NASA vs. the Maya Madness

Smart scientists weigh in against the sheer craziness and guess what? The scientists win

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Benoit Pesle / Anzenberger / Redux

Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico.

If you want to see a roomful of people roll their eyes, just walk into a gathering of astronomers — or experts on ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, for that matter — and shout, “Mayan apocalypse!” For years now, the idea that the earth will be destroyed in a terrible cataclysm on Dec. 21, 2012, has been bouncing around the Internet and showing up in articles, books and even movies. It’s been the inspiration for get-rich-quick schemes. It’s like Y2K all over again, but at least that episode of end-of-world hysteria was reality-based.

(MORE:  Cinematic Visions of the Apocalypse)

The 2012 apocalypse, by contrast, is just plain nutty. An asteroid is not about to hit the earth. Neither is an imaginary planet called Nibiru. Our world isn’t going to be abruptly flipped upside down like a burger on a griddle. The earth won’t be plunged into a three-day blackout. And contrary to what you’ve been hearing, Maya astrologers never said any of that stuff would actually happen. The idea is so preposterous that a Web search for “Mayan apocalypse” turns up as many spoofs as it does serious discussions.

The truth is a lot more prosaic than what the tinfoil-hat crowd would have you believe. Yes, the Maya had what’s known as a Long Count calendar, and yes, that calendar ends on Dec. 21, 2012. But the delightful thing about calendars — including the one the Maya used — is that they always start over again from zero. Just because we have a record of the Long Count equivalent of last year doesn’t mean the Maya weren’t busy working on next year’s. As for Nibiru, well, never mind. That one was borrowed from the ancient Sumerians, and the original prediction was that we’d get clobbered by the free-range planet in 2003. You might have noticed that that didn’t happen, so the date of arrival was moved up to 2012 to coincide with the Maya silliness. An apocalyptic twofer!

(MORE: Safe Haven from the Maya Apocalypse? Sorry, We’re Closed)

All the same, some folks at NASA are seriously worried — not about the end of the world but about the real harm the loose talk may be doing to some people’s mental health. “I get a tremendous number of e-mails about it,” says David Morrison, a space scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center at Moffett Field in California, who hosts the agency’s Ask an Astrobiologist website. “A large fraction are from people asking if the world will end, saying they’re scared and don’t know what to do. A few even talk about suicide.”

It might seem implausible that people would kill themselves over an imaginary cosmic event, but it happened back in 1997, when 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult in Southern California committed mass suicide under the delusion that the approach of Comet Hale-Bopp meant it was time to leave their physical bodies. Fearing that people were taking the 2012 scaremongering too seriously, NASA convened a Google+ hangout on Nov. 28 during which people could interact with six astronomers who were prepared to debunk any myth the public could throw at them. For nearly an hour, they did just that, patiently explaining, for example, that any asteroid en route to obliterating earth in just a few short weeks would have been spotted by telescopes long ago and that Nibiru, one of whose leading proponents is a woman who insists she’s in touch with aliens from the Zeta Reticuli star system, would be the brightest object in the sky after the sun and moon.

(MORE: Want to Tweet in Mayan? This Group Can Help)

But NASA has been debunking the apocalypse for years now, in the same patient and rational manner, and it hasn’t helped a whole lot. “I’m told that about 10% of the public believes this stuff,” says Seth Shostak, a scientist with the SETI Institute in Mountain View, Calif., who wasn’t part of the online hangout. “That’s about the same percentage that believes in Santa Claus and thinks we never went to the moon.”

Trying to reduce that percentage by providing facts isn’t necessarily going to work, since proponents of the nonsense provide plenty of their own “facts.” “I have to admit,” says Morrison, “that there’s something of an inherent contradiction when we scientists tell people not to trust things they read on the Internet, and then put information on the Internet.”

The real problem, said Andrew Fraknoi, an astronomer at Foothill College in Los Altos, Calif., during the NASA webcast, “is that our schools have not taught skeptical thinking, have not taught children to distinguish between fantasy and reality. The real threat in 2012 is the public’s low level of science understanding.”

