The Anthropocene or the Anthrozoic?
I don’t understand why the concept of the Anthropocene is so tied to geology: the physical layers we will supposedly lay down for subsequent geologist (if there are any left in the next 4k years). The arrival of homo sapiens represents one of the most remarkable events (for good or bad) in the history of planetary evolution, along with:
1. Beginning of Life.
2. Prokaryote cells to Eukaryote cells, a divergence that E.O. Wilson called “The deepest chasm in all of evolution.”
3. Cambrian explosion, rise of multi-cellular life, establishment of the major phyla.
4. Predator/Prey relationship.
5. Sexual reproduction.
6. Permian extinction.
7. K/T boundary.
Then 200,000 years ago modern anatomical humans (AMH) arrive on the scene. Not much happens for awhile, then evidence of symbolic culture in South Africa (around 70,000 year ago). Then middle stone age to upper Paleolithic stone tool assemblages. Cave paintings:
The ebbing of the ice age.
The advent of agriculture.
The first states.
Secondary states and the emergence of Axial Age civilizations in Greece, India, Israel and China.
The Axial Age and Its Consequences Belknap Presswww.foxyhedgehog.org
Dark ages in Europe.
Re-emergence of formal operational thought.
Scientific revolution (Only in West?)
Man landing on the moon. His (Her’s?) mastery of weapons of mass destruction.
The ability of homo sapiens to destroy the entire planet, their nest, womb and home.
The Anthropocene is currently conceived as a new geological Epoch. Yet I wonder if it shouldn't be more radically re-conceived as a new geological/biological Era, perhaps the Anthrozoic? Elizabeth Kolbert’s book “The Sixth Extinction”
A brilliant expose of human's effect on the environment. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History By Elizabeth…www.foxyhedgehog.org
and the work of E.O. Wilson, certainly suggests the more depressing confirmation of this reconceptualization.