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Tom Murse

Whew! U.S. Government Promises World Won't End in 2012 After All

By December 11, 2012

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Actor Burgess MeredithGo ahead, make those New Year's Eve plans. Never mind the looming fiscal cliff.

The government of the United States has declared through official avenues that all those 2012 doomsday scenarios are just "scary rumors." "The world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012," states the federal government's official web portal, USA.gov.

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You may have heard some of those rumors: That the Mayan or Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar ends on December 21, 2012. Meaning that, well, when there are no more days left on this calendar time is up for the human race as well.

The government and it space agency, NASA, call such predictions nonsense.

"Unfortunately, these rumors have many people frightened, especially children," the government said. "NASA has received thousands of letters concerned about the end of the world."

NASA said the rumors are rooted in wild theories and not the end of the Mayan calendar.

"Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012," NASA states. "This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then - just as your calendar begins again on January 1 - another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar."

Adds NASA: "The world will not end in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012."

So we're good through 2012. What about 2013? What about the fiscal cliff? Is that what the doomsday theorists were really talking about?

[CBS Photo archive: American actor Burgess Meredith stars in the "Time Enough at Last" episode of the television program, "The Twilight Zone," in 1959. The episode was about the end of the world.]

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