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The Millennium Question.

  1. Jan 27, 2005 #1
    Okay, it is an old topic, but since it sometimes comes back to mind I felt like sharing it and see what you think/what responses I'd get.

    I am bothered by the fact that science has placed the Millennium date at January first 2001. Okay, it is a clear sign that I should 'get a life' but I guess putting it out here also acknowledges the fact that I am embracing myself with all my quirks and quacks.

    It is not that I múst place the Millennium date at January first 2000 to feel good, it is just not satisfying to think that scientists are not looking at this Millennium thing from the best scientific and most logical angle.

    This is my thought: the Christian calendar is based on the birth of Christ, and though from a scientific point of view most people agree that that wasn't December 25th, officially that is the date of his birth. The Millennium date should therefore be: December 25, 2000, not January first of 2000 nor January first of 2001.

    Subsequently, the Millennium year would be 2000 (because December 25th falls in that year) and the beginning of the Millennium year would then be January first 2000. The catholic church celebrated the 2000th year from December 25th 1999 to December 25th 2000. It appears that they were right on the mark. Celebrating my 45th years on this earth starts at my 44th birthday and ends on my 45th birthday.

    Believe it or not, but the official date of birth for Christ and the reason of the Christian calendar is December 25 of the year minus 1. Since officially there is no year zero (why not I wonder?) Christ was born before the calendar started that is based on his birth. Were scientists involved who disliked the idea of a year zero (while everyone I know had a first year in which we were zero years old). Or was it the church who wanted to put the Christ in a special spot and made him look different from other people by not have him be zero years old? Nevertheless, this doesn't change the Millennium date, because that would always be exactly a thousand-fold years after his birth.

    Yes, yes, I know: I should get a life, but what do you think is the best basis of logic to this Millennium question: go with the currently established scientific flow, go with the popular flow of seeing a date flip from 1999 to 2000 and celebrate that fact, or go with the flow that the calendar is based on an event that is and isn't the beginning of the calendar?
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 27, 2005 #2


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    While if you are going to use the actual date of Chirst's birth, then the Millenium ended in in the spring of 1997, since most historians agree that Christ would actually have been born in that itme of 4 BC. The Dec 25th date was chosen to coincide with the winter soltice. (By the way, New Years used to be celebrated on April 1.)

    If you want to go official, then the Millenium started on January 1, 1 AD and ended at Midnight Dec 31, 2000 according to the calendar we use. Now you may want to argue that it should've started on a different day, or that it should've contained a year "0", but the truth of the matter is that it doesn't.
  4. Jan 27, 2005 #3
    Don't get too worked up about the calendar. It's pretty much there because people are too lazy to switch to a more neutral and scientific dating system.
  5. Jan 28, 2005 #4
    This has to be the most random thread ever. Its four years later. This debate should be four years dead and gone.
  6. Jan 28, 2005 #5
    yeah, quite living in the past. lets talk about important issues. Who do you think is cuter Bo or Luke?
  7. Jan 28, 2005 #6

    definitely Marsha.
  8. Jan 29, 2005 #7


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    Christ was not born on December 25th and that date was solely chosen so Christian would have an easier time converting certain religious.

    It's quite sad that a special date was chosen for conversion purposes.
  9. Jan 29, 2005 #8


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  10. Jan 29, 2005 #9
    Not only was there no year zero but there was no year 100, 150, 200 or anything else until the year 325 when they decided to set the year to the birth of christ. These scholars were pretty much guessing within +/- 4 years so I'm perfectly comfortable saying the millenium ended on dec. 31 1999.
  11. Jan 30, 2005 #10
    duck everyone, I've got another pet peeve coming on

    [assume loud dominating voice]
    god damnit!
    read about it
  12. Jan 30, 2005 #11

    You expect anyone to know that in this society?

    Jay Leno's "Jaywalking" segment is all i should need to point you to. Now go.
  13. Jan 30, 2005 #12
    who the hell is Greg?
  14. Jan 30, 2005 #13

    Either a) Greg Bernhardt
    or b) The guy the gregorian calendar is named after: Pope Gregory XIII
  15. Jan 30, 2005 #14


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    It's actually a French person who created the modern calendar.

    Why does everything have to involve Christ? I personally think he's not the most important person, or in fact I don't think he comes close to the most important person. He was a good man who loved life and shared it with everyone. People still do that today and we aren't on our knees praying to them.

    Who shall we pick?
  16. Jan 30, 2005 #15
    i didn't say who created it, i said the guy it was named for, the ruling pope at the time.
  17. Jan 30, 2005 #16


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    A French person who named it after the Pope.
  18. Jan 30, 2005 #17

    Still named after the pope, as i said.
  19. Jan 30, 2005 #18
    Many thanks


    What a wonderful bunch of responses. Some quite testy - correct that, most quite testy. Maybe I should have waited a few more years before I posed this question. It almost feels like 1999.

    The Christian calendar is the calendar in use by Christians; it is also in use by others who do not prescribe to the Christian faith, but it is not in use all over the world. You are correct that Gregorius (Pope Gregory XIII) improved the calendar set up by Julius Caesar who - I belief - also based it on a calendar that was in use already by others. Anyhow, the name tag is just a tag.

    I placed this question in the 'Logic' section and expected answers based on logic. Thanks, guys.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2005
  20. Jan 30, 2005 #19


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    This whole thread raises the question: why does it matter? The calendar is based on an arbitrarily chosen date. So, it's the second millenium of Christianity (maybe we should wait until 2033 give or take a few years, since the death of Christ is more significant in Christianity than his birth), but other religions are further along than that (what year is it in the Jewish calendar and the Chinese calendar?, humans have been around even longer than that, and the Earth even longer than that. If you were in any doubt, I hope you celebrated both 2000 and 2001. Me, I'm just looking forward to celebrating 2006. :biggrin:
  21. Jan 30, 2005 #20
    The name game

    It does and it doesn't matter. I guess just like the guys correcting me on the Christian calendar we all want words to mean something specific and find agreement on the facts we use daily. Most people say that Mount Everest is the highest mountain on earth while a few others say that a mostly unknown mountain in South-America is the highest mountain. There is space to argue, to investigate and to wonder.

    How correct is the information I hear everyday? Should we be aware that information is just that, a chosen meaning that -in general- is accepted by everyone, but which meaning may be off. How do scientists use language, how do ordinary people use language? Is there a difference?

    Anyhow, I was looking around the threads in PhysicsForums and saw the Logic thread. I wanted to know what kind of responses I would get about this issue. So far, a few responses were a direct answer to my question. Others ignored the question. It has been interesting.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2005
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