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"Could the Mayans Be Right?"
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A discussion at a recent meeting of the Humanist Society of New Mexico prompted the following mad fantasy "Could the Mayans be right?" The marvelous calendar of the Mayans ends with the year that is labeled 2012 on our calendar. Some have taken that to mean that the Mayans thought the world would end in that year. Most thoughtful people scoff at the idea that a "primitive" culture could accurately predict such a thing. But maybe, just maybe, there is something we could learn from the Mayans. Theirs was a civilization with marvelous accomplishments, which nevertheless succeeded in destroying itself. Overpopulation, environmental degradation, war, war, war -- and the end came and the jungle took over the cities and the temples.

Maybe the calendar people were on to something. How many cubic yards of carbon dioxide must be pumped into the atmosphere per day to cause the end of the world by 2012? Can life forms on land survive if there are no life forms left in the ocean in 2012?

What portions of the inhabited earth will be under sea level by 2012? Where will the population that was there go?

Could a newly invented chemical escape from the labs and destroy in one year the entire ozone layer, causing all "higher animals" to perish of cosmic radiation?

Could the tornadoes caused by global warming enter a chain reaction of non-stop tornadoes, which would destroy all humanly constructed artifacts?

Could ocean pollution mixed with the life processes of plankton create a toxic cloud which would make "sea breezes" lethal for all land animals?

Could earthquakes dismantle the nuclear waste depositories of the US and the former Soviet Union, releasing billions of hld's [human lethal doses] of plutonium into the air and ground water?

Could a free-for-all of religious wars breakout between those who believe in a god and those who don't, as well as between those who believe their god is the only one there is and those who believe the same about their god, resulting in no worshippers at all, and no unbelievers either?

Could human lust for revenge and blood overpower all inhibition, resulting in wholesale slaughter that brings the species to extinction?

Could global warming create new hatching fields for newly mutated microbes that could cause a world wide pandemic and the extinction of humanity?

Could the lack of fresh water cause an unstoppable die-off of human infants, resulting finally in extinction?

Could the depletion of forests reach a tipping point where the remaining oxygen in the atmosphere will not sustain life?

Could increasing world famine combine with the human fascination with violence and war, resulting in a combined die-off and kill-off which concludes the experiment with intelligent life?

Could the human disinclination to solve problems now rather than later contribute to the pending "end of the world"?

Could some thoughtful Mayans have foreseen any of this, as they watched their own civilization crumble? They knew about overpopulation, environmental degradation, and war, war, war...

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Copyright © 2009 Harry Willson

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