After seeing an increasing amount of people starting to fear the year 2012 I just have to break out the old calculator to calm them down. I will not talk about the movie 2012, and that is because it is scientifically impossible. Why do I think so? Well, how else would you explain the fact that our planets leaders can’t even agree on signing the COP15 trade and still manage to get together to build a huge construction, that would never happen. How would you avoid the two planets leaned in front of us (venus and mercury). They too have a core, mercury a strong magnetic field and solar eruptions disrupt magnetic fields. They too (Venus and Mercury) would suffer drastic changes long before us and even if not as drastic due to different core structuring and presumed lack of tetanic plates, the gravitational shift would have happened several months after the occurence, not years since the smaller planets affect our “geographical” place within the solar system. Now enough of that.
There are a lot of probabilities out there. The word probability in its self derives from the old notion from Newtonian mechanism, and in its term a philosophical base called determinism. It proposes that everything can be calculated since everything is in a path of motion. So knowing all the states of the universe, one can calculate the next move of any human, animal or atom. One would say that probability comes from the philosophical notion probabilism, but a probabilist would say everything as a chance of 50%.
following that notion, me and a friend (saga) wondered to what extent the scene from Donny Darko is probable to happen to us, i.e. being killed by a jet engine falling from the sky. We sat in math class and tried to calculate. We realised that we needed to know these variables. (the numbers in the drawing have no meaning what so ever)
1) How many airplanes actually fly over our premises (square kilometer)
2) How many airplanes lose their engines during a yeas
The calculations led us to these premises. Since only about 10 planes a day fly over this area. The probability was close to infinity. This one can do with almost anything. As long as you know the conditions you can calculate the probability of it.
So in reality, the probability is always either 1/1 meaning it will happen or 1/∞ (infinity) it will not happen.
The chances of the world ending today are just as likely as the chances of it not doing so at all. So, in the case of engines falling out of the sky and an ancient culture predicting the end of the world, each time you walk out the door it may happen instantly or never. The universe is not linear. So don’t let your own reason be.