Lecture dismisses myths about doomsday predictions

December 16, 2012 by  

On Wednesday, December 5, a special talk was held at the Bishop Planetarium of the South Florida Museum in Bradenton, Florida featuring Gabrielle Vail and Jeff Rodgers to discuss the doomsday prediction that the world will end on December 21 of this year. The Museum no doubt used flyer printing and poster printing to make the event known to the public so that the local community can better enjoy the holiday season.

Vail is a research scholar at New College and an expert on the Mayan people. Rodgers is the director of the Bishop Planetarium. He said that Vail is a Mayan scholar and one of the most respected in the world, so he would be able to put into proper perspective what the end of the world meant to the Mayan people.

According to Vail, whose academic career has been spent learning Maya hieroglyphics, there were three calendars that the Maya kept and the one that has prompted the most attention recently is the one called the “long count calendar” which began on August 11, 3114 B.C. and ends December 21, 2012. Although the calendar lasts for 5,125 years, she says that the Maya were well aware of dates beyond that into the trillions of years and also write about dates that started before August 11, 3114 B.C.

The calendar followed astronomical cycles and events and, according to Rodgers, predicted eclipses in the 21st century but did not take into observations about the Milky Way and solar flares, which are part of the myths about the doomsday predictions.