For those of you who stomached the biased Crystal Skulls reporting on SciFi last night. God bless ya. I clicked it off halfway through, unable to handle yet another nebulous, unsubstatiated claim. There was a real dearth of counterpoint (of which there is plenty) and perhaps it came later in the episode. I will have to catch a rerun when I feel more up to it.
I grew aggravated every time someone said, unchecked, that the Maya predicted the world will end in 2012. This is not what they predict. This is when their calendar runs out. The most the Maya have said about this time is that it will be one of change. Sure, I suppose one could argue that means total global destruction by a supposed Planet-X .
This theory about the end of the world arose from an art historian and avid new-ager named Jose Arguelles who was a proponent of Harmonic Convergence and who culled some aspects of his theories from non-Mayan sources such as the I Ching. In addition to having miscalculated the calendar (he did not compensate for leap years), he claims he is "heir of the legacy of Pacal Votan and the instrument of his prophecy, Telektonon".
Most Mayan scholars refute such unsupported claims. As for the skulls themselves, the most "authentic" are not even rendered in any artistic style familiar to the Maya. Of course, true believers will say this is because they were made by Atlanteans or Extra Terrestrials but without proof, these are just words.
The following conversation humorously illustrates the futility in debating the topic with true-believers:
Her: The world will suffer a cataclysmic event in 2012.
Me: Why do you say that?
Her: Because the Mayans predicted it.
Me: And how do you know the Mayans are correct?
Her: Because they were colonized by the Atlanteans.
Me: And how do you know that?
Her: You can tell by comparative palmistry.