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)