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Via Psychology Today, arm yourself against the pseudoscience of 2012 apocalypse with answers to 13 questions about the supposed end of the world.

[spoiler alert: the whole theory is bogus]

The Mayan Apocalypse is Nonsense

Here are the questions you will find answers to, with a short summary of the answers (read the full article linked to above for the complete explanations):

Who are the Maya?

“Maya” refers to a wide variety of Maya peoples, both ancient and modern, whose cultural heritage includes one of about thirty different Mayan languages.

What is the Long Count calendar and what does it have to do with 2012?

The current period of the Mayan calendar ends on what is interpreted as last December of this year.

Does the Maya calendar end on December 21, 2012?

No, it does not.

What’s the origin of the claims about the end of the world?

Various arcane interpretations from different anthropologists in the 19th and 20th century that were repeated and contorted. These were then adapted and further mutated by sensationalist media, New Age hippies, and fear-mongering websites.

What are some good reasons to consider a “2012 doomsday” as groundless?

There had been doomsday prophecies for 2500 years and nothing has happened. There is no clear “prophecy” in the records of the ancient Maya. Current proponents ignore academic research that contradicts 2012 apocalypse claims.

How did the concept of a 2012 doomsday or transformation become so popular?

It uses people’s fears to get them to pay attention to movies, television documentaries, books, magazines, websites, and other media sources that are designed to sell products and make money.

Hippies and New Agers also use this defunct theory to promote spiritual transformations. Pseudoscience tends to cling to pseudoscience.

Have popular media contributed to hyping the 2012 mythology?

“Since the 1970s, sensational and popular TV programs, movies, books, and magazines have taken advantage of the public’s general ignorance about the ancient Maya to promote nonsense, myths, and folklore that has little basis in academic scholarship.”

What are the mainstream arguments concerning other “doomsday ” prophecies?

Fundamentalist Christians have recently predicted the end of the world based on a mathematical interpretation of Bible dates. Needless to say, they were wrong.

How did 2012 mythology become popular outside New Age circles?

Websites, blogs, “documentaries,” books, etc. promoted the myth incessantly.

Apart from Hollywood, who is exploiting the mythology for profit?

Many people. For example, there are now more than 1500 books (only in English) that deal in some way with the 2012 phenomenon and there are countless websites.

Are the Maya’s home countries using the 2012 phenomenon to sell tourism?

Absolutely. Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador are pulling out all of the stops for promoting tourism of Maya sites and other destinations for 2012, including a government-sponsored documentary on the theme.

Why are people so attracted to theories of an Apocalypse?

Recent psychological studies that show that the human brain has adapted to be hypersensitive to dangers, anomalies, and things that are “not quite right.”  We recognize things that are unusual and different as part of a cognitive strategy for survival. It’s a play on fear. Fear sells, even better than sex.

Where can I get accurate information about the Maya and 2012?

Read the post for more links.