Monday, March 15, 2010

A DIAGNOSIS OF JOHN MAJOR JENKIN'S FUZZY ASTRONOMY by Marcos Adrián Villaseñor

The well-known New Age apologist John Major Jenkins has made a name for himself by promoting a fuzzy notion of astronomy.

In astronomical terms "galactic alignment" means absolutely nothing. In astronomy the term alignment is used to describe a lining up of celestial bodies within a gravitational system. For instance the sun and planets often form alignments, in which one can see two or more planets in line with the sun. The term alignment cannot be meaningfully applied to galactic conjunctions or galactic transits; to do so is plainly misleading. But this is exactly what Mr. Jenkins does in order to support his “alignment” theory and sell New Age books.

There is no significant astronomical event On December 21, 2012. What Mr. Jenkins promotes as a "galactic alignment" is in reality three separate events that span over 200 years, none of them will happen on December 21, 2012.

John Major Jenkins claims that the "galactic alignment" of 2012 signifies the solticial sun's conjunction with the galactic equator (an imaginary line created by modern astronomy). But this conjunction happened on December 21, 1998. This conjunction also happens twice (approximately every 13,000 years) in a Precession Year or Great Year of slightly less than 26,000 years, and not like Mr. Jenkins claims once every 26,000 years.

Mr. John Major Jenkins also makes the false claim that the midpoint of the solsticial sun's transit through the Dark Rift of the Milky Way will be on December 21, 2012; this is false, as the sun will be at the midpoint of its transit through the dark Rift of the Milky Way on December 21, 2031.

As if making two false claims was not enough John Major Jenkins makes a third false claim; that his "galactic alignment" of December 21, 2012 coincides with the conjunction of the solsticial sun with the galactic center. But this conjunction will take place on December 21, 2225.

So why does Mr. John Major Jenkins make three false claims in order to support his non-astronomical and very fuzzy 2012 "galactic alignment”?

The answer is that John Major Jenkins does not fully understand the problems associated with the apparent movement of the constellations known as the Precession of the Equinoxes. This was made evident to me in the two conversations I had with him on the subject. If he really understood precession, he would have realized that by a simple substitution of our modern and more accurate value of Precession for the Mesoamerican value of Precession, one ends with the solsticial sun smack in the middle of the Dark Rift on December 21, 2031 (sans fuzzy astronomy), alas while his reconstruction of Maya myths vis a vis the Milky Way have some very strong foundations, his purposeful promotion of a fuzzy and astronomically meaningless concept of "galactic alignment" needlessly discredits much of his research.

In a response to an e-mail on the subject last year, Mr. Jenkins wrote to me: "As I explained in my subsequent email in response to your mistaken assumption, an extremely high degree of accuracy is not a requirement of my alignment theory."

My “mistaken assumption” was to explain to Mr. Jenkins that by not substituting the modern value of Precession for the Mesoamerican value he had shortchanged his own theory. But If as Mr. Jenkins claims, a high degree of accuracy is not required for his theory, then he should not insist on saying that his “galactic alignment” happens only once every 26,000 years on December 21, 2012, when he is clearly referring to not one event but three and they span over 200 years. It cannot be both ways.

If Mr. Jenkins wants to be taken seriously by academic researchers, he must first dispense with his fuzzy astronomy and get serious about his astronomical lexicon. Then and only then will he be able to understand that using scientific astronomy instead of fuzzy astronomy shows the way to Xibalba

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