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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

What year is it?

Asked by RealEyesRealizeRealLies (30874points) April 25th, 2013

I think it’s a bit rude to promote a calendar system which, on the surface, suggests to western children that human history began 2013 years ago, upon the death of Jesus Christ. Nothing against Christ here… He wasn’t the one to decide for the calendar to begin with him.

But if we count from the Abrahamic time frame, should the year be somewhere around 6000? Perhaps older from the Hindu time frame?

Isn’t it possible now to determine when the first hominids appeared?

Shouldn’t the year be, from Lucy’s point of view, the year 3.3M?

Or at least the first Sapiens should say the year is 200G… right?

Why not just count from the very beginning of time itself? I’ve heard estimates ranging from 13.5 to 14.5 Billion years ago. Can we split the difference and just say the current year is 14B?

What year is it? I’d really like to know. Because after the fall of Christianity, my tombstone will be marked with a date that won’t be understood by any survivors of the Zombie Apocalypse.

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44 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

Well since you’ll be one of the zombies rising from the grave you can put in whatever year you want.

JLeslie's avatar

5773. I know because my marriage document, Ketubah, says I was married in 5753 and it was 20 years ago.

zenvelo's avatar

Well, we do just go by something we all agree on. And your concern is why we no longer use AD but use CE – “Common Era”. Changing it would be a big pain in the ass.

If we wanted to be conscious of a significant change and event in history, why not start 510 years earlier at the founding of the Roman Republic?

JLeslie's avatar

CE makes more sense because I think Jesus was believed to have been born in 4 BC. I think the Julian calendar was created around 45 BC? Not sure exactly, but before Christ, and the calendar we use today, the Gregorian calendar, was based on the Julian Calendar. I don’t know when the calendar was updated to the Gregorian, but it did have to do with changing the length of the year and something to do with the celebration of Easter.

LuckyGuy's avatar

I’d base it on some “recent” cosmic event that can be precisely dated.
The Supernova of July 4th 1054 that began the formation of the Crab Nebula is a good candidate.

ucme's avatar

I don’t give a shit, just a series of random numbers to me…be upset if folks forgot my birthday though.

JLeslie's avatar

@ucme LOL. I didn’t even think about the birthday! My birthday is often forgotten because it is early January. I would probably be better off if we used a different calendar.

Afos22's avatar

What year would some ancient Greek, in the third century BCE, say that it was while he was alive?

ragingloli's avatar

It is the year over9000

Afos22's avatar

Maybe we should set the first year at the date of the oldest discovered human civilization. The Indus valley civilization was around 5,600 years ago. Any older than that? The year 5613 is good, right?

hearkat's avatar

Does anybody really know what time it is?

Arewethereyet's avatar

Almost bedtime in Aussie land.

And I’d be one of the zombies too so it wouldnt matter what year it was it would always be tucker time munch munch.

Pachy's avatar

“Does anybody really know what time it is?

@hearkat, absolutely true musically, temporally and philosophically!

Pachy's avatar

“The calender of the Theocracy of Muntab counts down, not up. No one knows why, but it might not be a good idea to hang around and find out.” ― Terry Pratchett, Wyrd Sisters

mattbrowne's avatar

I think for a lot of Jellies, it’s the year 72 ARD.

CWOTUS's avatar

For that matter, @RealEyesRealizeRealLies, how would your descendants know what day of the week (or month) you died if the week no longer arbitrarily has 7 days. (And how were “less than full-month” blocks of time measured, I wonder? I can understand months, since that’s lunar – or can be – but were weeks made to be 7 days because the lunar cycle is roughly 28 days, and that’s a good quartering?)

janbb's avatar

Oy – I think i’m going back to bed!

Pachy's avatar

Not a calendar girl, eh, @janbb?

janbb's avatar

@Pachyderm_In_The_Room Look again. i was January.

josie's avatar

By convention, where you live work and conduct commerce, your misplaced guilt and hyper-sensitivity not withstanding, and at the risk of annoying you which is not my purpose, but simply to try to make things less complicated than they already are, it is 2013

linguaphile's avatar

Yikes. Am I really a Gemini sun, Scorpio moon with a Taurus rising? Do I have to throw that belief out…?

