On creating a non-Christian based original year anchor point.
What year is it? 2017? Why? Because some guy supposedly was born *maybe* around this time ~2000 years ago? That sure seems pretty damn arbitrary to me. And it is. And not only that it’s shifted around over the centuries so who knows really what year it is. But maybe it doesn’t really matter WHAT year it is. Time marches on. And we each have our own “zero” year — the year we were born.
But, let’s say we care about the year. What annual anchor point would make more sense, apply to everyone, not just Christians? Yes, there are countless alternative dating schemes that have been proposed. And even many that continue from antiquity, such as the Hindu, Chinese, Persian, Egyptian and so on dating systems.
But again, they’re all rather arbitrary. And not really applicable to everyone. So, what anchor point (and that’s the crux here — when do we start year “zero”) would make a non-arbitrary, all encompassing base for counting time?
Dating the Anthropocene
When did the Anthropocene start? Well, after the last glaciation at least. When was that? Well, when did the Holocene start? Somewhere between 11,000 and 15,000 years ago (although the Holocene supposedly is pinned to 11,700 years before today.)
But back to the Anthropocene; when did it start? If we say that about 12,000 years ago, Man discovered agriculture, and began actively altering the landscape (that is, geology) to suit itself, then if we could pin a specific date, around 12,000 years ago, that would be an excellent candidate for our agnostic dating anchor point.
So, how do you pick a date 12,000 years ago? One way is to use a celestial phenomena, one that can be accurately calculated and firmly established in the past. What if we calculated the exact date that a complete solar eclipse occurred, at the Rose Line, GMT-0, at noon, roughly 12,000 years ago. (GMT because we don’t really want to break the concept of time, just adjust the concept of years starting from zero.)
Now the question is: can we actually extract such a precise date from celestial calculations and records?
In the spirit of this project I sent the following email to Mr Eclipse…
Dear Fred Espenak,
I’m researching a possible reorganization of the concept of year dating.
Today we’re in the year 2017. Which is loosely based on the birth of a man two thousand years ago who may or may not mean something to many of us.
What would be a more appropriate, agnostic date anchoring point?
I’m suggesting, and now researching, using the start of the Anthropocene ~12,000 years ago.
But I need an exact date, all that time ago, to provide the true “zero” day.
I estimate that if a full solar eclipse, that occurred around that time, which darkened the skies above Greenwich England (GMT), at approximately noon, then that would serve as an absolute anchor point for starting the years Humanity as existed in its current form.
So, is there a way to extrapolate such a date?
Have you done this? And could you share such a date?
We’ll see what he has to say. If you know of a way to calculate such a number… care to share it?