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Re: mass extinctions and technology

At 4:21 PM +1000 9/27/02, Mark Harvey wrote:

This raises an even more interesting question. What if a civilization such as ours existed tens of millions of years ago and we are not aware of it? I am not suggesting human beings were present 10's of millions of years ago, but perhaps an earlier super species.

I addressed this in a science fiction short story, "Extinction Theory" published in the March 1989 issue of Analog Science Fiction, postulating that the evolution of intelligent dinosaurs was the real cause of the mass extinction at the KT boundary. (For those of you historically inclined, that was before the Chicxulub crater was discovered, and it was written before the September 1988 Snowbird conference on global catastrophes and mass extinctions.)

One important thing to remember is that the history of advanced human civilization is quite short on a geologic time scale, and most artifacts are less durable than the stone tools that would be found over a much longer interval of time. -- Jeff Hecht