It's that time of year again.

The Holiday Season has ended, and society collectively begins its slog through a new year. What better time, then, to scare the living daylights out of everybody?

In what has become an eagerly anticipated tradition, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists warns us that our families and children are all moments away from annihilation. The international media uncritically and gleefully reports this nonsense, despite the fact that the Doomsday Clock has been around since 1947. Yet, we're all still here. There must be something wrong with the clock.

This year, we are merely...

Very smart people sometimes fall prey to very bad ideas.

One of those bad ideas is the notion that the Earth as we know it is about to come to a cataclysmic end. Our sins have finally caught up with us, and humans will be subjected to unbearable wrath. To some religious devotees, the wrath comes from God; to some environmentalists, it comes from Earth. In the end, we're all flambé; the only question is who gets the honor of lighting the kitchen torch.

A somewhat recent convert to the secular version of such doomsday prophesying is famed theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking.

Dr. Hawking has made the news twice this week for comments he made at two different conferences. At one, he said that, due to...