May 26th, 2019

Abstract

This is a converted version of my speech I gave at my public speaking class in college. You can find the original document here. This speech is meant to persuade its audience. I truly believe that changing the current marking method of history can shift the way we thenx and perceive ourselves. The idea itself was greatly inspired by Kurzgesagt’s famous video. Enjoy!

Hello there. My name is Sandy and I want to talk with you about our current Gregorian calendar and the reasons why we might consider switching to a new calendar system. In this persuasive speech, I will introduce you to the Gregorian Calendar, its inconsistencies, and a better alternative to it.

[Let’s get started!]

Our current Gregorian calendar is the most used calendar in the world. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in October 1582. Each year roughly elapses to 365 days. I The Gregorian Calendar includes two eras in itself: BC and AD. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, BC stands for "before Christ" and AD roughly translates from Latin "Anno Domini" to "in the year of our Lord". II The current year 2019 can be fully expanded as the year 2019 after birth of Christ or AD 2019. Due to an ongoing and ever active globalization, the calendar was even adopted by most of the non-Western countries. It is truly, the dominant way of understanding time and our history. The question rises, does it necessarily mean it is the best one?

[As we learned about the Gregorian calendar, let’s see where it lacks consistency.]

The Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar before it are very much centered around the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. III Firstly, current calendar’s system of year counting is computationally and conceptually confusing when we want to get to the fundamental levels. There is no year 0 in the Gregorian calendar, so the difference between 1.5 BC and AD 1.5 is 1 year instead of 3. And BC era does not have a year 0 either. Secondly, the current calendar explicitly accounts only to around two thousand years of our human history which itself is a tiny part of our actual history.

[What is one of the possible solutions to resolve the current calendar’s problems?]

In 1993, Italian-American scientist Cesare Emiliani proposed a new calendar in the Nature journal article "Calendar Reform". IV In his article, Professor Emiliani proposes that the beginning of calendrical time could be set at the beginning of the current Julian Cycle, 4,713 BC, established by Joseph Scalinger and still used by astronomers. To simplify the arithmetic, round 10,000 years could be added to the current AD year), ultimately converting 2019 AD to 12,019 HE. Setting the birth of Christ at 25 December of the year 10,000 from the beginning of Human Era. Adding a round number to the current date conserves all established holidays, months, and days. However it adds a whole another level of understanding of our human civilization. Let us take a brief look at our history from the beginning of Human Era. V

  • 0-1,000 HE : Ain Mallaha, also known as Eynan, one of the first settled villages in the world.

  • 1,500 HE : First farmers, start of agriculture. Domestication of wheat, olive, sheep, and etc. VI

  • 2,000 HE : The whole world’s population was around 5 million people. VII

  • 3,500 HE : Beginning of trading between villages over long distances. VIII

  • 5,000 HE : Start of the Bronze Age. IX

  • 6,700 HE : First invention of writing in Mesopotamia. X

  • 7,520 HE : Construction of Pyramid of Giza begun. XI

  • 9,000 HE : The end of Bronze Age and the Start of Iron Age.

  • 9,200 HE : Iliad and Odyssey published.

  • 9,500 HE : The beginning of Western Culture and the Golden Age.

  • 9,700 HE : The reign of Alexander the Great.

  • 9,956 HE : Julius Caesar killed by his own Senate.

  • 9,980 HE : The world population just reached 300 million people.

  • 10,000 HE : The current method of marking human history begins.

[After merely 2 thousand years after, here we are.]

If we keep thinking about our history as we do now, we underplay almost 10 thousand years of human progress and development. Human Era incorporates all humans from all cultures and races. By only moving our point of reference, the year zero, we can fundamentally reframe the way we perceive ourselves. We can truly understand where we came from and be proud of who we are today. Only by knowing and respecting our past, we can have a clear vision into the future beyond the skies.

[Thank you for your attention. Let’s live in our new mindset and expand our horizons.] ◼︎


I United States Naval Observatory, Introduction to Calendars (27 February 2019). Accessed April 13.
II Merriam-Webster, Anno Domini (2019). Accessed April 13.
III Geza Vermes in Jesus the Jew: A historian’s reading of the Gospels (1973).
IV Cesare Emiliani, “Calendar Reform,” Nature, University of Miami (1993).
V Virginia Tech, Important Events in Human History (2006). Accessed April 13.
VI Ensminger, Parker in Sheep and Goat Science (1986).
VII Vaughn Aubuchon, World Population Growth History (2019). Accessed April 13.
VIII History World, HISTORY OF TRADE (2019). Accessed April 13.
IX Britannica, Bronze Age (2019). Accessed April 13.
X Ancient History Encyclopedia, Writing (2019). Accessed April 13.
XI National Geographic, Pyramids at Giza (2019). Accessed April 13.