The Silurian hypothesis

I read an interesting article today.

It had a central thought – what if we aren’t the first advanced civilization on Earth?

Before you go about dismissing these claims based on “lack of evidence”, here is what the article had to say…

The oldest expansive patch of surface is the Negev Desert in southern Israel, and it dates back a mere 1.8 million years. Once we disappear, it won’t take Earth long to scrub out the facade human civilization has built upon its surface. And the fossil record is so sporadic that a species as short-lived as us (at least so far) might never find a place in it. 

In the context of time on a universal scale, we are mere dots that can be erased in a way that no traces of us would be left. Everything that we have built, all gone if you view time from a geological perspective.

The article then goes on to describe the  Silurian hypothesis, which is a thought experiment which assesses modern science’s ability to detect evidence of a prior advanced civilization, perhaps several million years ago.

There is what they call our “technosignature“, which is our seemingly indelible mark on this planet that will someday be reduced to a thin layer of rock, composed of the eclectic materials with which we’ve constructed the human world. 

Someday, millions of years from now, scientists from another civilization may stumble upon traces of the civilization that we were…or not.

The article had some technical points as well, but what left me thinking was the idea in itself. What if we aren’t the first ones who built it all, and then got wiped out, only to return again, and again? The Hindu religious texts sure speak of such creation and destruction – the cycle of the yugas – and now science is warming up to the thought experiment that pretty much describes the same thing…

Life is indeed cyclical.

See you tomorrow!