(MORE: Found: The Oldest Maya Calendar)

Whether that could lead to panic or suicides this time around is unclear. Only a tiny handful of the thousands of worried e-mails Morrison has gotten raise the disturbing possibility of people taking their own lives, and those have all been from adults.

But even if kids are not suicidal, plenty of them are frightened, and have been for a long time. “Two years ago, I met with a group of middle-school science teachers,” Morrison says, “and I asked them how many of them were seeing kids who were worried about 2012. Nearly every hand shot up.” When Dec. 21 comes and goes without incident, those fears should finally evaporate — that is, until the next doomsday pronouncement comes along.

PHOTOS: Window on Infinity: Pictures from Space

MORE: Maya Apocalypse Film Festival — 21 Films for Our Final 21 Days

258 comments
DanLostetter
DanLostetter

Look what didn't happen. The Mayan Apocalypse! haha

ChrisThomasWakefield
ChrisThomasWakefield

Mayan doomsday candy on the table at the end of shelf-life and NASA fills it's pockets hoping for a sweet victory, only it turns out that the candy has no real food-for-thought value.The modern Mayan has no real clue of their origins since they had not practiced the old customs for centuries, do not speak the old language and the original dates of the stella face material and wood carving are not known as carbon dating is not accurate enough to make claims such as December 21st 2012.Get the facts about the so-called doomsday:

http://survivingthepoleshift.wordpress.com/

Chris Thomas.

Joshua
Joshua

You commit suicide to die because the world is ending on 21st when many will die. Why not wait and watch that spectacle of the disappearance of the world which will be an end to all the corrupt, murderers, rapists, thieves, cheaters etc.

Marusik
Marusik

I wonder whether the last series of mass shootings, including the latest horrendous killings in Newtown, may have anything to do with the stupid, but nonetheless dangerous, beliefs in prophecies and theories about the end of the world?...

After all, Einstein was right when he said that: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

And, I bet the Mayas where smarter than that...

roboslapproduct
roboslapproduct

so ur saying that santa not real well ur wrong about santa but the end of the world you are right about 

Pascal
Pascal

I wonder why you all guys are so cool and take this theory seriously. 

Such even may happen, on Dec 21st 2012 or maybe later on. Is anyone prepared out there? Some of you are hiding behind religions and others relying on the fact that Nasa and other sources confirmed that nothing will happen. Cool, but what if it happens???

Think twice

Quilgen
Quilgen

I believe that 2012 21. dec. will happend and many people here in Czech Republic and aroud the world ( and I mean not some idiots or fanatics, but reasonable and highly educated people ) agree that some CHANGE is comming. 21 st isn´t about some disaster, it´s about end of this era and beginning of new one. The change is about us. I mean Mayas are talking ( or at least were ) about this is era of darkness and hell and new era of knolledgen, light and heaven. Well for first it could look like nonsence, but look at us! Look at our civilization, corupted by greed and ignorance. Look at our nature ( I mean forrests and wild ... ) we´re killing it every day and nobody gives ..... about it. I hope and believe this is time to defenitely CHANGE it ! 21. won´t by day of apocalyps, it wil be day when taha change started. When people stop tolerating powerty and injustice aroun them. When people stop "putting their head into sand" and hoping the problems will solve them selfs and it doesn´t concerne them.                                                                                                                                          Best wishes to you to new era :)                                                                                                                                          With love a friensfrom Czech Republic. 

anon321
anon321

I dont know if this means anything and usually I'm not one to speculate on these sort of 'end of the world' predictions, but I did see a falling star last night AND tonight... I have never seen a falling store before and especially not in this area... 

VivianBennett-Cohan
VivianBennett-Cohan

World cannot end yet.   WE haven't had our 7 year tribulation promised in the Bible. :)

JacobDevaney
JacobDevaney

Regardless of science, there is clearly a global cultural phenomena emerging around this date. That's why I wrote this article that explains the Power of Prophetic Fiction:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-devaney/2012-the-power-of-prophet_b_2268133.html

"Some prefer fatalism, it's a great coping mechanism for anyone who thinks the problems of the world are insurmountable. "If the world's gonna end and it has already been prophesied then I don't have to do anything about it." Some prefer to blame man's problems on God who will enact a just punishment at the end of time, and some use science to show us that there is absolutely no proof that the world will end. Yet deep inside we all know that each of these approaches is skirting the truth of our own role and responsibility in shaping the future."

