What could be a more scientific dating system than BC and AD (Before Christ and Anno Domini)?

The numbers are the real issue, and they don’t change, just the acronyms we give them, AD / CE and BC / BCE. Science per se has nothing to do with it, whatsoever.

But MATHEMATICS! The number line goes up through the negatives to zero and on to the positives. But the pre-science numbering system skipped Year Zero. The year 1 BCE was followed by the year 1 CE. No year 0, Need Not Apply. Can’t have something that ISN’T THERE such as a starting year that isn’t number 1. No zero (hence non-existent) year.

(PS modern scholarship and use of a PC app that shows the constellations in the skies 24-7-365 from anywhere on earth makes a MARVELOUS case that the wise men reached Bethlehem on roughly 25 December 2 BCE, but the birth was the prior June and the Annunciation fell on the Jewish New Year in September of 3 BCE. In case you wanted to know about that.)

In fact decimal numbering, which the Arabs borrowed from somewhere and we borrowed from them, made a huge difference when it replaced Roman Numerals somewhere prior to the invention of Other People’s Money (Bank of England led the way there) which unleashed the Industrial Revolution.

Year MCMXLIV anyone? I was born that year, and I turned 75 this year. That’s 1944 in case you wondered – MCM is 1000 + (1000 – 100) i.e. 1900; XL is (50 – 10) i.e. 40; and IV is (5 – 1) i.e. 4. So simple, so elegant!

And folks adamantly refused to switch to Arabic over this same foible, i.e. that it needs a nothing (zero) for positional accuracy. 1904 is also MCMIV (skipping the XL PART) but that zero in there? Did not compute.

Humans like the devil they know much better than the devil they don’t.

3 thoughts on “What could be a more scientific dating system than BC and AD (Before Christ and Anno Domini)?”

1. Mark Hinrichs says:

Joel – No zero in Roman Numerals?? I

think you are mistaken.
MMCDCCCLXXXIX == 1899
MCM == 1900
MCMI == 1901

and so forth.

In Spanish, the “Yo” is often understood – as in “Te quiero” — “(I) Love you”. In part, that is because the Person-Tense (I, you(singular), they (singular – m/f), we, you(plural), they(plural – m/f) present/past/future/imperfect …) is (usually) made explicit in the verb ending.

But all Spanish speakers clearly know which pronoun is assumed. It is ambiguous only to the uninitiated :-).

which is also true for Roman Numerals (modulo the missing Year Zero).

So – why is this relevant???

How will it help us SAVE OUR NATION from the Traitor in Chief??

Love you,
Mark

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2. mhinpdx says:

Looks like I left an extra “MC” (2nd and 3rd characters) in the RN version of ‘1899’ .

Stupid Romans 🙂

I’ll blame it on alcohol.

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1. So what is the Roman numeral that you use to say “Yes, we have no bananas”?

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