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What constitutes an advanced civilization?

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posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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If a previous civilization had even a fraction of the technology that we have today, would that technology or even a small minute portion have survived?

If for instance they invented something similar to our modern day computer, or even similar to the computers of the 60’s and 70’s, would anything have survived over time? If these things would not survive can we be sure that the ancient civilizations did not have such things and perhaps had a written language that they stored on these “computers”, which in turn would earn them the right of an advanced civilization?

I am not making a statement that they had these things, just asking a what if question.




posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 02:25 PM
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Originally posted by AlienCarnage
If a previous civilization had even a fraction of the technology that we have today, would that technology or even a small minute portion have survived?


Yes. We specialize in durable products that will be around thousands of years from now (our houses, for instance... homeowners don't like the idea of plumbing falling apart after 40 years.) Furthermore, the technology leading up to it (even if we go with green and biodegradable materials) will be around for quite awhile.


If for instance they invented something similar to our modern day computer, or even similar to the computers of the 60’s and 70’s, would anything have survived over time?


Yes, plus all the supporting infrastructures (mines, laboratories, factories, roads, transport vehicles, etc, etc, etc.) Plus you'd have written languages with the words and symbols for these concepts, and they would be repeated frequently... as well as library and information storage. Furthermore, it would spread to other civilizations through trade or theft.

AND... all the technology that led up to it. We didn't just fall out of the trees and get computers.



posted on Sep, 2 2009 @ 05:17 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 

Hello Alien Carnage,


AlienCarnage: If these things [modern computers] would not survive can we be sure that the ancient civilizations did not have such things and perhaps had a written language that they stored on these “computers”, which in turn would earn them the right of an advanced civilization?


Good question. To me, however, the entire question of what earns an ancient civilisation the right to be regarded by us here in the 21st century CE as 'advanced' is fairly subjective, the goalposts of which are always shifting as new discoveries of our ancestors are made that changes what we know (or thought we knew) of them. And it is not all about physical artefacts, albeit this is the best form of evidence that allows us to determine a particular culture/civilisation's technological advancement.

Did the ancients understand that the Earth was a sphere? I think the answer is unequivocally "yes". Did the anicents navigate the Earth's oceans and trade with the AMericas? I think there is a very strong argument in favour of this. Did the ancients understand the precession of the stars and could they calculate and project their precessional motion, something most of us require modern computers to do? Again - I think the answer is a resounding "yes". So, 'advanced knowledge' does not always equate with nor does it necessarily transcend into the production of advanced physical artefacts.

The ancients may have KNOWN how to make an A-Bomb but simply chose not to do so - metaphorically speaking, of course.

Regards,

Scott Creighton



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 07:45 PM
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The ancients may have KNOWN how to make an A-Bomb but simply chose not to do so - metaphorically speaking, of course.


The ancients may have KNOWN how to make water safe for drinking but simply chose not to do so.

The ancients may have KNOWN about germ theory but simply chose not to do so

The ancients may have KNOWN how to remove grit from ground grains but simply chose not to do so.

The ancients may have KNOWN how to use a place holding zero but simply chose not to do so.

It is always amazing how they chose not to do these thing while a few believed them capable of amazing thing, which again, they elected to do, but not easier more valuable things.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:22 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


Okay I know I was stretching a bit by implicating they might have had parallel tech to our own, but the reason i was asking was to find answers to what would be left of technology from a previous age.

The reason for trying to find that out has mainly to due with the Antikythera Mechanism I know this subject has been brought up before, but what evidence was left behind that led to it's development?

I know it appears to be some kind of astrological device, but the design of it is what I am questioning. We already know that the Greeks were advanced for their time in several different aspects but the interworkings were advanced even in Greek terms.is it possible there were other such devices, is it possible they evolved beyond this device, or were they at the end of their period of development when this device was created?

[edit on 9/3/2009 by AlienCarnage]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:44 PM
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Originally posted by AlienCarnage
reply to post by Byrd
 


Okay I know I was stretching a bit by implicating they might have had parallel tech to our own, but the reason i was asking was to find answers to what would be left of technology from a previous age.


