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Sat Sep 7, 2019, 11:52 PM

Could an Industrial Prehuman Civilization Have Existed on Earth before Ours?

[link:https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/could-an-industrial-prehuman-civilization-have-existed-on-earth-before-ours/|

A provocative new paper suggests some ways to find out

By Steven Ashley on April 23, 2018

One of the creepier conclusions drawn by scientists studying the Anthropocene—the proposed epoch of Earth’s geologic history in which humankind’s activities dominate the globe—is how closely today’s industrially induced climate change resembles conditions seen in past periods of rapid temperature rise.

“These ‘hyperthermals,’ the thermal-maximum events of prehistory, are the genesis of this research,” says Gavin Schmidt, climate modeler and director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. “Whether the warming was caused by humans or by natural forces, the fingerprints—the chemical signals and tracers that give evidence of what happened then—look very similar.”

The canonical example of a hyperthermal is the Paleocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), a 200,000-year period that occurred some 55.5 million years ago when global average temperatures rose by 5 to 8 degrees Celsius (about 9 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit). Schmidt has pondered the PETM for his entire career, and it was on his mind one day in his office last year when the University of Rochester astrophysicist Adam Frank paid him a visit.

Frank was there to discuss the idea of studying global warming from an “astrobiological perspective”—that is, investigating whether the rise of an alien industrial civilization on an exoplanet might necessarily trigger climate changes similar to those we see during Earth’s own Anthropocene. But almost before Frank could describe how one might search for the climatic effects of industrial “exocivilizations” on newly discovered planets, Schmidt caught him up short with a surprising question: “How do you know we’re the only time there’s been a civilization on our own planet?”

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 12:13 AM

1. Unlikely. Why? Because of the lack of garbage dumps as any civilization would still produce garbage

and need to dispose of it so we should have found atleast one garbage dump with signs pointing to a civilization of that level.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 12:18 AM

2. Sure. I've considered it. Where could they leave evidence ensured to survive?

And only be found by an advanced civilization? Really only one place: the moon.

Think about it, anywhere on earth would likely be destroyed or at least damaged over millennia. On the moon almost no erosion as long as it’s not a direct hit from an asteroid or something. And we couldn’t find it till we were advanced enough to interpret it. Theoretically at least.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 02:41 AM

8. Our mining activities have scarred this planet unmistakably and permanently.

There are something like 500,000 abandoned mine shafts in the USA. We've changed the rocks, the geological formations where the ore used to be. In some coal mining areas, we've ripped the mountain tops off and dumped them in the valleys.

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Response to tclambert (Reply #8)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 09:45 AM

11. Easily erased

Glaciation will scrape those mine shafts out of existence. A few million years of glaciers grinding across the landscape, then the meltwater from their retreat, rinse and repeat a few times, and those surface features are gone.

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Response to captain queeg (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 03:30 AM

10. there was a scifi book series I remember

That had developed a tech that would allow them them to look, but not interact with the past, given something physical to to trace backwards.

Near the end the of series two of the main characters decide to push the limits and go back hundreds of millions of years, following things back to the era of trilobites...and show one purposely securing a cache of amino acids to a ocean floor vent that would later become...us.

It made me think that civilization may not take the form that we might expect it would, seeing things as we do through our human eyes...and those critters lasted a quite few million years, as did the dinosaurs, etc. and those are the ones we know about because of a fossil record left behind.

There's whole species of sharks and such that consist of nothing but cartilage and leave nothing behind when the die and rot, along with jellyfish and in the octopi's case, known intelligent species that do the same.

Is it hard to imagine, given our short time here that can be measured in 100's of thousands of years, a civilization rising and falling given millions of years to do so, leaving little trace for some of the reasons stated above? Add plate tectonics, continental shift, super volcanoes, etc, and a VAST amount of time to erase anything physical left behind and one has to wonder...

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 12:19 AM

3. Most clearly worth more consideration. We know so little about the ones we found.

Still discovering new ancient traces of previous civilizations regularly.

The technology needed to really break through is entirely new in the vast sweep of time.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 12:37 AM

4. Was there oil or coal to fuel an Industrial Revolution back then?

I don't know. I thought that the foundations of fossil fuels were put in place 400 million years ago, from vegetable matter. Was it turned to coal and oil 55 MYA or was that a more recent event?

Civilization requires lots of energy. What were they burning 55 MYA to power it?

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Response to krispos42 (Reply #4)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 01:21 AM

6. Great thought!

My own view is that we are incorrect in looking for what we call "energy".

Maybe the path is much more simple. Maybe we just need to find what something some ancients called "the path of least resistance".

And here comes my own little, humble thought about the speed of light.

Imagine that instead of light being the fastest particles, they were the slowest. I'm no mathematician, but I think it may look something like this:

Mc2 = E

Not the opposite.

Now speed becomes gravity. And most of the universe of maybe many dimensions is, in a sense for the lack of a better term, " just sitting back".

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 01:09 AM

5. My own long thought about the reasons for such mysteries such as places like Gobeki Tepe and..

...Puma Punku, is that there have been advanced creatures on earth a long time before modern homo sapiens. Maybe other species along our own human-like lines, or maybe another a very long time before us.

Or that humans came first, or others? The answer may be long buried by tectonic and/or other erosive factors.

The next question to me is where humans built places like Puma Punku could have been built more recently to celebrate/honor those who may have lived thousands of years before them?

?

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Reply #5)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 02:42 AM

9. Saqsaywaman

I read an interesting book some years ago that made the argument that Saqsaywaman was built as a scale model reproduction to honor and remember Atlantis.

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Response to JoeOtterbein (Original post)

Sun Sep 8, 2019, 02:37 AM

7. I love that stuff.

But I would think that impact events caused massive fires

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