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Could an Industrial Civilization Have Predated Humans on Earth?


«In 2018, climatologist Gavin Schmidt and astrophysicist Adam Frank published an intriguing paper in the International Journal of Astrobiology called, “The Silurian hypothesis: Would it be possible to detect an industrial civilization in the geological record?” The title is derived from a Doctor Who episode featuring a reptilian race known as the Silurians who gained intelligence before humans. The purpose of the Silurian hypothesis isn’t to assert that another civilization came before us. Rather, it’s a thought experiment to get us thinking about how we would know if a pre-human civilization once existed, a point that might be too subtle for some netizens in our age of Ancient Aliens memes.»

«Schmidt and Frank acknowledge that paleontologists haven’t uncovered fossilized evidence of pre-human civilizations—but that’s the point. If a civilization thrived millions of years prior to us, its artifacts could have been destroyed. Geological processes such as tectonic plate subduction and glaciation could easily erase evidence of ancient urbanization.»