The last thing I will post about apocalypse in 2012

Seriously. If you haven't figured out by now that the world is not ending and that any Mayan predictions claiming otherwise are largely fabricated pseudoarchaeology, then I'm not sure that I can help you. One last try, though. Please read this excellent FAQ, written by actual archaeologist (and my former professor) John Hoopes. I did an interview with Dr. Hoopes last year about the 2012 as a phenomenon, but the new FAQ covers, in detail, why a 2012 apocalypse is bunk, and what sources you can check out to find further accurate information about the confluence of ancient Mayan mythology and modern Western mythology. And that is all I have to say about this for the rest of the year. Coming in 2013, though: Lots of stories about Mayan archaeology. Just to mess with you.


  1. What really concerns me is that many of the same people who are so worried about this fabricated Mayan Apocalypse couldn’t care less about NDAA. Civil liberties are being rolled back and the country is sliding into Fascism, and they can’t be bothered. But, oh, a dead civilization ran out of room for a calendar, and OMG DISASTER!

    The entire world is buckling under the weight of our collective stupidity.

  2. And even if the Mayan calander did actually predict the end of the world. Why would that matter? It would just be another mythological story, not to be taken litterly.

  3. Every time I read things like this I’m reminded how badly my fellow Americans need a hot science injection to the eyeball, post-haste.

  4. When your Mayan Calendar runs out, it’s time to get the next one.  Hopefully this one will have more kittens on it.

  5. “Argüelles, who thought that the problems of Western civilization were due to the use of a calendar that was not directly linked to the movements of the Sun, the Moon, the planets, and the stars.  He sought to revive a version of the Maya calendar based on solar and lunar cycles, creating a new system that he called the Dreamspell.  Following the Maya calendar, it was based on the numbers 13 and 20 rather than 12 and 60.  He thought that the use of this different calendar ultimately bring about world peace.”

    That last sentence might be the most awesome sentence I’ve ever read.

    Seriously though, it’s fascinating to read an article like this describing this very different culture and their different ways of organizing the world, filled with really solid archaeology and anthropology. But then the madness starts, with the whole “then that crazy von Däniken dude thought aliens visited the martians, and hippies in the 60s started thinking that the turn of the calendar meant the end of the world!”

    If people were actually paying attention to Mayan history and culture, that would be a great thing, even if the reason was some crazy belief in the apocalypse. Far too often when people think about history, they think “European history” or “US history”. Very few people study history outside those areas, but there’s a whole world of it to discover. People can rattle off names of presidents like nobody’s business, but ask them what the Taiping rebellion (a Chinese civil war that killed more people than WWI) was, or what the earliest American civilization is called (the answer is the Olmec civilization), and their faces go blank.

    But the thing is, people don’t actually care about the Mayans. They only pay attention to the nutjobs who doesn’t have the first idea what history is, or the fascinating things it can tell us. It’s a real shame. 

  6. If someone gets too excited preaching the prophesied doom thing, I hope interviewers ask just a few basic questions.

    Do they have any insurance? Investments? A bank account? Does the book contract for their 2012 prophecy work include provisions for future royalties? 

    In short, anyone who truly believes in some kind of predicted apocalypse would clearly be living like it, wouldn’t they?

    1. The sad thing is that some people are living like it. Spending all their savings for their children, running up huge debts, yanking the kids out of school, because none of it will matter after the Apocralypse :P

      1. “Apocralypse”… nice! Did you just create the defining meme of the year? Apocalypse, apocryphal, and crap all in one package.

        That’s a good reason not to completely vow to ignore the 2012 Doomers all year… the antics of the scam artists and true believers will range from hilarious to horrendous. If Halley’s Comet was enough to get the Heaven’s Gate eunuchs to kill themselves, imagine the furor this could whip up. More than 900 killed themselves for Jim Jones, and he seemed about as charismatic as Rod Blagojevich to me.

        (edit – Hale-Bopp, not Halley’s)

  7.  Definitively stating that the world (or at least humanity) won’t end in 2012 is just as ridiculous as the ones who believe in this Mayan apocalypse. Between a rogue asteroid/comet, global thermonuclear war, magnetic pole reversal, or Michelle Bachmann becoming US President, we have a fair shot.

  8. The sad thing is that the people who believe this nonsense will be proven wrong when 2013 arrives, but will just move on to believing the next set of nonsense they see… like the people who believed Harold Camping on his May 21st prediction and THEN AGAIN on his October 21st prediction!

  9. Moron: “Is the world really ending in December?”

    Me: “Yes! May I have all of your stuff?”

  10. I guess its time I let you in on a little secret: the only reason anyone claims to believe  any of this stuff is because “End of the World” parties are awesome.

  11. It’s much more fascinating to me to look at the “2012 mythos” more in terms of the radical shift our society is undergoing largely for technological reasons, than a drop-dead date for “apocalypse.” 3114 BCE was the beginning of the long count, and I find it interesting that this was around the time the thing we now think of as “civilization” in a more modern sense was beginning to take root.  Fast-forward five-thouand some-odd years, and I can’t help but feel a new phase of civilization is upon us.  hat, to me, is more interesting than thinking of 2012 in purely apocalyptic terms.

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