At the turn of the new millennium, there were rumors that technology would collapse and the world would cease to exist in its current form. When this did not happen, a new theory emerged, based on the ancient Mayan calendars that claimed that the world, and life, would end in 2012. This doomsday prediction is based on claims of ancient manuscripts from all over the world. There is, however no scientific evidence that the world will end in 2012, or that the Mayans ever equated such relevance with the date, which is, in fact the last date on their calendar. The year 2012 will not mark the end of the world.
Much like the Y2K, the prediction that the world would end at the turn of the new millennium, the 2012 prediction does not hold when juxtaposed with scientific inquiry. The predominant claim is that Nibiru, a planet that was discovered by ancient Sumerians, is headed towards the earth’s orbit and will destroy it and the life within (NASA 1). Proponents of this theory forget to mention that the initial date had been May 2003 but was later pushed to December 21, 2012.
The Mayan calendar, the most commonly cited evidence of this catastrophe, was made much like the normal calendar that ends at the turn of each year. The Mayan calendar was a long-count method, meaning that they made their calendars for hundreds, or thousands of years, and when each ended, another long-count begun. The end of the longest count in the Mayan calendar, as modern Mayan elders attest, is just the beginning of another and not the end of the world (Sitler 30).
NASA has asserted that there is no planet known as Nibiru and if there indeed were a planet that was headed in the earth’s orbit, it would have been spotted over a decade ago. Even the other planet that is commonly cited, Eris, which is in fact real, is too small and far to affect any such damage. It is in the outer solar system, 4 billion miles away from earth (NASA 1). The claim that the earth may be hit by a giant meteor or asteroid is perhaps the scariest because objects are always entering the earth’s orbit from outer space. This claim is, however, mere speculation because the last meteor of such magnitude hit the earth over 65 million years ago. Its aftermath, the extinction of dinosaurs and other organisms, are well documented in evolution (Sitler 28).
Christians who believe the claim go against their holy book which asserts that none but God knows when the world will end. Most religions bear more or less the same concept, and are therefore not predictive as to the end of the world. In essence, the predictions are a reaction to the natural and man-made disasters that have devastated the earth in the last few decades. Psychologists argue that the recent catastrophes have caused panic as to the repercussions and meanings.
Doomsday 2012 has been touted as the end of the modern world. Proponents argue that something extraterrestrial such as a planet or meteor will obliterate the earth. They base their claims on information obtained from the Mayan calendar and urban legends. However, there is no scientific proof of a planet on its way to the earth’s orbit in the new few decades, and the probability of a meteor large enough to cause such damage is minimal. 2012 will come and pass like the one any other year, and when the world wakes up to December 22 2012, proponents will have to leave their bunkers and accept that the world will be around for a long time.
NASA. 2012: Beginning of the End or Why the World Won’t End. 2009. Web. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012.html. 23rd October 2011.
Sitler, Robert K. The 2012 Phenomenon: New Age Appropriation of an Ancient Mayan Calendar. Novo Religio: the Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions (Berkeley: University of California Press) 9 (3): 24–38, 2006. Print.