The meaning of "B.C.E."?

Thomas G. Lammers lammers at UWOSH.EDU
Mon Apr 18 11:26:48 CDT 2005

At 10:07 AM 4/18/2005, Robin Leech wrote:
>I think I will revert to BP (Before Present), and not worry about
>political correctness, AD, BC, CE, BCE, or any other terms.

Bear in mind, however that 5000 BCE / 5000 BC = 7005 BP ... until next
year.  One set of terms is for "calendar" year, the other for elapsed time.

>This is getting out of hand.

Godless heathen that I am, I nonetheless have never objected to the various
aspects of our culture that derive from a religious past.  "In God We
Trust," "One Nation Under God," and BC/AD have never upset me.  I do not
feel a need to expunge all vestiges of religion from view, despite my own
disinterest in religion.  The mere fact that someone here had to ASK what
BCE meant indicates that it is an abbreviation that should be avoided in
favor of the more familiar BC, despite its origin and meaning.

Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
Department of Biology and Microbiology
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA

e-mail:       lammers at
phone:      920-424-1002
fax:           920-424-1101

Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.

"Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
                                                               -- Anonymous

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