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Celebrating the Not-End of the World December 22, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in doomsday prophecy, end times, Kravings, Mayan astronomers, Mayan calendar, prophecy.
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Hello? Anybody there? Did the world… really end? 

Nope! 

So, we can place this latest end-of-the-world nonsense behind us. That’s okay, you dreamers of the end-of-the-world will get new dire predictions soon. There is always a new doomsday theory. But for now, let’s celebrate. And I thank you doomsday predictors for another opportunity to celebrate the not-end-of-the-world. My family and I will be at Kravings in Tarzana for some great grilled meats and gourmet buffet. As it turns out, dire consequences of planetary/solar system alignment, or magnetic shift, or predictions of a long-gone civilization, simply did not happen (as any logical evaluation of the available evidence indicated). Someday, the world will end. That is the nature of the human perception of time. Some day, the doomsday mongers will be correct. Keep putting it out there—you’ll hit it eventually. But not today! By the way, the human sensation of time’s arrow may not be ultimate reality’s final verdict on this. But… no heavy metaphysics here today. (If you really want that, you can go to these previous posts: Meditations on Physics, Metaphysics and ConsciousnessMeditations on Physics, Metaphysics and Consciousness II) For now, thanks to the doomsday mongers for giving us a reason to smile!

The Two Previous Posts on the Mayan Calendar/End of the World:

December 22, 2012 – See You There

Mayan December Doomsdate – Never Mind?

Mayan December Doomsdate – Never Mind? September 22, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in doomsday prophecy, end times, Kravings, Mayan astronomers, Mayan calendar, prophecy, Science News.
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Oops. Never mind. It looks like the Mayans did not intend to predict the end of our world, this year. According to a Science News article, published in the August 11, 2012 issue (page 15), anthropologists have placed the Mayan reference to a December 21, 2012 end-of-calendar date within a contemporary—for Mayans—context. Hieroglyphs carved in the steps of a Mayan archeological site in Guatemala commemorate a visit from a Mayan ruler who had been defeated in battle. The reference to this December 21, 2012 date as the end of the Mayan calendar cycle was offered to emphasize the longevity of the ascendancy of this ruler’s people. During the 695 battle, the king was reported to have been killed or captured (with the Mayans, it could have been both). While visiting this site in 696, he proclaimed his viability as ruler of the Calakmul Mayans, and the inscription refers to the date at the end of the Mayan calendar cycle, implying the Calukmul would be around for a long time, at least 1300 or so years into the future. Anthropologist Stephen Houston of Brown University is quoted in the Science News article as saying “reference to 2012 might even have provided a comforting sense of inevitability.” If Americans spoke today about the United States lasting until at least 3300, would this sound like a prediction of the end of the world?

So, this adds support to the points I made in my post six months ago on this topic. My family and I have picked out where we will celebrate on December 22, 2012—Kravings in Tarzana, California. I’m calling for an international celebration of the not-end-of-the-world! If you’re inclined, put a comment here as to where you will celebrate the passing of a Doomsdate—the not-apocalypse!

December 22, 2012 – See You There! March 22, 2012

Posted by rwf1954 in doomsday prophecy, end times, Mayan astronomers, Mayan calendar, prophecy.
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It’s April Fool’s Day in just over a week, a good time to address December 22, 2012. Yes, yes this is the day after the dreaded December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, the confluence of doomsday prophecies. It seems we are always under the cloud of some sort of doomsday prediction in the popular culture. The last really pervasive one was the Y2K prediction with the flavor of credibility because of a modern element—computers would all crash because they have no mechanism for crossing over from 1999 to 2000. (I saw the movie “Office Space,” by the way. Those guys at Initech fixed all the code for this problem.) We will all see, on December 22, 2012—(Should we use Central American Mayan Standard Time?)—that this latest doomsday prophecy is another empty forecast. I’m calling for an international celebration on 22nd—I’ve already told my family I will treat us to a sumptuous feast, a warmup for Christmas!

I’ve read, listened and watched various examinations of this doomsday prediction. I’ll distill this down to the following elements:

  • The Mayans, sophisticated ancient astronomers of Central America, very probably advanced beyond European astronomers of the same era, end their calendar on this date. This ending coincides precisely with the date when the Earth will align with the center of the Milky Way galaxy (where there is a black hole, the most destructive astronomical phenomenon to humanity). This alignment only occurs every 25,800 years. The Mayan astronomers appear to have pinpointed this day as the end of their calendar because of this alignment, and the possibility that this alignment could cause a cataclysm on earth.
  • Other prophecies, including prophecies from that classic star of prophetic tradition, that prognosticating megastar, Nostradamus, also offer similar predictions centered around the same time period.
  • There is even a modern prophetic tool, “Web Bot,” that also predicts a series of major calamities for this year.

