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At least when it comes to the so-called Mayan Doomsday date.

Pope Benedict XVI was recently reported as assuring all catholics that the world will not end on December 21st 2012.

For those not familiar with the 'problem', the Mayan civilisation's calendar, which has been in use for thousands of years and proven to be highly accurate, seemed to show that there was a major 'stopping point' in December 2012. This point marks the end of a 5,125 year-long cycle.

Many people with either an axe to grind or a product to sell fixated upon this event as being a prophesy of the end of the world, however wiser heads have simply observed that this is nothing more than a roll-over of the mist significant digit in the year counter - not unlike the traversal from 1999 to 2000 in our own calendar just a few years ago.

Other scholars have noted that there is nothing in Mayan literature to suggest they were expecting anything special to happen on that date.

During the weekly Angelus address, given from the window of the Pope's Vatican apartment, Benedict made the Catholic Church's views very clear on the matter. Referencing biblical lines that speak of ''the sun and moon going out, the stars falling from the sky'', Benedict observed that Jesus ''does not describe the end of the world, and when he uses apocalyptic images, he is not acting the prophet''.

''On the contrary, he wants to stop his disciples of every epoch from being curious over dates, forecasts, and wants to give them the key to ... the right road to walk today and tomorrow to enter into the eternal life,'' he said.

Whether or not one agrees with his faith, one must admire the Pope for his forthright attack on this plague of silliness afflicting the less clear thinking members of our society.

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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.

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