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Thread: Previous intelligent life?

  1. #1
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    Previous intelligent life?

    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[

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    Is there any proof for or against this idea?
    No. And it's for this reason that a good discussion about this is gonna be just a little tricky.

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    Why don't we see any signs of them if they where here? This is one time that lack of evidence is the evidence. Unless they lived at teh center of the earth and the earth is really a shell like a Dyson sphere.

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    its possible I imagine. Any sort of proof could have been eroded ages ago. Also, In what we could say are very recent times an advanced race may have existed. Atlantis is a myth we all know of, yet every myth has a basis of fact......

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    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth rodman
    its possible I imagine. Any sort of proof could have been eroded ages ago. Also, In what we could say are very recent times an advanced race may have existed. Atlantis is a myth we all know of, yet every myth has a basis of fact......
    Yeah. Which a lot of archeologists believe is a reference to an island (Santorinas) that was part of the Minoan civilization that vanished rather quickly.

    No we would have seen something seeings how we can see fossils from 3.5 billion years ago and the earth formed 4.5ish.

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    No we would have seen something seeings how we can see fossils from 3.5 billion years ago and the earth formed 4.5ish.
    Tuffel999 has it. Why would evidence of intelligence be less long lived than a fossil record so old?

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    On a somewhat smaller scale, I sometimes wonder if humans ever developed technology and had it wiped out. It'd be pretty funny if we found some space junk floating around launched by Ug the Caveman's ancestors.

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    I would argue that the history of the Solar System is proof against this. Any complex life that arose around 4 billion years ago would have had to have developed MUCH faster than humans did and would have had to have developed while the Earth was passing through the heavy bombardment period. To use the most extreme example, whatever rock that hit us that, eventually, led to the formation of the Moon would also have turned the Earth's crust into a liquid.

    As for the fossil record as it stands, humans are the only known intelligent species to have ever existed. There just isn't any evidence otherwise.

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    Why is there no evidence? It's simple, times in those days were tough, we had to eat whatever we could. Canabilisim ran rife till someone couldn't stomach the thought of eating their loved ones and organised a distraction for the tribe resulting in the body being cremated instead of cooked. The idea quickly caught on and that's why cremation rather than burial became popular.

    Soon people got out of the habit of eating their loved ones and it became possible to bury them without fear of someone undigging them for food. That way no one had to put up with the smell of burning flesh either.

    Note how the above argument even provides "pseudo proof", there are canibals and there always were, some cultures cremate and others bury their dead. It almost seems logical, the truth feels finally within grasp. There is however no proof of my argument even though it sounds plausable and can provide an explanation where others don't, i.e. why we cremate/bury our dead. The reality is there is nothing that provides proof in any form for the existance of previous intelligent life, the only proof is that we have imagination to concider the possibility.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Regards,

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrObvious
    Why is there no evidence? It's simple, times in those days were tough, we had to eat whatever we could. Canabilisim ran rife till someone couldn't stomach the thought of eating their loved ones and organised a distraction for the tribe resulting in the body being cremated instead of cooked. The idea quickly caught on and that's why cremation rather than burial became popular.

    Soon people got out of the habit of eating their loved ones and it became possible to bury them without fear of someone undigging them for food. That way no one had to put up with the smell of burning flesh either.

    Note how the above argument even provides "pseudo proof", there are canibals and there always were, some cultures cremate and others bury their dead. It almost seems logical, the truth feels finally within grasp. There is however no proof of my argument even though it sounds plausable and can provide an explanation where others don't, i.e. why we cremate/bury our dead. The reality is there is nothing that provides proof in any form for the existance of previous intelligent life, the only proof is that we have imagination to concider the possibility.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    Regards,
    Actually, it's not even a good proof. We've found evidence from fires over ten thousand years old. To the best of my knowledge, a fire large enough to cremate a human corpse has never been found.

    An important part of historical argument is that you can't say something happened without evidence. If you don't have that evidence, it's just speculation, at best.

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    Check out "The Light of Other Days" by Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke. You won't see the relevance of the reference until the last chapter or so, however.

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    An interesting question!

    The first question is, what artifacts could have been left behind by, let's say, civilized dinosaurs? Anything organic would have disintegrated long ago. It is unlikely any of their buildings or their foundations would have lasted this long. (I give the pyramids a few hundred thousand years, tops.) Chunks of metal might survive.