Bottom-line: I don’t find any of this convincing. This is just the latest doomsday fad. We can all dance to the end of this nonsense on December 22, 2012—and probably wait for the next doomsday fad! Let’s take a look at these various elements of the 2012 doomsday prophecy:

Mayan Astronomy: By all accounts, the Mayans were brilliant astronomers, and we have to be impressed that these ancient astronomers nailed this galactic alignment phenomenon. But just because their calendar ends on December 21, 2012, does that mean we have reached the end of the world? This alignment, which “only” occurs every 25,800 years, has clearly occurred many times during the earth’s billions of years—over 100,000 times. True, this has not yet happened during recorded human history. But geologists have looked back a lot farther than that and have not discovered a planetary cataclysm every time this alignment occurs. I give the Mayans credit for astronomy, and for being the dominant civilization in Central America for a number of centuries. I give them credit for little else. I’m certainly not going to give them credit for predicting the end of our world just because they didn’t extend their calendar beyond December 21st of this year. The Mayans are gone now, or maybe they would have added a few more days to their calendar. By the way, the Mayans are gone, and from all I can tell, good riddance. These were brutal people, involved with twisted human sacrifices in the name of their religious beliefs—men, women and children tortured to death in some perverted attempt to please a deity. I don’t respect at all that such a people have any sort of mystical/spiritual insight beyond their apparent precociousness in astronomical abilities when compared to their level of technological development.

Other Prophetic Traditions: It wouldn’t be a good doomsday prediction without that prophet-of-doom perennial, Nostradamus. Nostradamus is simply the greatest doomsday poet in history. For pure art, his quatrains, in their original language and in translation, are to be admired. They weave words of end-times calamities with eloquence that can only be considered literary, poetic—yes, artistic. But these elegant lines can be twisted to mean almost anything. Look at a world event—go find a quatrain—Nostradamus will provide something that fits the occasion. He is not specifically corroborating December 21, 2012 in any quatrains I am aware of.

Besides Nostradamus, other prophetic traditions have been involved as helping to forge this ominous convergence. But none of these traditions singles out the exact date of December 21, 2012. The traditions are supposed to corroborate either specifics of our demise that match our current circumstances, or are close enough with their timing to offer corroboration. I’m not going to try to address all of these. Some are so absurd that they can be dismissed easily with a minimum of examination. I will address two.

The Hopi Indians believe the world has been created and destroyed three times, and that we are on the verge of the end of the fourth world destruction and the beginning of a new fifth world. They are often cited in this doomsday convergence because their civilization was situated in what is now the southwestern United States, not geographically that far from the Mayan civilization. Interpretations of the Hopi sacred communications predict great quakes, sea level rise, a hotter sun and the world criss-crossed by a spider web, thought by some to mean the World Wide Web. But when we look at the source of the spiritual communications, we see what I can only describe as stick-figure art carved on rocks (sorry this seems pejorative, and I don’t mean to disparage anyone’s spiritual traditions, but I’m trying to be accurate, and I won’t be politically correct at the expense of accuracy). These Hopi spiritual communications can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways. Viewers of the spiritual art can see what they want to see in the carvings on the Hopi prophecy rocks.

Terence McKenna, a product of the socially and spiritually adventurous 1960s, came out with a set of predictions based on Chinese I Ching hexagrams, and complex mathematics. He utilized what he called “time wave theory,” a theory of an ebb and flow of time. He put forth the idea that significant events would increase exponentially until a climax at the beginning of a new era—coming in December of 2012. The I Ching/math/time wave theory culminating in 2012 still seems like a reach to me. And it is not clear to me if the end of the Mayan calendar was known to McKenna when he formulated his ideas. This coincidence may convince some that doomsday coming, but I don’t see evidence convincing enough to start planning for our last days in nine months.

Web Bot: Another supposed corroboration, this one with a modern angle, is “Web Bot.” This is a program designed to search the internet for keywords, in essence, to take the collective pulse of the internet, sifting for trends that will make accurate financial predictions. This program supposedly picked up enough keywords to predict Nine-Eleven, Hurricane Katrina, and the East Asian tsunami of 2004. This program reportedly predicts many casualties from a number of calamities this year. But this is far short of corroborating the end of the world on December 21, 2012. Sadly, there are disasters every year. We just had awful tornadoes in Alabama, heartbreaking injuries and property damage resulting from them. Does this prove the world will end in December?

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I’m sure I missed some pet points of corroboration for believers in this December 21, 2012 end-of-the-world doomsday prophecy. I will entertain well-reasoned, factual comments refuting my skepticism. But as part of that, I dare any believers in this doomsday prophecy to come offer their sheepish grins of embarrassments on December 22, 2012.  But please be patient. It may take a day or two to approve those comments. As I said, I will be celebrating!