Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Was There a Civilization On Earth Before Humans?

    “How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?”

    We don't.

    Read more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/...zation/557180/

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mel View Post
    “How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?”
    I think it's a very interesting question. Let's make it a bit harder to answer; what if a civilization developed underwater?

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by mikeofallbirds View Post

      I think it's a very interesting question. Let's make it a bit harder to answer; what if a civilization developed underwater?
      Developed and went extinct?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mel View Post

        Developed and went extinct?
        Yes. Say there was a (non-human) civilization, with cities and nations underwater, lasting about 100,000 years (like 10 times as long as we've lasted) back a million years ago. Would we see any record of them? What evidence would we look for?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by mikeofallbirds View Post

          Yes. Say there was a (non-human) civilization, with cities and nations underwater, lasting about 100,000 years (like 10 times as long as we've lasted) back a million years ago. Would we see any record of them? What evidence would we look for?
          First off, the size of these alleged sentient beings might be as small as a mouse. That might mean their cities were no bigger than a set of Lego blocks.

          Second off, if they build cities then they needed something like hands and opposable thumbs to create tools.

          Third off, and I'm not being a smart ass, we should define what a city is. If it's rock caves then we might not recognize their cities if the cities were looking us in the face.

          Comment


          • #6
            And there would be evidence of some kind of written language. A written language is necessary to store and share knowledge gained by previous generations.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mel View Post

              First off, the size of these alleged sentient beings might be as small as a mouse. That might mean their cities were no bigger than a set of Lego blocks.
              Probably a bit bigger. You need to be somewhat bigger to support a bigger brain. It's possible that higher intelligence could go with a small brain, but I'd bet the other way.

              Second off, if they build cities then they needed something like hands and opposable thumbs to create tools.
              Or tentacles. Octopuses and squids seem quite dextrous.

              Third off, and I'm not being a smart ass, we should define what a city is. If it's rock caves then we might not recognize their cities if the cities were looking us in the face.
              In a way, the question is how high tech could it be before we would have necessarily found evidence already. Assume it was high-tech; metal and glass, with industrial tools and all. Would we have found traces? Steel will rust out, glass break and be ground down (as I understand it) long before a million years goes by.

              Comment


              • #8
                We're lucky to see the traces we do now, of relatively recent civilizations, and there've been a few discoveries that might indicate a deeper past than we expect, i.e., interesting excavations have shown unexpectedly sophisticated work, in the news in the last year or so.

                A million years might be enough time that even things we go out of our way to make last will succumb, not to mention the everyday detritus of our lives and works.

                So, maybe it could have happened and left no obvious traces. I'm dubious, because we don't have any fossil evidence, that I know of, of large brains in tandem with clearly "handy" hands, or their equivalent.

                It'd be very cool, though. I vote we start thinking about how to make a time capsule that will outlast us by at least an order of magnitude longer than we think it might take for a new civilization to come along, just in case. Then, we reverse engineer the idea so we can start looking for something like that from our past, and keep it in mind when/if we visit other planets.

                Loren

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Loren View Post
                  So, maybe it could have happened and left no obvious traces. I'm dubious, because we don't have any fossil evidence, that I know of, of large brains in tandem with clearly "handy" hands, or their equivalent.
                  The species and culture could be as foriegn to us as a non-carbon based life form a planet we don't know exits would be.

                  You know, that is a far as I can take this idea without writing a short unbelievable SF story in my head.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Loren View Post
                    We're lucky to see the traces we do now, of relatively recent civilizations, and there've been a few discoveries that might indicate a deeper past than we expect, i.e., interesting excavations have shown unexpectedly sophisticated work, in the news in the last year or so.

                    A million years might be enough time that even things we go out of our way to make last will succumb, not to mention the everyday detritus of our lives and works.

                    So, maybe it could have happened and left no obvious traces. I'm dubious, because we don't have any fossil evidence, that I know of, of large brains in tandem with clearly "handy" hands, or their equivalent.

                    It'd be very cool, though. I vote we start thinking about how to make a time capsule that will outlast us by at least an order of magnitude longer than we think it might take for a new civilization to come along, just in case. Then, we reverse engineer the idea so we can start looking for something like that from our past, and keep it in mind when/if we visit other planets.

                    Loren
                    I think I'm seeing open-mindedness here that you are not known for.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Loren View Post
                      I'm dubious, because we don't have any fossil evidence, that I know of, of large brains in tandem with clearly "handy" hands, or their equivalent.
                      I don't think anyone involved is saying there actually was one, or even that it was likely. Only noting how little direct evidence a civilization might leave and trying to work out what more indirect evidence they might be likely to leave.

                      Another aspect of it is keeping us humble, pointing out how small a place humanity has had in deep time. Ozymandias taken another notch.


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mel View Post
                        The species and culture could be as foriegn to us as a non-carbon based life form a planet we don't know exits would be.

                        You know, that is a far as I can take this idea without writing a short unbelievable SF story in my head.
                        Yes, that might be stepping out more firmly into the area of science fiction. I think for non-carbon based life forms to develop up to intelligence would take enough time and enough different chemistries that more visible evidence would be around, and we would have noticed already.
                        I think a species that created an earlier civilization on earth would have to be related to other species we do know. But I could be wrong.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Smoke View Post

                          I think I'm seeing open-mindedness here that you are not known for.
                          Wait, what? I'm plenty open minded about things that are physically within the realm of reality. Your weird superstitious maunderings seldom enter that realm, that's just how it is. The Shroud of Turin was a fake, there was no Genesis flood, etc., etc., etc. Those are human stories, made up by humans. Scientific research into whether, and how, intelligences could have developed, formed civilizations, and gone extinct, or could do so again after we probably complete that cycle, are speculations based on physical reality and a sample size of, so far, one.

