2000 or 2001

When does the third millennium really begin?

It begins in 2000, not 2001

Several people are claiming that the new millennium starts in 2001, but they are wrong. They reason that there was no year 0 and therefore the first year was the year 1, and because of that the year 2001 is 2000 years later, making it the real millennium. I, Marc Perkel, founder of the Church of Reality disagree. (Marc Perkel is unofficially the smartest person on the planet.)

Supposedly the calendar began with the birth of Christ. We don't know when Christ was really born but we now think it was somewhere between 4 - 7 BC. Christ was not born on January 1st, 0001. That date is an arbitrary date so the beginning date of the calendar is based on nothing. There is no significant event that occurred that set the starting point for our calendar.

The reason there was no year 0 was because the Romans didn't have a concept of 0 in their number system. That's why they began at year 1. Since the starting point on the calendar is arbitrary, I contend that the first millennium started in 1 BC. Or perhaps the first millennium was short a year due to the primitive math at the time.

Since Roman times we have discovered that the earth doesn't rotate around the sun exactly 365 1/4 days and that in the year 1752 they skipped 11 days on the calendar to make up for the difference. Because these 11 days were skipped the date of the millennium is pushed back into January. Additionally, the year 2001 is one year past the leap year. Because of this you would have to add 6 hours to make up for the extra 1/4 day it takes the earth to rotate around the sun.

For the purists out there who think the millennium starts in 2001, you can't ignore these 11 days 6 hours that are skipped. That means the third millennium really begins on January 12th, 2001 at 6:00am Bethlehem time rather than on January 1st 2001 at midnight.

Today we are able to measure time more accurately because of new technology. We have atomic clocks and understand the concept of 0. Therefore it makes more sense to me to say, since the beginning of the calendar is arbitrary, that the third millennium starts on January 1st 2000 and that the first millennium was a year short and the second millennium was 11 days short and now we have it right.

But for those who still insist on the 2001 date then you must celebrate the true millennium on January 12th 2001 at 6:00am. (January 11th 2001, 10:00pm here in the Central North American Time Zone) This would be the true date, not January 1st. If you won't let us ignore that first year then we won't let you ignore the extra 11 1/4 days. And if you celebrate it then, I won't be there to party with you.


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