A new analysis of the fossil record shows that a deep pattern in nature remained the same for 300 million years. Then, 6,000 years ago, the pattern was disrupted -- at about the same time that agriculture spread across North America.
"When early humans started farming and became dominant in the terrestrial landscape, we see this dramatic restructuring of plant and animal communities," said University of Vermont biologist Nicholas Gotelli, an expert on statistics and the senior author on the new study.
In the hunt for the beginning of the much-debated "Anthropocene" -- a supposed new geologic era defined by human influence of the planet -- the new research suggests a need to look back farther in time than the arrival of human-caused climate change, atomic weapons, urbanization or the industrial revolution.
Keep in mind, the Holocene dates from 10k years ago. 4k years, in the geological sense, is nothing and probably would not be detectable in 5 million years in the future. Furthermore, if the overkill hypothesis is correct, then the anthropocene started at the megafauna kills 10k years ago. Gosh. That's EXACTLY the Holocene.
The Holocene has priority based on publication date.
Let's stop using that stupid term.