The great debate: 12/21/12

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By Rachel Hammer

This December, some of the world will be in utter panic whereas others will be kicking back, laughing at their concern.

Many people think that the Mayan calendar is the reason for all the commotion, while there are actually several reasons. The first total apocalypse claim was made when the Sumerians said a planet called Nibiru was headed towards Earth and due May 2003, according to NASA. When it didn’t, they said its due date was December 2012. Other people think a black out due to a certain planetary alignment will cause life on Earth to cease. But the well-known and dominant reason for concern is the infamous end to the Mayan calendar.

Many people blame the Mayans, when little is actually known publicly about their way of life.

“Mayan’s beliefs stemmed from a polytheistic religious hierarchy society,” social studies teacher Mr. Eric Burres said. “They were arguably the most sophisticated civilization in Mesoamerica with complex mathematics, hieroglyphics, and dozens of city-states with towering pyramids.”

People are also under the impression that Mayans no longer exist. In reality, they still have descendants in Mexico and Central America, and they are just as conflicted about the end of the world as anyone else.

“Information has been skewed since their society split up,” Mr. Burres said. “Their descendants are just as confused as anyone might be.”

The public question the credibility of the calendar considering it was created around AD 250-900 when the Mayans thrived.

“Their calendar was a rougher version of today’s calendar,” Mr. Burres said.

The Mayan calendar works literally like a circle, similarly to how today’s calendar is a cycle. Their calendar did not simply cut off on December 21; its cycle ended. It was implied for a new cycle to start on the winter solstice which happens to be the same day. What’s in store on that day is not the end of the world but simply the beginning of a new season, NASA claims.

Most people believe this, claiming the world will not actually end.

“I think people are taking it too seriously,” Kendall Hughes said, a nonbeliever of the apocalypse. “People are talking about is like they seriously believe it when they have no logical reason to.”

Reasoning for disbelief varies from opinion to what people generally deem logical.

“I don’t believe in the apocalypse because there have been other cases of people thinking the world will end when it obviously didn’t,” Hughes said, “The Mayan calendar doesn’t account for leap years, so the world would have already ended.”

Although few believe it, there always will be a group of people who do. In this case, rarely will someone be open about it. Many are swayed easily, while others are stubborn.

“The Mayans predicted it and so many people are saying it, so it must be true,” one sophomore said.

Believers are submerged in panic, frantically preparing for an anticipated disaster.

“I’m not prepared in the slightest,” the sophomore said. “There are people with more guns than me.”

Whether it is personally believed or not, this supposed catastrophe will be on everyone’s mind come late Thursday evening.

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The great debate: 12/21/12