                          Nobody says this happened and bases their sexual hangups on it. That's religion, and I have studied them enough to give all of them the same level of interest, i.e., they reflect the culture of the people who tell and retell their stories. Very interesting, not factual, all of them ignore reality and are "based" on a sample size of zero.

                          Loren

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mikeofallbirds View Post
                            I don't think anyone involved is saying there actually was one, or even that it was likely. Only noting how little direct evidence a civilization might leave and trying to work out what more indirect evidence they might be likely to leave.

                            Another aspect of it is keeping us humble, pointing out how small a place humanity has had in deep time. Ozymandias taken another notch.

                            "Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair..." Yep.

                            Anyone who's given a bit of attention to archeology and paleontology and geology can see how insignificant a period of time we've really been here, compared to the age of the earth, and everyone alive today should be able to see the writing on the wall as far as fossil fuel use and climate change go. This system has several billion years or so to go before the sun eats our planet, so there's plenty of scope for our little drama to be re-cast with new players and acted out again, even if we are the first.

                            Thinking about whether we could see signs of previous civilizations, that should motivate us to consider leaving some sort of marker for a possible next such.

                            Loren

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mel View Post

                              The species and culture could be as foriegn to us as a non-carbon based life form a planet we don't know exits would be.

                              You know, that is a far as I can take this idea without writing a short unbelievable SF story in my head.
                              As Mike pointed out, it would be hard for life that different to not leave an interesting blip in the record, here. We have plenty of evidence of carbon-based life, and that might be all we're geared to recognize now, but I'd think there would be at least a layer of something weird (well, weirder) to mark the spot.

                              It's hard to not move into the realm of SF when we start speculating about other planets. We need more data.

                              Loren

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Loren View Post

                                Wait, what? I'm plenty open minded about things that are physically within the realm of reality. Your weird superstitious maunderings seldom enter that realm, that's just how it is. The Shroud of Turin was a fake, there was no Genesis flood, etc., etc., etc. Those are human stories, made up by humans. Scientific research into whether, and how, intelligences could have developed, formed civilizations, and gone extinct, or could do so again after we probably complete that cycle, are speculations based on physical reality and a sample size of, so far, one.

                                Nobody says this happened and bases their sexual hangups on it. That's religion, and I have studied them enough to give all of them the same level of interest, i.e., they reflect the culture of the people who tell and retell their stories. Very interesting, not factual, all of them ignore reality and are "based" on a sample size of zero.

                                Loren
                                My latest poltergeist experience not in the realm of reality. I was dropping off paint at the paint store. I pressed the remote doorbell and the lady let me in after a minute or so. So I am telling her about my poltergeist experience at home when the remote doorbell button I had had rang twice. The hair on my head stood up as the button was inside the house on the lampstand, which meant I had a ghost is the house.

                                As I was telling her this story, when the doorbell rang where I had just come in, there was nobody there. She looked kinda freaked out. Now I know these remotes are subject to interference but I have known for years that an unseen spirit has been following me around. Don't know if it's good or evil but these little pranks that let me know it is still there which leads me to believe it not good.

                                So you see there is something else in this world besides the physical. Where does it come from, past civilizations, the dead, aliens, another realm? I don't know.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Smoke View Post
                                  I was dropping off paint at the paint store.
                                  Paint flumes can mess with ones head.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    [QUOTE=Smoke;n72035]

                                    My latest poltergeist experience not in the realm of reality. .../QUOTE]

                                    All of these stories of yours have two things in common. One, they're ridiculously far-fetched, and, two, they all center around you.

                                    You are your own "poltergeist".

                                    Loren

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      [QUOTE=Loren;n72132]
                                      Originally posted by Smoke View Post

                                      My latest poltergeist experience not in the realm of reality. .../QUOTE]

                                      All of these stories of yours have two things in common. One, they're ridiculously far-fetched, and, two, they all center around you.

                                      You are your own "poltergeist".

                                      Loren
                                      It's okay, I know you are intelligent, even smarter than me. But your mind is closed to the spirit realm which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It could mean God has blinded you so that you are not guilty of sin, because if you could see or acknowledge the spiritual you may be guilty of sin.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Smoke View Post

                                        It's okay, I know you are intelligent, even smarter than me. But your mind is closed to the spirit realm which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It could mean God has blinded you so that you are not guilty of sin, because if you could see or acknowledge the spiritual you may be guilty of sin.
                                        It's not being smart, it's being skeptical. I'm entirely open to "the spirit realm" but I think it is perfectly capable of getting in touch with me without going through an intermediary.

                                        Why would I not accept it, if I saw it for myself? Of course I would, once I'd double checked and tested it against reality. Nothing so far.

                                        There's never been any instance where claims of that sort stood up to objective testing, which would be the next level of acceptance that I would entertain. Nothing so far, there, either.

                                        Second-hand breathless recountings of ghost-stories and things that go bump in the night? Not in the running at all.

                                        Loren

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X