Thursday, April 21, 2011
Of course, that man is Ed Krupp, the director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles and an expert on ancient, prehistoric and traditional astronomy.
He gave a very engaging, scientific talk Monday at Pomona College about the theories regarding the timely end of the world believed to be shown in a calendar by the Mayans of Mexico.
The event, which started in a classroom, had to be moved to an auditorium because of the number of people in attendance and the level of interest.
"(The theory) is obviously pervasive in our culture," said Krupp, a Pomona College grad.
To prove that the Mayan calendar is accurate he pointed out that they determined a year was 365.2550 days, when in fact it is 365.2422.
But he warned the audience not be misled by facts like these because they do not mean the Mayans had the tools to predict the end of the world.
"The uncanny accuracy of the Maya is partly what persuades people to think there is accuracy to the idea that the world will end in 2012," Krupp said.
"There is no evidence that the Maya believed the world would end in 2012," he added.
Krupp also spent time talking about the origin of the doomsday theories, as well as disproving them.
Authors who predicted the end of the world in the 1970s and 1980s either made up their information or used inaccurate statements to fuel their theories, he said.
Krupp also pointed out that those theories were sustained over time by mass paranoia, misinformation and a misunderstanding of astronomy, among other things.