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Prehuman industrial civilization on Earth?


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@Moontanman

I'll concede that there were a few animals with a larger brain mass than we have now, and most Whales have larger Brains than we do now, too. Still, no Hands, so we haven't found anything in the fossil records that we would consider industry capable.

What I was going at with the corpse preservation and the Darwin Award wasn't aimed at the point that there would be more human fossils, or of any other conjectured pre-human industrial society on earth, but that their intelligence wouldn't rule out them finding their way into the fossil record, because there are plenty of really stupid people.

Plate tectonics sure would make detecting remnants of human society more difficult in the far future, but considering that we've discovered a rock that is older than 4 billion years, and we have found signs of life over 3.8 billion years old, I'm rather confident that a billion years from now, some evidence of our society should survive, and I'd even wager - if we could live that long to settle it - that you could still find ceramic shards or something leftover from LHC in Switzerland in 2 billion years.

You know how many guns are at the grond of the Potomac? Btw Rivers are usually on continental plates, which aren't easily subducted tectonically. Plate tectonics isn't a magic eraser. The Sun turning into a red giant and enveloping the earth in it's upper strata, well that would do the trick. 

Edited by YaDinghus
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So far the replies assume industry as equivalent to what we see now, why should it be? Weren't the Romans, Egyptians etc. industrious? 

You seem to have solved the nuclear waste problem by personal decree. Or, maybe, you are mistaken.  

If you had an industrial civilization millions of years prior to ours they would have depleted coal and perhaps oil, and I suspect that would be detectable — not finding coal (or much coal) in a regio

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21 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

@Moontanman

I'll concede that there were a few animals with a larger brain mass than we have now, and most Whales have larger Brains than we do now, too. Still, no Hands, so we haven't found anything in the fossil records that we would consider industry capable.

Not finding them would be the point and what we consider is a moot point. 

21 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

What I was going at with the corpse preservation and the Darwin Award wasn't aimed at the point that there would be more human fossils, or of any other conjectured pre-human industrial society on earth, but that their intelligence wouldn't rule out them finding their way into the fossil record, because there are plenty of really stupid people.

Humans subducted into the mantle would be difficult to find no matter how they were entered and they might consider burying their dead to be a last ditch effort in the total absence of wood to build a fire. Fossils are extremely rare objects, we have only a few bones of many species and burying something in the ground doesn't insure it will be a fossil. Think of a T-Rex, super predator! Vicious killer of even bigger herbivores, how many complete fossil skeletons would you think have been found? Thousands? Hundreds? Try dozens, maybe 4 dozen and most are just  bit and pieces that if we hadn't found more complete skeletons we wouldn't even know what they were part of. 

The further back you go the worse the data gets. One super predator from the burgess shale was originally thought to be three different animals for many years. 

The fossil record is an amazing thing but horribly incomplete... 

21 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Plate tectonics sure would make detecting remnants of human society more difficult in the far future, but considering that we've discovered a rock that is older than 4 billion years, and we have found signs of life over 3.8 billion years old, I'm rather confident that a billion years from now, some evidence of our society should survive, and I'd even wager - if we could live that long to settle it - that you could still find ceramic shards or something leftover from LHC in Switzerland in 2 billion years.

We discovered a tiny shard of zircon on a very old very tiny rock, I'd take your bet. 

21 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

You know how many guns are at the grond of the Potomac? Btw Rivers are usually on continental plates, which aren't easily subducted tectonically. Plate tectonics isn't a magic eraser. The Sun turning into a red giant and enveloping the earth in it's upper strata, well that would do the trick. 

Actually yes, plate tectonics is a magic eraser, nearly all of Earth's surface has been "magically erased" at some point much of it many times. 

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12 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

nearly all of Earth's surface has been "magically erased" at some point much of it many times. 

Nope. No magic eraser here. 

Meanwhile, here some light reading on the record holder for being the oldest evidence of life on Earth. Also, something on Wikipedia about the oldest rocks found on Earth, and here about the most stabile parts of the lithosphere, Cratons, which are "older than oceanic lithosphere—up to 4 billion years versus 180 million years."

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17 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

Nope. No magic eraser here. 

Meanwhile, here some light reading on the record holder for being the oldest evidence of life on Earth. Also, something on Wikipedia about the oldest rocks found on Earth, and here about the most stabile parts of the lithosphere, Cratons, which are "older than oceanic lithosphere—up to 4 billion years versus 180 million years."

