First of all, pardon the new look and the temporary mess. We're doing a little site renovation as we kick this thing back into gear. So, say goodbye to the Holocene, and Hello again to My Sandmen.
Robert Roy Britt of Live Science.com brings us the news over the weekend that Humans Force Earth into New Geologic Epoch.
Humans have altered Earth so much that scientists say a new epoch in the planet's geologic history has begun. Say goodbye to the 10,000-year-old Holocene Epoch and hello to the Anthropocene. Among the major changes heralding this two-century-old man-made epoch:
- Vastly altered sediment erosion and deposition patterns.
- Major disturbances to the carbon cycle and global temperature.
- Wholesale changes in biology, from altered flowering times to new migration patterns.
- Acidification of the ocean, which threatens tiny marine life that forms the bottom of the food chain.
The idea, first suggested in 2000 by Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutzen, has gained steam with two new scientific papers that call for official recognition of the shift.
Time will tell, what comes next. An end in the global warming cycle and return of Ice Age activity would naturally mark the beginning of a new Epoch of this current Geologic Period. A continuation of the current 10,000 year-old warming period, however, should mean a continuation of the Holocene Epoch by which it is defined. For now, however, one thing is certain. The structure of Geologic time is roughly determined by the nature of the Earth's biological activity. But, it is the Geologic mechanisms themselves which effects and defines the biological changes that are what is important to scientists studying and understanding the history of the Earth. It is those mechanisms effecting the periodic Geology of the Earth, as slow and persistent or contrarily sudden as they may be, that have proven to be far more powerful than any inconsequential biological staining of the outer patina of the Earth's lithosphere. Like lichens on Granite, human's are little more than a mechanism of geological weathering, and an equally weak one at that.
Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman who is best remembered for his entertaining hoaxes and for founding the travelling show that eventually became the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. PT Barnum's original American Museum was located in New York City from 1841 to 1865. There he displayed all manner of oddities and curious attractions; some real, and some not. As it became more popular, Barnum noticed that people were lingering too long at his exhibits, limiting the number of patrons and no doubt encouraging an unwelcomed degree of speculation of their authenticity. He started posted signs indicating "This Way to the Egress". Most visitors at the time did not know that the word "Egress" was another term for "Exit." Baffled and curious, people followed the signs to what they assumed was another fascinating exhibit, only to find themselves outside the musuem unable to return... without revisiting the ticket booth.
In this era of heated debate regarding global climate change, and the nature of Man's effect on the Earth, it seems that many scientists recognize the threat of public scrutiny lingering too long on the spurious exhibits at hand. By redefining the Earth's Geologic record from within, using those very same questionable exhibits, they hope to christen the show, secure belief, and close the door on the subject once and for all, moving the mind toward the egress into a new Epoch defined by the abomination of human existence.