The Earth Is Complete. Www.mjfriendship.de/de/index.php?op…27&Itemid=47 There are millions of us who live on this planet, dying and leaving tracks leave behind our existence in the earth, in the atmosphere and even in space, are we the first? Researchers at the University of Rochester and NASA have a paper that describes how we could possibly say humans are the first civilization to appear on Earth, citing the possibility that we're not the first rulers on Earth named the Silurian Hypothesis is the ancient reptilian civilization of Doctor Who.
Human history may seem extensive, but we existed only for a geological moment of the eye. The earth is about 4.5 billion years old and a complex life has existed for hundreds of millions of years. By contrast, modern humans have only existed for about 300,000 years. This leaves a lot of time for other intelligent species to develop and die out on Earth before us.
The study is by Adam Frank, astrophysicist at the University of Rochester, and the director of the Goddard Institute of NASA, Gavin Schmidt. They deal with a series of misunderstandings about the study of the past and present several ways in which we can test for a prehuman earth civilization. One of the first things they discuss is the fossil record. We have all seen the remnants of ancient creatures, but these specimens represent only a tiny part of life on earth. Organisms petrify only under very specific conditions. An extinct species could have counted millions, and maybe none of them petrified.
If you are looking for an old industrialized civilization, what about ruins? As the newspaper notes, human city centers currently account for only about 1 percent of the earth's surface. Without constant maintenance, structures in nature will be swallowed up in decades. In a million years, all physical evidence would have disappeared long ago. The best we hope to find is small, unclear anomalies in sediment layers.
However, there are some signs of past civilizations that could survive long into the future. We just have to look at people's activity to learn what they are. For example, people have burned massive amounts of fossil fuels. We release more than 500 billion tonnes of carbon from coal, oil and natural gas, and this changes the ratio of carbon-12 and carbon-13 in plants, soils and water. Detecting similar spikes in past sediment samples may indicate an industrial civilization. Agriculture also causes long-term changes on the planet – nitrogen-based fertilizers could be detectable for eons in the fossil record.
While ancient buildings would not survive for millions of years, certain building materials could. Humans have created long-lived synthetic molecules like plastic, so maybe that would have a hypothetical ancient echelon civilization. If we found something similar in the fossil record, that would be a substantial proof of a prehuman civilization.
It's an interesting thought experiment, but that's all it is. There is no evidence for Silurians or other intelligent beings on Earth before us – though we can not completely rule it out.
(Top Image Credit: University of Rochester Illustration / Michael Osadciw)