ElDovakin
ElDovakin

The Mayans were clearly the original trolls

MosesAbiola
MosesAbiola

Continuation ---page 3 of 3 

3. Living:Living is coordinated by Time-impact. The span is determined by the duration in which organism, (through the dynamics of designed-progression in which units of all complex molecule formed a collateral adaptation and function as a unit for specific duration.) The effect which occurred from beginning to the point when all molecule compounds ceases to function, the distance of such effect is translated by human as “Life”. Duration of all life, in all aspects benefits the spirit of Time. And, through sheer design, all living substances that attain life are programmed to replicate similar kind.4. The Purpose of Human on Earth:All lives function through General-Order Principle, (“Go-Principle” is author specific term for nature’s law legislated through Time impact, which elevates all corporeal substances to their permanent stages.) In these laws, all living entities are programmed to be ineligible to partake in all form of natural maintenance of the Earth. (Such as: humans are not privilege to calibrate the Sun, or to prevent rain, but they can invent umbrella, and air conditioning.) But inventions used for physical blight-prevention (of the earth,) are randomly embedded in human’s mind. Such conditions are causes for invention of various devices, as well as formulas and calculation used to develop equipment for blight prevention of the earth.)5. The Reason for Life:Life is a method mechanized by, and through the impact of Time. The collateral reason was for Spirit of Time to exist in physicality for a specific duration. The Spirit which exists in Humans is the highest level of manifestation. (The manifestation conditions as stated were translated in monetary denomination developed by humans, the highest the value or usefulness, the more importance and it becomes.)The embedded secret in the Mayans prediction, (as well as famous astronomers,) was the probability sentiment, and such probability in the case of Mayans prediction for December 21, 2012 has a ZERO chance of occurrence, and I hereby rendered meaningless.Today, (the early) Mayans (that made the prediction) have been waxed to nonexistence by the degrading aspect of Time. And, when tomorrow comes, the hills in your city limit will remain where they are, and the Spirit of Time will be longing still, supporting lives for all her bearings in the universe. Nothing exists, or ceased to exist without the impact of Time.

