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Visit to NY Metroplotian Museum of Art

We went into NY City today to the Museum. There was an amazing exhibit:
Lives of the Gods: Divinity in Maya Art. There were amazing pieces of art dating back almost 1500+ years.

What struck me as truly amazing, was the fact that the Mayans date the birth of the earth to August 11, 3114, BCE. That year is an interesting landmark. The Jewish calendar shows this year to be 5783. Taking the Mayan calculate year of creation and adding the Gregorian calendar year 2023, one arrives at the year 5137. The Gregorian calendar was first adopted in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain in 1582, and is now universally accepted. The change to the Gregorian calendar was because the previous calendar was thought to be inaccurate. Thus the mere 546 years difference brings you to the question, how could two so diverse ethnic groups date the birth of the earth so similarly?

As a scientist, I "know" the earth is many millions of years old, and the Universe, billions. So why the mismatch, when 2 distinctly different societies are so similar in their calculations?

ArishMell · 70-79, M
It is an intriguing co-incidence but most ancient civilisations seemed to have created creation myths of their own, as far as they are known, so it is not really surprising some will overlap in their allotted times.

There might be a cut-off point, spanning centuries or millennia, beyond which folk-memory could not have existed, but what, when and why I would not like to guess. The Mayans no more just appeared on the planet, as did the Chinese or the Persians.

The earliest human traces on the Americas suggest a diffusion over the continents taking place at least 10 000 years ago, when low sea-level allowed crossing the Bering Strait, although that would been a very inhospitable region even by today's Arctic standards. It would have taken millennia for these nomads to settle equable regions and nucleating into their own societies capable of creating art and buildings that survive to this day.

The ancient Hebrews made their Year 0 one that some later interpreters and modern literalists crudely tie to the [i]un-dated[/i] Torah or Biblical geneology of their ruling priests; but the Hebrews had to come from somewhere and the Old Testament does refer to vaguely to suppressing older religions. They appear to have originated as mainly Zoroastrians, in Persia (Iran) where that faith is still respected; but also worshipped the agricultural-fertility deity Ba'al.

I do not think the Hebrew priests were even trying to date the age of the Earth as such, certainly not in any genuine way. I credit them for being bright enough to realise they could not do that, but that inventing a simple, metaphorical six-day parable and saying it's "God's Word" would work better than any philosophical reasoning, for coalescing their still-tribal, rather nomadic, religion-dominated followers. So they conflated observed Nature, religion and their own version of only their own history, in a Year 0 approach to founding their own culture and religion - but crucially [i]without [/i]counting years!

They - or the literalists now - failed to spot the contradiction though, in thinking their own was the one originating society, yet also attacking existing religions.

(I have seen the problem of making the Bible and Torah fit the 17C Archbishop Ussher's attempt, revealed by a chart that shows the assorted begettings of begotten sons, would have been by men of fantastically ripe old ages even by 21C standards! )


We do not and cannot know the real motives for both sets of people, but the Mayans might have done something similar, if only to give some context to their own inception as a functioning society. Most likely, whoever else was about previously, and whatever they did, was no more more relevant to the early Mayans as the older Mediterranean societies were to the likes of Abraham; so why would they have counted them?

Beyond immediate neighbours and some tenuous trading, most of the very many cultures forming and fading over the first 10 millennia BCE on the two American continents, Africa and Eurasia, would have known little or nothing at all of each other.

So that we might see apparent chronological parallels in the self-made histories of just two of these many and varied peoples, is not ever so unlikely, but still only by chance.

It is an interesting question, but needs be thought open-mindedly in the context of what each culture of very many had for itself and knew about itself, about others and about its own part of the world.

We cannot think for those people, but we can try to consider what may have been their motives in their own regions and times.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@ArishMell change can only really be good if it benefits a species. Mutations that creste a deterrent to reproduction of s species leads to extinction.
ArishMell · 70-79, M
@samueltyler2 Yes, they do, and sometimes the beneficial mutations are driven by environmental changes. While the same changes could kill off other species unable to adapt,
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@ArishMell absolutely, but, if unfortunately, given the current environmental situation those mutations and adaptations often take thousands of years to occur.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
I just started my review of creationism by other societies, this makes interesting reading


"One reason creation stories are universal is that people from every culture have wondered the same basic questions about life, such as, “Where did the universe and the earth come from?” “Why do we humans exist?” “How did we get here on earth?” “What is the end purpose of life?” These questions have given rise to a broad variety of myths about creation in an attempt to understand our place in the world (Sproul 1979; and Zeitlin and Raschka 2000)."

"All nations and cultures share a common quest to understand where they came from. For this reason each culture has forged its own creation myth (cosmogony) to explain the origin of the universe, earth, and the human race. Records preserved from ancient times testify to the central role questions of origins play in establishing the identity and religious heritage of every nation. (Whorton and Roberts 2008, 8–9)"

"Some Conclusions
The fact is, as stated by one scholar, often “opponents of the Christian faith assume that the biblical creation account is nothing more than yet another in a long line of such documents, in this case a Hebrew creation myth that sought to establish a preeminent place for Abraham’s descendants” (Whorton and Roberts 2008, 8). In fact, as documented in the few examples noted above, this claim is incorrect. Most creation accounts are not only unscientific, but nonsensical and in great contrast to the Genesis account, which makes no claims that anything created God or that he achieved his position since he is the only God and he pre-existed the creation."
val70 · 51-55
The long-count calendar of the Maya civilization combined the cycles of the solar calendar Haab), the sacred calendar (Tzolk'in), and the calendar round, expressing five cycles simultaneously. This is a similar concept to our Gregorian dating of days, months, years, centuries, and millennia. The Gregorian calendar has 97 leap years in every 400, but it turns out that the Aztec calculation of an average 365.2420 days per year is actually closer to the real value of 365.2422 days than the old Julian value of 365.2500 days or even our current Gregorian value of 365.2425 days.

