"What are the gas planets known as? "
If something catastrophic may occur, wouldn't the governments and scientists deny it anyway to prevent mass hysteria?
I heard this claim often during the four years that I was answering questions from people who were concerned about some sort of cataclysm on December 21. (Incidentally, it was obvious to a scientist even four years ago that the fear of 12/21/12 was not based on reality.) Let me address your question once more. (1) The government has no monopoly on scientific information about the Earth or cosmos. Only a very small fraction of space and earth scientists work for the government. The truth is that if anything were amiss, the scientists would discover it first and the government would learn about it from the scientists. (2) Scientists are independent people with a strong commitment to discovering the truth about nature and sharing that information with others. The great majority would refuse even if told to suppress their findings. In addition, there are scientists in many countries all over the world. These scientists would not feel any obligation to follow the lead of the U.S. government. (3) Indication of any catastrophe from the Earth or space would likely be apparent to everyone, not just scientists. In the silly rumor about Nibiru or Planet X colliding with the Earth, for example, if such a thing had been real it would have been obvious to everyone. (4) I do not agree that governments would hide something to prevent mass hysteria. That idea is a popular Hollywood plot line, not a description of reality. Remember that governments are made of people just like everyone else. (5) To all of you who have made this sort of claim, please consider where it comes from. I bet most of you copied out of a conspiracy website. The assertion that the government is hiding or covering up important information is a mainstay of conspiracy theory. To the rest of us it just sounds stupid.
Astrobiology Senior Scientist
January 2, 2013
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