The Mayan calendar completes its 5,125 year cycle, on 21 December 2012. Is there any evidence they foresaw the end-of-the-world?
Welcome to Skeptics Stack Exchange
Skeptics is a question and answer site for applying scientific skepticism. It's built and run by you as part of the Stack Exchange network of Q&A sites. With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers challenging unreferenced notable claims, pseudoscience and biased results.
We're a little bit different from other sites. Here's how:
Ask questions, get answers, no distractions
This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat.
Good answers are voted up and rise to the top.
The best answers show up first so that they are always easy to find.
The person who asked can mark one answer as "accepted".
Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked.
What is going to happen in 2012?
There is a brilliant visualisation from Information is Beautiful. Basically, there was no Mayan prophecy concerning 2012, and most of theories of a catastrophe occurring were created by taking a date that is somewhere around 2012 and shifting it to 2012.
Even if the Mayan calendar runs out in 2012, that does not imply the world will end. Many computer calendars "ran out" at 11:59:59 on 31 December 1999, but the world carried on.
You earn reputation when people vote on your posts
Your reputation score goes up when others vote up your questions, answers and edits.
As you earn reputation, you'll unlock new privileges like the ability to vote, comment, and even edit other people's posts.
|125||Vote down (costs 1 rep on answers)|
At the highest levels, you'll have access to special moderation tools. You'll be able to work alongside our community moderators to keep the site focused and helpful.
|2000||Edit other people's posts|
|3000||Vote to close, reopen, or migrate questions|
|10000||Access to moderation tools|
Get answers to practical, detailed questions
Focus on questions about an actual problem you have faced. Include details about what you have tried and exactly what you are trying to do.
- the accuracy of public claims made in the media or elsewhere
Not all questions work well in our format. Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers.
Questions that need improvement may be closed until someone fixes them.
Don't ask about...
- Anything not directly related to a specific, notable claim
- Questions that are primarily opinion-based
- Research-level science, discussions of skepticism as a philosophy or movement, rants or personal speculation.
Improve posts by editing or commenting
Our goal is to have the best answers to every question, so if you see questions or answers that can be improved, you can edit them.
Use edits to fix mistakes, improve formatting, or clarify the meaning of a post.
Unlock badges for special achievements
Badges are special achievements you earn for participating on the site. They come in three levels: bronze, silver, and gold.
Find a question to answer, or ask your own
Skeptics Stack Exchange is part of the Stack Exchange network
Like this site? Stack Exchange is a network of 103 Q&A sites just like it. Check out the full list of sites.