Ancient Mayan BookIt’s the morning of December 20, 2012 as I type this. That means the end of the world is tomorrow. Just 24 hours away! … If, that is, you believe the assortment of con artists, cranks, liars, “New Agey” buffoons, suicidal lunatics and other ignorant clowns who’ve been propagating the so-called “Maya Apocalypse” garbage for the past few years. As you should know by now, I don’t buy into it; the modern Maya don’t buy into it; and neither should you.

That doesn’t mean people aren’t getting alarmed about it. As the Los Angeles Times reports, the panic is really starting to set in (locally-cached article):

If there’s one government agency really looking forward to Dec. 22, it’s NASA.

The space agency said it has been flooded with calls and emails from people asking about the purported end of the world — which, as the doomsday myth goes, is apparently set to take place on Dec. 21, 2012.

The myth might have originated with the Mayan calendar, but in the age of the Internet and social media, it proliferated online, raising questions and concerns among hundreds of people around the world who have turned to NASA for answers.

Dwayne Brown, an agency spokesman, said NASA typically receives about 90 calls or emails per week containing questions from people. In recent weeks, he said, that number has skyrocketed — from 200 to 300 people are contacting NASA per day to ask about the end of the world.

Sadly, it seems NASA’s efforts to educate the public about the fraud that is the “Maya Doomsday 2012” just aren’t working very well — even though they’ve been trying for quite some time now.

People are still under the impression that the Maya long-count calendar will “end” tomorrow, on December 21, 2012 … despite the fact that no calendar ever “ends.” All calendars are cyclical and perpetual. The Maya calendar cannot “end,” any more than our own can. Just as our own year 2012 will end this coming December 31 and 2013 will begin the next day on January 1, what will happen tomorrow is that the Maya 13th baktun will end, and the 14th will begin.

Moreover, the idea that the Maya “prophesied” the end of the world, is ludicrous on its face. They did no such thing. But even if they had, the accuracy and credibility of their predictions are in question, when one remembers that the classic Maya had not managed to foresee the decline of their own civilization and the upheavals that accompanied it.

Oh, and to add to the confusion, it’s entirely possible the presumed date of the turn of baktun may be wrong, and it might have already occurred! But that seems beside the point.

Photo credit: Jan Vrsinsky, via Flickr.

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  • Alexis

    Who said they meant 2012 ac? And it could have been misread. By the way.

    • "Misread," perhaps … but I think maybe "misunderstood" might be better. The whole thing started with a chance comment archaeologist Michael Coe made about the Maya attitude toward the end of a baktun, back in the 60s. At that time, the ancient Maya were still not very well understood, mainly because their language hadn't been deciphered and a lot of scholars like Coe labored under erroneous misconceptions. (Some of them were the product of occidental arrogance, to be sure.) As more information was gathered, and especially after their language was decoded, scholars (Coe included, I assume) realized this was overblown, and they dropped the idea. But just as scholars had taught themselves enough to forget about it, the "New Agers" picked it up and ran with it … in ways not even Coe could have imagined.

      It was all just plain crazy, but I have yet to hear any of the raging apocalyptics ever apologize to anyone for their (now obvious) lies about the world ending.