On December 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar ends, at least according to anthropologists and archaeologists. A new cycle will begin at that point. And, whether you're a skeptic or believer, scientist or historian, there are some interesting facts presented in the new documentary 2012: Science or Superstition.
Several authors and scientists discuss the many aspects of the end of the Mayan calendar. Astronomers discuss the rise in frequency of sunspot activity. Anthropologists discuss the techniques the ancients used to predict star patterns across lifetimes and how they traveled various planes of consciousness. In short, the viewer is exposed to multiple points of view, facts, and conjecture.
Ultimately it's up to the viewer to decide what they believe. I find myself squarely in the skeptics' camp one this one.
It's interesting to go to the bookstore and see all the titles published around the topic of 2012. Doing a quick search of the term "2012" on Amazon brought up 50 different books and DVDs from a variety of authors and sources, including a Complete Idiot's Guide to 2012 published in October, 2008.
Hollywood has jumped on the bandwagon as well. Roland Emmerich has a movie called 2012 slated to come out in November, 2009 starring John Cusack as a researcher trying to counteract the events foretold by the end of the Mayan calendar.
The producers of the documentary attempt to highlight multiple views of the subject matter and to interview experts from a variety of disciplines — often conflicting ones — to provide as balanced a view as possible about what 2012 means. The documentary discusses a number of possibilities for what may occur, but doesn't come out and say that they will happen. The fact that the producers came at the topic from a multitude of viewpoints and scientific pursuits is very helpful to the viewer who becomes hooked by the idea. The documentary provides a jumping off place for viewers to do their own research and come up with their own conclusions.
Some of the people interviewed for the documentary have very interesting backgrounds as well, including, among others:
- Dr. Anthony F. Aveni, professor of astronomy and anthropology at Colgate University and a founder of archaeoastronomy and Mesoamerican archaeoastronomy;
- Archaeologist Benito Venegas Duran, working to preserve and research the historical and anthropological heritage of Mexico;
- Graham Hancock, author of such bestsellers as The Sign and The Seal, Fingerprints of the Gods, and other books;
- John Major Jenkins, a researcher dedicated to reconstructing Mayan cosmology and philosophy;
- Lawrence E. Joseph, a physicist and writer who has written many books and magazine articles;
- Jim Marrs, a conspiracy author of such bestsellers as Alien Agenda, Rule by Secrecy, and Crossfire: the Plot that Killed Kennedy. Crossfire was used as the basis for Oliver Stone's movie JFK.