Universe, structures on Mars, antivax propaganda, NASA conspiracies, supernatural apparitions, pareidolic visitations, UFOs, aliens peeking in windows, hot comets, and planetary alignment disasters... and especially if you're a politician who promotes any of these things.

If you fall into this category, then you might want to keep an eye on your rear-view mirror. The face you'll see in it is mine, as well as those of hundreds, thousands of others who will not rest as long as you try to tear down reality. We'll be right there, fixing it back up.

*Yes, I'm aware that I have written a book about death and destruction from space. The difference here -- and it's a basic one, a fundamental one -- is that mine is based on science, on evidence, and on reality. I present what we know, what we don't know, and also talk about the (in general very long) odds of any of these happening to us. I'm not trying to scare people to sell books, nor do I make up anything, nor do I abuse science and astronomy to do it.