MosesAbiola
MosesAbiola

---Continuation----- Page 2 ofThe sciences are in “firm-grasp” of possible origin of the Earth, I applaud their effort; but so far, the purpose and meaning of humans’ life here on Earth cannot be explained by science because they simply don't know. If the sciences are willing to learn, then this narrative-physics is to help both sciences and other doctrines to eliminate the confusion that exists in both teachings.The missing puzzle in science theory, as well as established doctrines, was their ignorance (of the existence) of Time. To summarize such is to categorically inform both sides that the first molecular component that ever exists needed the impact of Time to grow from one stage to the next. Which means that caterpillar cannot become a butterfly without the impact of Time. As well as the first humans that ever lived, (who are considered human ancestors), must have lived under the natural law of Time-by which a condition of physical growth must applied to them, and such physical growth must be mechanized by Time impact. To understand further, let us gear back to the beginnings. (Briefly, we can spend hours discussing the moment-of-initial, described as "The Beginning", but for now, let me summarize that: "The beginning" is only an initial point within a time-frame, because the beginning cannot begin without prior existence of Time.)1. The "Beginning": PREPARATION-PLATFORM.The "beginning" is not known to humans. But, for any act to materialized, a PLATFORM is needed, and TIME assumes the first position for all occurrences that begin to unfold in the Universe.2. TIME produces DEVELOPMENT, without Time, no development of any type is possible. Therefore,TIME must be the platform from which all matters in the universe are being coordinated.(Through my researches: (a.) nothing in the universe could have existed without the impact of Time(b.) Human’s act, behavior, function, reproductive format and mode of living are collectively abstracts of the Time’s mode of function.)3. ACTIONThe neutron blasts (often refer to as “Big-Bang”) was correct as per science theory, but in spite of that; the societies of sciences are yet to offer a solid footnote to punctuate their theories, and to offer specifics on the purpose of human on earth, after all, there is a reason human’s devised automobile.4. CHANGESAction in any format leads to changes, and the changes that occur pertaining to the earth, is the permanent condition of the earth.5. PERMANENT conditions.Permanent condition is the physical constituent of the Earth with collateral inclusions, (e.g. Today.) Therefore, all process from the "beginning" till today could not occur without the impact of Time.As previously stated, for any result to materialize, there must be a “DECISION-PLATFORM”, followed by DEVELOPMENT, only then a certain ACTION (that produces results,) is possible. The final result of all the processes leading to the physical state of the universe was coordinated by TIME.All physical action, activities of any type, (Example such as: “On to your MARKS, Get READY, Go”) are all action governed by the five steps as listed above without a privilege for (even a slight) deviation. In the sentence such as: “On-to-your-Marks”, before the command that summon such order, there must have been some type of preparation.(Therefore, in this narrative, consider the point of “Go” to be the moment of the “Big-Bang” occurrence. Then, “On-to-your-marks”, “get- ready” were preparation era leading to the decimated impacts refer to as the “Big-Bang””, and such preparation era was being ignored in sciences theories. The applicable processes leading to the eras of “On-to-your-marks” and “Get-ready”) were incubated and nurtured to occurrence by Time.)Because, in any action, no result without a platform, no development without preparedness, no action without certain development, and no result without action. For these reasons, the first condition that must be in place for the planet earth to thrive, progress, and be elevated to the present stage could only be mechanized through Time impact.All living substances, (as well as man-made objects, somehow must, and,) will succumb to the impact of Time regardless of duration. Because, lifespan of all substances are determined by the degrading aspects of Time; and if someone is curious about the origin of the earth; the suggested lesson could be to examine human’s reproductive format that occurs after interaction by two opposite-sexes, through random chance, a female conceived, and 6,480 hours after such interactions another human is born. The same parallel could be drawn on the possible format of the origin of earth. Origin of the earth was translated by science as “something-came-out-of-nothing”, but TIME-impact was being incorrectly summarized as “NOTHING” by the sciences. The purpose of the Earth could not be explained by either Science or any teaching doctrines, but for the first time in the history of the humankind here are few and accurate explanations on the purposes of the earth:1. The Purpose of the Earth:The earth is a condominium basilica, engineered by the spirit of Time, which currently serves as a (self-supported) manifestation galleria, from where all Eco-inclusions supports lives of all living matters, and in turn all living matters collaterally support the realm of Time continuously. Similar abstract by human is the development, and construction of any built-space that are used as inhabitant, or which supports human’s mode of living in any format. (An abstract example is built-structure such as Hoover dam, built as a devise for conditional purpose of generating electricity that benefits humans collectively.)2. Mechanisms that Made Life Possible:Life is a span of time. Such span is attributed to all organisms in order to fulfill the assignment of “living”. The condition of all living organisms serves collectively as a unit of propellant that supports and nourishes the realm of Time continuously.

© Copyright, 2012, MOSES ABIOLA, All Rights Reserved.

