The End of the World? Debatable.

December 21, 2012, just a normal day filled with crisp, cool weather and the smell of hot cocoa, right? Wrong. Rumors, theories, and suspicions regarding our rapidly approaching apocalyptic future have heavily occupied the media for years. From film to literature, from news articles to gossip columns, the numbers 12-21-12 are seen everywhere, as if they were the winning lottery numbers. 

The most prominent theory of them all is that which surrounds the end of the Mayan long calendar. As stated on the End of the World website, many theorists believe that “at the end of this cycle of the world (or humanity’s existence) will come to an abrupt end on December 21, 2012.” In order to gain a greater understanding of this theory, one must take a deeper look at the Mayan calendar. There are many cycles within the calendar called periods. Currently, we are said to be in the Baktun period, which will end on, you guessed it, December 21, 2012. The Baktun period is the thirteenth one to occur in the Mayan calendar and is considered to have a large importance to the Mayan people. This explains why a significant number of people have made the conclusion that the end of the cycle signifies the end of the world. The one thing that this theory lacks is the answer to a critical question: How, exactly, will the world end? Will it be similar to the Big Bang? 

The Planet X theory attempts to explain, in greater detail, exactly what the end of the world will look like. Some theorists have blended the prophesies of the Mayan calendar with the structure and patterns of our solar system, ultimately predicting that our world will end with a large solar flare. Such suspicions claim there is a planet-like form called Nibiru that orbits through our solar system one every 3,600 years. When it crosses our orbit in 2012, it is predicted to cause the gases in Jupiter to ignite, turning Jupiter into another sun. In addition to Jupiter’s

Death by Solar Flares?

disastrous fate, the sun’s solar flares are predicted to peak on that very day. Such a visual reminds me of the world depicted by author Cormack McCarthy in his novel The Road, in which nothing but a road and a scarce number of people survived an unknown apocalyptic event. Similar to the novel, a desolate and scorched world, barren of any life forms is what is predicted of our future. Promising, right?  

In USA Today, Lynn Garrett, a religion editor at Publishers Weekly, is quoted, proclaiming that “part of the appeal of…earth religions is that notion that we need to reconnect with the Earth in order to save ourselves.” His opinion that we all need something to believe in and connect with is a great argument against the end of the world. The USA Today article written by G. Jeffrey MacDonald also expresses the opinion that the balance of the universe will be thrown off on 12/21/2012 at approximately 11:11 pm Universal Time. The normal energy that flows to Earth from the Milky Way will be disrupted; whether that results in complete destruction is debatable.

Is this really our fate?

Finally, E. C. Krupp, the Director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, wrote his comic opinion that “the year 2012 is acting like a badly behaved celebrity,” commanding way too much attention. He claims that paying attention to the 13th cycle of the Mayan calendar as the last is a semi-recent trend, making it less credible. However, he does reveal the statistic revealing that in 1995 John Mayor Jenkins said the winter-solstice point and the centerline of the galaxy will be align on exactly December 21, 2012. Therefore, Griffith seems to believe more in the statistical reasoning behind the end of the world than the faith-centered reasoning.

Overall, it is hard for me to believe that the end of the world is actually coming. Such predictions have failed many times before, so why should they be real now? I guess we shall see in approximately 438 days.

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