    When we do bury our dead (instead of burning or eating them--or dumping them in the Thames), jewelry and other mementoes are often buried with them. We can't count on ancient burials of civilized dinosaurs for the evidence, because burial will not lead to fossilization, and without a fossil we will completely miss the ring or necklace. Our best bet of finding artifacts of civilized dinosaurs would be to find some unfortunate creature that got buried in a landslide with his/her jewelry, gun, and maybe cellphone. The bits of metal would be our clue.

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    If you aren't convinced of other earlier intelligences try reading


    this
    and
    also this
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    Quote Originally Posted by Celestial Mechanic
    The first question is, what artifacts could have been left behind by, let's say, civilized dinosaurs? Anything organic would have disintegrated long ago. It is unlikely any of their buildings or their foundations would have lasted this long. (I give the pyramids a few hundred thousand years, tops.) Chunks of metal might survive.
    If a Previous Intelligent Species had reached the space age, the evidence would be all around us, litterally.

    We'd be surrounded by defunct Geo-Stationary Satelites.

    They're too big to deteriorate all that quickly, and at too high an Altitude to Re-Enter the Atmosphere.

    So, no Satelites, no Previous Intelligence, worth mentioning.

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    Well I think you guys are forgetting that other livings things may have achieved a higher level of intelligence, then died off without ever having done anything like launch satalites or build giant structures of some sort. Dolphins are not to far away from man as far as thinking goes, and they have not needed to develop physical technologies given their environment and lack of versitle appendages to make things with, plus living in the water, no readily accesable metals and such, can't smelt underwater to make frickn laser beams....

    Besides we all know they can power themselves into outspace... so long and thanks for the fish

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    Quote Originally Posted by jawajedi
    Well I think you guys are forgetting that other livings things may have achieved a higher level of intelligence, then died off without ever having done anything like launch satalites or build giant structures of some sort. Dolphins are not to far away from man as far as thinking goes, and they have not needed to develop physical technologies given their environment and lack of versitle appendages to make things with, plus living in the water, no readily accesable metals and such, can't smelt underwater to make frickn laser beams....

    Besides we all know they can power themselves into outspace... so long and thanks for the fish
    what makes you say they are 'not far away from man'?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jawajedi
    Well I think you guys are forgetting that other livings things may have achieved a higher level of intelligence, then died off without ever having done anything like launch satalites or build giant structures of some sort. Dolphins are not to far away from man as far as thinking goes, and they have not needed to develop physical technologies given their environment and lack of versitle appendages to make things with, plus living in the water, no readily accesable metals and such, can't smelt underwater to make frickn laser beams....

    Besides we all know they can power themselves into outspace... so long and thanks for the fish
    Eh, they're really not much smarter than Chaimpanzees and Gorillas

    As I implied in my post, unless they achieved a level where they're efforts could still be observed, what would be the point?

    As much as I'd Love to debate the idea of Cave Dinos, the point is that we have no evidence, nor any evidence that there should be evidence, so, what's the difference?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jawajedi
    Well I think you guys are forgetting that other livings things may have achieved a higher level of intelligence, then died off without ever having done anything like launch satalites or build giant structures of some sort. Dolphins are not to far away from man as far as thinking goes
    Actually they are quite far. The chimpanzees of africa are far closer(genetically 1-2%) and they are still playing with sticks(simple tools, opposable tumbs and toes.......what I wouldn't give for an opposable toe). I don't really consider them(dolphins.....beside they are tasty....kidding!) the most intelligent of life. They are sentient but I doubt that is the point of this thread. I think it was meant for something roughly on our current level.

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    Depends. Intelligent life, or a technological civilisation? I'm willing to accept the former as a possibility, especially in the oceans - I can imagine a species of intelligent squid or ichthyosaur, say, evolving and going extinct without leaving a trace. Most ocean-floor sediments are inaccessible, and because of plate tectonics, most are of relatively recent origin. Not that I think any of this happened, but it's not outside the bounds of possibility.

    However, I don't see how a pre-human landscape-changing industrial culture could arise without leaving some physical evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tuffel999
    They are sentient but I doubt that is the point of this thread. I think it was meant for something roughly on our current level.
    Dolphins are sentient? Woah, I learned something today. Anyway, how do we figure out how something is sentient or not? Are there certain requirements?

