Wow, this one is a
real thrill ride! The new release from Sony, 2012, is the disaster
movie that puts all disaster movies to shame! Regardless of anything
else, this is worth seeing for the imagery.
But why am I writing about a
disaster movie? For two fundamental reasons: It's based upon a false
notion that the Maya (and other cultures) get to say "Told You So!"; and that
this regularly happens (ever hear of Noah?).
The fact that this is an
entertaining 2 and a half hours of enjoyable fantasy, hides the simple and
irrefutable facts. 2012 is a fantasy. It is not based upon fact.
Though I do recommend that you see it - it's visually stunning!
The 2012 phenomenon is about
fanciful beliefs and wild hypothesis, which claim that cataclysmic global events
will occur in the year 2012, on or around December 21. That date is
calculated to be the end-date of 5,125-year-long Mayan Long Count calendar.
Long Count calendar, which was discontinued under Spanish colonization, tracks
more than 5,000 years, then resets at year zero - just as our own calendar does
every 365 days. 2012 is also considered the completion of the 26,000 year
Precession of the Equinoxes cycle, and some say it also signifies the end of a
104,000 year cycle.
These beliefs are all about
unfounded archaeoastronomical speculation, crackpot interpretations of
mythology, numerological make-believe, or alleged prophecies from
extraterrestrial beings - and we know how reliable those are!
One of the more famous so
called theories - yet is really a hypothesis (you can always tell its bunk when
they misuse the word theory) - is that of Charles H. Hapgood (an Atlantian
"researcher"), who provided a geologic "theory", known as "Earth Crust
Displacement", which claims that a catastrophic shift of the earth’s lithosphere
around 10,000 BCE (BC) resulted in the continent of Antarctica—Hapgood’s site
for the lost continent of Atlantis—moving from a temperate latitude to its
current polar position. There are only two itsy bitsy problems with this -
1) Antarctica has been where it is for many millions of years, and 2) there was
not such catastrophic tectonic plate movement 10,000 years ago.
This is quite ironic, actually,
since there have been huge geologic scale events in the recent past.
Approximately 13,000 years ago, at the end of the last major ice age cycle,
there appears to have been an impact in Central Canada. This impact
appears to have caused the extinction of humans (and most species) in North
America. Then caused a new little iceage lasting for about 1,000 years.
2012: here we go again - Millennium
Fever, and Y2K - all rolled into one!
The wacko New Age interpretation of all this is that, during this time, the
planet and its inhabitants may (may?) undergo a positive physical or spiritual
transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era - note all the
mays. Conversely, some believe that the 2012 date marks the beginning of an
(the?) apocalypse. Both ideas have been widely disseminated in numerous books
and TV pseudo-documentaries, and have spread around the world through websites
and discussion groups.
Frankly, it's all crap.
Real scholars have disputed the idea that a catastrophe will happen in 2012.
The stating that predictions of impending doom are found in classic Maya
accounts is simply not true. Nor is it based upon any contemporary
science. Mainstream Mayanist scholars are right in that the idea that the Long
Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history. To the modern
Maya, 2012 is largely irrelevant, and classic Maya sources on the subject are
scarce, contradictory, and vary incomplete (thanks to the learned Spanish of the
time of the Conquest - since they burned all but a handful of Maya books or
codices). Of the books that survive, there is little if any universal
agreement among them about what, if anything, the date might mean.
Meanwhile, astronomers and other natural scientists have rejected the
apocalyptic forecasts, on the grounds that the anticipated events are precluded
by astronomical observations, or are unsubstantiated by the predictions that
have been generated from these findings. NASA likens fears about 2012 to
those about the Y2K bug in 2000, suggesting that an adequate analysis should
stem fears of disaster. Also, it is a simple fact, that the supposed
alignment that is to happen in 12/21/2012, actually happened in October 1998,
did you miss it? We all know that the only catastrophe was what was
happening in Washington!
However, to be fair to the
clever Maya Priest Astronomers. who were keen observers of the sky cycles.
It is possible that they were (through direct observation) able to track and
calculate orbits of Near Earth Objects - asteroids. We do know of one such
likely impact object set for 2036: Asteroid 99942 Apophis. Such objects
offer a more likely scenario (if you are looking for one). But that will
never stop Hollywood from exploring these notions.
In the end, wise people should
be careful what they believe. One person can be brilliant, but collectively,
humans are sheep and quick to panic. If this idea gets too much traction, then
we don't need a celestial event to bring doom upon us all. All we need is
our own stupidity!
This symbol has been used associated with the movie 2012.
Only one problem, the is the center piece of the Aztec calendar stone -
who had nothing to do with the Maya calendar cycles. P.S. it's not
made of gold!
We invite essays and movies
reviews from professional archaeologists and anthropologists also.
Feel free to send us your review to archaeologymoviereviews @ mcguinnesspublishing
An Ancient America Archaeology Site
by Tim McGuinness, Ph.D., Member of the Society for American
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please let us know of any errors.
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