2012: Scholars debunk it again (and again and again and…)

Drawing of Tortuguero Monument 6, by scholar Sven Gronemeyer, on wayeb.com.
Great drawing, by Maya scholar Sven Gronemeyer, of the "2012" carving on Tortuguero Monument 6 which, like the Comalcalco brick, Dresden Codex, etc., fails to prove the Mayans thought 2012 would be the end of the world. (From wayeb.org.)

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History is holding their round table effort to beat back 2012ologists with actual facts and research, which they had previously announced in their discussions of the not-new-news Comalcalco Brick. Now, in the news today, one of the members of the scholarly panel has had his comments reported — coincidentally, it is the same Mayan scholar, Sven Gronemeyer , whose drawing of the Tortuguero monument I used in my post a couple of days ago (and again on the right).

Here’s the article from Yahoo!News:  “Expert: Mexico glyphs don’t predict apocalypse.”

Actually, all of this is old news.  Tortuguero Monument 6 does not predict an apocalypse or “end of the world” in 2012.  The Comalcalco Brick does not predict an apocalypse or “end of the world” in 2012.  The Dresden Codex does not predict an apocalypse or “end of the world” in 2012.  The Chilam Balam does not predict an apocalypse or “end of the world” in 2012.  And the collection of Mayan scholars — whose lives are invested in studying this ancient culture — say with a remarkably singular voice: The Maya did not predict an apocalypse or “end of the world” in 2012.

It all really is a modern phenomenon that did not originate in the religion or beliefs of the Maya.  (To which I should add: even if it did, so what? Read your Bible! 🙂 )

Here are some comments from the article (but do read the whole article if you’re interested — it’s brief):

At least that’s according to a German expert who says his decoding of a Mayan tablet with a reference to a 2012 date denotes a transition to a new era and not a possible end of the world as others have read it.

…”The date acquired a symbolic value because it is seen as a reflection of the day of creation,” Gronemeyer said. “It is the passage of a god and not necessarily a great leap for humanity.”

…Many experts doubt the second inscription [on the Comalcalco Brick] is a definite reference to the date cited as the possible end of the world, saying there is no future tense marking like there is in the Tortuguero tablet.

The institute has tried to dispel talk of a 2012 apocalypse, the subject of numerous postings and stories on the Internet. Its latest step was to arrange a special round table of Mayan experts this week at Palenque, which is where Gronemeyer made his comments.

As I’ve said before, I’ve never seen any credible evidence — any credible evidence, at all – that the Maya predicted some sort of world-ending apocalypse in 2012, not by flood, fire, famine, or even stale television programming. Now, I have seen people wrongly interpret Mayan writings and carvings based on Western religious ideas — ideas that would be foreign to Maya culture. And I’ve seen people try to tie together elements of Mayan culture which cannot be demonstrated in any credible way to work together and in a way that no Mayan scholar supports. And I have researched the origins of 2012ology and found it to be based on modern shamanism, astrology, worship of pagan cultures, and hallucinogenic drug use.  But, no, I’ve seen no evidence that the Maya ever thought about 2012 in the manner that false prophets and New Age gurus of today think about it.

I’m certainly willing to be wrong about this — especially since even if the Maya did say anything like their modern misinterpreters say they did — it would merely lead to the follow-up question (come on, say it with me now): “So what?”

Don’t pay money and buy a New Age, drug-inspired 2012 book from your local Barnes & Noble (it only encourages them to put more on their shelves!) 🙂  Instead, get our free materials, including an absolutely free DVD!  Just see the list of (FREE) resources at the end of this post here: “The Comalcalco Brick and the 2012 Non-pocalypse”  Learn more than the truth about 2012 — check out what the future really has in store… Reality puts 2012 goofiness to shame.

The Comalcalco Brick and the 2012 Non-pocalypse

A tile-brick from Comalcalco, depicting, apparently, Skeletor from the "Masters of the Universe" mid-boogie. Or maybe not...

My thanks to GN for passing on to me a new bit of 2012-related news.  The title is terribly misleading (misleading as in false) but the article is worth reading for those who are keeping up with such info: “New Reference to 2012 ‘Apocalypse’” (I appreciate that Express.co.uk at least put scare quotes around “apocalypse”).

I was intrigued by the title, because I maintain that I am very willing to agree that the Maya did predict an apocalypse/end of the world/etc. at the turning of the baktun on their calendar if (but only if) someone could actually, credibly demonstrate it. If this “new reference” would do it, then I was read to agree.

It doesn’t. At least not yet. In fact, the fact that the item in question is considered news worthy at all is evidence against any so-called “Maya” apocalypse, which I’ll point out in a moment. First, what’s the article about? Feel free to click on the title above and read it — I’ll comment below. Go ahead… I’ll wait.

Done? Great! So what did the article say?

Well, you might notice that it did not speak of anything at all concerning any “new reference to 2012 ‘apocalypse’.”  Rather, it talked about a brick that the National Institute of Anthropology and History of Mexico said came from the ruins at Comalcalco (an interesting Mayan site in that its buildings were built of tile-like brick) and is consequently referred to sometimes as the “Comalcalco Brick.” Many of the bricks at Comalcalco are decorated with images or glyphs, which are directed inward into the mortar as opposed to outward. (Comalcalco, by the way, means “In the house of the comals (tortilla pans)” according to Wikipedia.)

The Acme company's sign of approval or indicator that the world is coming to an end? You be the judge...

