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Intelligent life before the Chicxulub Crater?


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#1    ranrod

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:45 AM

Hypothetical question.  I've always wondered about the time between the mass extinction 200 million years ago and the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago.  It's 135 million years of evolution, and considering humans only took about 1.5 million to go from animal to intelligent creature, there was plenty of time for that to happen.  If it did and there were cities and civilizations somewhere on Earth, would there be anything left of it?  One Styrofoam cup somewhere, one carved stone, one artificial satellite orbiting earth, one time capsule?  Or 65 million years and an asteroid hit would be enough to remove all traces completely?


#2    Faizyal

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:05 AM

I always wonder about that too, but never had any answers. You know what i think, maybe, we today are the decendents of those people before Chicxulub. But somehow, our ancestors seems to forget what happend to them that fatefull day....or just don't want to remember...


#3    Arbitran

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:37 AM

View Postranrod, on 25 June 2012 - 08:45 AM, said:

Hypothetical question.  I've always wondered about the time between the mass extinction 200 million years ago and the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago.  It's 135 million years of evolution, and considering humans only took about 1.5 million to go from animal to intelligent creature, there was plenty of time for that to happen.  If it did and there were cities and civilizations somewhere on Earth, would there be anything left of it?  One Styrofoam cup somewhere, one carved stone, one artificial satellite orbiting earth, one time capsule?  Or 65 million years and an asteroid hit would be enough to remove all traces completely?

It's a fascinating question, to which I've devoted a great deal of thought. I suppose we won't really know unless we discover some anomalous artifact or fossil, but I think perhaps there was. Intelligence certainly seems to be a useful trait, and if it develops in even one species it seems to have the potential to multiply exponentially with time. I am of the opinion that humans are not the only intelligent, sapient animals on Earth at the moment: the other great apes, octopi, parrots, elephants, dolphins and whales, etc. I feel represent the other intelligent "races" of our world; regardless of whether they have organized a civilization akin to our own. If, even within our own time there are so many intelligent species, it seems probable that many more existed in the millions of years of the past; if even one other of those had the means or will to organize and build a civilization, I intuit there may indeed have been a prehistoric culture, regardless of size or distribution, which could be comparable to the civilization of our own species.

I can't support this view yet, of course, but I find it to be reasonable, from what we now know.

Edited by Arbitran, 25 June 2012 - 09:38 AM.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison

#4    Abramelin

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

View Postranrod, on 25 June 2012 - 08:45 AM, said:

Hypothetical question.  I've always wondered about the time between the mass extinction 200 million years ago and the Chicxulub asteroid 65 million years ago.  It's 135 million years of evolution, and considering humans only took about 1.5 million to go from animal to intelligent creature, there was plenty of time for that to happen.  If it did and there were cities and civilizations somewhere on Earth, would there be anything left of it?  One Styrofoam cup somewhere, one carved stone, one artificial satellite orbiting earth, one time capsule?  Or 65 million years and an asteroid hit would be enough to remove all traces completely?

Hi Ranrod,

I once started a thread about the same topic, only millions of years more recent in time than your Chicxulub event:

http://www.unexplain...topic=156406=


.

Edited by Abramelin, 25 June 2012 - 10:05 AM.


#5    Sir Wearer of Hats

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

given thr proven rate of evolution of one species (us) the period between KT and Chixilub is big enough for at least a Romanesque civilisation to have developed, only to be wiped out. And a further period between then and mow or all traces to be lost.

I must not fear. Fear is the Mind-Killer. It is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and to move through me. And when it is gone I will turn the inner eye to see it's path.
When the fear is gone, there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

#6    Abramelin

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:31 AM

View PostWearer of Hats, on 25 June 2012 - 10:19 AM, said:

given thr proven rate of evolution of one species (us) the period between KT and Chixilub is big enough for at least a Romanesque civilisation to have developed, only to be wiped out. And a further period between then and mow or all traces to be lost.

You remember you once started a thread about this same topic, Wearer of Hats?

I just reread most pages, starting with my rant about critters the size of ants or termites:

http://www.unexplain...c=180734&st=210


#7    ranrod

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 10:45 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 25 June 2012 - 10:31 AM, said:

You remember you once started a thread about this same topic, Wearer of Hats?

I just reread most pages, starting with my rant about critters the size of ants or termites:

http://www.unexplain...c=180734&st=210
In that thread he explored how quickly our civilization would deteriorate if left unattended.  We don't build things to last thousands of years, let alone millions.  Sorry didn't read the whole thing, but if we know a few years in advance of an asteroid headed towards Earth such that we had no way of stopping it, would it be possible to leave anything behind that would survive 65 million years?  Some sort of time capsule or satellite?  Shoot a time capsule onto the moon?
How much longer until the pyramids disappear?
Would it be possible with all our ingenuity to device something on Earth that would survive that long?

Edited by ranrod, 25 June 2012 - 10:45 AM.


#8    Myles

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 02:24 PM

So the question is:
If the same size asteroid hit today, killing all humans, would you be able to see evidence we were here in 65 million years.

We'd have to assume similar climate changes.


#9    PersonFromPorlock

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 03:45 PM

View PostMyles, on 25 June 2012 - 02:24 PM, said:

So the question is:
If the same size asteroid hit today, killing all humans, would you be able to see evidence we were here in 65 million years.

We'd have to assume similar climate changes.

As Will Cuppy once remarked, "It is not in the nature of pyramids to fall down." So maybe some of the Egyptian pyramids might last that long, and be big enough to eventually be found. Not a lot of other structures, though, especially in earthquake-prone regions.

