It’s the end of the world….not

Jocelyn Turner
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Mount Allison professor says life to continue after Friday

AMHERST – There’s good reason there will be a new calendar at the end of the year.

We all know the world isn’t going to end on Dec. 21, but Dr. Grant Aylesworth said that the supposed doomsday scenario was not even mentioned in the Mayan calendar as the end of the world.

“It’s really a popular cultural phenomenon as far as I can tell,” said Aylesworth.

The Mount Allison University professor said after studying the Mayan calendar, there is no proof of the world ending. In fact, he said dates are mentioned in months and years well after the supposed upcoming doomed date.

“The 2012 date is actually mentioned only once,” he said. “They do mention a couple of other dates that are a couple of thousand years in the future from now. There’s nothing in the Mayan inscription that indicates 2012 would be the end of the world.”

Aylesworth explained that Dec. 21 is actually the end of what most people consider to be the Great Cycle in a day counting system called The Long Count, a period of 1, 172,000 days.

As for people thinking the world is actually going to end Friday, Aylesworth said he’s not surprised.

“It seems to be a growing popular cultural phenomenon that’s mentioned more and more as we get closer to the date,” he said. “As an archeologist, I’ve thought about the date for some time but not in terms of how it might be the end of the world.”

Nothing is set to happen on the 21st, except the next Long Count cycle, the only phenomenon actually predicted in the Mayan calendar.

“I’m making plans for Dec. 22 and 23 and so on,” said the professor. “(The phenomenon) is not based on any evidence. Classes are starting in January. I plan on doing shopping for the holidays and I expect that we’ll all be around in 2013.”

jturner@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Mount Allison University

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