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    I think the lack of any fossil evidence speaks against that theory, unless a catastrophic impact had molten up Earth's crust, thus wiping the evidence out; then however, evidence for the impact should be there, which also lacks.
    What happened however is that we had civilizations that were more advanced scientifically than our Western civilization of the Middle Ages. A lot of knowledge from the ancient world had become lost (that the earth isn't flat e.g.) and was rediscovered during the Renaissance.
    Atlantis however, really seems to be Thera/Santorini which around 1,500 BCE was almost completely destroyed by a volcanic eruption, wiping out a high culture; and that event probably was what Platon heard from the Egyptians - all figures (dates, sizes) have to be divided by a factor of 10, and voila - we have Thera as Atlantis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by iFire
    Quote Originally Posted by tuffel999
    They are sentient but I doubt that is the point of this thread. I think it was meant for something roughly on our current level.
    Dolphins are sentient? Woah, I learned something today. Anyway, how do we figure out how something is sentient or not? Are there certain requirements?
    The most basic defintion would be:

    sentient \SEN-shee-uhnt; -tee-; -shuhnt\, adjective:
    1. Capable of perceiving by the senses; conscious.
    2. Experiencing sensation or feeling.

    From dictionary.com. Now for people's interpretations or further qualifying beyond that.....it gets kind of sticky and I don't really have the time to go there today.

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    I suppose it is possible that a culture would invent things without leaving behind the huge piles of detritus you find in our disposable culture. It may even be possible that they invented recycling technologies advanced enough to clean up their messes and leave the earth in a pristine state. It's possible that their abodes have disappeared under the waves or into crustal subduction zones. I supose it's possible that this race could have existed before the Lunar Creation Impact and then came back and re-seeded earth after things cooled off. But I doubt it.

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    One of my T.A.'s does work on Dolphins; she says that they're real pretty and fairly smart but they're not really geniuses either.

    Actually, she's of the opinion that they like to eat fish and play with other Dolphins. This is roughly the extent of Dolphin culture. This may or may not be an indicatior of intelligence depending on your philosophy.

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    4 billion years is a long time...
    That is absolutely correct.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    ...many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    Yes, if you become more familiar with the fossil record, you will realize that your speculation did not happen. There is a clear trend in the fossil record, and human-like creatures do not appear on this planet until something like 5 million years ago. While that's still quite some time ago, it's nothing like 4 billion years.

    Certainly human civilizations have come and gone over the past 50,000 years, but the entire species didn't go extinct, only to re-evolve. There were many groups of the same species around the globe. In fact, if the entire species had gone extinct, it is extremely unlikely that other mammals would have re-evolved into the same human species. Creatures would evolve, but into something different.
    Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jpax2003
    It may even be possible that they invented recycling technologies advanced enough to clean up their messes and leave the earth in a pristine state. It's possible that their abodes have disappeared under the waves or into crustal subduction zones.
    This is a key idea in David Brin's Uplift books, where it is the duty of a civilisation to clear up after itself and dump everything near an ocean trench to be subducted.


    Quote Originally Posted by Madcat
    Actually, she's of the opinion that they like to eat fish and play with other Dolphins. This is roughly the extent of Dolphin culture. This may or may not be an indicatior of intelligence depending on your philosophy.
    Everyone knows that humans are more intelligent than dolphins. After all, we've achieved so much: the wheel, New York, wars, and so on. But all the dolphins have been doing is messing around in the water having a good time. Strangely, the dolphins think they're more intelligent for precisely the same reason. (Many thanks to the late, great Douglas Adams for this paragraph).

    If there had been a civilisation before us, I'm fairly sure we would have noticed something. Plastics, metal or carved stone would probably survive in some form under the ground. Given how many fossils we have found, I would be surprised if such evidence went unnoticed. Of course, evidence might have been found but not believed.

    A previous technological civilisation may well have exhausted ore and fossil fuel resources. However, there is plenty left for us (if we manage it properly...) which suggests there was no such culture. Another test will come when ultra-high resolution cameras orbit the moon. As well as putting Apollo hoax rumours to rest by spotting landing sites, they will notice if any non-humans have been visiting. This will rule out a previous spacefaring culture.

    Ultimately, this question depends on your view of civilisation. Personally, I find it likely that a society that reaches some minimum technology (say, agriculture, but you can argue about it) will either continue until it reaches our level (and beyond...) or wipe itself out with nuclear weapons (and I reckon we'd notice the radiation fallout from that). I don't believe it would simply reverse its progress and return to animal existence.

