John W. Hoopes, an anthropologist at the University of Kansas, teaches a course on “Archaeological Myths and Realities” in which he tackles the 2012 myth among other doomsday premonitions:
The United States has always embraced religious freedom. Peculiar religious sects, including occult beliefs, have always been part of America,” Hoopes said. “End-of-the-world and transformative beliefs are found in many ancient cultures but have been a fundamental part of modern times since 1499,” Hoopes said. “They are also fundamentally American.”
In an attempt to distinguish myth from science, Hoopes uses the 2012 myth and other prophecies to teach students to think critically and learn to distinguish between science and myth. He explained that wishful or magical thinking often helps perpetuate myths and beliefs that have no basis in science.
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By Sangeeta Ghosh Dastidar