The Skeptical Teacher

Musings of a science teacher & skeptic in an age of woo.

Oops! Correction to Mayan Calendar Shows that 2012 Might NOT Be “The End of the World”

Posted by mattusmaximus on October 22, 2010

Of course, the notion that the end of the Mayan “Long count” calendar predicts the end of the world is downright silly – does anyone get worried when December 31st on our modern calendars approaches?  But just to show how idiotic this whole notion really is, it seems that some archaeological research has – pardon the pun – dug up a correction to the Mayan calendar.  The result is that the big date, December 21st, 2012 according to various doomsayers & New Age gurus, is probably not the right date…

End of the Earth Postponed

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 may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn’t end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will – or if it has already.

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 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.) …

This is hilarious!  Various folks have been jumping on the doomsday bandwagon ever since this 2012 nonsense became part of the social consciousness, claiming alternatively that it will be the end of the world or some kind of revelation of cosmic wisdom or other similar goofiness.  Charlatans have made a LOT of money selling books and all manner of claptrap to the gullible who are swallowing this stuff.  But even if they were right about the supposed apocalypse coming to destroy/enlighten us, they screwed up the date!

Of course, this is nothing new.  Historically, when those who make these kind of bold predictions are clearly shown to be wrong (and they’re ALWAYS wrong, because we’re still here), they simply tweak their estimates & calculations and make another set of predictions that the credulous folks want to believe in.  And so it goes… I wonder what the next end of the world fad is going to be?  Whatever it is, I’m going to make a prediction which I’m certain will come true: they’ll be dead wrong, again :)

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3 Responses to “Oops! Correction to Mayan Calendar Shows that 2012 Might NOT Be “The End of the World””

  1. Your post took me back to an Cultural Anthropology class I took in college. During the class we reviewed several religions, including the Johavas Whitnesses. The Watchtower has predicted the end of the world 5 times since the early 1900s. They convinced their followers to give up their posessions & quit their jobs…and all for what? Just to be told, “Oh, we’ve made a mistake. Keep believing and sending us money so that we can continue to further misguide you.” Of course I’ve taken some liberties here, but I’m sure you see my point.

  2. jick3 said

    all hail Y2K..! another joke, dig your bunkers, store food and water, buy a generator, pray to the invisible manin the sky. If the end of the world is to come, I
    don’t think a bottle of evian water and dehydrated food in a hole in the ground with a dvd player powered by generac will help you and your god wont save you either..
    silly just silly………… isn’t it.?

  3. Tat2Grl said

    The next thing will be the Solar Flares that are coming to burn the earth in 2012-2013

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