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Media Release: The End of the World

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A recent Ipsos survey found that 8% of their world wide sample thought that the end of the world was coming. While experts of Mayan culture declare that the calendar rather signals the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar, cycles similar to a year's end on our calendar.

WireService.ca Media Release - Dec 7, 2012 - At Info-Cult we have received many calls from concerned parents and teachers whose children, or students expressed fears that a popular prophecy about an imminent end of the world might be about to occur. By now, nearly everybody has heard about a presumed Mayan prophecy according to which this December 21, 2012 is supposed to signal the end of the world. According to some reports, the Mayan calendar's ending has been used to claim that doomsday is near, rather than just the end of one it's cycles and the beginning of another. In fact, in recent months, articles on the subject have been appearing on a daily basis, as well as documentaries, websites and forums.

Fortunately, the information supporting the thesis that the end of the world is near is not convincing according to specialists in the field. Experts of Mayan culture like David Stuart (The Order of Days: The Maya World and the Truth About 2012) declare that the calendar, which is interpreted to mean doomsday, rather signals the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar, cycles similar to a year's end on our calendar. David Morrison, a senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, has put together a web site designed to answer all the questions raised by this prediction that has many people worried and scared. On his web site, "Ask an Astrobiologist" (http://astrobiology2.arc.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/), he provides answers to people who fear they are not correctly prepared to face the end of the world. He also explains the Bad Science that contributed in building up this doomsday idea. His explanations and answers to the many questions raised by this frightening idea help to understand what's behind these esoteric beliefs.

Unfortunately, many are taking advantage of this prophecy. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit Bugarach, a village in the Corbières mountain range in France where it is believed that people will be saved if it is the end of the world. The village mayor, whom I met, is quite vocal about the profiteers attempting to exploit the fear and the credulity of many. To that effect, a recent Ipsos survey found that 8% of their world wide sample thought that the end of the world was coming (Ipsos survey May 1, 2012 - http://www.ipsos-na.com/news-polls/pressrelease.aspx?id=5610 ).

For the past 32 years at Info-Cult, I have heard of predictions about the imminent end of the world, this one, however, is scarier; maybe because it has been relayed so much more thoroughly through social media as well as through blogs and e-mails. The potential of the WEB to disseminate ideas is formidable. Unfortunately, sometimes those ideas are wrong and dangerous. Some people are so frightened about the seeming imminence of this prophecy that they are ready to contemplate every option, others are squandering their life savings in fruitless attempts to be saved. It is quite sad and unfortunate to witness all the fear and the destruction that such amateur interpretation of the little known, yet rich civilization of the Mayans can lead to.

Hopefully, the media will take a responsible perspective from now on when presenting reports on this situation. Media reports must not only be more balanced about this "end of the world" scare, but also must give viewers the scientific information and knowledge they need to make good choices.

By Mike Kropveld

Executive Director, Info-Cult

infosecte@qc.aibn.com

www.infocult.org

News from Info-Cult, No 24 December 2012

 


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