The other morning, I watched with great interest a news report on the upcoming, much hyped, “End of the World”. Of course, I have played into the hype in my own miniscule way – note the countdown clock on the right hand side of your screen. The date in question, December 21st, 2012, is the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar. Some say the world will end that day in some sort of global cataclysm. According to the news report, NASA is besieged with inquiries. People want the down-low on the END, and who best to answer that question than the space guys themselves. Assuming the END will come from out of the sky with our little planet taking it head-on with an asteroid or comet, then the NASA guys are the ones who ought to know. The Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) team, under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force has been tracking nearby asteroids and comets for years. The last time I checked, the only civilization altering object in our neighborhood, an asteroid scheduled for a flyby in 2028, has now been re-categorized by NEAT, and now poses no danger at all to us.
According to the news reports though, some folks are not convinced. They’re stocking up on provisions – food, medical supplies, and most importantly ammunition. Some people don’t want to be caught under a five hundred foot tidal-wave unless they are well armed.
Besides creating a group of paranoid adults, the December 21st date is causing countless school-children (much more understandably), to lie awake nights worrying about the END, instead of focusing on Christmas 4 days later.
Perhaps the children would feel better about things if they were told that the Mayan Long Count Calendar consists of a timekeeping system started (roughly) around 3114 B.C.E. Since we know that it is impossible that the earth was formed at this early date we must ask ourselves if these Mayans are all that reliable in the first place. They seem to know when it all ends, but they have no idea when it started – no creditability I say.
The Mayan Calendar is divided into 394 year periods called baktuns. On, or around, December 21st of this year, the calendar will have completed its 13th baktun. While the number 13 held special significance to the Mayans, there is still little evidence that the calendar ends on December 21st because after that time we shall have no more need for calendars!
Listen to the Mayans themselves. Present day Mayan priest, Miguel Angel Vergara, says the December 21st date is not to be feared. Instead he says, we should welcome the end of the Mayan calendar. According to Mr. Vergara, on or somewhere around, December 21st, we will be entering a time of great spiritual transition as mankind throws off the shackles of “greed and darkness”. Ah…so that’s what all this hokey-pokey is all about.
So you see…it may not be that bad.
Personally, I’m not so sure that I buy into the fact that shaking the shackles of greed and darkness is any more likely than getting struck by an errant comet.
Still, you never know. On November 26, New York City reported, for the first time in as long as police can recall, no one was murdered, shot, or stabbed during a 24 hour period. There was, as I understand, some sporadic gunfire but apparently nobody was hit.
It is a start.