Don’t Panic: The Maya Delusion
I know that some people are panicking as the current popular doomsday approaches (but not the readers of Crossings, who are a particularly enlightened group of Homo Sapiens). Here is another bit of information which might quiet their panic a bit, or at least make them entertain the possibility that the delusion is just that. If you readers know someone, some chicken little, who subscribes to the “Maya Calendar Doomsday” and you would like to ease their panic somewhat, point them toward the June 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine, which can be found in local libraries. The story on pages 10 through 12 should ease their overtaxed minds somewhat:
William Saturno, who has a good record of uncovering ancient Maya murals, recently discovered a six foot room in a mound in the Guatemalan forest on the outskirts of the Maya site of Xultun. When cleared of debris, one of the room’s walls was seen to display a “beautiful portrait of a King”. Another wall of the room was covered with mathematical calculations. Saturno and his colleagues studied four columns of large numbers on the wall and ascertained that they were the results of calculations based on the Maya calendar and astronomy, which projected 2.5 million days or 7,000 years into the future (from AD 813-814).
As Saturno said, “It’s important to understand that the ancient Maya predicted the world would continue. That was their point. They didn’t predict the end of the world.”
Another thing you can do to ease the confusion of any chicken little friends is convince them to stop viewing The History Channel until January of 2013. The History Channel seems to have a policy of deliberately beclouding the Maya Calendar delusion, which itself is little more than recent myth. It is not serious. It is simply a way of getting more people to tune into the channel so more money can be squeezed from advertisers. And keep in mind that programs on The “History” Channel often insist on distorting history by rehashing and simplifying it in order to gain a wider audience through sensationalism.