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Sunday, March 1, 2009

2012 End-of-World in Student Science Fair !!

The Dallas Morning News has reported that a 13 year old student entered a project titled "2012: Is it really the end? Exploring the Mayan calendar" in the Dallas Regional Science and Engineering Fair.

Students Explore Science at the Fair
by Katherine Leal Unmuth, The Dallas Morning News, Sunday, March 1, 2009.

"Joseph Carroll, 13, of Plano's Rice Middle School, stood in a neat suit before his somberly titled project: "2012: Is it really the end? Exploring the Mayan calendar." Joseph said he decided to take up the project because the last day on the calendar, Dec. 21, 2012, is also his birthday.

"Based on his research, Joseph determined that it is likely the prophecy will come true. Joseph said he tested the accuracy of the calendar and found its predictions were accurate 94 percent of the time, so he concluded the prophecy is likely to come true.

" 'Knowing this information can be helpful in preparing for future events,' he wrote in his conclusion."
[extract ends]

It is disturbing that 13 year-olds are thinking about this sort of thing. They have nearly their whole lives in front of them. They should be thinking about what they want to do when they grow up, and also where they want to go, and what they want to achieve. It must be depressing for people so young to be convinced that their world will end in a few years. They will still be teenagers by that time, and won't be able to see the world through an adult's eyes.

This is an extract from a previous post on the subject :-
A Nation of Conspiracy Theorists & 2012 End of World Hype
"Are there any influential people out there working in government health departments? If so, I predict that you might have to make plans for an influx of disturbed patients in the next few years. Also, there could easily be many young people putting their education plans on hold because they are convinced that they, and the colleges, and the universities, might not exist after December 21, 2012. (I’m not kidding!).
EXAMPLE: Chinese Man Fears End of World Attacks Father

I am wondering if the project proposals were seen by teachers before the Science Fair. If so, any project obviously based on pseudoscience should have been rejected as not eligible for a science fair. (Pseudoscience does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, and often lacks scientific status. In other words, it is wild speculation.)

The 13-year-old seems to have accepted that an ancient calendar is capable of making predictions. In reality, it isn't the calendar that makes the predictions. It is people who are interpreting it in certain ways that are making the predictions. (Be wary of any interpretations. Nobody knows if the interpretations are correct, without having evidence which proves them beyond reasonable doubt.)

The project received an honorable mention in the "Mathematical Sciences" division.
The list of prizes is on _this page_


From the 'Daily Common Sense' blog :-


YouTube page :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7Ls6s4tvEw

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