posted on Feb, 17 2006 @ 10:28 PM
I hate to be the killjoy, but I'm inclined to think not.
We believe that Earth started to gain an oxygen atmosphere 2 billion years ago, and only then would an ozone protect the development of complex land
That cuts the time for evolution on land in half, and it isn't until 550 or fewer million years ago that we start seeing a real diversity of complex
life on land, and it's all invertibrate.
Simple vertibrates show up 350 MYA or so, then a lot of stuff abruptly dies out in the Permian Extinction, and dinosaurs and small mammals are up
It would be extremely hard to sell me on the idea of a lost species capable of advanced civilization anytime prior to 150MYA, and at that point I
still find it hard to suspend disbelief; we'd probably talking about some kind of intelligent evolution of reptiles.
It becomes a lot easier to buy between 20MYA and 5MYA, after apes show up.
So the question in my mind becomes not a matter of billions of years, but of millions, and I wonder what evidence there would be if there had been an
There is an example that I use often, and I do it because I have a background in construction and I'm familiar with the basic components of our the
things we build, and what would remain if we blew it all up beyond recognition.
Paving and cement would be evident for LONG, LONG after they had been disintegrated. When New York City has been dead for several million years, what
will remain is a thick layer of rust, uniformly sized rocks, and trace amounts of oil. These will stand out sharply in contrast to the soil above and
To anhilate the evidence that NYC had ever been there, you'd have to run it over with a glacier, then put it under the ocean and leave it there. Even
still, NYC couldn't exist without outside support, so you'd have to do the same thing to EVERYWHERE that was settled.
So the problem we run into is basically that evolution as we understand it doesn't allow for an ancient civilization to have existed and then been
destroyed beyond recognition by geology.
If we die out tomorrow, I'm quite sure that there will be absolutely no sign of us in something like 0.3-1.0 BILLION years- and then whatever comes
next may be able to entertain this theory without evolution getting in the way.
Let me throw one little bone to your idea however- if ETs had been here for mining or research a long, long, long time ago- we'd probably never find
out about it.