Will science reporters ever get it?
Now, I’m not going to argue that human civilization hasn’t significantly changed the planet. We have. And I’m not going to argue that we shouldn’t call the current time something new to reflect that. We probably should.
What miffs me is the language. Check out the title of the article:
Humans Force Earth into New Geologic Epoch
WTF? It’s as if the new epoch was coming sometime in the future, but we made it come quicker. WE MAKE UP THE TIME PERIODS PEOPLE!!! We decide when the boundaries are. They don’t frickin’ exist without us!
Let’s look at the first statement in the article:
Humans have altered Earth so much that scientists say a new epoch in the planet’s geologic history has begun.
Maybe one can say I’m being nit-picky about semantics, but don’t you see what’s wrong with this? “…scientists say a new epoch…has begun”. Wrong. Scientists are saying we ought to CALL it a new one to reflect these changes. It’s as if the time periods exist somehow and we discovered them, their boundaries, and all their Anglo-Saxon (with some Russian, French, and others) names.
I blogged about this some months ago. All too often, I hear something like “When the Cretaceous period came to a close, the dinosaurs died out”. Wrong. The Cretaceous ends there BECAUSE the dinosaurs died out. We made up these time periods based on that. Argh.
Science reporters, students, general public … it’s time to stop the madness. Call me a jerk, but it’s time to get your heads out of your a@#es and understand this. It’s everybody’s fault.
Whew…I feel better.