    Non-civilised intelligence is perfectly possible, and perhaps even common over the history of the Earth. But there's now way for us to tell now.

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    One book that goes into this a bit is the wonderful "Science of Discworld" by Terry Pratchett. Its worth a read.

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    mY calculations ?

    Quote Originally Posted by tuffel999
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth rodman
    its possible I imagine. Any sort of proof could have been eroded ages ago. Also, In what we could say are very recent times an advanced race may have existed. Atlantis is a myth we all know of, yet every myth has a basis of fact......
    Yeah. Which a lot of archeologists believe is a reference to an island (Santorinas) that was part of the Minoan civilization that vanished rather quickly.

    No we would have seen something seeings how we can see fossils from 3.5 billion years ago and the earth formed 4.5ish.


    sugest a time referance frame based upon the orbit of the SUN
    and planets about the Center of the Galixy... of 24E7
    ----------------------------------------------------------- ABOUT
    250,000,000 years or 4 GAL.orbits = 1 By
    taking the popular number 4.5 times 4 can at times yeild
    Eighteen copleted trips around the Galixy
    =============================
    Each Orbit can be subdivided THIS WAY by 4 { season.LIKE}
    there are TWO {crossing the Galatic Equator} N/S & S/N
    and two other time when the Orbit is far removed from those crossings
    call it {W & E } or 6&18
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    just recently the Sun & Sirus (a near by star) did just that
    "CROSSED THE GALATIC EQUATOR"
    and are now headed Way out there
    ??????????????????????????????????????
    beyound the swept out trafic LANE to the rough times called often Extinction
    that takes 6e7 or 60,000,000 years to get to
    //tilt\\ and about that long ago the orbit was Way out there befor
    Also in 12e7 120,000,000 another Galatic Equator crossing is Due
    N/S and 24E7 its back to GO a S/N crossing.. get the idea? 0 6 12 18 24=0

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    Re: Previous intelligent life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brady Yoon
    Could it be that humans were not the first intelligent life on Earth? Maybe intelligent life has arised on Earth, become extinct, and evolved again throughout the 4.5 billion years of the Earth's existence. And even more so on other planets, when conditions could have been different. 4 billion years is a long time; many civlizations could have formed and died during that time. Is there any proof for or against this idea? 8-[
    Isaac Asimov wrote a rather strange short story in which the real reason the dinosaurs became extinct was that one of the species evolved intelligence and then went around shooting all the rest. After 65 million years, no direct evidence of this survived. In the story, it took a time machine to find out what had happened.
    Everything I need to know I learned through Googling.

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    Re: mY calculations ?

    Quote Originally Posted by HUb'
    Quote Originally Posted by tuffel999
    Quote Originally Posted by kenneth rodman
    its possible I imagine. Any sort of proof could have been eroded ages ago. Also, In what we could say are very recent times an advanced race may have existed. Atlantis is a myth we all know of, yet every myth has a basis of fact......
    Yeah. Which a lot of archeologists believe is a reference to an island (Santorinas) that was part of the Minoan civilization that vanished rather quickly.

    No we would have seen something seeings how we can see fossils from 3.5 billion years ago and the earth formed 4.5ish.


    sugest a time referance frame based upon the orbit of the SUN
    and planets about the Center of the Galixy... of 24E7
    ----------------------------------------------------------- ABOUT
    250,000,000 years or 4 GAL.orbits = 1 By
    taking the popular number 4.5 times 4 can at times yeild
    Eighteen copleted trips around the Galixy
    =============================
    Each Orbit can be subdivided THIS WAY by 4 { season.LIKE}
    there are TWO {crossing the Galatic Equator} N/S & S/N
    and two other time when the Orbit is far removed from those crossings
    call it {W & E } or 6&18
    ::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
    just recently the Sun & Sirus (a near by star) did just that
    "CROSSED THE GALATIC EQUATOR"
    and are now headed Way out there
    ??????????????????????????????????????
    beyound the swept out trafic LANE to the rough times called often Extinction
    that takes 6e7 or 60,000,000 years to get to
    //tilt\\ and about that long ago the orbit was Way out there befor
    Also in 12e7 120,000,000 another Galatic Equator crossing is Due
    N/S and 24E7 its back to GO a S/N crossing.. get the idea? 0 6 12 18 24=0
    Exactly :-k

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