Expert on Mayan culture “as busy as a frog on a griddle” with speaking requests on the purported “end of the world”

SAN DIEGO (Wire Service) – An expert on Mayan culture and prophecy at San Diego’s Southwestern College said today he has been “as busy as a frog on a griddle” as the day of the supposed end of the world draws near.

Mark Van Stone, a professor and art historian in the School of Arts & Communication, told City News Service that he received three interview requests a day last week from around the country and recently completed a college speaking tour on the East Coast that included Princeton and Johns Hopkins universities.

He’s also been a popular guest at Mayan, anthropology and astronomy conventions.

Van Stone is scheduled to make his second speaking appearance in a week at 6 p.m. tonight at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park, partially to debunk theories that the world is scheduled to end on Dec. 21.

“The best thing about this 2012 nonsense is it creates interest in the Mayan people,” Van Stone said. “People can go down there and see what the Maya are really like.”

He said the real Maya are much more interesting than “prophets of doom.”

A misinterpretation of ancient Mayan text by German scientists years ago led to the idea of a calendar that expires this month, signaling some kind of apocalypse, according to the professor.

Writings in the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, showed the Mayans believed their king would still be celebrated in 4772 AD, well after the year 2012, he said.

He said the 5,125-year Mayan calendar cycle, also called a Bak’tun cycle, “goes around and around” but doesn’t appear to end.

Still, the myth is propagated on television shows and books, leading to 12 percent of Americans and 20 percent of the Chinese population believing the world will end on Dec. 21, according to a poll conducted this spring by Ipsos Global Public Affairs.

“Americans have always had a history of crazy prophecies but we’re behind China on this one,” Van Stone said.

For those who cling to the notion, Van Stone says that the actual date of the end of the world could be Dec. 23 or 24, depending on competing interpretations of the correlation between modern and ancient Mayan calendars.

He has authored a book, “2012: Science & Prophecy of the Ancient Maya,” available at

6 Responses to "Expert on Mayan culture “as busy as a frog on a griddle” with speaking requests on the purported “end of the world”"

  1. FR86   December 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Given the state of affairs in the world today…..there is a degree of truth to the prophecy.

    So let’s see what happens between now and Dec. 21

  2. Resident   December 12, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I’d feel more sympathy for him if he was busier than a one-legged man in a butt kicking contest

  3. Ray (the real one)   December 13, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    I thought the end of the world was the first Tuesday in November. Sure was for most of us.

  4. 3 year home owner in Fallbrook.   December 13, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    I’m remembering a day in 1980 when my church said it was the end at noon. That day my husband and I sat in the car at a tire store, we waited to see if we should bother to get new tires. We did! (Oh, to be young enough to worry about this stuff again.)

  5. Carla   December 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    November 6 certainly was the end of the world if you’re a racist, misogynist, homophobe, and committed to social injustice and never ending wars of oppression.

  6. Chill Pill   December 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Count to ten Carla and take a deep breath.

    The unfortunate fact is, many people are not made uneasy by racists, the homophobic, or the socially unjust…

    … They are made uneasy by intelligence, articulateness, and diplomacy. For the person you describe in your post, the above qualities become scarily amplified when demonstrated by a person of color.

    That is when comments such as #3, (who seems to speak for "most of us"), regurgitate themselves…

    … From whatever cavity.


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