The end of the world is near – again!
December 21st 2012 marks the end of the 13th baktun cycle in the so-called Long Count of the Maya calendar. But does it mark the end of the world or the end of an era and the start of a new one?
The end of the 13th baktun — a date deciphered from totem glyphs and written numerically as 184.108.40.206.0. — can be seen as a sort of “resetting of the odometer” of time . Geoffrey Braswell, professor of Maya archaeology, is quoted in Dallas News, as saying the ancient Maya had even larger cycles of time than the baktun, with some inscriptions that survive pointing to years as far ahead in our Gregorian calendar as 4772.
Geoffrey Braswell said “There are two monuments that mention this date, the end of this cycle of the 13th baktun. But there is a very long inscription at [the archaeological site] Palenque that talks about events further in the future, and that would seem to suggest that the Maya did not think the world would end.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve been told to prepare for the end of the world.
People were worried about Y2K and the Millennium Bug back at the start of the century. The Millennium Bug was thought to be a threat to technology as computers reset to “00”, implying the year was 1900 instead of 2000. The confusion was expected to lead to errors in software, causing banking systems and weapon systems to fail. Planes were expected to fall from the sky. The crisis would lead to chaos around the planet. However, at midnight on January 1, 2000, the world celebrated the new millennium without any chaos.
More recently, American radio host Harold Camping predicted the apocalypse would come on October 21 2011. However, he had also predicted the “Rapture” would take place on May 21, 2011, when God’s people would be assumed into heaven leaving the rest of humanity behind on Earth to await their doom. Neither event occured.
This is similar in nature to the prediction by Chicago housewife Dorothy Martin that the world was to end in a great flood before dawn on December 21, 1954. She convinced followers that a flying saucer from planet Clarion would rescue the true believers before the inevitable destruction of Earth.
Then there were the “Black hole” theories based on the Large Hadron Collider experiments in Geneva, Switzerland. Some people suggested that the energies set free by the controlled collisions of particles at very high speeds would form a black hole powerful enough to consume Earth and all life on it. However, high-profile studies show that there are no such dangers associated with the experiments.
Video from youtube – no claim to copyright