Is the world ending, or not?
Local educator reveals truth behind 2012 doomsday predictions
by Adriana Rambay Fernández
Reporter Staff Writer
Jun 12, 2011 | 7560 views | 3 3 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DISPELLING MYTHS ABOUT 2012 – Astronomy Educator Laura Venner was at the Meadowlands Environment Center on June 7 discussing myths about the world ending in 2012. Here, she talks with Ray Heller, 82, from Rutherford.
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Eight-year-old Laura Venner sat on her stoop with her dog waiting for the world to end. She didn’t know what else to do after being told by her grandmother that doomsday had arrived. It was Dec. 13, 1974 and what was cause for alarm back then just ended up being a partial solar eclipse.

Today, Laura Venner is the astronomy educator and observatory specialist for the Meadowlands Environment Center and William D. McDowell Observatory in nearby Lyndhurst, N.J. She has lectured to thousands of youth in this role and has found that questions about the end of the world come up time and time again.

She isn’t the only person in the area concerned with doomsday predictions. Recently, Secaucus resident Catherine Yang was featured on Fox News because she and certain other people nationwide believed the world would end May 21 after radio evangelist Harold Camping spread the prediction.
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“I just want kids to not be afraid.” – Laura Venner
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Because of the reactions from kids to such prognostications, Venner has begun lecturing about the topic.

On June 7, she launched her new lecture, “Will the World Really End in 2012?,” to address childrens’ fears and to help parents and grandparents respond to the issue.

Doomsday debunked

“She wouldn’t go to school, had headaches…hadn’t eaten in two days,” said Venner in an interview last week, talking about a young girl who came in to see her because she thought the world was ending. The girl’s father had taken her to see the movie 2012 about the earth’s self-implosion, which only compounded her fears.

After meeting with Venner, the young student walked away with a new look on life and the desire to become a NASA scientist.

Venner says parents and grandparents don’t have enough information to respond to their children’s concerns. She’s putting together a pamphlet and materials about it, and says she will go anywhere to talk for free. “I just want kids to not be afraid,” said Venner.

At Tuesday’s event, Venner was quick to put to rest some of the fears children have brought to her attention, such as the possibility of an asteroid hitting earth, aliens arriving, the Earth exploding, Nostradamus’ predictions, and catastrophic planetary alignments.

She said that while an asteroid could hit the Earth some day, scientists are constantly monitoring the situation.

Approximately 50 people showed up for the lecture, one of many events held each month at the Meadowlands Environmental Center.

At the lecture, residents asked questions about the severity of Global Warming and natural disasters.

Later, audience member Peg Dalton, 67, from Edgewater, said her brother, an avid star-gazer who lives and works in Antarctica, believes the world will end in 2012. But she said she isn’t convinced.

2012 is a key year because the ancient Mayan calendar is perceived to end in that year, something Venner said is not true. At the lecture, she said the Mayan calendar, like any calendar, is cyclical. She said that some people believe the calendar points to the beginning of a new time period: the Age of Enlightenment, or as it has been referred to in the past, the Age of Aquarius.

She also said that recent natural disasters don’t mean the world is coming to the end.

After the lecture, she explained, “[Earth] has a way of balancing itself out…of reinventing itself – sometimes that means calm, sometimes that means turbulence – the earth is still growing.”

Venner said that an increased population in disaster zones and constant media attention adds an element of mania to what has naturally occurred for billions of years.

Messages about the world ending have surrounded children for ages – from the story about Chicken Little to movies such as Independence Day – but the warnings of imminent doom intensified as followers of Camping plastered massive billboards with warnings of a May 21 judgment day.

Camping’s followers believe the apocalypse will take place Oct. 21, 2011.

Venner heard about Camping three days before the May date. She had received an automated phone recording telling her to go to familyradio.com, which she initially thought was a joke. Her personal response to the 2011 predictions: “This is unfounded. I need to see facts.”

Reactions

After the lecture, attendee Pat Dawson of Edgewater was asked what she would do if she only had three days left on Earth.

She replied, “I would have to party. What else can you do – party or pray.”

Anne LaHoff, 94, from North Arlington said, “The world will end when I die.”

Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at afernandez@hudsonreporter.com.

Comments
(3)
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letsgomets2009
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June 25, 2011
The Mayan predictions have nothing at all to do with what Camping predicted.

There is no parallel, no similiarity no common ground. Period.

Camping was a nutbar who exploited his so called "expertise" to predict something that had zero chance of happening -- and his avid followers bought it hook line and sinker. Period.

The only similarity there is is between Camping and PT Barnum: there's a sucker born every minute and that's what happened with his bogus "prediction."
Peter_Yates
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June 12, 2011
For further information please go here :- http://foresight-of-hindsight.blogspot.com/2010/02/scared-teenager-asks-questions-about.html

or here :-

http://foresight-of-hindsight.blogspot.com/2008/10/scientist-responds-to-2012-end-of-world.html

Thank you.
DannyHaszard
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June 12, 2011


Harold Camping sounds like he plagiarized Jehovah's Witnesses.

Jehovah Witnesses are a spin-off of the second Adventist which all came from the Millerite movement.American war of 1812 army captain William Miller is ground zero for Jehovah's Witnesses.

Yes,the "great disappointment" of Oct 22 1844 has never died out... it lives on in the Jehovah's Witnesses.

The central CORE doctrine of the Watchtower,yes the reason the Watchtower came into existence was to declare Jesus second coming in 1914.When the prophecy (derived from William Miller of 1842) failed they said that he came "invisibly".

Watchtower reckless predictions of the (1914) (1975)..... second coming of Christ hardens skeptics in their unbelief and provides new fodder for cynics to mock the Christian faith.

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Danny Haszard been there