I actually understood what you intended.
My answer still stands -- things don't just magically appear. The civilization has to have the technology to produce it.


The reason for trying to find that out has mainly to due with the Antikythera Mechanism I know this subject has been brought up before, but what evidence was left behind that led to it's development?


Although it may have been its inventor's prototype, there already was brass, gold, silver, and bronze jewelry and items for gods' temples that show equally detailed work. There's (on paper) tables of hours and the civilizations of the era had been using wheels, screws, and cogs (I believe... Roman use, certainly). Like the Baghdad batteries of the same era, none of the materials are amazingly out of place for what they knew, and the detail work is in line with what they were doing in jewelry and art.


I know it appears to be some kind of astrological device, but the design of it is what I am questioning.


Astronomical... or so I think I've read... rather than astrological.


We already know that the Greeks were advanced for their time in several different aspects but the interworkings were advanced even in Greek terms.is it possible there were other such devices, is it possible they evolved beyond this device, or were they at the end of their period of development when this device was created?


It was during the rise of the great Roman engineers that this occurred. I think it's a unique device, but I have heard there were some similar things (I'm in a hurry and don't have time to look these up right now.) I think that if it hadn't been lost at sea in an accident, we might have had its inventor's name and known more about it.

My own speculation is that he was on board the ship when it went down. I have no way of knowing whether this is true -- it's just guesswork that we might have had someone in that time period who was the equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci. Hieron was an earlier engineer who invented (among other things) steam power, so these kinds of inventive minds show up in all cultures and ages. Their limits are only the materials and manufacturing available to the people at that tiime.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 

The Antikythera mechaism is a celestial position calculator, basically its a really complicated hand crank clock, it says so right on it
You enter a date via a crank, then by cranking it with other handles? you could find the positions of the sun and moon and possibly all five planets known to the ancient greeks, on any given day, and a bunch of other reaally amazing date/time cycles.

The Antikythera mechanism also represent the pinacle of ancient greek mechanical engineering.
But its nothing that cant be made given an understanding of these basic concepts, geometry( the greeks were well known for thier understanding of geo), basic mathematics (they were also very good a trigonometry)
Once you know those two basic principals a geared mechanism is only just a bunch of tedious math away.


It wasnt the only thing of its kind im sure, but the only one that still exists.
There were couple of large mechancal clocks in different places in greece at the time.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks
 


This one device was almost lost and to me, it makes me ponder what other ingenious other devices they may have been able to come up with that may have been lost to time.

Just how close were they to making further advances in our direction before their decline.

I have read in the first century AD, that Heron of Alexandria was close to inventing steam power. see link below.

modelengines.info...

< - - - Posted the last before I read Byrd's reply - - - >

[edit on 9/3/2009 by AlienCarnage]



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 10:35 PM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


I read so many different sources from many different subjects, I do miss much, which is why I come here to ATS to help fill in the missing pieces.

Where I don't think that ancient civilizations were advanced enough to say have flying machines, I do think that they may have had the potential for such things, shown in artwork and sketches of some of the visionaries of the past. The devices depicted may have not been working, but it does show the ingenuity.

Does make you wonder if these ingenious people show up in recorded history, were there any in prehistory? Were there any attempts at actually creating envisioned devices, or were they merely in the inventors imaginations and plans only?

BTW, I always love reading your answers, no matter the thread.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:30 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 

In an engineering history class I had, a text we used, mentioned a roman who was experimenting with magnetism and electricity in the 4th? century.
I wish i could remember his name, I think he had gotten as far a wrapping a bar of iron with copper wire, and maybe hooking it up to a battery used for electroplating.
The author of the book figured that they were only a 100 or years from learning to generate electricity at that point, but the turmoil that engulfed the empire in the following years made certain that it didnt happen.
he postulated if certain things hadnt happened and and certain things did, man might have made it to the moon 500 years ago.
Also even though the romans were brilliant practical engineers they werent much for the theoretical endevors that are required to reach the age of electricity, which is the real advancement.
And without the mathematics of calculas it would be all but impossible to understand what you were really doing.



posted on Sep, 3 2009 @ 11:42 PM
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In response to the original question, what constitutes an advanced civilization, it just depends of your frame of reference.
If you talking from the perspective of an average tribal person any large city society would seem fantastically advanced, from the perspective of some one from victorian england( the pinnacle of the "industrial revolution"), the world at ww2 would be a world of wonder.
For the hallmarks of an advanced industrial society are the harnessing of electricity, and the develpoment of at least two non natural metals, ie metals that do not exist as metals on our planet.
metals such as aluminum or titanium or chromium, tantalum, tungsten and such.