Putting such glyphs and images on the reverse of tiles may seem mysterious, but actually it isn’t and it has been practiced by working masons (workers, not fraternal orders!) in both ancient Rome and India, as well — think of stamping “Acme Brick” on the little guys: identifying the work done but, by being placed inward, not marring the edifice.  The striking similarity to some of these glyphs and those used in ancient Rome has lead to some interesting speculation which you can read about here.  And that speculation would fit well with my own belief that the New World was visited in the ancient times by Israel in the time of Solomon and possibly other powers, but that’s a blog post for another day. 🙂

Back to the article at hand…  What does the little tile-brick say that is so intriguing? Well, if you read the article then you saw: Not necessarily anything.  It may have on it the date representing the end of the current Mayan baktun, believed by some to be December 21 or December 23, 2012. At the same time, it may not say that. As the article points out, there is disagreement. And if it does have that date on it, it apparently doesn’t have much else. (For those who’d like some encouragement in their efforts to over interpret something that may only have the significance of an “Acme Brick” stamp, you could always watch the Acme Song.) (Second parenthetical insert: For those unfamiliar with the Animaniacs cartoons, you’re in for a treat.)

Several things are worth pointing out here…

  • Several — among them, recognized Mayan expert David Stuart of the University of Texas — think that the idea that inscription on the brick is a connection to 2012 is very unconvincing, as it could refer to other dates as well. There is apparently no real reason to think that it refers to “the” date.
  • Secondly, even if it were such a reference (again, unproven), this tile-brick adds virtually nothing to the untenable belief amongst some enthusiasts that the Mayans, themselves, believed the end of the world would occur in 2012 — something generally rejected by actual scholars in Mayan studies.
  • Also, the only known, confirmed Mayan reference to the 2012 date (if, indeed, the baktun ends in 2012, which is also of some dispute) is still the monument at Tortuguero, mentioned in the article. And the description of that monument in the article is a bit misleading in that it lacks appropriate context. For those who are actually familiar with Mayan style of the day, the description of Bolon Yokte in that monument is nothing “end-of-the-world-y.” If we project our own ideas onto it, it might seem that way, but in the context of other Mayan writings it is not at all remarkable and does not signify anything such as what 2012-ers wish to project onto the date.
  • According to Maya scholars (including those at the Mexican institute referenced above), the current 2012-hoopla is the result of modern day projection of Judeo-Christian “end of the world” thinking onto a culture for which, at the time of the inscriptions of Tortuguero, such thinking would be absolutely foreign. That is, even if the Maya did think about the turn of the baktun as the end of a calendrical cycle, they would not have thought about it as the “end of the world” as we think of that today. The hysteria today — books, movies, etc. — is the result of people ignorant of Maya culture reading their “apocalyse”-like writings and projecting their own biases, hopes, and cultural understandings onto them, NOT a result of the Maya’s thinking, themselves.

And the final thing I think worth pointing out is this: Why is the tile –with its disputed markings — considered newsworthy? It is considered newsworthy because if it does mention the Mayan date associated with 2012, it would be only the second such find. Do you get that? Outside of this tile (and possibly including it) there is only one verifiable mention of the 2012-associated date in all of recorded Mayan writings and carvings which is, indeed, a huge collection.  Really.  If you were to survey all of what the Maya have left for us in writings, carvings, paintings, etc., you would find only one single reference to December 21, 2012 (if that is the correct date) out of the 15,000-or-so available. And it would be in a generally unremarkable monument. No, it isn’t in the Dresden codex — or in any codex, frankly. Not in any other temple or wall or playing field. Nothing. Nada. Just one carving in Tortuguero. And possibly, now, the back of some tile at the place where it was stuck into the mortar paste, along with lots of other tiles with other sorts of mason-work inscriptions not meant to be seen, in a building at the “house of tortilla pans.”

Does that sound to you like 2012 was thought to be the end of the universe? Nope — it doesn’t to me, either.

Again, I’m open to actual, scholarly evidence.  If anyone has any convincing, credible evidence at all from real Mayan authorities that say the Mayans did, indeed, think that December 21, 2012 (or whatever the real date would be) was the end of the world, I would be happy to accept that — indeed, I’d like to see it, because in all my looking, e-mails, phone calls, researching for the Tomorrow’s World telecast and conversations with Maya authorities and enthusiasts, I’ve seen none at all. Until then, I’m sticking with the vast majority of recognized authorities in Mesoamerican culture and Mayan studies. And the conclusion of Maya scholars is that the 2012-hysteria is, by and large, a “gringo invention” projected onto an ancient culture for whom such thoughts would be foreign.

And, of course, even if all these scholars were wrong and the Maya did proclaim the end of the world a year from now, the next question would be, “So what?” The Bible clearly says otherwise (see “October 21: Raptured? Or Returning from God’s Feast?”), and we are not to give credence to the prophecies and religious utterances of the pagans (Jer. 10:1-2, et al.). Focus on what God says about the future, and leave 2012 — as well as 2012, 2014, etc. — in His hands. Otherwise, the ancient Maya, themselves, may come up in the second resurrection like those in Matt. 12:41-42 and wonder why you and I wasted so much time with the rest of this misguided society and its silly ideas when the amazing truth of God, itself, was so readily available.

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Some references for those interested:

Tomorrow’s World booklets on prophecy

Free Tomorrow’s World DVD on 2012

  • 2012: Mystery and Truth (choose the DVD from the items listed in the Media section and request a copy; other titles may be requested, as well on this page)

Other Tomorrow’s World resources on 2012

Other blog posts related to 2012: