Those of you who are worried that the world is going to end on Friday may be inclined to relax and party when it doesn’t. On the other hand, those of you who have put off buying Christmas presents because, you know, what’s the point? May yet be vindicated. Apparently there is no scholarly consensus on when the Mayan calendar runs out. Could be Friday, but Sunday or Christmas Eve are also possibilities (pdf), and, indeed, it is Christmas Eve that these guys incline to:
Implicitly or explicitly, the majority of scholars have accepted Thompson’s leap-year argument (see, for instance, Bricker and Bricker 2011:91). That is why the idea has entered into the popular consciousness that the thirteenth Bak’tun will end on December 21, 2012, which is the date in the 584283 correlation, as opposed to December 23 in the 584285 correlation (or Christmas Eve, December 24, according to 584286).
From Simon Martin and Joel Skidmore and “Exploring the 584286 Correlation between the Maya and European Calendars”, The PARI Journal 13(2), 2012, pp. 3-16.
[All via Charles C. Mann ( @CharlesCMann) on twitter.]