JLeslie's avatar

@Afos22 Watcha talking’ about? Maybe it depends how civilization is denied, but I know nothing of claiming the first civilization was 5,600 years ago. The is evidence, anthropological evidence, of “civilizations” before that, here is Wikipedia on the topic. Do you have a link regarding your statement? Jewish calendar is on year 5773 and still used by the Jewish people today.

@CWOTUS I would assume the seven day week is an even division of the 28 day month for lunar calendars. Most lunar calendars had 12 months and an extra 13th month is added in every few years to bring the months back into sync so a month is associated with a certain time of year. That is why Chanukah sometimes is as early as late November, and other times very very late in December. But, adding the month keeps the holiday in the vicinity of the winter months for the northern hemisphere. Chanukah and the other Jewish holidays are actually on the same date every year on the Jewish calendar, I think Chanukah is the 25h of the month Kislev, but you should double check me before repeating that as my memory could be wrong.

Other lunar calendars don’t have the correction and the months shift, are not really correlated to a season, and it takes many years for a month to make a full cycle. I think it takes over 30 years. So let’s say month A is lined up with what we currently call January, it would take another 30 some years for month A to line up with January again.

Dutchess_III's avatar

It’s just a marker. It works.

CWOTUS's avatar

Actually, this has also been a problem for people who lived in the United States and Europe (and lived under their calendars) when the calendar numbering was changed from “Julian” to “Gregorian”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Actually…that’s a cool idea! I could tell people I was born in 3058 and they’d have no idea how old I am!

ucme's avatar

All together now, “In the year 2525”tumbleweed.

JLeslie's avatar

If man is still alive…

Dutchess_III's avatar

If woman can survive….

ucme's avatar

Whoo-hoo, it’s like I can actually hear you girls singin :-)

Dutchess_III's avatar


ragingloli's avatar


ucme's avatar

Best to put them some place easy to find, like the pockets on kha-ki pants.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

The time, day, month, and year is now. So treat it like it is.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Nope. That time is now gone, @Mr_Paradox.

Mr_Paradox's avatar

That is meant to be taken as though it had just been said @Dutchess_III

filmfann's avatar

It’s astounding… Time is fleeting.
Madness takes its toll
But listen closely
Not for very much longer
I’ve got to keep control

I remember doing the Time Warp
Drinking those moments when
The blackness would hit me
And the void would be calling

Let’s do the Time Warp again

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Isn’t it safe to say that if we have to ask the question “What year is it?” that we really don’t know what year it is? We can’t even figure out how the earth came to be let alone the exact time frame. :/

If you think we are supposed to be in the years of 13.5 -14.5 billion then just add zeros to the year we are in now 20,120,000,000 and technically you can be in the future. =O

Paradox25's avatar

The year 14,000,000,013? I’ve always wondered why we’ve created a time system in reference to Christianity.

Thulenord's avatar

Time is reckoned Christocentrically for the theological claim that God through the Holy Ghost conceived of the Virgin Mary the incarnate Son of God, Jesus. The in breaking of the living God into time speaks for itself. And the atheists can all gotahell. Their criticisms amount to flyspecks in the pepper. At the time of Christ time was reckoned by the founding of Rome (also prone to errors) the year of a potentate’s reign, &c. So the chroniclers recorded all this stuff to cross reference dates, The unified calendar under Julius Caesar was conceived for military planning purposes so Legions in Spain could say know the date to depart to join up with Legions from Greece to sail to invade Judea, Egypt, or some other benighted place. Delays & confusion were eliminated. Of course he knew only of the year of his lordship. 14 billion? What does that mean to someone whose idea of long range planning is “What ‘s doing after lunch?” We deal with it by coalescing all calendar information to what we count to now. Even divided into nanoseconds by cesium clocks at Ft. Collins making their famous time ticks. Is life worth worrying over that which we really have no control at all?

janbb's avatar

Thus it is spoken.

Nullo's avatar

We leave off the “Anno Domini” part for convenience.

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