And there we mentioned the Aztec somehow. Why? Because they were the dominate civilisation following on the collapse of the Maya. From the late 8th through the end of the 9th century, a combination of things happened to shake the Maya civilization to its foundations. One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by 900, Mayan civilization in that region had collapsed. The Classic Mayan period was from 200 to 900 AD, while the Post-Classic period lasted from 900 AD until the Spanish Conquest. The Classic period is considered by many to be the height of Maya civilization, while the Post-Classic period is a later resurgence of Maya culture.
LRain ·
Personally i believe in the six day creation of the world less than 6k years ago.. because i believe in the bible ..

Evolutionist want to call stuff science when it's actually an imaginary theory because they didn't want to believe in a god and a creator.. but there is no science to prove evolution.. they made it up and it's fiction they push on children and teach as if it were true, even tho it's not true.

Science is something you can test and prove and see clearly with evidence. But there is no such thing for evolution. If you look at it closely it is all man made and manufactured stories of fictional "facts" and date in regards to the age of the earth and there is no evolution of species or "proof" of their claims for the age of the earth

People think they are in the modern age and know more than people ages before them but they are clueless on how technologically advanced some ancient civilizations were..

Anyway i agree that the world is only 5k some years old..

There's a lot of liars in the world and just because 70%~80% of the world believe in evolution because they were taught it in school.. doesn't make it true

Trust actual facts and not hearsay. Even if its printed and served to school children like facts.. evolution of species is fiction and so was the millions and billions of years they made up to cover the fact that it never happens at all, ever
ArishMell · 70-79, M
@LRain That lot is not even a fair account of the difference between science and religion, which I doubt you understand.

While calling anyone who does not share your belief a "liar" shows only your own weakness, not that in any philosophy.

As for using the Internet to call science "lies"... oh the irony.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@LRain you are entitled to your personal views, but please don't call science liars. I have heard ultra-religious individuals say that when God created the earth, "he" created it already millions, billions of year already old, and if Adam picked up a rock and carbon dated it, he would have found it millions of years old. To me that is twisting the story to have it align with science, but if that gives you comfort, the real reason for religion, than so be it.
helensusanswift · 26-30, F
Whatever the age of the earth, these artefacts are fascinating.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@helensusanswift yes history,band human nature are interesting. On science things may be called theories, but when the preponderance of evidence is in one direction, that theory is the most plausible explanation.

There are biblical writings that could suggest spacecraft. But, that is modern interpretation of ancient writings. No one can explain the fact that some images taken from plants or drones, of some ancient landmarks, seem to be maps. Stonehenge is still a mystery. More recently, DaVinci's Vitruvian Man was drawn from an angle that is unexplainable. It is said that he drew his own image. There were no mirrors,not other imaging devices he could have used, so how is it that it is so well detailed?

Short of a time machine, theories will never be able to become truths, to satisfy everyone.

I am not downing religion of any kind. It is important fur humans to have comfort.
helensusanswift · 26-30, F
@samueltyler2 Plausibility is only accepted by a limited number of people: those who wish to be convinced and those who don't have the time or imagination to investigate further.
Personally I am open minded but as science advances, scientific theories alter - so like buses, we'll wait for the next one.
Stonehenge is a mystery, as is callanish, Tormore and the plethora of stone circles in Grampian.
Religion - a bit hazy, but probably a spiritual answer to the truth.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@helensusanswift religion doesn't really deal with "truth," but is a compfort in dealing with that we cannot explain.
cheyster · 31-35, F
I love museums
Scribbles · 31-35, F
Thank you for including photos. I really like the sculptures of figures inside what I think is a young maize plant and a pitcher plant-I'm not sure.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@Scribbles great comment, that is what the interpretation of the "experts" is. The Mayans saw maize as the starting point of all life on earth.
This exhibit looks amazing. I love this place but haven't been back in over a decade. Time for a visit.
haven't been there in years. just called my Dad. he said he saw the Mona Lisa there in grade school
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@saragoodtimes Wow, i went to the Fair many times, don't remember the sculpture being there. It was where the Disney It's a Small World got its start, I also remember Ford showing off its advance safety features for cars, seat belts!
@samueltyler2 well before my time. guess there will never be another worlds fair. went to a Mets game with Dad and Grandpa and they told me about the sphere that was still there
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@saragoodtimes the sphere and a couple of other remnants are still there. there was an attempt to run an upscale restaurant in the old NY State pavilion, but that failed.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
I found an interesting discussion on Wikipedia:
Poppies · 61-69, F
I've never been to the Metropolitan Museum. It's on my bucket list. Someday.
Harmonium1923 · 51-55, M
@Poppies I spent a wonderful afternoon there last fall. There is so much to see!
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@Harmonium1923 we are close enough, we have a member ship. We pick about 2-3 hours worth of exhibits to see, no more. Actually, is often as much fun just people watching.
cheyster · 31-35, F
tk9999 · 41-45, M
Sweet! Saw a similar Egyptian exhibit at the Louvre last summer.

Went to MoMA in NYC over Thanksgiving, but not to the Met.
samueltyler2 · 80-89, M
@tk9999 we have been members of MMA for many years, living in NJ, we get to go in often. I posted this to see what comments might come from members of various other ethnic groups.

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