I'd really like someone to explain why the Mayans are given extraordinary consideration in these matters? Some even suggest that their knowledge of
astronomy and time were given to them by E.T.s... which is ridiculous when you consider that around the same time, many other cultures were stumbling
over the same, similar, or even greater discoveries.
What was really their noteworthy advancement? The identification of Zero? Yeah, that was fairly advanced, I guess. But has anyone really dared to
compare Mayan understanding of mathematics to works like Euclid's "The Elements". Just how advanced were their understandings of geometry and
trigonometry compared to the Greeks? Their astronomy? Has anyone dared to compare Mayan astronomy to works like Ptolemy's "Almagest"? Has anyone
dared to compare Mayan timekeeping to Ptolemaic timekeeping? While the Mayan calendar was more accurate, yes, just how much more accurate was it?
The established value for the tropical year, determined by Kalippus in or before 330 BC, was 365 + 1/4 day. Hipparchus' equinox observations gave
varying results, but he himself points out (quoted in Almagest III.1(H195) ) that the observation errors by himself and his predecessors may have been
as large as 1/4 day. So he used the old solstice observations, and determined a difference of about one day in about 300 years. So he set the length
of the tropical year to 365 + 1/4 - 1/300 days (= 365.24666... days = 365d 5h 55 m, which differs from the actual value (modern estimate) of
365.24219... days = 365d 5h 48m 45s by only about 6m).
What of Aristarchus who correctly identified the sun as much larger than the Earth, and the center of our solar system, and the planets (out to
Saturn) in their correct positions. What of Eratosthenes who not only confirmed Pythagoras's supposition of a round Earth - but correctly measured
the diameter of the Earth to within 1% of accuracy. While there are no surviving documents or references, using this established diameter of the Earth
and what the Greeks knew of Lunar orbital periods, it would not be a large stretch of the imagination to suppose that by using the angle of the shadow
of the Earth on the Moon - scholars could work out the diameter of the moon, it's distance from the Earth, and it's orbital velocity.
Did the Mayans accomplish such astronomical feats?
What of other accomplishments in science, such as Hippocrates identification of disease as a physical ailment - not the torment of punishment from the
gods. Democritus hypothesizing atoms and identifying air as sparse matter, and Anaximander hypothesizing evolution and common descent from ultimately
a simplistic aquatic life form. What of Hero of Alexandria who conceptualized the steam engine, invented the vending machine, and wrote the first
known comprehensive work on programmable robotics (Automata).
All of these accomplishments, and many more, gained several centuries to almost a millenia before the Mayas entered the height of their own
With that in mind... why is it so often supposed that Mayan prophecies should be given credence in light of their advancement, when other cultures are
shown to be perfectly capable of similar or greater advancement. Why is it that the Greeks are not suggested to be the benefactors of Extra
Terrestrial knowledge of the universe? That their postulations or prophecies given special consideration or undue attention?
Could it be, perhaps, that the Mayan culture is rather "alien" to us in the west.. whereas the Greeks being the pillars of philosophy and reason in
our culture for so long have become hum-drum? Is it, perhaps, because the Greeks left detailed and reasoned arguments describing the experiments and
logic of how they came to their conclusions - and through the scraps of history which escaped the fires, we can trace the smooth advancement of their
knowledge? Something we cannot do for the Mayans due to the burnings of Diego de Landa and other missionaries, as well as the Mayan's lack of
documentation of dissertation?
Honestly, I cannot fathom why anyone would promote Mayan advancement as anything extraordinary - let alone use it to prop up outrageous claims of
prophecy or doomsday. To me, the most amazing accomplishment of the Mayan empire is that they achieved as much as they did without the benefit of
being at the crossroads of empires such as Babylon, Persia, Rome, Egypt, etc... without the benefit of being a trade hub to empires in nearly all
cardinal directions... without the benefit of being near or headed by a cheap and plentiful source of papyrus. They pretty much did it on their own,
which is no small matter to overlook, yet doesn't warrant the (insulting) insinuation that they had some kind of special spiritual, mystical, or