From the current usage Holocene era (11,700 years to present). Interestingly, the Berkeley evolution site, a reliable source of Darwinian orthodoxy, tells us that such a proposed new term is somewhat misleading (accessed October 15, 2014), because humans had arisen and dispersed before then.
Note: See Eocene (55.8 to 33.9 million years ago) or Pleistocene (2.6 million to 11,700 years ago) for the general idea.
People are changing Earth so much, warming and polluting it, that many scientists are turning to a new way to describe the time we live in. They’re calling it the Anthropocene — the age of humans.
Though most non-experts don’t realize it, science calls the past 12,000 years the Holocene, Greek for “entirely recent.” But the way humans and their industries are altering the planet, especially its climate, has caused an increasing number of scientists to use the word Anthropocene to better describe when and where we are.
But wouldn’t it be wiser to put the renaming decision off a few millennia?
Politics is driving this, it seems:
And on Friday the Anthropocene Working Group ramps up its efforts to change the era’s name with a meeting at a Berlin museum. The movement was jump-started and the name coined by Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen in 2000, according to Australian National University scientist Will Steffen.
Steffen, one of the main leaders of the Anthropocene movement, said in an email that the age of humans is more than just climate change. It includes ozone loss, disruption of nitrogen and phosphorous cycles that are causing dead zones, changes in water, acidification of the ocean, endocrine disruptors and deforestation.
Steffen said there’s no scientific consensus for the term Anthropocene yet, but he sees support growing. To become official it has to be approved by the International Union of Geological Sciences’ Commission on Stratigraphy.
That process is detailed and slow, said Harvard’s Kroll, who spearheaded the last successful effort to add a new time period — the little known Ediacaran period, about 600 million years ago. It took him 15 years.
Good thing, too. Two decades from now, the politics may all be different.
Currently, in a world of Save-the’s, humanity has the privilege of being the only species worthy of extermination.
Note: How come, when people talk about what humans have done to animals, no one mentions veterinary medicine or conservation lands?
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