MosesAbiola
MosesAbiola

Contention to the prediction of MayansAs per the predictions of the Mayans, “the world will end on December 21, 2012.” The prediction (as understood, and translated by “modern” man,) was “That all life on earth may be extinct on that day”. The Earth will not come to an end; the prediction by the “Mayans” was based on their lack of understanding of the method and platform on which the Earth’s mode of function was based. Because all matter on Earth, were engineered to be supported by the subliminal Spirit that humans refer to as “TIME”.Life of any living system is a physical unit of Time, and each unit is programmed precisely to support such system for unspecified period until such unit ends naturally or abruptly impacted. And, the purpose of each living systems is to serves as oscillating, and nourishment propellant, whereby the condition of inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, supports and charges the realm of Time towards eternity. The earth is a built-space, (comparable to) a condominium-basilica, engineered by the Spirit of Time for self-supporting manifestation galleria from where all Eco-inclusions collaterally support her realm continuously.“Self-supporting Manifestation galleria”: This condition is identical to humans’ desires for roof over their heads, and food for daily survival; by which humans fetched food for consumption repetitively. The conditions are inherited from the Spirit of Time, which equally needs the rhythms of all living organism for self-nourishment continuously.(Another practical example is relevant in all invented devices by human, especially those having a life-span (such as automobile and other mechanical devices), also must be filled with fuel, or charged repetitively for it to function. All these conditions were programmed in human’s genes and translated from their mode of thinking, which in turn, are translated in the functionality of devices invented by humans.)As you are well aware, the Mayans are ancient civilizations that once exist, and on this day, the generation that made the prediction has ceased to exist. Their civilization was brought to existence by Time, by which they have eventually succumbed to her impact to the effect that they are now considered “a lost civilization”.The mode of function and technicality of the earth that puzzles the minds of sciences, cannot be solved solely through science reasoning or religion dynamics; but through a condition as reasoned by individual such as Thomas Edison, and Alexander Graham-Bell, (and in this era, William Gates, Jr.), in which the result of their thoughts, (otherwise translated as “invention”) benefited all humans.Narrative Physics:The following narrative physics may help a reader understand the condition applicable to the origin of the Earth, and her mode of function, as well as the meaning and purpose of all corporeal substances that exist in it. In the nature’s law, (as legislated naturally), the following conditions are prevalent:No actions occur without a PLATFORM in which decisions for further development are to be made.Then, no DEVELOPMENT without a stage of preparednessAnd, ACTION produces CHANGES.And changes lead to PERMANENT condition. Therefore, all process leading to present state of the Earth was coordinated by the impact of Time.--- Read full entry at www.diaryofalivingman.blogspot.com---© Copyright, 2012, MOSES ABIOLA, All Rights Reserved.

RobertBast
RobertBast

1. Many ancient cultures (including the Maya) were capable of watching the skies over long periods of time (longer than we have), and recording their observations.

2. Auroras at low latitudes (down towards the equator) are very rare, less than once per lifetime. Ancient cultures, unable toexplain their presence, could have been very scared and concerned when auroras were observed.

3. By noting auroral activity over centuries or even millennia, a repeating pattern might have been discovered.

4. Of the various ways an ancient culture could have warned of the next bout of low latitude auroras, one is a calendar with a definitive end date, such as the Long Count calendar of the ancient Maya. Because the calendar was in continuous use, the end date was notforgotten.

Auroras might have been just scary lights in the sky for ancient cultures, but they can kill us. Low latitude auroras only appear during the most massive solar storms. Those same storms can take out the power grids of modern society (countries closest to the poles with the oldest grids are at the most risk - and that includes the USA), and take months or even years to repair. That would equal millions of deaths. Read more about the risks of Solar Storms.http://survive2012.com/

ShawnArscott
ShawnArscott

12/21/12 was never about the end of the world - it is about a new consciousness that we are are inter connected. Our corrupt institutions have to fall if we are going to live in integrity and truth. That is what this time is all about. Are you in INTEGRITY is the most important question you can ask yourself at this time.

sumofdays
sumofdays

If something was going to happen and NASA or the government knew about it do you think they would tell us and cause a panic, or not tell us but try to protect themselves?  So much goes on that the public is unaware of.  The fact is I don't if the world will end on that day or not.  All that I'm sure of is that if the world was to end and the government knew about it they sure would tell us bc that would just lead to panic and chaos.

RDizz
RDizz

Geez, this article is terrible.  When one resorts to calling something "nutty" just to prove that it's false, that's a red flag.  Instead of insulting readers' intelligences, why not have a proper discussion on the phenomenon?

The Maya are not predicting an "apocalypse" on 12/21 (winter solstice), but they are predicting the return of a powerful God to Earth, per their ancient scriptures.  That's the important thing here.  (Google search BBC MAYA COUNTDOWN) Of course NASA and Time have to take the scientific debunker stance - Religion is a bunch of hokey pokey to the scientific community in general.  But to the Mayans, someone will be returning from the skies that day.

The implications of this are HUGE.  What with the government covering up the UFO phenomenon for decades, and religious leaders slowly accepting the fact of alien life (Vatican), a return of a "god" could be a wondrous epiphany for the whole world.  

Media outlets will always downplay the importance of this event because that's how it's always been.  The Great Reveal will come only when we can look into the skies with our own eyes and see what is really happening.  Until then, the powers that be will continue to keep our noses in our iPads and entertainment media, mocking us when we seek the truth.  

