2012 Debunking: The Short-Attention-Span Version


Wow, it's apparently Debunking 2012 Day here on BoingBoing. I honestly had no idea that David had his Mark Dery post in the works. But it does segue nicely into what I had planned. The Information is Beautiful blog put together an infographic that explains–in a short and quick format—what the 2012 believers are claiming, and why those claims are (lets just say it) stupid.

Great example of how the believers get this stuff wrong: The "facts" on the believer side of the graph are pulled directly from believer Web sites. When David from IIB sent me the original version of the graphic, I noticed that the believers had managed to misspell the name of Yale archaeologist Michael D. Coe, calling him "Michael D. Cole". They were also claiming that he was one of them. I don't have Coe's email, but I do have John Hoopes'. He's an archaeologist who has spent his life studying the ancient Maya and other ancient Central and South American civilizations…and my former professor when I was an anthropology undergrad at the University of Kansas. I contacted Hoopes to see what he knew about that claim and, according to him, it's way off. Coe, Hoopes says, does believe that 2012 would have been an important date to the ancient Maya*, and probably one they would have celebrated. But "important" like, say, Christmas is important to us. Or New Years Eve 1999/2000. Not "important" as in "the world is going to end."

2012: The End of the World? from Information Is Beautiful

*Specifying "ancient Maya" here, because we're not talking about the beliefs and culture of the very-much-alive Maya people. Just like modern Egyptian belief and culture is different from (but connected to and influenced by) that of the ancient Egyptians, so go the Maya. Coe is not speaking on behalf of the Maya here, he's just talking about what he thinks their ancestors might have believed.