Mayan calendar ends on 12/21/2012: Will it mean the end of the world?

CLEVELAND - Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 is the date that the 5,000-year-old Mayan calendar ends. Some say that this means the Mayans predicted the end of the world.

"The Mayans never predicted the end of the world," said Dr. Peter Dunham, a Cleveland State University professor who teaches about the Maya.  

"They have a calendar cycle that's going to end tomorrow, a big one, over 5000 years," said Dunham. "But just like our millennia end, as ours did in 2000, another cycle begins."

What about these Doomsday theories that persist despite scientific evidence to the contrary? Will Planet X, also known as Nibiru, return after it's 3,600-year journey through the solar system to crash into the Earth?

"If there were a rogue planet that was going to hit the earth tomorrow, you'd be able to see it right now."

How about an upcoming NASA-predicted solar flare? Will that cause a magnetic shift in the Earth's core or possibly incinerate the planet?

"If you look at NASA's projection for this one, it's not even a serious peak that they're talking about," Durham said.

What advice does Dunham offer about how to deal with the end of the Mayan calendar?

"What I advise people to do is to join the Maya and celebrate the end of one of their millennia. Party like it's 2012, to take a page from Prince. Have a good time with it. The Maya people are going to celebrate this, you should too."

And don't forget to pick up a calendar for the new year.

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