The last major change to our modern Gregorian Calendar was really made by Julius Caesar in 46 BCE. It established the length of the year, the leap year, the names and lengths of most of the months., and eliminated the intercalary month named Intercalaris or Mercedonius. Updates a few decades later established the names of July and August, and took one day from February to add it to August.
A monk in 525 BCE changed the numbering of the year to base it on the estimated date of Jesus’s birth rather than the founding of Rome, and as this was slowly adopted across Europe, the Julian Calendar became a Christian calendar. The update introduced by Pope Gregory in 1582 simply subtracted three days every 400 years to make the years more accurate. It was only named the Gregorian Calendar because it took a long time for the non-Catholic parts of Europe to adopt the calendar–in Britain and the American colonies, it wasn’t established until 1752.
Since then, we’ve learned that the Earth is not the center of the Universe. Rather than believing the Earth is 6,000 years old, we are able to carbon date fossils that are hundreds of millions of years old, rocks that are four billion years old, plot the evolution of organisms and ecosystems over millions of years and know that the Earth is about 4.54 billion year old.
And we use a calendar that has changed little since Julius Caesar.
With such a narrow way of looking at things, is it any wonder that we face a climate and ecological crisis that threatens all life on this planet?
Other disadvantages of the Gregorian Calendar are as follows:
- Starting in 1922, it stopped being the most accurate calendar that a country has ever adopted.
- It is a real challenge to figure out what day of the week a certain date will fall on.
- The year is unbalanced and uneven and the lengths of the months irregular, making it challenging for business and personal planning.
- Leap years are unevenly distributed and there are still too many of them.
- Worldwide adoption of the Gregorian Calendar has been more due to the effect of colonialism than due to any merits the calendar itself may have.
- It assumes that nothing of importance occurred before the birth of Jesus Christ, even though Christianity is not the religion for most people on the planet.
- It relegates most of human history to “negative-numbered years.”
- Science has adopted a separate timetable to talk about Earth history, one that is not understood by most people on Earth.
- The Gregorian Calendar will only get more inaccurate over time, albeit more slowly than the Julian calendar did.
The Earth Epic Calendar seeks to replace the Gregorian calendar with one that is culturally neutral, and reflects human history and earth history more accurately. It is more accurate, and furthermore, can serve as tool to educate people about the various cycles of the Earth, moon and sun. It has the following advantages:
- Dividing the year into quarters makes for a more balanced year.
- The beginning of the year is tied to an actual location in Earth’s orbit, making the length of the year much more accurate.
- The days of the week for a given date each quarter (for example, the 5th or the 10th) are more predictable and shift only one or two days per year.
- A leap year is added only when it is actually needed.
- The calendar can be changed with little disruption to its current use as further information comes in about the age of the Earth
- Through this calendar, the user can learn about:
- The position of the Sun relative to the Earth
- What the axial precession is and its impact on the stars we see in the sky
- The changing lengths of each of the seasons (as defined by the solstices and equinoxes) over a period of hundreds and thousands of years
- The significance of the Holocene Era/Epoch
- How long ago Homo Sapiens emerged, how long ago humans (the genus Homo) emerged, how long ago the emergence of the humans was compared to the emergence of the dinosaurs, and how the emergence of both compare to the entirety of Earth’s history.
- The approximate length of time it takes for the Solar System to rotate around the Milky Way.
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