While some speculate that Dec. 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, will mark the end of the world, David Montaigne thinks it will only be the beginning.
Citing a connection between the Mayan calendar and some Biblical prophecies, Montaigne, a Penn State alumnus, believes the end of this year will set off seven years of famine, war and other destructive events.
His latest book, “End Times and 2019: The End of the Mayan Calendar and the Countdown to Judgment Day,” encompasses two decades of research and explores a variety of evidence and speculations that support his claim.
“There’s evidence in so many fields that it’s ridiculous,” Montaigne said, citing an extensive list of historical and geological records in addition to the ancient prophecies.
“Previous civilizations have been destroyed by natural disasters,” he said. “I suspect that we are due for one by 2019 that would have a huge impact on our world.”
Montaigne said he is willing to take these predictions and speculations seriously, adding that events will begin to happen whether or not anyone believes they will.
Matthew Restall, a professor of colonial Latin American history and anthropology, said that drawing conclusions from seemingly unrelated religious theories, historical events and scientific evidence is quite common for “2012-ologists.”
Restall co-authored “2012 and the End of the World” in January 2011 with Amara Solari, professor of art history and anthropology. According to Restall, their book doesn’t claim to know what will happen, but comes to the conclusion that a devastating apocalypse is highly unlikely.
The two professors are currently teaching an honors section of Art History 197 called “End of the World: The History of Apocalyptic Thought.”
Solari said that while students started the class with a variety of ideas about end of the world theories, most of them aren’t personally concerned about a coming apocalypse.
“The most common worry among the students is that December 21 will cause a lot of other people to freak out and start riots,” Solari said.
Yet Montaigne doesn’t expect every reader of his book to drop everything and start preparing for the worst.
“No matter how convincing I could be, no matter how much research or evidence I could present, I know many readers will still say it seems crazy and outlandish,” he said. “If I at least get people thinking about the possibility that something could actually happen soon, I’ll be happy.”
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