Wednesday, June 8, 2016

So Wait, I Missed It?

Nope, not this time either

What if you threw an apocalypse and Augoeides was not there to ridicule it? Would anything happen? Well, okay, to be fair, nothing would happen anyway, ridicule or no ridicule. But I would miss a chance to be all snarky about how of course the whole thing was nonsense from the beginning, and how foolish anyone would be to accept it.

That's apparently what just happened.

Because according to this article from India Times, "scholars" have recently recalculated the date of the so-called Maya Apocalypse, from December 21st of 2012 to... last weekend. The argument is based on the fact that the Julian and Gregorian calendars accounting for leap years, while the Maya calendar apparently does not.

“As far as we know, the people of Mesoamerica, the Maya included, didn’t care about leap years,” Anthony Aveni, an expert in ancient Mesoamerican astronomy at Colgate University told the National Geographic.

“Our philosophy about leap year is a complicated scheme to make the seasons jibe with the calendar,” Aveni said. “They were more concerned that time should be unbroken, not interfered with, and that the count of time should have continuity. To break continuity would be to break order.”

Here is how the fresh calculations predict the date:

There is a 1,260 day difference between the calendars.

The Julian Calendar is 365.25 days which accounts for leap years.

The Gregorian Calendar is 365.2425 days which accounts for leap years as well.

The Egyptian and the Maya Haab Calendar don’t account for leap years. Thus, the Egyptian and Maya Haab Calendar is 365 days! And December 21st, 2012 plus 1,260 days = June 3rd/4th, 2016

So... seeing as nothing happened - again - it's probably just about time we retired this whole Maya Apocalypse concept. Simply put, it's a complete misinterpretation of a tradition that still lives. If you want to know when the Long Count turns over because you aren't sure, there's a much easier way to do it than sitting in a library poring over historical records - just ask a Daykeeper.

These are the Maya who are the keepers of the calendar, trained according to an oral tradition that goes back to before the Spanish conquest. They can still be found in Mexico and Central America, and can give you an authoritative answer - and they all thought that the original apocalypse thing in 2012 was nonsense, a misreading of their calendar by Europeans who did not understand its significance or its symbolism.

It seems to me that if you are trying to ascribe an apocalypse date to a culture that wants nothing to do with it, maybe you should just keep your mouth shut instead of going on about it. It would at least save you further embarrassment, both back in 2012 and this last weekend.

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Darth Darren said...

Don't worry, another apocalypse/declaration of martial law/deadly comet/alien invasion/new world takeover/ or Obama revealed as antichrist is scheduled to happen in August! I wouldn't bother stocking the pantry just yet. I'm going to go out on a limb and call bs on all of it. All of these predictions are so incredibly flawed. Haven't there been like 6 apocalypses predicted in the last year already? Hilarious!

Scott Stenwick said...

I know, right? The darn things just keep on coming, and they always are just as dumb.