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Author Topic: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare  (Read 3006 times)

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Offline LunarSageTopic starter

The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« on: November 22, 2012, 02:18:15 PM »
I know it's on a lot of people's minds.  I've heard it a lot lately... the world is going to end before the new year comes!  The Mayan's predicted the end of the world!  Repent! 

I have to admit, I subconsciously bought into the hype a bit and put it all out of my mind because I just didn't want to think about the possibility. 

After reading the article below (found on Nasa.gov), I understand that people have misinterpreted a lot. 

This bit especially I found interesting...

Quote
Most of the Maya calendar intervals accumulate as multiples of 20. An interval of 7,200 days (360 × 20) was known as a katun. It takes 20 katuns to complete a baktun (20 × 7,200 = 144,000 days). Although some ancient inscriptions turn 13 baktuns into an important reset milestone, others imply that the calendar simply keeps running. For instance, it takes 20 baktuns to make a pictun.

Why would they even name a pictun if after 13 baktuns the world was going to end?

MAIN ARTICLE:

Quote
The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare

11.09.09
 
Scenes from the motion picture Scenes from the motion picture "2012." Courtesy Columbia Pictures. This guest article on 2012 was written by E. C. Krupp, Director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and is reprinted with permission from Sky & Telescope Magazine. The publisher and the author reserve all rights. All opinions are the author's own.

The year 2012 is acting like a badly behaved celebrity. Frightful rumors and gossip are spreading. Already more than a half dozen books are marketing, to eager fans, astronomical fears about 2012 End Times. Opening in theaters on Friday, Nov. 13, will be 2012, a $200-million disaster movie that seems designed to break all records for disaster spectacles -- with cracking continents, plunging asteroids, burning cities, and a tsunami throwing an aircraft carrier through the White House. The movie's ominous slogan: "Find out the truth." Two other major movies about the 2012 doomsday are also reported to be in the works.

Anyone who cruises the internet or all-night talk radio knows why. The ancient Maya of Mexico and Guatemala kept a calendar that is about to roll up the red carpet of time, swing the solar system into transcendental alignment with the heart of the Milky Way, and turn Earth into a bowling pin for a rogue planet heading down our alley for a strike.

None of it is true. People you know, however, are likely becoming a bit afraid that modern astronomy and Maya secrets are indeed conspiring to bring our doom. If people know you’re an astronomer, they will soon be asking you all about it.

Here is what you need to know.

Birth of a Notion
We"ve had similar scares in the recent past, but none quite like this. The last time the world got all worked up over the mystical turning of a calendar was the false Millennium of Jan. 1, 2000. Never mind the actual Y2K computer-date bug. True-believer authors (and their imitators) published scary and/or hopeful books about the moment's prophetic potential to catch an immense cosmic wave and change everything for either good or ill. Borrowing a forecast from Nostradamus, the 16th-century French riddler, author Charles Berlitz predicted catastrophe in his 1981 book Doomsday 1999. Berlitz (fresh off books on Atlantis and the Bermuda Triangle), warned that 1999 could inflict flood, famine, pollution and a shift of Earth's magnetic poles. He also spotlighted the planetary alignment of May 5, 2000, and warned that it could bring solar flares, severe earthquakes, "land changes" and "seismic explosions."

In the 1990s an entire "Earth Changes" movement swelled into being as the end of the century neared, with all sorts of Millennial expectations -- earthquakes, plagues, polar axis shifts, continents sliding into the sea, Atlantis rising and more. In England, the Sun tabloid predicted a "marvelous millennium of joy, peace, prosperity."

When Jan. 1, 2000, came and went with nothing worse than ski-lift passes printing the date as 1900, the focus shifted to "5/5/2000" several months later. Most believers in the power of planetary alignments forgot the failure of earlier lineups to induce disaster. The "Jupiter Effect" cataclysm predicted for March 10, 1982 (named for the 1974 book about it by John Gribbin and Stephen Plagemann) commanded headlines but never materialized.

Throughout history, end-of-the-world movements missing their mark number in the "hundreds of thousands at the very least, says Richard Landes, historian at Boston University and director of its Center for Millennial Studies. But people eager for the world to end are not to be denied, and this time, of course, all will be different.

The Rollover
What exactly is the Maya calendar about to do? On Dec. 21, 2012, it will display the equivalent of a string of zeros, like the odometer turning over on your car, with the close of something like a millennium. In Maya calendrics, however, it's not the end of a thousand years. It's the end of Baktun 13. The Maya calendar was based on multiple cycles of time, and the baktun was one of them. A baktun is 144,000 days: a little more than 394 years.

