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Western New Yorkers weigh-in on Mayan calendar doomsday predictions

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Buffalo: Western New Yorkers weigh-in on Mayan calendar doomsday predictions
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Time is running out if you believe what some are saying about the Mayan Calender. Some people think when the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012, so will the world. But is there any truth to these predictions of doom? YNN's Kevin Jolly talked with a UB professor who says, you may not want to sell the farm just yet.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — December 21st marks the last day of the 5,125 year Mayan calendar, and for some people, that date also marks the end of the world.

"I guess apparently the Mayan calendar was always right, I guess, in the past. So I mean everybody's a little weary about it now. Who knows," said Joshua Tshari.

"I think people think about it too much. I don't think the world's actually going to end. If something does happen, I think it'd be pretty awesome; not really if the world ends, but if something crazy happened," said David Lowdowski.

"It's silly and um, it's the end of the calendar. So it's either the end of an era, the end of the world or a rebirth," said Carlene Lippold.

So what's the real story about the Mayan calendar predicting the end of the world? We went to UB Anthropolgy professor Phillips Stevens for some answers.

"Is the world going to end Friday? No," said Stevens.

Stevens says to understand the calendar, you have to understand the Mayan view of the world.

"First of all, there was no concept on an apocalypse or an end time in the Mayan calendar, that's point one," said Stevens.

Stevens also says throughout history there have been doomsday predictions about the end of the world, from Revelations in the Bible and Nostradamus to more recent cults. The big question Stevens asks is why people tend to believe those predictions.

“We may very well find that the social appeal of the group is stronger that the rational argument that they flock to a group of like-minded people. They offer them a kind of support that they're not getting in the rest of their lives," said Stevens.

So if you still think the world is coming to an end:

"All I can do is quote REM – 'It's the end of the world and I know it, but I feel fine,'" said Mark Abell.

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