You know, I've always thought, even before I was a Catholic, that if you want to find out what Christians believe and why, you ought to ask Christians before you take too much to heart what is said about their beliefs by critics or cranks or even professors.
I have come to apply that same approach to the beliefs of other groups, as well. So, for instance, if I want to know what Buddhists believe, I favor asking Buddhists, rather than some expert in comparative religions who studies Buddhists like insects pinned to a card.
The same courtesy ought to be extended to the modern descendants of the Maya, who would like to make it very clear that they - none of them - are lying awake nights wondering if the world will end in 2012. Not according to this AP article from Yahoo News, anyway.
The purveyors of this cash-conjuring nonsense, such as the folks at the History Channel, are doing to the Maya what Dan Brown did for the Catholic Church in his ham-fisted conspiracy fiction... spinning tales out of whole cloth and embroidering them with totally unrelated bits of archeological and historical "evidence" which is only evidence of their colossal ignorance.
There's nothing wrong with ignorance, per se. Ignorance with humility is harmless and curable, but ignorance combined with pride blossoms into arrogance, and is most often incurable, the patient being highly resistant to the only antidote.
The Maya would like to invite us all to shut up about the "mysteries" of the calendar of their ancestors, and take a moment to consider that no contemporary Mayan has ever considered that the calendar predicts anything like the end of the world in 2012.
I do predict, however, that the loopy 2012 theories will generate a lot of book and DVD sales. If you could pile all that bullsh*t into one place, it might really shift the poles enough to usher in a new ice age. The real disaster may be the denuding of forests to print all the books, or the food shortages caused by hoarders who foolishly threw out their stockpiles of supplies from the Y2K scare. Should have held onto those powdered eggs...