Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Big Bang Happened on a Tuesday


Happy New Year! Well, today is what Pope Gregory XIII decided would be your new year. On his own precious reformed calendar. The phenomenon we of the Gregorian persuasion are preparing to call "New Year's Day in the Year 2012" is also...

Happy New Year 2012
1390 ... according to the Persian Calendar

1433 ... according to the Moslem Calendar

1728 ... according to the Coptic or 'Alexandrian' Calendar

2555 ... according to the Buddhist Calendar

2761 ... according to the Babylonian Calendar

4710 ... according to the Chinese Calendar
(After January 22 will be known as The Year of the Dragon)

5772 ... according to the Hebrew Calendar

5125 ... according to the Maya Great Cycle (Final Phase) ... in the Mayan Long Count

2455927.5 ... according to the Julian Calendar

2009-ish ... according to Christ's (actual) [alleged] {continually controversial and argued amongst scholars} birth circa 4 or 6 or 8 B.C.

And lastly, my personal favorite:

12012 ... according to the Holocene Calendar

If you don't know what all these are, you should. Start Googling. And get used to the word "lunisolar". Oh wait, don't bother unless you want a massive headache.

My point is merely that various methods of naming and counting are ultimately haphazard, each based upon when particular cultures developed sufficient writing systems, then used them to legitimize divine events and/or documented astronomical monitoring technology with varying degrees of accuracy.

QUESTION: In cosmological time, if we're all bent on counting planetary rotations, sorting by moon cycles and grouping heliocentric trips around our nearest star... wouldn't it make more sense to count the actual age of the Earth? In such case it would be – give or take a miniscule margin of error in geologic dating techniques – approximately 4,540,000,000 and counting.

Even better… let's count from the creation of the universe, lovingly referred to as the BIG BANG. That would make it somewhere around the year 13,700,200,000.

Remember this when you are filling out your tax return.


bill lisleman said...

Even though you didn't address this crazy Mayan end of the world thing you did provide plenty of examples of counting time and each one of course ends up different. I liked that Samoa decided to move time zones and drop a day. If more people would realize the history of the calendar they would not put too much meaning into it. great post.

PillowNaut said...

Thanks, Bill! *Should* I address this crazy Mayan end of the world thing?! Happy New ! :D

Space Knight said...

You are one big fun fact machine... :)

Happy New Year :)