Every few years, some type of 'end of the world' theory gets attention.
No matter the doomsday, there's always research from both sides of the idea.
One of those theories point to one of the Mayan calendars, which ended on December 21, 2012.
So, could it really happen?
Those who study Mayan culture say they were exact in many of their studies, but they didn't necessarily study the world ending.
"December 21st marks the end of one of their calendars. They had many calendars. And it's the end of their longest calendar," said Bryan Pearce-Gonzales.
Dr. Bryan Pearce-Gonzales is an Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies at Shenandoah University. He's talking about the Mayan calendar. Some say, the end of that calendar points to the end of the world. He's teaching a class this semester that studies Mayan culture and the likeliness of the world ending.
"The concept of time across cultures, it can be perceived of very differently. So when we think of time in a linear way, there's a beginning and there will be an end eventually, the Mayans thought of time cyclically. So, history repeats itself and calendars repeat themselves," said Pearce-Gonzales.
"The Mayan are very mysterious people. And I really enjoy learning about them and their civilization and their culture," said freshman, Stephen Storrs.
Storrs took the class because he was interested in the theory. He says the Mayans predicted a lot of accurate events.
"They were like geniuses. They figured so much stuff out with nothing. They had nothing around them and they built these magnificent civilizations," said Storrs.
"They had a lot of good time telling things. With the stars and astronomy. That's when something that significant goes back to the fact that they must be right about everything. The end of the world," said Colin Fowler.
Fowler is a freshman at SU and says he used to be convinced that the world was going to end this month.
"It depends what you think of as the world. It could be a new beginning, it could be a realization, it could be anything. It's like a new start, like a new year," said Fowler.
The likeliness of the world actually ending...
"I guess you could say anything is possible. I don't know I could give you a percentage. But I could leave it at that. Anything could happen," said Pearce-Gonzales.
Students in the First-Year Seminar class "The Mayan Prophecy of 2012" will present this panel discussion. The program is free for community members and tonight at 7 in Halpin-Harrison Hall, Stimpson Auditorium at Shenandoah University.
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