Is the world about to come to an end?
The Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar may not be all its
cracked up to be. The calendar has caused feeling of panic, anxiety and dread
from some that believe it signals the end of the world as we know it on Dec.
Mark Hanshaw, religion department chair, explains that the
calendar is divided into “baktuns,” which is a 144,000-day period. The “grand
cycle,” which is 13 baktuns, ends on Dec. 20. “There have been lots of theories
about if this date will be associated with some sort of apocalyptic, end-time
event,” Hanshaw said.
Speculation – including the idea that a meteor may strike
the Earth on that day – are just a bunch of bunk, Hanshaw said. “On the 21st,
I believe that we will wake up to a new day,” Hanshaw said. “And I don’t think
the day will be much different from the day that preceded it.”
Hanshaw and others recently traveled to Tikal, Guatemala,
where they met with a religious leader. He regularly travels the world,
studying many different religions with students and meeting with religious
leaders in various countries.