When considering the possibility of a new epoch in the geologic timescale of the earth, it is both important yet challenging to attempt to determine when this new epoch began. The beginning of the Anthropocene, as it is known, could have begun thousands of years ago during the times of early agriculture, or even as recently as this millennium, depending on how you look at it. In the process of pin-pointing when, exactly, we believe the Anthropocene started in time ultimately allows us to define what the Anthropocene truly is. If one considers the beginning of agriculture to be the anthropocene’s inception, for example, then this novel epoch may be defined by anthropogenic land changes (and, of course, the affect that those changes have had–and continue to have–on the world). If one argues that the anthropocene began when humans first began to utilize tools, on the other hand, then perhaps this epoch may be defined by humans’ superiority over other animals, ultimately materializing in our advanced scientific knowledge and understanding of the world, as well as our manipulation of other living (and non-living) things.
Defining a concrete point of view regarding when the anthropocene may have started is difficult, but it is certainly imperative for understanding the consequences of this human-centered epoch, as the basis of this time period can help to tell us where we may be headed next. As for myself, I am not yet sure what may have defined the start of the Anthropocene, but I hope that hearing myriad points of view concerning this new concept will allow me to develop my own perspective.