And what ,if anything, does that have to do with the price of eggs in china? Traces of carbon in rocks no matter how old is not evidence for a civilization... Quite a bit more evidence would be required to detect a civilization. Our own existence is a a couple million years tops and still very rare, another 500 million years and what traces would be found? 

Those swords and muskets would last far less than a few tens of thousands of years. In fact stone tools would outlast them by an order of magnitude at least... 

Think for instance of a stone blade found in a coal seam, who would find it? A miner or a person loading their furnace?   It's already happened! A brass object, a bell I think, has been found entombed in coal.. what does this mean? I can think of a couple ways that bell ended up in coal. 

do you think a researcher who was given this bell would even consider it was made by a civilization in the carboniferous? This is a real problem, a civilization from that far back would have left precious few surviving artifacts and most researchers would assume they are not what they appear to be... 

Edited by Moontanman
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4 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Nope. No magic eraser here. 

Meanwhile, here some light reading on the record holder for being the oldest evidence of life on Earth. Also, something on Wikipedia about the oldest rocks found on Earth, and here about the most stabile parts of the lithosphere, Cratons, which are "older than oceanic lithosphere—up to 4 billion years versus 180 million years."

How much of the earth's surface do these oldest rocks represent? Put another way, how easy is it to find rocks that are > 4 billion years old?

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17 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Nope. No magic eraser here. 

This is how coast line of Sunda shelf looked like in Upper Paleolithic:

sunda_shelf.thumb.png.01bad0e9cf838a2a508ebde7cafa8a5d.png

Extend it to the entire world coast line, e.g. 20k years ago, till now.. and you will have answer for Flood Myth.

If increase of temperature, because of global warming, will continue melting ice, you will have Flooding v2.0.

 

 

Edited by Sensei
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Yep the area of land submerged by melt water pulse A & melt water pulse B during the Younger Dryas roughly equates to Europe and China. Our ancestors lived though that tumultuous hell and the global flood legends were bourne from those experiences. Fascinating history and science all in one!

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19 hours ago, Moontanman said:

nearly all of Earth's surface has been "magically erased" at some point much of it many times. 

 

19 hours ago, Moontanman said:

And what ,if anything, does that have to do with the price of eggs in china?

 

19 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

"older than oceanic lithosphere—up to 4 billion years versus 180 million years."

I don't know about stinking eggs, but your claim that the surface of the earth has been magically erased multiple times is just not true. And that is what you hinge your hypothesis, that there could have been a prehuman civilization which we couldn't ever know was there, on.

 

15 hours ago, swansont said:

How much of the earth's surface do these oldest rocks represent? Put another way, how easy is it to find rocks that are > 4 billion years old

I guess it's not easy, or else someone else than scientists would be doing it

 

2 hours ago, Sensei said:

This is how coast line of Sunda shelf looked like in Upper Paleolithic:

sunda_shelf.thumb.png.01bad0e9cf838a2a508ebde7cafa8a5d.png

Extend it to the entire world coast line, e.g. 20k years ago, till now.. and you will have answer for Flood Myth.

If increase of temperature, because of global warming, will continue melting ice, you will have Flooding v2.0.

 

Nice graphics, plus an apt and absolutely correct dire warning of what's to come. But would that erase all evidence of our civilization or an unknown prior industrial civilization worldwide? I think not.

 

Ultimately, it's not up to me to prove the hypothesis of a prehuman industrial civilization false, but to those who support it to prove it right. I just wanted to illustrate how unlikely I thought this endeavor would be successful

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13 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

 Nice graphics, plus an apt and absolutely correct dire warning of what's to come. But would that erase all evidence of our civilization or an unknown prior industrial civilization worldwide? I think not.

20k years is not part of the parameters in the OP. 

“If an industrial civilization had existed on Earth many millions of years prior to our own era, what traces would it have left and would they be detectable today?”

(emphasis added)

Worldwide is technically not a parameter, either. You could have an industrial society that has machine power but never invents modern medicine, limiting its overall population and reach.

 

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2 minutes ago, swansont said:

Worldwide is technically not a parameter, either. You could have an industrial society that has machine power but never invents modern medicine, limiting its overall population and reach.

