The scientific and religious consensus that the world is going to end in 365 days when the planet Nibiru collides with earth on December 21, 2012 was dealt a shattering blow yesterday when English druids said their winter solstice ritual was "a good omen for the year ahead." Will 2012 probably be okay because the druids said so? Or will it be the literal end of time because the Mayans* said so?
Because I am a journalist, my professional ethics require that I approach this debate with an open mind and a commitment to objectivity. I therefore cannot take a stand: I consider it equally probable that the world will, or will not, end on December 21, 2012. I can only report what the druids have said:
''Just as the ceremony came to an end the sun came over the horizon, it was excellent,'' [Stonehenge arch druide Rollo] Maughfling said.
''It has been a very jolly occasion. It's a good omen for the year ahead.''
Against what this Mayan inscription about "b'ak'tun 13," or the end of the 13 400-year periods known as "b'ak'tun," has to say (translation by Sven Gronemeyer and Barbara MacLeod):
It will be completed the 13th b'ak'tun.
It is 4 Ajaw 3 K'ank'in
and it will happen a 'seeing'[?].
It is the display of B'olon-Yokte'
in a great "investiture."
We report, you decide.
*No Mayans actually said this
[Telegraph, image via AP]