Debunking 2012 and Timewave Zero

I guess there are really 4 arguments that 2012 is cosmically and cataclysmicly significant:

  1. numerology – 12/21/2012 just looks impressive, there must be something to it?
  2. astrologically – there is a gigantic planetary alignment on 12/21/2012, right?
  3. historically – the Mayan historical calendar is extremely impressive, and it ends on 12/21/2012 and the Mayans have tons of prophecies about this being the end of the world, or at least some great cataclysm.
  4. mathematically – there is a mathematical theory developed by Terrence McKenna called the Novelty Theory or Timewave Zero.


John Harrison's famous chronometer
Image via Wikipedia

Numerology is fun, but as long as it uses modern calendar dates and times it is just fun. It is fictitious because modern calendar dates and times are fictitious. Years don’t “start” on January 1st. They start when the Sun begins moving north – the day after the winter solstice. New days do not “start” at midnight, they start when the Sun rises – this is the way of nature and the real world. Our modern 24 hour clock centered on midnight is just a practicality, not a reality.

So even if 12/21/2012 means something numerologically – that numerology is a fabrication because the numbers are disconnected from nature and the real world. Saying that 12/21/2012 is a numerologically significant date is like saying that elephants fly in your dreams. That is really cool. Its fun. Its not real.


The Galactic Center as seen by one of the 2MAS...
Image via Wikipedia

Astrology is great. I am an astrologer, and I love astrology. But there are few things in the world that have as much jibber-jabber and nonsense floating around under their banner, as astrology. This “alignment” of 2012 is one of those jibber-jabbers.

I am a serious astrologer. Let me tell you in no uncertain terms that there is no astrological alignment occuring on 12/21/2012. If you don’t believe me, good – I salute you, get some astrology software to calculate planetary positions, and calculate the positions. If you see some “alignment” please tell me.

But isn’t the Sun and the ecliptic plane aligning with the “galactic center”?

(a) There is no such thing as a galactic center. It is an idea, not a specific point. There is no exact point that defines the galactic center, and even if there was it would be a modern invention/discovery – not something intrinsic to the ancient science of astrology.

(b) In general the center of the galaxy is held to be the stars called “the roots” (Mula), which is just on the border of Sagittarius and Scorpio. Is the Sun aligning with this area of the sky on 12/21/2012? Yes.

Isn’t that an alignment?


Then why am I saying there is no special alignment?

Because the sun has been in this area of the zodiac on the winter solstice, and will be, for hundreds of years. There is nothing special about the date 12.21.2012 in this regard.

So, there is no astrological alignment on 12/21/2012. Period. Yes there are some interesting astrological placements around that time. Yes it is an interesting time in history. No it is not the second coming, the decent of angels, the approach of a gigantic asteroid, or the time for humanity to grow four heads and turn into pan-dimensional hitchhikers.

Mayan History

Mayan Ceremony - Blessing a child
Image via Wikipedia

A long count of mayan history ends around the time of 12/21/2012. Or does it? Well, probably. There is a lot of translation work of the dates. But it is sometime around that date. And the Mayans have said for centuries that the world will end on that date, right?


Go ask a Mayan, please, what Mayan religion thinks – instead of asking a new ager or alien channel what Mayan religion things. It would at least be polite, you know? More or less the vast, vast, vast, vast majority of Mayans think that the end of the calendar is like the end of a calendar. You buy a new calendar when it happens.

Mathematics of “Timewave Zero”

There was a man named Terrence McKenna. He came up with a theory that the world as we know it will cease to exist and will merge into a higher dimension of reality near the end of 2012. He called his theory the “Novelty Theory” or “Timewave Zero.”

He came up with this idea while tripping on Mushrooms (or whatever).

OK, I can say for argument sake that “mind-expanding” drugs might have some value and use in uncovering subjective truths. Still, I do not put any stock in their ability to reveal objective scientific realities. Science works by empirical observation. I put my stock in observational scientists when it comes to scientific theories. And when it comes to subjective intuitive theories, although I can sort of agree that maybe some drugs might have some strange role for some people here, I put far more stock in the subjective intuitions gained not by undisciplined drug use but by disciplined yoga of the ancient, holy seers.

So it doesn’t engender any faith or trust in me whatsoever that he was on some psychedelic trip when he came up with this idea about the end of the world as we know it.

His computations are impressive and complex, but is the data set they are based on valid? I may do excellent computations to split a dinner bill 4 ways – but if my information about the grand total on the bill is incorrect, my end results are wrong, despite my perfect and impressive computations.

I think McKenna’s initial data is wrong, thus his computations – however elaborate – are not reaching valid conclusions. His initial data states that the rate of change in the world increases exponentially to reach a point of infinite change on (in his revised version) 12.22.2012. But this does not match what you and I see with our own eyes in the world. If you ask me, change is NOT increasing exponentially. Most of the radical changes went on between the late 60s and early 90s, and since then we seem to have gone into a bit of a creative and evolutionary coma.

In 2009, Time magazine placed M.I.A. in the Ti...
Image via Wikipedia

I wore ripped jeans when I was 16. That was… man… that was 25 years ago. They are still wearing ripped jeans. We were skateboarding on halfpipes back then. They are still doing it now. You know what I mean? All this stuff that is still the modern rage “X-games” started around 20 years ago.

Around 20 years ago I had spiked, colored hair – kids today still do. I worse baggy clothes with weird colors and prints and sayings. Look around today. I listened to music with crazy guitar distortion and people screaming instead of singing. Now, 25 years later it is STILL what kids are listening too, all over the airwaves. We listened to Rap back then. Today if it is not an “emo screamo” it is “hip hop.” What’s changed? Techno? Kraftwork – mid ’80s – been there and done that, as they say.

Has anything been radically increasing its rate of change since the early 90s???

The internet? Not really – we had it since God remembers when. And the public got hot on the “web” in 1991. Sure it has become bigger and more all-consuming – but it has not become something “new.” In the 90’s we were getting into the internet – in 2011 we still are into it. What is so “exponentially new” about it?

Computing – man, advances in computing power have SLOWED DOWN since the early 90s.

Space Travel definitely went nowhere, that’s for sure. Last thing we built was a boring orbital craft called a “space shuttle” – and that was… in the… ’80s

You know what I mean? Actually plot all the assumptions about the data behind McKenna’s “timewave zero” and I am pretty sure you will agree: the theory would have looked pretty convincing around 1991 and 1992 – when stuff was REALLY under heavy evolution and rapid change. Since the early 90s the world has gone into a creative and evolutionary coma, in my opinion and observation – and in my mind that demonstrates that Terrance McKenna’s theory is just a mushroom trip.

– Vic DiCara