I guess an industrial civilization could invent nuclear bombs before they got antibiotics, and blow eachother and the entire surface or a significant part of it to smithereens. But through the entire industrial revolution up until the modern age (1920's), we didn't have them either. Doctors didn't even wash their hands until 150 years ago before performing surgery, and Industry was marching along in the US and Europe, and beginnig to spread to other parts of the World as well.

19 minutes ago, swansont said:

If an industrial civilization had existed on Earth many millions of years prior to our own era, what traces would it have left and would they be detectable today?

So if we're not going by the achievements and faults of our own industrial society - the only one we're aware of as to date, what else are we going to use as a basis to assume what might or might not survive for millions of years?

Maybe the only thing that survives are our finely cut jewelry diamonds. But that would still be something

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1 hour ago, YaDinghus said:

I guess an industrial civilization could invent nuclear bombs before they got antibiotics, and blow eachother and the entire surface or a significant part of it to smithereens. But through the entire industrial revolution up until the modern age (1920's), we didn't have them either. Doctors didn't even wash their hands until 150 years ago before performing surgery, and Industry was marching along in the US and Europe, and beginnig to spread to other parts of the World as well.

There was an inflection point in population growth around 1950

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:World_population_v3.svg

Not having antibiotics could be one reason a civilization gets wiped out. It could be a natural extinction event, too. Or globally warming themselves to death.

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So if we're not going by the achievements and faults of our own industrial society - the only one we're aware of as to date, what else are we going to use as a basis to assume what might or might not survive for millions of years?

Ours is only one path, and influence by geography and the resources available to us. As I pointed out before, the possibility exists of a proto-civilization arising without the level of coal and oil that we had available to us. Millions of years ago the geography would have been different, literally changing the landscape. 

For technology to advance you need people who have time to work the problems, and a low-level industrialized society might not follow our arc simply because there weren't enough people around to do innovation at the same rate.  

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Maybe the only thing that survives are our finely cut jewelry diamonds. But that would still be something

How easy would they be to find, and how long would they last in that form?

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27 minutes ago, swansont said:

Not having antibiotics could be one reason a civilization gets wiped out.

Preindustrial Europe was badly decimated by the Plague more than once, but we never really got close to local extinction. That's because beyond a certain virulence, a disease spreads slower because the vectors themselves die too fast to reach more potential victims. Sure Ebola is pretty bad, and a pandemic would be a terrible catastrophe, but more than 30% of the worlds population wouldn't get infected even if it reached every Air and Seaport in the world. It just wouldn't be the end of our world.

For beings with industry, natural predators aren't much of an issue. Yes, for the individual getting lost in the wilderness, but not for the industrialized society.

I do agree that Abthropogenic Climate Change is the greatest threat to our industrialized society, as it will also cause mass population displacement from the regions of our planet becoming increasingly more inhospitable. A significantly smaller industrial society than what we have now wouldn't suffer the consequences of Global Warming as much as we will and already are, so this likely wouldn't cut short the life of the kind of industrial society you are proposing, either. 

Of course if this localized society had lived on the Yucatan Peninsula and exclusively there when the meteor struck at the end of the Cretaceous era, well that would give me cause to go back to church...

 

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1 hour ago, YaDinghus said:

Of course if this localized society had lived on the Yucatan Peninsula and exclusively there when the meteor struck at the end of the Cretaceous era, well that would give me cause to go back to church...

http://theconversation.com/more-bad-news-for-dinosaurs-chicxulub-meteorite-impact-triggered-global-volcanic-eruptions-on-the-ocean-floor-91053

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3 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

I do agree that Abthropogenic Climate Change is the greatest threat to our industrialized society, as it will also cause mass population displacement from the regions of our planet becoming increasingly more inhospitable. A significantly smaller industrial society than what we have now wouldn't suffer the consequences of Global Warming as much as we will and already are, so this likely wouldn't cut short the life of the kind of industrial society you are proposing, either. 

 

We've only been at this a few hundred years. A smaller society that had longer, and/or where industrialization was more widespread, might have the same or greater impact.

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17 hours ago, swansont said:

We've only been at this a few hundred years. A smaller society that had longer, and/or where industrialization was more widespread, might have the same or greater impact.

