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A new civilization

Published May 01. 2010 09:00AM

Did you ever stop to wonder if there are significant things missing from the history of our planet at least that which is recorded somewhere at some point? Lately I have been thinking about the possibilities that we are not the first advanced civilization on this planet and that perhaps at some point there were others with their own technologies and methods of doing things.

Where is the evidence you might ask? Let us partake in this thought experiment. A global catastrophe occurs. For sake of argument say a large comet strikes the planet vaporizing an ocean and jostling our axis. Many of us are immediately vaporized. More drown from massive tidal waves and earthquakes while the rest suffer from the environmental fallout from such a disaster. This was believed to be the fate of dinosaurs so many years ago and it could easily lead to our demise.

What would be left of us here? Such a disaster probably would destroy most of the infrastructure, our roads, bridges, airports, cities, skyscrapers and skylines. What is left would not be repaired because we would also be gone. In a few years plant life would cover the surface and any recognizable building. Lichens, moss and fungi would follow most likely eating away and eroding material. Roads would disintegrate. Trees and brush would grow on long abandoned city streets. Electrical plants would crumble and decay. Power lines would fall and rust away along with their towers and substations. In some places fires could burn for days destroying much of what were our creature comforts.

Some scientists speculate within 400 or 500 years this planet will reclaim all vestiges of our societies. We would be faint memories in the carbon footprint of this planet, but life most likely would continue. Another life form would evolve to dominate the earth and perhaps someday in the distant future it would become sentient. Sentience simply means they would develop a consciousness and sense of feeling. Once they establish their society they will most likely struggle for a period of time. Eventually they will learn how to live and survive. Soon they begin to advance, maybe like us or maybe quite differently.

At some point, they reach that pinnacle much like a toddler when they start asking why? Where did we come from? How did we get here? Much like we do today.

The interesting thing is as they explore their new world they may come upon artifacts much like we do. Foundations of buildings or outlines where buildings once stood. Concentric circular foundations. Maybe a pentagonal foundation on a plain near an ocean. Odd obelisks sticking out of the ground. Hourglass shaped towers standing tall in isolated wildernesses. They might ask why these objects were here. What was their purpose? Perhaps in a dig they will find remnants of barrels or ironically Styrofoam.

Deep under the earth's surface the possibility exists they might find crumbled dust on shelves of a long abandoned library vault. Nothing of any intelligence survives in this long buried archive. Why would there be long shelves of ashes down here they may speculate? Rows and rows of stones in fields stick part way out of the ground with unintelligible gibberish on them in many different shapes. There is no rhyme or reason to the pictures or shapes, but they speculate it is one or more languages. In short there is no indication of any advanced intelligence on this planet other than the stone structures that appear to have been built to reach the heavens. The hourglass towers might be temples.

This could be what the remnants of our world looks like to a new civilization advancing on this planet after we are no longer here. Suppose there are pockets of us left on this planet. Little remnants of human life that were able to live prehistorically and share an oral history or written one of what happened. Chances are hundreds of generations later, they will have little memory of the technology of today. Instead they might write about books of light that spoke to people. They might speak of handheld machines that spoke to people. Magical potions existed at one time that saved people from horrible diseases. Flying machines once filled the skies that transported people from place to place. Perhaps those who were the earliest survivors drew pictures of these items.

Stories are told of civilizations that reached to the heavens and men were like gods able to travel without horses or animals. They controlled fire with a flick of their hand and had mighty sticks that killed instantly. They controlled light and sound. "They were gods and then one day they were gone in a brilliant flash of light and explosion that flooded the world leaving us behind. Cities sank below the surface along with this magic", these people might write and tell those who find them later.

Of course this is a fantasy, but is it just speculation? Look at the fantastic remnant sprinkled all over this planet. Some attribute the pyramids, the stories of Atlantis, the Nazca plains, Stonehenge and legends of flying machines to extra terrestrials. What if they were not extra terrestrials? What if some civilization years before our written history developed technologically to the point they destroyed themselves or were the unfortunate victims of cataclysm? What would be left on this planet from them?

Perhaps some roads or ruins of buildings and cities of stone. Maybe buried deep in the earth some records in some undecipherable language. Maybe some batteries or metallic artifacts which we find and can't attribute. Perhaps they created the crystal skulls held in awe across the planet. Just maybe they inspired the epic of Atlantis, Homer related to the Greeks.

Maybe we are the only civilization to exist here, or maybe we are just the current one.

Til next time …

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