Will the World Ever End?

Posted: January 23, 2012 - 09:34 , by royal

Submitted by Conrad Biernacki, ROM Programs Manager 

A few weeks ago, Stephen Hawking’s advice to humankind—his gift to us on his 70th birthday—was a very serious request that we must colonize other planets as soon as possible.

Does he know something we don’t? He’s hoping, of course, for the survival of our species. But suggesting such a drastic endeavour suggests that he believes that we’ve gone past the point of no return. That we’ve managed our Eden very badly.

Throughout history, some people have been promoting the idea of eventual cataclysmic doom. Why does this belief continuously rear its head?

The ROM’s exhibition, Maya: Secrets of their Ancient World, inadvertently directs our attention to the end of time as we know it.  A detailed panel in the exhibit explains that December 21, 2012, is only the end of a cycle of time, to be followed by another. It’s time to throw a big party and look gleefully forward to the future.

But in recent months, the media, including a multitude of cartoons, have zeroed in on the Maya calendar and what we think they thought.  Yes, tricky terrain to navigate, indeed.

Is all this just vacuous amusement, or is the idea that time will end someday embedded in the human psyche?

We’re going to elucidate all this on Friday, January 31, 2012.  No it’s not another doomsday prediction, but a monthly event at the ROM called Connecting: Mix Mingle Think. Our speaker, Gayle Gibson, will present the topic The Long Goodbye: Apocalypse 2012.

It will be an evening of mixing, mingling and thinking. Starting with a complimentary drink, followed by a half-hour talk, then hors d’oeurves and a fun contest called ROMfoolery where everyone examines authentic ROM artifacts and tries to identify them. The event is totally unique. Nowhere else in the world (before it ends) will you experience an evening like this! The friendly crowd of all ages numbers about 100.

Photos of the event are coming soon.