Scholars have deciphered how the Maya calendar worked from historical texts and ancient inscriptions, and they have accurately correlated so-called Maya Long Count dates with the equivalent dates in our calendar. Just as we number our years counting from a historically and culturally significant event (the presumed birth year of Christ), Maya times were numbered from a date endowed with religious and cosmic significance: the creation date of the present world order. A Long Count date is the tally of days from that mythic startup. Most experts think the start point corresponds to Aug. 11, 3114 B.C.

Most of the Maya calendar intervals accumulate as multiples of 20. An interval of 7,200 days (360 × 20) was known as a katun. It takes 20 katuns to complete a baktun (20 × 7,200 = 144,000 days). Although some ancient inscriptions turn 13 baktuns into an important reset milestone, others imply that the calendar simply keeps running. For instance, it takes 20 baktuns to make a pictun.

No one paid much attention to the end of Baktun 13 until fairly recently. In 1975 Frank Waters, a romantic and speculative author, devoted a brief section to the subject in his book Mexico Mystique. He identified the 13-baktun interval as a "Mayan Great Cycle," overestimated its duration as 5,200 years, and equated five such cycles with five legendary eras, each of which ends in the world’s destruction and rebirth. There is no genuine Maya tradition behind any of this.

Waters also miscalculated the date when the calendar would supposedly pull down the shades. "The end of the Great Cycle . . . will occur Dec. 24, 2011 A.D.," he announced, when the world "will be destroyed by catastrophic earthquakes." Exact date aside, the doomsday ball was now rolling.

Another book in 1975 also spotlighted the Maya calendric roundup. Dennis and Terence McKenna discussed it in The Invisible Landscape: Mind, Hallucinogens, and the I Ching. That book at least got the Baktun-13 end date right: Dec. 21, 2012. It also noted that the date is the winter solstice, when the Sun will be "in the constellation Sagittarius, only about 3 degrees from the Galactic Center, which, also coincidentally, is within 2 degrees of the ecliptic." The McKennas continued, "Because the winter solstice node is precessing, it is moving closer and closer to the point on the ecliptic where it will eclipse the galactic center." In reality this event will never happen, but it hardly matters. The McKennas linked the whole arrangement with the concept of renewal and called 2012 a moment of "potential transformative opportunity."

Broader interest in 2012 caught on beginning in 1987. In The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology, José Argüelles (an "artist, poet, and visionary historian" according to the dust jacket) linked the 13-baktun period with an impalpable "beam" from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. According to Argüelles, the Maya knew when we entered this beam and when we would leave it, and set their 13-baktun cycle to mark our passage through it accordingly. The beam, he asserted, operates as "invisible galactic life threads" that link people, the planet, the Sun, and the center of the Galaxy. Neither Maya tradition nor modern astronomy supports a belief in any such beam. It stemmed instead from Argüelles’s personal philosophy, which emphasizes "the principle of harmonic resonance." Argüelles also concluded that the planets are "orbiting harmonic gyroscopes" that “play a role in the coordination of the beam," which advances the development of anything with DNA. The year 2012, therefore, will bring a rosy version of the apocalypse.

If this sounds a bit familiar, you're right. In 1987 Argüelles and his followers predicted, with worldwide fanfare, that Aug. 16–17 of that year would bring a Maya-Galactic "Harmonic Convergence." That event turned into a global phenomenon, with thousands gathering at Earth’s “acupuncture points” to create a "synchronized and unified bio-electromagnetic collective battery." Unfortunately, the date passed with nothing more than colorful newspaper stories and a Doonesbury satire. (A character explains earnestly that that the alignment could bring either "mass unification of divine and earth-plane selves," or perhaps nuclear annihilation. "Either way there will probably be a crafts fair.")

Galactic Guessing Games
Fast-forward to 1995. That year John Major Jenkins packaged several of these themes into Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. According to Jenkins, the winter-solstice point and the centerline of the Galaxy will line up exactly on Dec. 21. Arguing that this motivated the Maya to contrive the calendar to end on that date, Jenkins concludes that it will be "a tremendous transformation and opportunity for spiritual growth, a transition from one world age to another."

In fact, astronomy cannot pinpoint such a "galactic alignment" to within a year, much less a day. The alignment depends on the rather arbitrary modern definition of the galactic equator, and/or the visual appearance of the Milky Way. There is no precise definition of the Milky Way's edges -- they are very vague and depend on the clarity of your view. (Jenkins says that he personally established the Milky Way’s edges by viewing it from 11,000 feet, far above anywhere the Maya lived.) So to give a precise visual position for its centerline is not meaningful.

Jenkins did acknowledge that the winter-solstice Sun actually crosses the center of the Milky Way anytime between 1980 and 2016. Elsewhere he expands this approach zone to a 900-year period, and settles for an imprecise alignment to which Dec. 21, 2012, is arbitrarily and circularly assigned. Real astronomy does not support any match between the Baktun-13 end date and a galactic alignment. The advocates both admit and ignore this discrepancy.