Well, yeah, that's exactly my point. A smaller industrial society would have more time to impact their local environment stronger than our society, and a larger society would leave their footprint more dispersed, even though they didn't have the time to do so as intensely in a local frame. Either way, we would find something. Paleontologists have had much less to work with many a time

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25 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

Well, yeah, that's exactly my point. A smaller industrial society would have more time to impact their local environment stronger than our society, and a larger society would leave their footprint more dispersed, even though they didn't have the time to do so as intensely in a local frame. Either way, we would find something. Paleontologists have had much less to work with many a time

Species tend to last hundreds of thousands to millions of years, and we find only a few fossils. 

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30 minutes ago, YaDinghus said:

Well, yeah, that's exactly my point. A smaller industrial society would have more time to impact their local environment stronger than our society, and a larger society would leave their footprint more dispersed, even though they didn't have the time to do so as intensely in a local frame. Either way, we would find something. Paleontologists have had much less to work with many a time

I think we're all assuming that (possible) industrial civilisation would follow the same destructive path that we are. A slightly different mindset could result in a civilisation that had a minimal impact on the environment.

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19 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I think we're all assuming that (possible) industrial civilisation would follow the same destructive path that we are. A slightly different mindset could result in a civilisation that had a minimal impact on the environment.

Why is that a reasonable assumption? Especially when we know that conditions would have to be different, depending on what period of time you are looking at? And why does it matter? We're looking at evidence left behind.

22 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Preindustrial Europe was badly decimated by the Plague more than once, but we never really got close to local extinction. That's because beyond a certain virulence, a disease spreads slower because the vectors themselves die too fast to reach more potential victims. Sure Ebola is pretty bad, and a pandemic would be a terrible catastrophe, but more than 30% of the worlds population wouldn't get infected even if it reached every Air and Seaport in the world. It just wouldn't be the end of our world.

OTOH, most species eventually go extinct. But it doesn't really matter why.

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18 minutes ago, swansont said:

Why is that a reasonable assumption?

I changed my post and forgot to change "we're all" to "you're".

18 minutes ago, swansont said:

And why does it matter? We're looking at evidence left behind.

A minimal impact on the environment would make the search more difficult.

Edited by dimreepr
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15 hours ago, swansont said:
15 hours ago, dimreepr said:

 A minimal impact on the environment would make the search more difficult.

OK. Good point.

Ok so let's 'sculpt' an industrial society that has as little impact on the environment as possible and see what they would leave behind for scientists in the future to find. 

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9 hours ago, YaDinghus said:

Ok so let's 'sculpt' an industrial society that has as little impact on the environment as possible and see what they would leave behind for scientists in the future to find. 

 

Since we are deep into speculation land I like to speculate,  let's imply the octopus as the creature and it's civilization as biological instead of technological, ie the octopus society commands biology much the same way we use technology. 

Since they live in shallow coastal seas have no hard body parts fossils are non existent so they do not  leave behind anything we would recognise as technology. The octopus society could have been world wide and their impact would be as invisible in the fossil record as they are. 

Possibly the modern octopus is to them as chimps are to us. Any add ons to this sculpture? 

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14 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

Since we are deep into speculation land I like to speculate,  let's imply the octopus as the creature and it's civilization as biological instead of technological, ie the octopus society commands biology much the same way we use technology. 

Since they live in shallow coastal seas have no hard body parts fossils are non existent so they do not  leave behind anything we would recognise as technology. The octopus society could have been world wide and their impact would be as invisible in the fossil record as they are. 

Possibly the modern octopus is to them as chimps are to us. Any add ons to this sculpture? 

5

Well, it is your OP, but I think we can all agree that an octopus society is unlikely to develop an industry.

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6 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Well, it is your OP, but I think we can all agree that an octopus society is unlikely to develop an industry.

 Industry as we know it? Underwater octopus could develop technology based in biology instead of iron steel or fire. 

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3 minutes ago, Moontanman said:

 Industry as we know it? Underwater octopus could develop technology based in biology instead of iron steel or fire. 

I suppose they could learn to glue things rather than weld but it does seem a stretch to consider it industrial.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industrial_civilization

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characterised by widespread use of powered machines.

 

21 minutes ago, Meganbride90 said:

At this moment there is an existence on earth of alien activity as well as other entities and not informed children. In the world everything could be happening, and we do not know anything.

1

Speak for yourself.  :doh::rolleyes:

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