Ideally, on the Deist view, one’s timeline would begin at the year of Creation (the Big Bang) and simply count forward from this year, Year 1. But this is not so easy and one might wonder what the best course of action is to take in the absence of such information. It occurred to me in thinking about the timeline question that I had missed the obvious — that history begins with writing. Would could easily begin the timeline with the first writing system, and count forward from this moment of the founding of civilization.
The interesting challenge to this approach come from my own blog, however. As the sciences related to archaeology grow progressively advanced, science may begin to replace text (written texts) as the primary source for our established history-textbook traditions. What then?
Well, a second alternative arose on my radar screen of studious involvement with my books: we could begin our historical timeline with the first written Law Code, since law defines civilization and requires critical thinking, not just writing.
The first option, writing, in effect defines times as knowledge-oriented, rooting the timeline in shared and permanent (okay, more permanent) information. The second, temptingly anchors time in justice, order, critical thinking and law. This seems to mimmick the light of nature far more exactly.
But what if we were to find an earlier law code than the one oldest at present? Well, we should simply move the timeline backward accordingly, and just move on with the new and better one, pretending the first timeline never existed. We would simply adapt.
In any case, I shall continue my study of time and post my thoughts here when convenient and profitable.