2012 Is Fiction

2012 has become the Unified Field Theory of apocalyptic scenarios.  Every other theory, from tales of Planet X colliding with Earth to the Rapture, have coalesced under the umbrella of the 2012 myth.  This unification of apocalypse scenarios seemed to happen within the past few years,  with rumors spreading that the Mayans predicted the end of the world on December 21, 2012.  That date caught on in the public’s imagination, most likely because of how close and specific it is.  Every theory comes back to the Mayans.

And it’s all bullshit.  For the moment, let’s put aside the assumption that the Mayans must have known things about the universe we don’t since they were ancient and therefore wiser than modern society could ever hope to be.  Let’s pretend the Mayan religion is the one true religion.  2012 theories would still be bullshit.

First we should cover the origin of this belief.  The Mayan calender was incredibly advanced for its day, and envisioned time in cycles not unlike our concepts of weeks and months, with the same patterns endlessly repeating. While our longest unit of time is the year, theirs was  the b’ak’tun, a period of 394.3 years.  They kept count from when they believe creation began, roughly 3114 B.C.  From that point, we are in the 13th b’ak’tun, which is set to end on December 21st (or 23rd depending on the translation) 2012.

That’s actually about it.  It’s sort of the Mayan equivalent of a new millennium.  Not really significant in and of itself, but fairly novel in that few people ever live to see the calender flip over to so many zeroes.  But don’t take my word for it, ask an actual Mayan elder from Guatemala who educates people on his heritage.

Now, aside from the testimony of real Mayans alive today, how did anyone ever come to the conclusion that the end of this b’ak’tun would be the end of time?  It was found on one tablet.  Just one.  It was badly damaged difficult to read.  Nothing on that tablet said anything about the end of time, it was just as far as the calender went.

The cartoonist who drew that probably thought he or she was just being a wiseass.  That’s really the main argument all Mayan scholars make against 2012 theories.  It was one tablet, and odds are that whoever made it figured that by 2012 someone could afford another stone and continue the calender.

Nowhere in Mayan mythology does an apocalypse even appear.  They never believed that time ends, they believed it was cyclical and eternal.  By all accounts, the very concept of a “Mayan apocalypse” is a pure modern invention that comes with assuming all religions are like Christianity.  It’s as absurd as talking about a Christian rain god.

If you’re still not convinced, you should also know that a Dutch scholar of Mayan history recently pointed out our Mayan translations may be off, and introduced a new codex that would put the end of the 13th b’ak’tun in 2220.  So please feel free to enjoy the next 2 years.

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