It's almost a sidelight that the winter-solstice sun will never actually "eclipse" the galaxy's true center, the pointlike radio source marking the Milky Way's central black hole. Moreover, the winter-solstice sun won’t even pass closest to it on the sky for another 200 years. What did the Maya themselves think about End Times? There is no evidence that they saw the calendar and a world age ending in either transcendence or catastrophe on December 21, 2012. Some Maya Long Count texts refer to dates many baktuns past 13 and even into the next pictun and beyond. For instance, an inscription commissioned in the 7th century A.D. by King Pacal of Palenque predicts that an anniversary of his accession would be commemorated on Oct. 15, 4772.

In all of the Long Count texts discovered, transcribed, and translated, only one mentions the key date in 2012: Monument 6 at Tortuguero, a Maya site in the Mexican state of Tabasco. The text is damaged, but what remains does not imply the end of time.

The Secret NASA Conspiracy
Some advocates for the 2012 catastrophe say that what will actually cause the devastation is an alignment of planets. There is no planet alignment on the winter solstice in 2012. Nonetheless, advocates of doom connect the fictional alignment to astrological predictions or groundless claims about a reversal of Earth's magnetic field and unprecedented solar storms. Many internet postings and guests on all-night apocalyptic radio have elaborated on these themes.

In particular, several threads of irrational thought have created an internet phantom, the secret planet Nibiru. It's the bowling ball, and Earth is the pin. There is no such planet, though it is often equated with Eris, a plutoid orbiting safely and permanently beyond Pluto. Some insist, however, that a NASA conspiracy is in play and that Nibiru, looming in on the approach, can already be seen in broad daylight from the Southern Hemisphere. It was supposed to become visible from the Northern Hemisphere, too, by last May, but like a fickle blind date, it stood up those awaiting it.

Others on the Web, confused about the supposed alignment of the winter-solstice sun with the Milky Way's center, have declared that the Sun is now plummeting to the Milky Way’s center and dragging Earth with it. The predicted result? Earth’s polar axis will shift. Most of what's claimed for 2012 relies on wishful thinking, wild pseudoscientific folly, ignorance of astronomy, and a level of paranoia worthy of Night of the Living Dead.

So maybe the Maya were on to us after all. The clock is ticking. And it’s the end of the world as we know it.

Source

Offline Caitlin

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2012, 03:19:30 PM »
On top of NASA's reports; our sun is 5 billion years old, the earth formed soon after that. The human race has been around for several hundred millions of years, but the homo sapiens is relatively new with only a few hundred thousand years. We might as well get over ourselves, our species is not so advanced that we can predict at any given time when the world will end, until a few moments before it actually happens. Certainly not thousands of years in advance.

With simple logic and reason alone people should be able to figure this out. :-)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 03:21:35 PM by Caitlin »

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2012, 03:21:57 PM »
Nibiru was just a name for the planet Jupiter in ancient Babylonian/Sumerian astrology if I remember correctly.

Also, I read somewhere that somebody asked a contemporary Mayan shaman if the world would literally end that day and his answer was no.

Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't the Mayans believe in cyclical time, but not literal and absolute ends?

Offline Caitlin

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2012, 03:27:26 PM »
Cyclical times yes.

And I feel sandwiched by wolf avatars, but that'd be taking it off topic. ;)

Offline Rogue

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2012, 03:29:17 PM »
On top of that, since that article came out, they have shown that they were wrong again on the date for the end of the cycle. I can't remember the new date but they were off on all counts. People who believe that Dec 21, 2012, even after seeing all the evidence contrary, really need to lay off the conspiracy theory sites.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2012, 03:35:36 PM »
I believe that something will happen, but we might not notice it's effects immediately.A birth, a death, someone obtaining something far from prying eyes? Who knows. However I don't think this world will literally end.I don't think it will necessarily be the 21st either. Perhaps it has already happened.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2012, 03:37:54 PM by Lux12 »

Online TheGlyphstone

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2012, 03:46:34 PM »
I believe that something will happen, but we might not notice it's effects immediately.A birth, a death, someone obtaining something far from prying eyes? Who knows. However I don't think this world will literally end.I don't think it will necessarily be the 21st either. Perhaps it has already happened.


From a strictly literalist perspective, the world has ended, because entropy is irreversible.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2012, 03:55:00 PM »
Very true.In that sense all things are in a constant state of ending.

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »
I support what I saw on Facebook the other day:

"All the power companies across America should shut the power off for 10 minutes on December 21st. Then, just sit back and laugh."

Offline SinXAzgard21

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2012, 08:36:37 PM »
I support what I saw on Facebook the other day:

"All the power companies across America should shut the power off for 10 minutes on December 21st. Then, just sit back and laugh."

