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Did intelligent life exist on Earth before humans ?

Posted on Thursday, 19 April, 2018 | Comment icon 427 comments

Are we really the most intelligent beings to have lived on Earth ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Frank Vincentz
Could there have been an advanced civilization on our planet long before mankind appeared on the scene ?
It's an idea that has been debated for years, and while we typically assume that our civilization is the first and only to have existed on Earth, can we be sure that this is really the case ?

"Now, I don't believe an industrial civilization existed on Earth before our own - I don't think there was a dinosaur civilization or a giant tree sloth civilization," said study co-author Adam Frank.

"But the question of what one would look like if it did [exist] is important. How do you know there hasn't been one? The whole point of science is to ask a question and see where it leads."

"That's the essence of what makes science so exciting."

Finding evidence of such a civilization may be a lot more difficult than it sounds. The fraction of life that does get fossilized, even when it has been around for millions of years, is typically extremely small.

Scientists also believe that if, for example, mankind disappeared overnight, it would take around four million years for all traces of our civilization to disappear from the planet's surface.

Eventually, given enough time, it might be very difficult to find any sign that we were ever here at all.

Source: Live Science | Comments (427)

Tags: Earth, Civilization

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #418 Posted by Harte on 21 April, 2018, 11:10
Note that technology isn't one of the characteristics, though some sort of planned and organized agriculture would certainly be included, as that's the only way you can feed people under the other stipulations. Otherwise, they're constantly hunting and gathering. Harte
Comment icon #419 Posted by Harte on 21 April, 2018, 11:13
I'd like to add that the use of the Anthropological term "civilization" is not congruent to the use of the term "civilized." Many ancient civilizations were what we would consider to be barbaric. Certainly quite uncivilized. Harte
Comment icon #420 Posted by Truthseeker007 on 21 April, 2018, 11:26
Papa I think you will find this link interesting: http://home.iae.nl/users/lightnet/creator/originraces.htm Small excerpt: the Lemurians in general were descendants of the Sirians, and some genetic engineering made use of of genes from animals to give the Sirian humans a kind of stability that allowed them to survive on the Earth plane which was necessary for the survival due to harsh conditions. This Awareness indicates this had to do with certain qualities of the native anthropoidal beings which were used to the environmental conditions, whereby these qualities added to the Sirian natural ph... [More]
Comment icon #421 Posted by Essan on 21 April, 2018, 11:45
Interesting except they refer to them as Lemurians, which as we know was a name only invented in the 19th century and had nothing at all to do with Boggy Land      It does explain why they were amorphous jelly people though.
Comment icon #422 Posted by Essan on 21 April, 2018, 11:48
Many modern civilisations are what we would consider to be barbaric too!
Comment icon #423 Posted by Harte on 21 April, 2018, 12:31
I won't complain. I prefer my bologna to be cut thick. Harte
Comment icon #424 Posted by Gaden on 21 April, 2018, 14:14
 I understand the argument of culture and civilization, and it is an interesting topic than can go round and round, but the OP specifically asks about ADVANCED, INDUSTRIAL civilizations,and whether they could be detected today. Maybe it is just my opinion, but I really don't think there should be any confusion about what industrial in this case means, and that is factories, advanced manufacturing processes. The article even discusses the use of fossil fuels along with the production of plastics, steroids, etc. This should, but hasn't, for some reason, eliminate any mention of Gobekli Tepe, the... [More]
Comment icon #425 Posted by stereologist on 21 April, 2018, 15:52
Others may give better definitions but there is a difference between culture and civilization. A civilization has certain properties which are generally accepted although some small differences of course exist between different groups of researchers. I gave this earlier in the thread and it appears to require a repeat. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilization That definition should help you to realize that the Ancestral Pueblans, previous called the Anasazi, were not a civilization but a culture. The Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmecs and others were civilizations.
Comment icon #426 Posted by Jon the frog on 21 April, 2018, 16:30
Ants, termite and bees were there before us. They have build gigantic structure in comparison of their size, colonized all earth and are still there, everywhere.   http://discovermagazine.com/2008/nov/12-wilson-says-ants-live-in-humanlike-civilizations   https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0960982206014114  
Comment icon #427 Posted by UM-Bot on 21 April, 2018, 20:15
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