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MAYAN CALENDAR MATH SAID SOLVED

Two academic researchers believe they have cracked both the hieroglyphic code and cultural and mathematical un­derstandings behind a 5,000-year calendar still used today in Mexico and Central America.

UC Davis Native American studies professor Martha Macri and graduate student Michael Grofe believe their study of the Mesoamerican calendar reveals how Native Americans were able to calculate with computer-like accuracy the movements of the sun, planets and the moon through time.

Macri matched Mayan hieroglyphs to the 260-day ritual calendar and created a theory that says the 260-day Me­soamerican calendrical cycle is based on various segments of the lunar cycle.

To many scholars of the Mayan calendar, including Frank Waters, John Major Jenkins, Jose Arguelles, Will Hart and others, the work of Macri and Grofe may seem simplistic at best, ignoring, as it does, the evident insight of the ancient Mayans into such phenomena as the transit of Venus and the larger galactic cycles. Many in the world of aca­demic orthodoxy, though, caught between an embarrassing ignorance of ancient advancement and inescapable evi­dence of just how far the ancients were, in fact, beyond us, may take some comfort from a theory more compatible with their own modern, albeit somewhat limited, powers of comprehension.

EVOLUTION: A SPEEDY PROCESS?

Charles Darwin argued that changes in a species occur very slowly over time—a lot of time.

‘Not so slow,’ now stipulates University of Pittsburgh anthropology professor Jeffrey Schwartz. According to the professor and his colleague Bruno Maresca, professor of biochemistry at the University of Salerno in Italy, big steps in evolutionary history often occur very quickly, virtually overnight, after a mutation brought on by stress “saturates” a species. The two scientists published their challenge to Darwinism in the scientific journal The New Anatomist in February.

If correct, the Schwartz/Maresca theory might help to explain the many gaps in the fossil record—missing links— which have thwarted Darwinists for over a century. Bony teeth and jaws in fish, for example, instead of appearing one piece at a time, indeed, appeared suddenly and fully formed.

Schwartz acknowledges that the pervasive influence of the Darwinian view makes consideration, let alone accep­tance, of his theory quite a challenge for many scientists, but, he points out, Darwin simply did not not know many important things about cell development that we do now. Schwartz believes that indoctrination in Darwinism has re­sulted in generations of scientists who don’t know enough about the history of the theories they have learned in or­der to teach properly the different aspects of evolution. It was through exposure as a Columbia grad student to the ideas of influential scientists who questioned Darwin that Schwartz became interested in exploring the issue.

The suggestion, of course, that significant changes to living organisms occur quickly, rather than gradually, points toward previously disregarded agents of change, and seems to leave the door open to ideas once reviled by the academic mainstream, such as those of bio-field theorists like Rupert Shelldrake or catastrophists such as Immanual Velikovsky, to say nothing of the intelligent design school. That might be a pill too bitter for the academic elite to swallow, no matter how compelling the evidence.

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