YSU experts debunk doomsday myth - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

YSU experts debunk doomsday myth

Updated:

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - While rumors of the end of the world swirl, NASA says credible scientists say there are no threats to humanity or our planet.

"We have no evidence of the Mayans making any sorts of predictions," said Dr. Matt O'Mansky, Sociology and Anthropology Associate Professor at Youngstown State University.

It's a tall tale nowhere close to being true.

The idea that that the world will end on December 21st stems from the ending of a Mayan calendar known as the Long Count calendar.

The Mayans marked time in Baktuns, roughly 394-year periods, and the years in the Long Count calendar contain 20 day months with 360 days total; the closest calendar in relation to what's used today.

It's believed the Mayans wrote the 13th Baktun ends December 21, 2012.

"When a date happened in the past, if you knew what happened on that date, then when it rolls around again. You know what actions to take," Dr. O'Mansky said. "It's not like us where we say history repeats itself. We don't literally mean that. But for the Maya, it did,"

Dr. O'Mansky is also an archaeologist with a specific focus on the ancient Mayan culture.

With the Mayan stone markings and paintings left behind, he says nothing has contained a reference to a doomsday, but the civilization often built monuments to celebrate the end of a Baktun and that could have been something that would have been dedicated on December 21st.

The story started with a claim that large solar flares from the sun would scorch our world or a rogue planet would directly hit Earth.

Stories NASA discredits. NASA posted the following statement on its website. "The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."

"There would have been signs if there was something coming towards us. I mean, even many months or even years ago it would have been spotted," said Patrick Durrell, Youngstown State University Physics and Astronomy Associate professor.

With no evidence to back up the stories of potential danger in just days, Durrell says the claims are just silly.

"There are a lot of people taking this seriously, and a lot of people who are claiming bad things are going to happen," Durrell said. "People are getting scared by it and there's really no need for it."

While it's tough to convince that the stories are just that, it's expected many won't be relieved until the sun rises December 22nd.

  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • Around the WebMore>>

  • 2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    2 boaters found dead in Lake Erie; 2 more missing

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:49:32 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities say the bodies of two of four missing boaters in western Lake Erie have been recovered off the Ohio shoreline. Officials say they recovered the bodies of two females Thursday.More >>
  • Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Boston Marathon organizers confident of safe race

    Police stepped up patrols near the Boston Marathon finish line after a masked man walked in the street with a rice cooker in his backpack only hours after the city marked the anniversary of last year's deadly...More >>
    The arrest of a man with a rice cooker in his backpack near the Boston Marathon finish line led police to step up patrols Wednesday, while organizers sought to assure the city and runners of a safe race next week.More >>
  • Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Low of 19 degrees in Toledo breaks 139-year record

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 6:34 PM EDT2014-04-16 22:34:39 GMT
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
    TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Winter temperatures are refusing to go away in northwestern Ohio. The thermometer dropped to 19 degrees in Toledo Wednesday morning, breaking a 139-year-old record for the same dateMore >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms