Mayan 2012 Apocalypse Debunked

December 8, 2010

It’s a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan “Long Count” calendar does not end on Dec. 21, 2012 and the world will not end along with it. The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn’t end in December 2012, no one knows if it will end at all, when it will end, or if it already has.

A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 to 100 years or more. That would throw the supposed and over hyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into disrepute the dates of other historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries were based on the fact that the Mayan calendar was originally thought to end in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.)

The Mayan calendar was converted to today’s Gregorian calendar using a calculation called the GMT constant, named for the last initials of three early Mayanist researchers. Much of their early work used ambiguous dates recovered from colonial documents that were written in the Mayan language in the Latin alphabet, according to the chapter’s author, Gerardo Aldana, University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies.

But according to Aldana, Lounsbury’s evidence is far from irrefutable.
“If the Venus Table cannot be used to prove the FMT as Lounsbury suggests, its acceptance depends on the reliability of the corroborating data,” he said. That historical data, he said, is less reliable than the Table itself, causing the argument for the GMT constant to fall “like a stack of cards.”

No one has any answers as to what the correct calendar conversion might be, preferring to focus instead on why the current interpretation is wrong. Looks like end-of-the-world theorists may need to find another ancient calendar on which to pin their apocalyptic hopes.

Article From The Trans Caribbean Times Dec.08, 2010


2 Responses to “Mayan 2012 Apocalypse Debunked”

  1. Dear Casa la Barenda,

    We would like you to consider doing a review of one of our newest books Apocalypse Not: A History of the End of Time by John Michael Greer. Perhaps you may also consider doing an online review with Greer, or we can send you an excerpt from his book. We feel that this work is at once entertaining and informative, whether or not you believe the end of the world is imminent.

    Apocalypse Not
    It’s the End of the World As We Know It (Or Is It?)
    Get ready for the most thorough apocalypse-debunking ever!
    With the apocalyptic fervor running through everyone’s minds these days, it seems that the more interesting question to ask is not when the end-time is, but why anyone in their right mind would believe that there will be an end-time at all. John Michael Greer, in his newest work Apocalypse Not, tackles this question and presents a comprehensive history of apocalyptic predictions, tracing its beginnings to as far back as Zarathustra of the 12th century BCE, who, even then, was proclaiming that the end of the world was not too far away in the future! From there, the apocalyptic meme spread as wildfire, reaching cultures everywhere in the world, inspiring dozens of secular and nonsecular prophets, who predict with the same theme of a wonderful paradise after cataclysmic disasters. Whether it’s the religious rapture, alien takeovers, nuclear destruction, or the subversion of the human race to superhuman artificial intelligence, Greer insists that they’re all the same story. After 3000 years of failed predictions, Apocalypse Not explains this craze, offers another perspective, including how it has helped to shape religions, cultures, and politics, and why these predictions will never come true.

    Among the stories highlighted in Apocalypse Not are: the birth of the apocalypse meme out of archaic star myths in the ancient Middle East; the failed end time prophecies of Nostradamus, Mother Shipton, and other famous prophets; the long and murky road from the Great Pyramid to today’s Rapture beliefs; and the real origins of the belief in apocalypse in 2012 (hint: it’s not originally Mayan at all).

    John Michael Greer is the author of the award-winning The New Encyclopedia of the Occult, Secrets of the Lost Symbol, and also writes a popular futurist blog, The Archdruid Report. He lives in Cumberland, MD.

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