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hans: It is always amazing how they chose not to do these thing while a few believed them capable of amazing thing, which again, they elected to do, but not easier more valuable things.


SC: And it is a dead certainty that our descendants, a few hundred years from now, will be saying the very same thing about us.

SC



[edit on 4/9/2009 by Scott Creighton]



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 10:42 AM
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Originally posted by AlienCarnage
reply to post by Byrd
 

Does make you wonder if these ingenious people show up in recorded history, were there any in prehistory?


They do. We tend to have a western civilization bias about our information, but they show up all over. And in prehistory, yes... otherwise we wouldn't have gone much beyond walking around the grasslands looking for food and running from leopards.


Were there any attempts at actually creating envisioned devices, or were they merely in the inventors imaginations and plans only?

There are a lot of devices around, from automated vending machines (dating back 2,000-3,000 years) that dispensed soap and water so you could ritually wash before entering the temple... and on and on and on.

And that's just the West. In China they had things like fairly sensitive earthquake detectors (off the top of my head).

So there's a lot of it around. Sometimes the inventors are known, sometimes not. But this is how we all advance... the brilliant and not-so-brilliant taking a chance and crafting new things.



posted on Sep, 4 2009 @ 10:47 AM
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A CIVILIZATION THAT EXIST IN COMPLETE PEACE COMPLETE FOR THEY KNOW WHAT NON PEACE BRINGS TO THE TABLE.



posted on Sep, 5 2009 @ 11:13 PM
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reply to post by Scott Creighton
 


Probably not as they will have more detailed records and will in general be more capable of making rational decisions. Instead of making stuff up.



posted on Sep, 5 2009 @ 11:55 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

It's a nice idea but I wouldn't count on an increase in rational thought or an increased aversion to making stuff up. I think our general capacity for both has been pretty much unchanged for 30 or 40 thousand years.

It's the ones who excel in rational thought and studiously avoid making things up that have gotten us where we are. They have been few, but they are the ones we owe a lot to. They are the ones who made the steps forward. And they were all human.

[edit on 9/6/2009 by Phage]



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 05:19 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

Hello Hans,


Hans: Probably not as they will have more detailed records and will in general be more capable of making rational decisions. Instead of making stuff up.


SC: Alas I am not actually in the business of "making stuff up". "Making stuff up" infers 'fantasy'. This is no fantasy.

Regards,

Scott Creighton



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 01:31 PM
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reply to post by Phage
 


Agreed, however our ability to make stuff up is now tempered by the methodogy of science which has tended to suppress the belief in the irrational and unlogical. However I suspect that trait will continue to plague us until our species dies out.



posted on Sep, 6 2009 @ 01:35 PM
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reply to post by Scott Creighton
 


Howdy Scott

To you its real but to the rest of us, its just your amusing, if odd little obsessive fantasy. Or are we not allowed to disagree with your imperial majesties opinions?LOL

So going back to my post a few back - why would a civilization forget those things that would cause their beloved children to live longer while retaining complex mathematically knowledge?



posted on Sep, 7 2009 @ 04:22 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 

Hello Hans,


Hans: To you its real but to the rest of us, its just your amusing, if odd little obsessive fantasy. Or are we not allowed to disagree with your imperial majesties opinions?LOL


SC: Now this REALLY IS a fantasy - since when were you appointed to speak on behalf of "...the rest of us..."?

You should well understand by now, Hans, that labelling evidence as 'fantasy' won't actually make it 'fantasy' nor will such derisory and empty comments cut it as a viable counter-argument.

You really have to do much better than this.

Best regards,

Scott Creighton

[edit on 7/9/2009 by Scott Creighton]



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