At the annual meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific this week, BAS member Dr. David Morrison, who writes the NASA "Ask an Astrobiologist" column, reported that the number of questions about the "killer planet" Niburu and "doomsday 2012" questions have expanded astronomically, so to speak. David read some of the emails he has received, and they indicate a portion of the public is being seriously alarmed by the hype about these alleged future disasters allegedly about to impact Earth.
Some have written about committing suicide, others have mentioned panic and anxiety attacks, and many have expressed great concern over whether the government is lying to them about the coming disaster. Take a look at the column for an eye-opening view of some of the fears and misconceptions held by our fellow citizens -- and Morrison's clear-headed and informative responses. Like Dave, I am outraged at the hucksters on cable TV and from Hollywood who are trying to make a buck out of scaring the daylights out of people with half-baked pseudoscience.
At the conference, Dave used fear of Niburu and 2012 disaster scenarios as examples of why scientists and other knowledgeable people should step up to the plate to help educate the public about these issues. Pseudoscience DOES matter. Ignorance hurts people.