Saturday, April 14, 2018

From the Atlantic: Was There a Civilization on Earth before Humans?

"We’re used to imagining extinct civilizations in terms of the sunken statues and subterranean ruins. These kinds of artifacts of previous societies are fine if you’re only interested in timescales of a few thousands of years. But once you roll the clock back to tens of millions or hundreds of millions of years, things get more complicated."

Hey guys, try to keep up. I can't be the only one that's read Toolmaker Koan or The Green Marauder. Or Jack Vance, come to that.


Peculiar said...

Given the relative ease of finding fossils even of delicate things such as worm burrows, algae, leaves and bird tracks (all of which may be seen within easy day trip distance of my house, or around the globe), I feel the author is seriously underestimating the odds of finding evidence of industrial facilities and their products, were there any to be found.

Odious said...

Yeah, I don't believe they've thought through how an industrial society would need to function in order to leave either no traces or few, easily confused ones. Scientifictionally, you could aim for a a culture based (almost) entirely around biological development, but even that requires significant facilities, &c. You can hide in deep time, but you need to be very careful about how.

Odious said...

Meant to add: taphonomy is destiny.