This Friday, December 21, is when the Mayan calendar appears to wrap up its most recent long-count cycle of 5,125 years. It’s also a day some believe will bring the end of the world. They predict a rogue planet will collide with Earth, or that other planets will align and cause a giant blackout. But NASA experts say there’s nothing on the horizon, and that the doomsday theory is a misreading of the Mayan calendar. Still others believe the world will undergo a spiritual, not physical, transformation. Why is the idea of an apocalypse so popular?
Andrew Fraknoi, chair of the astronomy program at Foothill College
Lorenzo DiTommaso, associate professor and chair of religion at Concordia University in Montreal and author of "The Architecture of Apocalypticism"
Marilyn Schlitz, ambassador for creative projects and global affairs and past president of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, a nonprofit which focuses on transformation through consciousness and healing, and co-author of "Living Deeply: The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life"