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End of the Earth Postponed


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End of the Earth Postponed

It's a good news/bad news situation for believers in the 2012 Mayan apocalypse. The good news is that the Mayan "Long Count" calendar may not end on Dec. 21, 2012 (and, by extension, the world may not end along with it). The bad news for prophecy believers? If the calendar doesn't end in December 2012, no one knows when it actually will - or if it has already.

A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook "Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World" (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.

The Mayan calendar was converted to today's Gregorian calendar using a calculation called the GMT constant, named for the last initials of three early Mayanist researchers. Much of the work emphasized dates recovered from colonial documents that were written in the Mayan language in the Latin alphabet, according to the chapter's author, Gerardo Aldana, University of California, Santa Barbara professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies.

Later, the GMT constant was bolstered by American linguist and anthropologist Floyd Lounsbury, who used data in the Dresden Codex Venus Table, a Mayan calendar and almanac that charts dates relative to the movements of Venus.

"He took the position that his work removed the last obstacle to fully accepting the GMT constant," Aldana said in a statement. "Others took his work even further, suggesting that he had proven the GMT constant to be correct."

But according to Aldana, Lounsbury's evidence is far from irrefutable.

"If the Venus Table cannot be used to prove the FMT as Lounsbury suggests, its acceptance depends on the reliability of the corroborating data," he said. That historical data, he said, is less reliable than the Table itself, causing the argument for the GMT constant to fall "like a stack of cards."

Aldana doesn't have any answers as to what the correct calendar conversion might be, preferring to focus on why the current interpretation may be wrong. Looks like end-of-the-world theorists may need to find another ancient calendar on which to pin their apocalyptic hopes.

Here's the article and links for more information. Yahoo News, End of the Earth Postponed

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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I think I may have mentioned this before but I saw a superb documentary about the Mayan 2012 myth that outright refuted it. The experts said that the date upon which we all expect the world to end is merely the start of the 14th b'ak'tun and nothing akin to an apocalypse is hinted at in the Maya Calendar.

Thanks for a fascinating read Darlene!

Eth

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Thanks Mark for reading it. I thought it was a good read too.

Isn't it also true that the Mayan calendar is by time periods and not specific dates? Yes, our sun will be in perfect alignment with the center of the galaxy, and, there may be a galactic cross, but I don't believe for a minute that there will be a world wide disaster. If anything, I'm leaning towards the belief of a spiritual awakening for many, and for others, it will be like any other day. We're already having disasters, we don't need to wait for them.

DarleneSignaturePic1.jpg

"Time is too slow for those who wait; too swift for those who fear;

too long for  those who grieve; too short for those who rejoice.

But for those who love, time is eternity."

(Jane Fellowes)

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As far as I know Darlene you are correct. My understanding of it is that our approximation of when the Mayan calendar ends is simply an approximation for the reason you mentioned. The Mayan considered time and their calendars differently to the way we do so when their timeline is converted to ours there is a massive margin of error to consider.

One way of looking at the calendar mystery is to consider our own calendars. My calendar for this year runs up until New Year's Eve and which point I would change my calendar for one for 2011. The fact that my 2010 calendar ends doesn't mean the world ends with it, it simply means I need a new calendar and that seems to be the rather mundane truth to the Mayan calendar mystery.

Eth

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