End of the World's Not Coming in 2012, Local Professor Says

It's not the end of the world as we know it, says a local professor taking aim at the doomsday theory.

The Mayan doomsday prophecy is a prediction by the ancient Mayans that the world will end in 2012.  But Kristine Larsen, an astronomy professor at Central Connecticut State University, is debunking that theory, according to the Bristol Press.

Larsen is giving talks and writing articles about how prophecies make sense only to people wholly ignorant of science and the Mayan calendar.

"The Mayan calendar ran in cycles. One of their cycles is "Bak-tun," called the 'long year' or 'great year,' which is 144,000 days long," Larsen tells the Press. "Think of it like a decade or century ending for us. It's much bigger than the end of the year."

According to Larsen, the current Long Year ends in 2012, but the end of one year predicts nothing more than the beginning of a new one. The equivalent, she says, to looking at our calendar ending on Dec. 31 and believing the world will end too.

The Mayan doomsday idea is all over the place and Larsen has a theory on where it began. She believes it started with a man named Jose Arguelles, a believer in the Harmonic Convergence, which was supposed to end the world in August 1987 after other planets in our solar system lined up in a certain way, the Press reports.

She also has a there an idea of the kind of reaction doomsday believers will have when they wake up on either New Year's Day 2013 or Dec. 22, 2012, the day after the winter solstice.

"Some people will take credit for it, like they always do -- 'it was because I prayed, it was because I made a sacrifice,' In 1910, Halley's Comet came astronomically close to earth. People committed suicide. One man in California somehow managed to nail himself to a wooden cross -- don't ask me how -- and offered himself as a sacrifice for the planet. Fortunately, someone found him in time, and took him to get medical care," Larsen tells the Press.

"My biggest fear is someone will be hurt, either by their own hand or someone's else's," Larsen said.

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