Erm, did no one see my post showing that the Mayan calendar is no more "ending" in 2012 than our own calendars end at the end of our year (or at the end of 100 years, or at the end of the date range current computers can show)? The entire basis for the question is spurious, it's like asking "Why is the moon made of cheese?" when in fact the moon is not made of cheese.
Yes, and I have offered a comprehensive reply.
Before I proceed further, I need to state it is my understanding the Maya literature and records are not an open book, but is still very cryptic. There are many gaps in the linguistic understanding.
The reply I spoke of speaks only on what *I* know, not what I don't know. I will not rehash it here except to say...
1. Your position depends entirely on not what you know
, but on what you are persuaded of in the integrity in what others profess to know. If what you have offered in your links is; indeed, fact
then it follows your position is valid. Unfortunately, whether the sources are fact or fiction is not easily known, so we are left with opinion and preference.
2. There are far too many people stating "facts" as if they have personal participation in the subject when they are simply parroting what some "expert" said. I am not denigrating every scholarly author or spokesperson, I am trying to point out that unless you *know* something by direct personal experience, you cannot say you know
it with any degree of integrity. You can say you believe it, have faith in the information, confidence in the author, but you cannot profess you know it if you do not. Simple point, but boy, does it get lost in the hub-bub sometimes. Again, I am not trying to scratch hash marks on my side of the board, but I am interested in keeping the debate on solid footing.
Even assuming advanced orbital mechanics knowledge they would also have needed telescopes at the least to see any celestial body that we in modern times haven't noticed ourselves.
You make two assumptions here (I will use the "Dark Planet" here, but work with me)...
1. The Maya did not need telescopes to see the "Dark Planet" nor would you! Here's why. Have you ever been on mountaintops where the visible stars are so thick the entire sky looks like the Milky Way with a back light? If you have, imagine how clear the view would be from the seat high atop a Mayan mountain top observatory? I will not exceed the confines of reason in saying, if a planet-sized celestial object passed close enough between the observer and the stars, the astronomer need not "see" the object. The disk of the object will hide the stars as it sweeps across the sky. The observer would "see" circle of darkness eclipsing the stars behind it. Again, not fracturing the fences of rational thought, if that instance was recorded along with its relative size every time it passed and with each passing the disk blocked more and more stars appearing to be faster and faster, would it require a degree in astrophysics to realize the object was either getting bigger or closer? Obviously not. Simple sequential comparison would unveil the already known truth. The "primitive" astronomer would realize, if these phenomenon continue unchanged, the disk will consume all the stars and will be an ever greater threat of collision, depending on the mix of pure science, lore, religion, etc. which framed the astronomer's world view.
2. To assume the Mayan astronomers couldn't have seen something unless we have seen it is somewhat one-sided, isn't it? I'll grant you there wouldn't be much modern science would not have discovered, but to say we have seen it all is stretching into the realms of opinion.
Note that I leave open the possibility that there are unknown objects out there close enough to hit us *and* on a periodic cycle, even though this is extremely unlikely unless the cycle was long enough to escape being recorded in modern history (the past 2000+ years), which would mean it was longer than the Mayan civilization's lifetime anyway and there would be no way for them to know it would return even if they saw it once. That's a whole lot of if's!
Again, you are stating the whole of the celestial sphere has been under scrutiny for the last two millennium. I can't agree, given the overwhelming majority of "progressive" astronomy was stuck in the area surrounding the British Isles and Europe. It was where civilization has been grounded for those two-thousand years. Colleges and other centers of learning were a product of the maturing science. Today, the population of professional terrestrially-bound observers is far more concentrated above the Equator than below. I am persuaded the population ratio grows proportionally the further back you go within those 2,000 years.
One of those "ifs" that should be included must be the capability of the Maya to record due to their affinity to the written "word." Perhaps the Maya were more community minded than ourselves and scribed data to serve generations they would never see?
In closing, I want to place my suppositions in a familiar context. Not that you or the other readers have actually done this, but it should be within a context almost everyone can understand.
Imagine you are sitting comfortably in a large open area of solid ground. It is very dark, pitch black even with only the glow of the city lights beyond the horizon giving a frame of context. The vista in front of you is wide open and you are facing in the direction of the lighted horizon. About 75 yards behind you is a huge line of hills, almost mountains. The hill-mountain "range" stretches about a mile to your right, although you can't see that far. Around the end of that "range" is a buddy of yours just enjoying the solitude. The "range" stretches to your left to the horizon. No stars are visible.
As you are sitting enjoying the way the softness of the city glow plays against the horizon, you detect a rapid object move across the horizon, blocking out the luminescence behind it. It is gone as quickly as it came. You thought it was something of note so you record the time/date/size, but you take a guess at the speed since you did not time it. (I'm sure you can tell where I'm going with this, eh?).
You settle in to enjoy the the aviance of the moment and you detect the same vehicle(?) enters the scene, but you quickly time the passing. Again, you record the data. Hmmm.... is it your imagination or did it seem a tiny bit quicker and a hint larger?
Again this scenario repeats itself, but you notice when the vehicle(?) is directly in front of you there are exactly seven minutes to the second between each center-take.
After several more passings, each exactly seven minutes in the interval, you conclude it is a vehicle and it is displaying no lights of any kind. Recall you are sitting out in a large open area and the vehicle is traveling a course that appears to run parallel, but ever closer to your latitude.
Several more passings. You attempt to follow where it goes and where it comes from, but you cannot. The only thing you can be certain of is the seven minutes to the second to see it directly in front hiding more and more of the soft glow every seven minutes. Only now, you have been able to discern the vehicle is moving to a nearer parallel with each pass. Every trek down the latitude line is one foot closer than it was before.
There are only 23 one-foot "latitudes" between you and that menacing vehicular apparition.
23 x 7 = 161
Just one-hundred and sixty-one minutes left... only a little less than 2-3/4 hours until the relentless and calculated advance will travel on the very parallel where you are sitting alone and in the dark.
Ok, enough of my version of the "Pit and the Pendulum." Since the corollary to the "Dark Planet" scenario is so blatant, I'll refrain from offering any explanation, but I did have fun writing it!
I'll simply ask *if* the ifs
in my discourse are not more plausible?