Why do we treat the end of the world as a kind of entertainment? Andrew Bolt suggests that "when these scientists say the end of the world is nigh, they don't mean it, not literally, but are just scaring us for our own good. Or that they do mean it, but are frankly batty."
Batty or merely hopelessly unqualified? Frank Fenner, who recently predicted that the human race will be extinct within the next 100 years, is an emeritus professor of microbiology. Meanwhile, Nicholas Boyle, who has predicted a dramatic event to take place in 2014 and determine the course of the 21st century, is a professor of German literature. What qualifies these specialists to become general-purpose futurologists?
For the popular press, of course, one professor is as good as another.
- Human race 'will be extinct within 100 years', claims leading scientist (Daily Mail)
- 2014 will determine course of century, says Cambridge professor (Daily Telegraph)
- Why the world will NOT end in 2012: Nasa scientist debunks conspiracy theories (Daily Mail)
- Dementia may have been caused by the Second World War, says scientist (Daily Mail)