No apocalypse here: Mayans were wrong

Published 12:01 am Friday, December 21, 2012

Well, if you’re reading this, the Mayans weren’t right, or at least modern interpretations of their calendars weren’t correct.

Dec. 21 is the end of a a b’ak’tun, the largest denomination of time (roughly 394 years) on a long-count calendar used by the Mayans, an advanced Mesoamerican civilization. The date marks the end of the 13trh b’ak’tun.

Many scholars speculated why the Mayan calendar ended on this date, and some concluded that it was because on this day, the world would end.

The original prediction began with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012 and linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 — hence the predicted doomsday date of Dec. 21.

In the days before as calls to NASA more than doubled, the agency released this good news: “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.”

Further more, NASA scientists said, “Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after Dec. 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on Dec. 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then — just as your calendar begins again on Jan. 1 — another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.”

But that was something that Lurleen B. Wallace Community College’s Dr. Steve Hubbard already knew. Hubbard, who teaches literature, said apocalyptic ideas and literature come about in times of great stress.

“First, I don’t believe it’s going to happen,” said Hubbard of the Apocalypse. He uses Native American literature about the beginning of the world, and said he didn’t discuss the supposed “end of days” with students.

“I do know there are some genre literature, which includes some Biblical text, Revelations for example, that talks about it,” he said.

“Works of the (apocalyptic) sort are penned in times of great cultural stress,” he said. “I suspect the Mayan culture had some good reasons for what they said. Maybe they were in a time of great stress. How did they get the date? I don’t know. Maybe they just ran out of numbers.”

When asked if he felt recent events were a foretelling of things to come, he said, “I’m hopeful for the future. Not just for (today). I’m talking about long term. We have some serious issues we have to work on – like climate control.”