I have just spent the last hour glued to National Geographic TV which had a programme exploring predictions for 2012. It was called “The Final Prediction”.
I suppose I’d better try to summarise the key point here.
In essence, the Mayan creation myth revolves around the idea that their gods have created, destroyed and re-created the world a number of times already. The latest cycle started some 5200 years ago.
It seems perfectly logical for the Mayans to have also predicted that this latest cycle would also have an end. It will be on 21st December 2012.
According to some theorists, this will coincide with the end of the world.
I became interested in predictions for 2012 a few months ago, soon after discovering the whole world of Mind, Body and Spirit and dashed downstairs to see this programme with some anticipation.
There are 29.4 million hits on Google for the search “2012 end of the world“. You can find all kinds of totally outrageous conspiracy and other theories on the internet, but I rather liked the calmer, slightly more dispassionate approach of tonight’s TV documentary.
The TV programme started to come to life for me when the scientists had dismissed a sudden polar shift as the likely cause of doomsday. It then went on to reveal evidence from around the world that there had been a sudden climate change event that coincided with the start of the current Mayan calendar cycle. It was very interesting to see 5200 year-old quick frozen plants being recovered from an ice cap in the Andes.
This showed that these plants had been growing when a sudden snow fall entombed them. Cooling of the climate could well have kept them under the ice until the present climate change that is causing the ice cap to retreat is only now uncovering these same plants again.
The programme’s conclusion was that the Mayan calendar cycle could well have been triggered by a cultural memory of that cooling event. Their prediction of the end of their cycle seems to be related to a remarkable grasp of astronomy for a civilisation that was around about 1000 years ago.
However, back to the internet, there are plenty of websites that, while agreeing that the end of the world really is nigh, the actual date won’t be 21st December 2012, but 28th October 2011.
If this earlier date turns out to be right, I am prepared to bet that the final thoughts of the organisers of the London Olympics will be something along the lines of “Oh dear, what a waste of time all that work turned out to be”.
… and the title of this post is the title of a song by REM – that was not played during the documentary; National Geographic is a serious science channel.