ChristopherBraddy
ChristopherBraddy

The scary part of it all is how the government and NASA, just like in all the movies and TV shows, is denying that anything will happen and is down playing the whole ordeal.

KathleenA.Eastwood
KathleenA.Eastwood

It's funny that they are talking about an astroid hitting the earth Dec. 21 when there is an actual astorid that will pass by the earth within the next couple of days. It's several million miles away and is in no danger of hitting the earth.

RaulIzquierdo
RaulIzquierdo

if an asteroid hits .. its gonna be nice to see whta we do when the sea levels rise ..  and all these nuclear powerplants and oil rigs off shore snap in half.   u might survive an impact but the manmade damage would be even worse. imagine ocean full of oil and  radiation?   

ChoirLoft
ChoirLoft

According to FORBES magazine, 69% of US college graduates (that's baccaleurate level) cannot research a subject properly - cannot extrapolate infomation from multiple complex sources, collate it, formulate a conclusion and write it down in a logical understandable manner.  

Or maybe they're just hoping the world will end before they have to pay on their maxed out plastic.

but that's just me, hollering from the choir loft...  

ChrisThomasWakefield
ChrisThomasWakefield

@Marusik The killings are those young souls leaning not toward the light to declare there orientation before death. Death comes to us all, but most early this incarnation due to the poleshift in the next 2 or so years. Once free of Earthly bondage these killers are taken by those of the same ilk, to incarnations on planets and cultures far worse than that of Earth. When Earth moves to the 4th dimension in 10 decades more or less, the Earth incarnates will have been mostly expunged of those who would be killers and much more of those who would Love.Thats WHY, and many more will be taking place prior to the poleshift as we have very many of these kind of lowly souls here on Earth.

http://survivingthepoleshift.wordpress.com/

MikeGodding
MikeGodding

Earth is currently passing through a stream of debris and hundreds of objects an hour are entering our atmosphere, it's the Geminid meteor shower. No need to panic!

VivianBennett-Cohan
VivianBennett-Cohan

I trust in the Bible more than I do the Mayans.   The Bible says NO MAN WILL KNOW the time.

Mortal34248
Mortal34248

@JacobDevaney  modern life as we know it will inevitably end, dont try to act enlightened when you're really just skirting truth

ElDovakin
ElDovakin

@Mortal34248 You know, you might want to provide some facts rather than random ranting BS. You believe in such silly stuff as astrology and divination. And then go onto some random stupid rant about the Anti-Christ and revelation. You clearly don't know what the heck you're talking about, and have no right to criticize the author when you're clearly an idiot

CedarRapids
CedarRapids

@sumofdays 'The fact is I don't if the world will end on that day or not.'

seriously? you seriously are not sure if it will or not? here is a hint....it wont.

ElDovakin
ElDovakin

@RDizz Actually, calling people nutty and insulting the intelligence of people who believe this crap is pretty called for. And I think the author was targeting nutty people like you. The government can barely cover up sex scandals: If there were truly alien spacecraft flying around, I doubt they could cover that up. 

Hadrewsky
Hadrewsky

@RDizz 

Nutty seems fairly accurate in reference to the crap that just popped out of your computer.

CedarRapids
CedarRapids

@RDizz 

no, calling someone nutty for posting stuff like you posted is actually pretty accurate.

Mortal34248
Mortal34248

@JacobDevaney however i do not disagree that, "ideally", people are supposed to believe in their capacity to positively shape the future

that just isn't written in the souls of men

some are required to be absolutely unrepentant & evil, to prove the righteousness of those who are repentant

Mortal34248
Mortal34248

@ElDovakin lmfao @ thinking i didnt provide any facts, are you really that incapable of reading? reposted my reply at the top.lol @ claiming i "believe in such silly stuff as astrology and divination" when it is SIMPLE FACT that it is sometimes accurate.if you actually had a mature attention span, you would note i dont claim anything cataclysmic will absolutely, assuredly occur.

Mortal34248
Mortal34248

@ElDovakin will also emphasize facts are present, but you're too caught up on being ignorantly arrogant to actually click the link & spend time reading, understanding, & internalizing them to abstain from being shallow & bitter toward objective & critical thought =]