"I came back from England last year and man, they had me fed up with this stuff," said Apolinario Chile Pixtun, a Mayan Indian elder who insists that the doomsday scenarios come not from his culture, but from Western ideas.
David Stuart, a Mayan specialist at the University of Texas at Austin, added that the Mayans "never said the world is going to end, they never said anything bad would happen necessarily." That hasn't stopped talk of the Earth's poles shifting, etc.
Scientists say the most drastic change to the Earth's magnetic poles would be a one-degree shift that would take place over a million-year time span. There's also no indication that such a shift would begin in 2012.