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Dec. 21: End of the World? Scholars, NASA Respond

Find out what the experts are saying about the Dec. 21, 2012, Doomsday prophesies, the end of the Mayan calendar and their potential impact on Shelby Township and Utica.

Don’t make any rash decisions: Experts say 12/21/12 is going to be just another typical winter solstice.

Killer solar flares aren’t expected. Another planet isn’t on a collision course with ours. And the Mayan “long count calendar” ending on this date has no real significance—they had to end it somewhere!

What is All the Fuss About?

There are a number of theories and predictions that call for earth’s demise on Dec. 21, 2012. They include:

  • The ending of the Mayan calendar. The Mayans, according to a Sarasota Patch article, kept three separate calendars. The “long calendar” ends on Dec. 21. Some say this constitutes a Doomsday prediction; many do not.
  • Nostradamus. That famed French seer from the 1500s has been credited with predicting several end-of-the-world scenarios that some believe will take place in 2012. The website December212012.com points to the potential sparking of World War III on this date.
  • The collision of Earth and the supposed planet Nibiru. This supposed space catastrophe was initially predicted to strike in 2003. The planet in question was supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, according to NASA. When the world didn’t end in 2003, the date was moved to December 2012 for the deadly collision with earth.

What are the Experts Saying?

The intrigue created by multiple end-of-the-world predictions has made many scholars and even NASA stand up to make statements debunking the claims. From professors at Tampa Bay’s New College to the scientific minds at NASA, they’re all saying the same thing: Go ahead and pay that mortgage bill and wrap those holiday presents.

In regard to the ending of the Mayan calendar, New College’s Gabrielle Vail told Patch:

There are many misconceptions about the Mayans. If you look at their calendar alone, the Mayans kept three calendars. The one that has prompted the end of the world predictions was their "long count calendar" — a 5,125 year calendar. The calendar began August 11, 3114 B.C. and ends Dec. 21, 2012.

She said the Mayans wrote about dates beyond Dec. 21, 2012 "well, well into the future, trillions of years." They also wrote about dates before the 5,125 year calendar began.

Here’s what NASA has to say about all of the collective Doomsday prophesies:

The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.

What do you think? Is the world coming to an end in a few days, or are you making sure those bill payments go out on time? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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