That would be funny as hell.  I'd love to see the chaos that would cause.

Offline Moraline

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2012, 08:48:31 PM »
I support what I saw on Facebook the other day:

"All the power companies across America should shut the power off for 10 minutes on December 21st. Then, just sit back and laugh."

I support this for so many reasons.  ;D

Revolution - Trailer

Offline Serephino

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2012, 09:10:21 PM »
I think people need to stop being obsessed with the end of the world.  I've met people who are so busy worrying about the End Times that they aren't living now.  I don't doubt something big might happen, it always does.  Time goes in cycles, and this could just be the end of another cycle.  But, no matter what happens, I prefer to live in the present and enjoy it.

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 09:16:32 PM »
I do believe the end is near.  I received and email from a friend the other day; one of those chain type emails that did not require it sent it in 7 minutes and 13 seconds to 99 people from my contact list.  It told me something special was going to happen the next day.  Ha! you say and balderdash.

Well, I got an unexpected gift of money the next day.

Proof the end is near:  a chain email that did not require forwarding and the promise came true.  ;D

Offline Starlequin

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2012, 10:10:05 PM »
Been said before. 
Sayin' it again.

Aww, yeah.

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2012, 11:11:21 PM »
Been said before. 
Sayin' it again.

Aww, yeah.

I would so love to do that if only for the humor of it. That and so I could pass off some of my writing ideas as historical fiction just for kicks.

Offline Moraline

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #15 on: November 23, 2012, 12:25:27 PM »
So long and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this
We tried to warn you all but oh dear

You may not share our intellect
Which might explain your disrespect
For all the natural wonders that grow (around you)
So long so long and thanks for all the fish

The world's about to be destroyed
There's no point getting all annoyed
Lie back and let the planet dissolve (around you)

Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your pregnant women

So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long and thanks for all the fish

If I had just one last wish
I would like a tasty fish
If we could just change one thing
We would all have learnt to sing

Come one and all
Man and mammal
Side by side in life's great gene pool

So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long and thanks for all the fish!

« Last Edit: November 23, 2012, 12:27:15 PM by Moraline »

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #16 on: November 23, 2012, 02:41:14 PM »
So long and thanks for all the fish
So sad that it should come to this
We tried to warn you all but oh dear

You may not share our intellect
Which might explain your disrespect
For all the natural wonders that grow (around you)
So long so long and thanks for all the fish

The world's about to be destroyed
There's no point getting all annoyed
Lie back and let the planet dissolve (around you)

Despite those nets of tuna fleets
We thought that most of you were sweet
Especially tiny tots and your pregnant women

So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long and thanks for all the fish

If I had just one last wish
I would like a tasty fish
If we could just change one thing
We would all have learnt to sing

Come one and all
Man and mammal
Side by side in life's great gene pool

So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long, so long so long, so long so long, so long so long
So long so long and thanks for all the fish!


Something like this will likely happen if the world ever does end.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #17 on: November 23, 2012, 08:49:21 PM »
Doomsdays are a good marketing ploy.  Every couple of years, someone comes along claiming the end is nigh.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #18 on: November 23, 2012, 10:04:17 PM »
Doomsdays are a good marketing ploy.  Every couple of years, someone comes along claiming the end is nigh.

Doomsday=huge profits.A time tested and proven formula guaranteed to sell any number of things in mass quantities or make you pay attention to certain pieces of media.

Offline Sabby

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2012, 03:24:31 AM »
End of the world isn't really a big deal if ya look at it... for US it is, but extinction events have happened plenty of times on this planet :/ only reason we see them as legendary horror stories that can't possibly be real is how friggen young our species is. A super volcano could erupt right now and blanket the planet in ash and wipe out 99% of life forms and it might take hundreds of thousands of years for things to start to fix themselves.

But those kinds of events are so unlikely if we're looking at them from human time, and not cosmic time. When you're a flash in the pan, it's hard to be concerned about a comet hitting the kitchen.

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2012, 08:39:18 PM »
Earlier this year, the little Oni's honors class went to one of the museums in Philly that had an exhibit on the Mayans. 


The exhibit runs through mid-January.


I'm just sayin'...

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2012, 11:49:04 PM »
Well at least they're giving everyone a taste of culture before the apocalypse. :P

Offline Casimir

Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2012, 04:10:46 PM »
It's very unlikely that people that didn't wear pants predicted the end of the world.

I'm just saying.

Offline Lux12

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2012, 04:33:53 PM »
It's very unlikely that people that didn't wear pants predicted the end of the world.

I'm just saying.
That's a tad culturally insensitive don't you think?

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Re: The Great 2012 Doomsday Scare
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2012, 04:35:17 PM »
That's a tad culturally insensitive don't you think?

I don't see how.