At the other end of the scale, gold or platinum artifacts might also last and be recognizable as such. Or any fossil that was of an obvious artifact.

And if we allow 'them' a sufficiently advanced technology there could be ruins on the Moon, nuclear remnants with 'unnatural' ratios of isotopes and so on.

So, lots of possibilities, none of which are in evidence so far.

Edited by PersonFromPorlock, 25 June 2012 - 03:46 PM.


#10    Myles

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 04:44 PM

View PostPersonFromPorlock, on 25 June 2012 - 03:45 PM, said:

As Will Cuppy once remarked, "It is not in the nature of pyramids to fall down." So maybe some of the Egyptian pyramids might last that long, and be big enough to eventually be found. Not a lot of other structures, though, especially in earthquake-prone regions.


65 million years is a long time.  The climate changes that come with that must also be considered.


#11    ranrod

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:40 AM

View PostAbramelin, on 25 June 2012 - 10:31 AM, said:

You remember you once started a thread about this same topic, Wearer of Hats?

I just reread most pages, starting with my rant about critters the size of ants or termites:

http://www.unexplain...c=180734&st=210
This is good stuff.
The current question is: if an intelligent civilization existed before the mass extinction 65 million years ago, is it possible they left something behind for us to find?  For example, Is it possible to have a satellite in a non-decaying orbit around Earth, or put a time capsule on the moon

View PostMyles, on 25 June 2012 - 04:44 PM, said:

65 million years is a long time.  The climate changes that come with that must also be considered.
On the other thread Abramelin indicated, there was an interesting point about the metamorphic rock process.  After that long of a period of time, stuff on the surface today can end up in the magma layer millions of years from now, erasing all traces of humanity.  That process doesn't happen everywhere though.

Humans pretty much cover all habitable surface of the planet (and some not so habitable), and we have massive concrete and steel vaults under very stable dessert floor.  It's hard to imagine all of it yielding to geological and climate forces, not to mention things like the pyramids.

If we wanted to leave something behind for someone else to find in the distant future, I'm sure we could figure out a way.  Time capsule shot to the moon (no erosion or geological forces), time capsule on a non-decaying orbit around Earth or the Sun (not sure if possible), or a time capsule in the most stable dry non-changing piece of land (there are some areas that still had dinosaur prints visible on the surface).  I'm sure we could come up with something with little preparation.  By extension, If someone before the last mass extinction got to our level, perhaps they left such time capsules somewhere for us to find?


#12    Royal

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:19 AM

I have a few questions for anyone who can help. Between the mass extinction of roughly 200 M years ago and the cataclysm at 65 M wasn't all the land area on earth congeled into one land mass called Pangea which split apart through plate tectonics to form the  continents and oceans during that time,then to be dominated by the era of the dinosaurs? I don't disagree that after 65M that mammals could have developed into intelligent lifeforms and been destroyed over that span of time, I just don't think it happened before that.Or maybe I read the OP wrong.

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#13    ranrod

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 05:50 AM

View PostRoyal, on 26 June 2012 - 05:19 AM, said:

I have a few questions for anyone who can help. Between the mass extinction of roughly 200 M years ago and the cataclysm at 65 M wasn't all the land area on earth congeled into one land mass called Pangea which split apart through plate tectonics to form the  continents and oceans during that time,then to be dominated by the era of the dinosaurs? I don't disagree that after 65M that mammals could have developed into intelligent lifeforms and been destroyed over that span of time, I just don't think it happened before that.Or maybe I read the OP wrong.
Towards the end of the Cretaceous era, before the impact 65 million years ago, the continents had already separated.  What makes you believe it wasn't possible?  If we start there, it took 65 million years for humans to emerge.  Twice that amount of time passed before the asteroid hit.  That's plenty of time to develop intelligent life.

Edited by ranrod, 26 June 2012 - 05:50 AM.


#14    Royal

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:11 AM

View Postranrod, on 26 June 2012 - 05:50 AM, said:

Towards the end of the Cretaceous era, before the impact 65 million years ago, the continents had already separated.  What makes you believe it wasn't possible?  If we start there, it took 65 million years for humans to emerge.  Twice that amount of time passed before the asteroid hit.  That's plenty of time to develop intelligent life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         I don't disagree that intelligent life could not have developed during this period. I was a tad off on the timing.This suggests that any advanced intelligent life that was present during this period perhaps left something for us to discover.No evidence of that.

"you oughta be in here looking out"

#15    Arbitran

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 06:20 AM

View PostRoyal, on 26 June 2012 - 06:11 AM, said:

I don't disagree that intelligent life could not have developed during this period. I was a tad off on the timing.This suggests that any advanced intelligent life that was present during this period perhaps left something for us to discover.No evidence of that.

Nobody suggested that there is any extant evidence (at least know at this time). It's also been discussed that after 65 million years, we needn't think that significant artifacts would have survived. They might; but perhaps we wouldn't recognize them. After such a length of time, would one not actually expect physical processes on our planet to have almost completely erased any evidence of past civilization? It is speculated our own civilization could be destroyed, and all traces erased, in mere thousands or tens of thousands of years. I don't doubt that any prehistoric civilization, which existed millions of years ago would be reduced to dust today, if it actually existed.

Try to realize it's all within yourself / No-one else can make you change / And to see you're really only very small / And life flows on within you and without you. / We were talking about the love that's gone so cold and the people / Who gain the world and lose their soul / They don't know they can't see are you one of them? / When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind / Is waiting there / And the time will come / when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you. ~ George Harrison




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